My name is Jason. There is nothing exceptional about me. I’m a regular guy.
A husband, a father of two beautiful girls, and a middle school math teacher.
I have very simple tastes. I play softball and golf when I can, watch sports on a regular basis, and do my best to enjoy the small things in life.
In 2004, I had a wedding to prepare for. Physically, I mean. (I was emotionally ready to marry Kate the second I laid eyes on her.)
I had put on the “Freshman 15” (okay, it was more like the “Freshman 40”) while in college, and I didn’t want to be a tub of goo walking across the alter.
There’s nothing remotely impressive
about a groom not being able to dance
with his bride for more than 30 second segments
without needing an oxygen tank.
So, I did what most normal people would do. I joined a gym and vowed to “get in shape”.
I had always been an athlete (or so I thought), so I began with the standard: Weight training on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and cardio on as many other days as I could.
And I would “eat healthier”.
To me, this meant not eating out as much, and trying to eat less of everything.
These goals of mine, looking back, were rather vague. But to me, I thought this was the path to success.
It worked. Sort of. For awhile. About 20 pounds came off, and I looked better for the wedding pictures. Not good, but better.
But the motivation to look good for the wedding slowly left me.
The 3-4 days of cardio dwindled down to 1-2 days. Some weeks I did no cardio. I hated running.
The weight crept back on.
Until I looked at myself in the mirror, made another vow to “do more cardio” and “eat healthier” once again.
With my motivation revamped, into the gym I drudged. And I logged mile after mile on the treadmill.
Lost a bit of weight. Eventually I lost motivation. Then I gained back a little weight.
Notice the cycle here?
As I was logging mile after mile on the treadmill, I realized a few things:
1. Doing that much working out (especially cardio) is not sustainable.
As I was spending hours on the treadmill, I remember thinking the amount of time required to lose weight was remarkable.
I kept asking myself how on earth I would ever be able to keep this sort of a pace up.
I was 24 at the time, so it was doable, but what would happen as I got older?
I couldn’t legitimately expect myself to lift for 4-5 hours and do cardio for 4-5 hours as well, each and every week, for the rest of my life.
Plus, my body was breaking down. Shin splints, sore heels, hurt knees, and a weak lower back. The works.
I should have figured this aspect out sooner. Very few people can work out that much for very long without getting burned out.
2. My progress was not proportional to the time I was spending in the gym.
As I was looking around, I kept wondering how a guy who was spending somewhere between 8-12 hours per week working out still had a belly.
What was I doing wrong? I felt like I was practically starving.
How can I consistently work out so hard and eat such a small amount of food and yet still not be dropping a significant amount of weight? There had to be another way.
As the years went by, I began to “accept” that this was the new normal for me. I chalked it up to “old age”.
I was nearing 30. I was getting ready to be a father.
My first daughter, Brooklyn, was born and I had even less time to devote to the gym. I ballooned up.
In the summer of 2011, I took a lake trip with some friends.
After looking at a picture of myself, I was disgusted and appalled with what I saw.
This picture still makes me cringe…….
When I got home, I took a long look at myself. How did I let myself get to this point?
How had I been working out consistently for 7 years and still look like that?
There were lots of guys at my gym who were in much better shape than me.
There was no way they worked out for a substantially longer time than me. So what was the solution?
I scoured the internet searching for something that worked.
A colleague of mine recommended a documentary to me – Fat Head.
This movie highlighted the dangers of the carbohydrate-laden Standard American Diet.
While the movie is more geared towards the Atkins-loving carbophobes, it was the first time I truly took a look at what I ate and didn’t just try to adhere to some vague rule like “eat less”.
I greatly limited my number of carbohydrates, and the weight flew off of me.
While this was exciting, it truly didn’t take me to “abs lean”. It shed some pounds, for sure.
But then the weight loss leveled off yet again.
I needed to find something to take me to the next level.
I had never really been “lean” before, and I wanted to see how far I could take it.
(Disclaimer: As I stated at the beginning of this, I am not special. At all. I found a system that works. If you are interested in reading online and figuring it out on your own, its called “Leangains”. The system was started in the mid-2000’s by Martin Berkhan, a Swedish nutritional consultant and trainer. It has been popularized by many and is a phenomenal approach to weight management and strength maximization. It took me over two years to learn how to properly engage the system to work for me. The reason of my blog is to make the process simpler and easier for you. And to show you that anyone can use the system to get phenomenal results. Visit his website if interested.)
In one of the comment sections in the Fat Head forum, someone mentioned something called “Intermittent Fasting” and made mention of Martin Berkhan. He runs a site called www.leangains.com which has popularized this new lifestyle of eating.
I decided to give it a go. While all of the information is in the site, it can be difficult to sift through it all in order to figure out how to use his system.
He is vague at times. And purposely so. He makes money from working his clients. He surely doesn’t want to give out the recipe to his secret sauce.
For a year and a half, I tinkered with things. I waffled between generally following his rules, mostly following his rules, and following his rules exactly. And the most amazing thing happened:
When I followed the rules exactly, I became stronger, lost weight, and felt better simultaneously.
I had more energy, found it easier to focus, and an improved attitude in general.
I stopped having “bad days”. All of my days became awesome.
I was seldom hungry and got to eat massive amounts of food.
And the best part: Eventually, my abs started to show. (I find this neat. I’ve never had this, ever.)
A year and a half after the lake picture, I can finally take my shirt off without my moobies glistening in the sunlight.
This is a lifestyle change. If I thought there was any chance I would gain the weight back, I would never start this blog.
Gone are the circus,
Oprah-like weight fluctuations
of the past.
I will probably gain weight back. But it’s going to be on my terms. And it will be muscle weight, not sloppy fat. That’s what the system is designed for.
I train 3 times per week for 40 minutes.
I do nothing on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
I still have alcoholic beverages on occasion. I eat to my heart’s content on social occasions.
I eat lots of fantastic foods. Mexican, burgers, pizza, steaks, omelettes, pasta, and bacon are all in the weekly rotation.
Ice cream and cereal both make an appearance from time to time. And good cereal, too. I’m talkin’ Frosted Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I don’t mess with Grape Nuts.
So, keep in mind that when I say this program can change your life, I mean just that. My life is changed.
I feel like a better person. I am physically stronger and faster.
I feel mentally more alert and spiritually more aware.
And I’m glad my two little girls will look at me one day and see me as a good role model to their health and well being.
So, how about you?
Does this interest you?
Have you had similar frustrations?
Are you ready to figure it all out?
The change is easy to implement and awesome to see. In a few simple steps and guidelines you can start implementing today, you can start the path to a whole new you.
Details are coming very soon. The first lesson will be in nutrition. And trust me, there is a reason that nutrition comes first.