Jan 28

Diet and Exercise for a whole new me… or not

Have you heard of Tim Ferriss?  He’s the guy who wrote the Four Hour Workweek and the Four Hour Body.  If you YouTube him you’ll see that he’s a complete egomaniacle douchenugget, and even just reading his books you get the sort of uncomfortable feeling that this guy is a self-absorbed crackpot.  He uses himself as a guinea pig for any number of weird “body hacking” experiments and is completely OCD about charting the results.  But whatevs, the results ARE often interesting, so his stuff is worth reading even just for the sake of interest.

I’ve read the Four Hour Body and in it he describes the Slow Carb Diet and a few different exercise regimens.  My bf started the diet and plans to start one of the exercise programs for massive muscle gain.  The bf is already fit but he wants to get super buff.  I’m also already at a healthy weight but just for the fun of it I went on the diet as well and started doing the most minimalistic exercise program on offer. 

One of Ferriss’ tenants is that one should put forth the least amount of effort possible for the most gains possible.  Actually, I shouldn’t say this is one of Ferriss’ tenants since he puts in so much effort to all his body hacking that I think one day he’ll spontaneously combust from overindulgence, or perhaps jump off a roof while proclaiming himself to be a golden god, but in any case one of the points in his book speaks of the 80/20 rule:  If putting in 20% effort yields 80% results then why the hell put in 98% effort just to get another 5% result?  I mean, even coming in at 80% is still way better than the average bear.  This is actually something I clued into it way back in elementary school and have lived by ever since.  Apparently it’s this widely known phenomena called the Pareto Principle.  I’ve always thought of it thusly: I don’t believe in doing my best if good enough is better than the rest.  Also, I’m a golden god.  The point is that Ferriss claims you can make great gains with a very minimalistic exercise program.  Without even trying his program I can attest to this because my pre-book exercise regime, which I started a couple of years ago did in fact yield results even though it was pretty half-assed.  So I don’t doubt him there.

At this point I’m one week into the diet and exercise program.  Now, in the book, he gives examples of people getting incredible results in just one week’s time.  My results aren’t stunning but this isn’t surprising.  His examples are of people starting off obese, whereas I’m starting out already thin and healthy.  In fact, nothing I’m doing now is drastically different from how I was already living my life.  The diet involves a lot of spinach and beans which were already staples in my kitchen.  The difference is that I’ve cut out all “white food” so basically bread and pasta and rice and potatoes.  And the diet also disallows sugar, even natural sugar so no milk or fruit, which I admit has been tough.  Cutting out bread is like whatevs for me but no milk?  Say it ain’t so!  And so morning banana or nightly cookie?!  Egads!  But the cool thing about the diet is that there is a mandatory cheat day so once a week you can gorge yourself on whatever the hell you want and you’d better believe those Glossette Raisins in my fridge have a shiny red “cheat day” bow on them.  The fact that I don’t have to abandon poutine and ice cream altogether is pretty sweet. 

Since I’ve only been on the diet a week, I’m still adjusting to the sugar deprivation so this week has been rather miserable.  In fact, this diet is basically a sugar detox for me, which can only be a good thing.  I can safely say that I AM addicted to sugar so this has been and will continue to be an interesting experiment on that front, but one must ask, is it worth it?  From a health standpoint there is certainly no harm in cutting out a daily sugar fix, but from an aesthetic perspective nothing has changed.  This may be because as previously mentioned, this diet isn’t that different from my normal diet.  I’m now eating less sugar but more fat because I’ve increased my protein intake by a ton.  I used to eat meat and eggs once in a while and now I’m eating them every day.  I think the reason results are so dramatic for larger people is because the diet cuts their caloric intake but I don’t think I’ve been eating fewer calories, they’re just coming from eggs now instead of bagels.

The bf has been having digestive issues, and the cousin who is also on the diet also had this problem but not me.  Again, I think this is because my regular diet was already based primarily on beans and veggies so my stomach hasn’t had to adjust as much as theirs have.

In case you’re curious, my average breakfast is now a protein powder shake with eggs and almond butter.  I tried eating boiled eggs and beans in the morning and holy schnikey’s I couldn’t keep it down.  One is meant to get at least 30 grams of protein per meal and eating that much in the morning was an adjustment to say the least.  I’ve found that drinking breakfast is a hell of a lot easier than eating it so good times there.  In fact, I like this shake breakfast so much that I think I’ll keep it going even if I abandon the diet.

By the by, I also take vitamins with my breakfast.  Since I’m not drinking milk anymore I’m making sure to take supplements of calcium and vitaminD, as well as a multivitamin for potassium and whatever else I’m losing from lack of fruit.

For lunch I usually eat a salad with spinach, mixed beans, lentils, and other assorted veggies.  (Tomatoes and avocado are still allowed even though they’re fruit.  I’m also still eating things like bell peppers and cucumbers, which also are technically fruit).

Dinner is either chilly or stir fry.

If I feel like snack at any point I’ll have a few almonds or perhaps peanut butter on celery. 


As for the exercise program, again, not that different.  I haven’t gone from a layabout to a gym queen, I’ve simply altered my workout regimen slightly.  Part of this alteration is adding more ab work and yeah, my abs are pleasantly sore but other than that?  Nothing.  Apparently the kettlebell swing is like the ultimate exercise and I’ve implemented it and it’s fun but also frustrating for me simply because of circumstance.  It just so happens that the gym I go to is crazy crowded these days (maybe because it’s January and the NewYear’sResolution crowd is going nuts) and the freaking kettlebells are always in use.  I’m consistently forced to use lighter weights than is recommended because the right ones just aren’t available.  I considered using a too-heavy weight but that thought disolved as soon as I nearly dislocated my shoulders simply trying to lift the damn thing.

So while everyone in the book rants and raves about incredible fat loss and muscle gains in just one week, for me there’s been shit-all.  But I’m not decrying the Four Hour Body just yet.  As I said, it’s only been a week.  I took my measurements and weight at the beginning of this experiment and I will take them again each week for a month and we’ll see if there is any change.  Perhaps my poutine ponch will shrink and my arms will get more cut.  Or perhaps not.  If nothing changes then I’ll reevaluate.  Maybe I’ll keep going and see if results come in time or maybe I’ll adjust psychologically to the sugar deprivation and decide that this is my new lifestyle or maybe I’ll just go back to my old habits, ’cause it’s not like I was Fatty McJigglethighs to begin with.  But that’s exactly why I think it’s important for someone like me to try this program.  ANY diet will yield results for someone obese but Ferriss claims that this is a good way to go for those who just want to make small adjustments, such as the last 10-lbs crowd, and those who want to redistribute weight rather than lose it.  So we’ll see if it happens, and if I truly do have the potential to be godly in my goldanity.

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