1 REPRESENTSBack on May 15 I announced that I had been taking it extremely light in the gym and had severely toned down my cardio throughout 2019 in an effort to get my wife pregnant. You know, the whole take my testosterone out of the gym and put it in my wife ordeal. By that date I had gained 20 pounds, had only just gone back into the gym, and was preparing to ramp it up again and get my body back into a shape that would make me (and my wife) happy. As of today I am now 6 weeks into my body recomposition (losing weight and gaining muscle), I have lost 17 pounds, and I am feeling a lot better about my physical health and appearance.
As is the case with nearly everyone who goes on a weight loss or body recomposition journey I am now at the stage where I am tackling stubborn belly and midsection fat. While frustrating, this is a positive development. For most people the abdomen and midsection are the first places that the body stores fat and the last places that it burns it from. There is no 100% concrete scientific evidence as to why that is, but there is more than enough observational and anecdotal evidence to prove it as fact.
When losing weight we tend to want to look at our stomachs (and our scales) to judge our progress. In reality, you will likely lose weight just about everywhere else before seeing that final push in your midsection that will reveal your camera-ready abs. Yes, you will see a reduction in size in your abdomen along the way; but all too often we ignore the massive amounts of fat loss we achieve in our face, arms, legs and neck as we decrease our overall size. But, in order to celebrate ALL of your success along your weight loss journey, you MUST keep your eyes on these areas too.
As you are losing weight be sure to keep watch on the fat pockets under your eyes and watch for your cheek bones to be revealed. Also keep tabs on your neck, especially on the back side. These are often some of the earliest places that you can see evidence of your overall body mass decreasing. Also, an often overlooked progress area is our feet. As you are working to lose weight pay attention to how your shoes fit. Although I have worn size 13 since I was a freshman in high school; I have one pair of size 13s that I still own from when I was my heaviest and they are stretched beyond imagination. These shoes literally flip and flop when I walk in them as if they are a half size too big because of how my fat feet warped their size.
If you are also building muscle or already have a muscular build pay attention to muscle striation. As you are losing weight your muscles should begin looking more shapely. The muscle is there (or being built there) and removing layers of fat will cause your body to begin revealing their true shape. So pay attention to these factors to avoid being disheartened as you wait for your stubborn midsection to begin cooperating with the rest of your body.
At present I am looking to wipe out my last bit of stubborn belly fat. I have a target weight at which I believe I will achieve this goal and as such I will continue my plant-based, intermittent fasting diet until I get there. Because I am doing a body recomposition and not just focusing on weight loss or cutting, I have done almost no cardio during the course of the last 6 weeks. The reason being is that losing weight with cardio can also cause muscle loss, and I want my muscles to continue to grow. Therefore, as an alternative to copious amounts of weekly cardio I am focusing on avoiding sugar to keep my insulin low (insulin prevents the body from burning fat) combined with fasting to tap into my stored fat for energy and combining that with a rigorous heavy lifting workout routine. I also do my workouts in a fasted state with my fasting periods going from 10PM (roughly) through at least 5PM. On gym days I fast from about 10PM through my workout the next day which generally ends between 7 and 8PM. So I do a minimum of 19 hours of fasting a day at this time.
This is my alternative what I've done in the past which is long-distance running and a restrictive 5-meal a day, plant-based diet. In these last 6 weeks I am stronger and healthier. I have added at least 10 pounds to each of my workout weights on every exercise that I do on a weekly basis. I often switch up exercises for each muscle for variety and slight muscle confusion; so I don't know that I've gotten noticeably stronger on my alternative exercises. Maybe a little, but I haven't done them enough in the last 6 weeks to really know.
All in all, despite my weight loss coming to an abrupt standstill between 223 and 225 pounds, which is where I always hit a wall, I am extremely happy with what I have accomplished over a 6-week period. I am feeling like myself again and regaining some of my "I feel sexy in front of my wife" swagger. I also feel MUCH healthier and MUCH stronger today than I was 6 weeks ago. So, except for the last remnants of the love handles I recruited to make our new baby; I am extremely encouraged about how I will perform over these next 6 weeks!
You should be encouraged too! In the last 3 weeks I began coaching many of you and already I am seeing some AMAZING PROGRESS from you all! I am so proud of you all, and I look forward to seeing the completion of all the amazing turnarounds, body recompositions and weight loss journeys we are currently working on together! Let's Do This Thing in 2019!