Hey Guys and welcome back to ClintFit Consulting’s Blog Column!
Thanks for your dedicated reading and interest in my work. Your support means more to me than you could ever imagine. I truly appreciate it. For today’s blog, I have a story to tell with a lesson to be learned from it. So, let’s get right into it and I’ll tell you how I went from risk to relief in 24 days.
Video ⇒ Operation: Dad-Bod Freedom
It was Friday, June 12, 2017. I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for a routine physical that I had never before thought twice about. For me, this was just another confirmation that I was in good health and had nothing to worry about. Little did I know I was in for a surprise.
I hadn’t been eating well at all and my physical activity was at an all-time low. My wife and I had just brought home our second child at the end of April and we weren’t sleeping very much. With a toddler (who would jump off of the garage roof if I let him) and an infant to take care of, preparing food and cooking healthy meals wasn’t exactly something we had a lot of time for. Besides, when you have kids, you learn to value any chance of sleep you can get. And chores…. yeah right! Those weren’t even remotely a concern.
Pizza, cooked chicken from Market Basket, sushi, chips and salsa, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, frozen meatballs, Chinese takeout and fast food became the norm for convenience sake. I was becoming a sinful eater and I was gaining the wrong kind of weight from it. I weighed more than ever before, I was eating bad food and a lot of it, and to top it off, I wasn’t working out. This was beginning to take a toll on my health.
To give you a historical back story about me in one sentence: I typically weighed around 190 lbs, I was lean with muscles, and healthy as a horse. I had never worried about extra body fat, nor had I ever worried about eating treats because I ate clean 85-90% of the time. Any doctor could simply glance at me and give me a clean bill of health. I was causing metabolic effects before anyone even knew what it was! But regardless of my lifestyle prior to 2015, I was on thin ice in some warm weather.
It was the end of 2014, going into 2015, and I was slowly putting on weight since my wife first got pregnant with our oldest, but I was working out 5-6 times a week so I never thought it would be an issue. We ate a lot of Pad Thai, Sesame Chicken, Supreme Pizzas, Bacon Cheese Burgers, and the occasional Chicken Tikka Masala from her favorite Indian Bistro in Lexington, MA. We watched Red Box movies, binge-watched Netflix TV series, and napped like babies all winter long. When our son was born in June of 2015, we decided to become more active after he was 3 months old. We found a gym with daycare, we ate better, and I felt safe with my food consumption. Since she got first got pregnant, I had shot up from a lean 185-190 lbs to a heavier 210 lbs. I wanted to lean out but I was more interested in building bigger arms, so I didn’t cut back on any calories for this reason.
By summer 2016, our son was big enough to fit in the hiking pack and we started going out for hikes, biking along paved trails, and we even hit the track near a local high school to do interval running workouts. We were on a roll, but by August, my wife was pregnant with baby number two and the cycle started again. This time, her pregnancy hit her like a freight train and our toddler must have been sneaking around my back to drink jet fuel. Our physical activity slowed down again and fitness took a seat in the last row of my life. It stayed there for a good 10 months.
Fast forward to my Doctor’s appointment and a life takes a wrong turn. My doctor informs me that my labs came back with a cause for concern. I weighed in at 225 lbs, my blood pressure was 157/91, and my cholesterol levels were shifting the wrong way. My LDL was just over the threshold for a normal range and my HDL was just under the normal range. I was winded after a flight of stairs, and as I mentioned earlier, I ate garbage for all 5 meals and 3 snacks a day. I think MyFitness Pal would have crashed had I kept using it.
This was a wake-up call like I had never heard before. I was genuinely concerned about my health and well-being. I was scared of a heart attack, worried about being around or not as a husband and father, and here I was starting to build a business around “Lifestyle Choices”. The audacity!
After checking out of the doctor’s office, I looked deep within myself and made a decision to change. My health jumped up to the top spot of my priorities list, shifting everything else down a spot. I didn’t write anything for my book, I barely made any media content for my social media platforms, and I focused on what I was putting in my body before getting back to my legacy work. My family was still a top priority for me so physical activity was going to fit in when it could. The main focus was the nutrition, which was under a major overhaul.
I first began intermittent fasting every morning. I started with 4 hours and built myself up to 8. Some days I’d go 10 hours fasting. It feels great! I only drink black coffee with no sugar and plenty of water. When I do eat, I eat spinach, beans, fruits, cucumbers, egg whites, salmon, and/or quinoa. I stayed clear of all snacks, sweets, dairy, sodium, and other saturated fats. I significantly reduced my intake of animal fats as well. I was so driven that I even threw in a couple early morning workouts a week that included fasting cardio.
In 24 days, I was no longer bloated, I was dropping pounds, I felt way better overall, and I no longer felt sluggish. I followed up with the doctor on Monday, June 5, 2017 and weighed in at 212 lbs and my blood pressure was 122/82 (and I had my coffee with that BP reading).
I weighed myself on 06/14/2017 and I weigh 209.7 lbs. My pants are loose and I’m going a notch tighter on my belt. I’m beginning to see the V shape in my pelvic area again too. It was because of this simple change in my diet that I was able to execute such a quick turnaround. I simply stopped with the bad and doubled down on the good. It’s THAT simple!
My pants are getting even more baggy and I’m down to 203.6 lbs as of 08/10/2017. I’m looking leaner and my muscles are starting to show more definition.
Instagram ⇒ Progress has been steady.
I didn’t learn anything new. What I did learn was not to get too careless and take my health for granted. I’ve worked hard at fitness all my life but had become complacent with myself. It goes to show that even healthy people can stray off course if they’re not careful.
So remember, it’s one thing to fall down, just don’t fall off and you’ll be alright. Look reality in the face and when you see it for what it is, you’re able to gain a higher understanding at what needs to be done in order to make improvements. Be kind but honest with yourself and be the unique individual you are waiting to become.
© 2017 Clinton N. Downs