So, early last month, I finally got my hand on a copy of “4 Hour Body”, a book written by Tim Ferriss (http://www.fourhourbody.com). Tim spent ten years testing all sorts of diet and exercise and physical training techniques, and came up with sure fire ways to lose weight fast, or put on bulk fast, or get yourself in shape quickly and easily. His techniques are all based on a concept of “minimum effort” – doing just enough to get the results you need, since you’re just wasting effort and energy if you’re doing more than that – i.e. water boils at 212 degrees, so heating it to 220 won’t make it any more boiled.
The book claims you can lose 20 pounds in 30 days without exercising, and that sure sounded good to me. So armed with a few techniques from the book, and the memory of the last trip to the doctor telling me I wieghed 245 pounds, I decided I’d see what I could do.
The dietary part of the weight loss plan is fairly Aktins – lots of protein and veggies, no processed sugar, no “white foods” – bread, crackers, pizza crust, pretzels, etc. That really wasn’t really going to happen with the family lifestyle and limited budget, but I did my best to adjust my intake. I definitely cut my intake of calories drastically by not snacking in the afternoon at work – no more candy bar and pop after lunch for me! I switched from pop to bottled green tea – still processed sugar, but a lot less than pop. Green tea is also supposed to be a natural anti-inflammatory, which I figured would help with my chronic joint problems. My knees stopped hurting as I took the stairs in the parking structure at work, so I figured I was on to something.
As I realized my elbows weren’t sore any more, I cleaned off the weight bench and started experimenting with some exercises. One of the exercise techniques he describes is to work to exhaustion, rather than doing a count of reps – the numbers don’t mean anything if you’re not breaking down muscles by stressing them. In addition to the bench, I did simple stuff like sucking in my stomach until I couldn’t hold it any more to tone up the muscles, and doing push-ups from the edge of the bathroom sink – 5 seconds down and 5 seconds up, until I couldn’t hold myself up any more.
Slowly, the scale started to move. Slowly, I started seeing my stomach start to flatten, just a little. Slowly, I started seeing just a hint of muscle tone appear where I used to be skin and bones in high school.
After about a month, the scale said I’d lost around 10 pounds. Hard to be entirely accurate, since it’s an old beat-up scale, but when it used to hover around 240, it now hovered around 230.
But then Halloween candy came around, and snacks started showing up at the office with the new staff coming in… and then I hurt my shoulder… and my willpower faded…
I hop on the scale today, and it hovers just below 240.
HOWEVER… I know that setbacks occur, and it doesn’t mean I can’t get back on track. I proved to myself that it CAN be done, and I don’t have to spend time and money at a gym – I hadn’t even taken a spin on our exercise bike in that time! “Eat less, exercise more” does work – even if it’s just a tiny bit of exercise. So now that my shoulder is feeling better, and Halloween is past, it’s time to get back on that horse and see how much better I can be for Thanksgiving… and then recover from that in time for Christmas… and then I’ll have a few months of snow shoveling to do to build up my core 😀