Shortly after I put up my last post I had to pivot! I booked a trip to Las Vegas and LA. Whoop whoop. Unfortunately that means I transitioned into a more lean diet.
The first thing to go was the milk, no more liter of milk a day! I still had my two protein shakes ( with water ) and still hit my protein intake goals.
So sadly I wasn’t able to achieve my new weight goal and have plateaued at around 150 pounds. Here’s the great news. I still am very happy with how my body looks after all this.
If your wondering about my Vegas Trip it was a great success. I actually went to surprise my brother who flew in from Germany. I haven’t seen him in two years, so he was very surprised to have me pop up at the hotel!
Oh and yes drinking on an airplane does get you feeling good very fast, at least in my case.
At this point I’m not sure what my new health targets will be, other than maintain my results. “Stay tuned” though, as I still have some stories I forgot to tell from my recent health journey.
Today is Wednesday of Week Six of my Six week health challenge as an artist! I lie its actually week Seven. What happened you may say? Pure laziness, Overtime at work and real life crushed my ambition to write.
Hey I’m human, I’m not going to lose sleep over it. I DO have some updates. I will update you on my progress as you might be saying to yourself did I reach my goals? I also have some new goals for the next few weeks. I will also be spreading this post to more socially diverse media for added pressure. If this is your first time reading feel free to look back at my previous excellent examples of writing ;). Lets take a looksy.
Goal #1: Gain/Reshape 20 Pounds, I maybe gained 7-8 lbs and lost at least 3 lbs of fat. So I reshaped 10ish pounds of my body. Not bad. I’m at total body weight of aprox 149 lbs in the morning. Along with my pecks filling out along with my Arms and Legs getting way more muscle on em. Ill call that a success.
Goal #2: Mental clarity, first three weeks no. Last three weeks yes. I can say I’m steadily moving toward 100% clarity. I’m at around 60-70% now.
Goal #3: Ridding Fat of the belly. Yes I’ve been close to getting my V-shape back and moved that fat hanging around my belly else where! Success.
Goal #4: Boost Testosterone: I cant say I didn’t? I didn’t buy any strips or test kits to measure soo yea. Also my scar tissue didn’t get worse! That’s a positive! I did have some experiences that point to higher levels but nothing concrete.
I still had problems eating as much as I should have. I’ve included a few glasses of milk to help fill the gap. Even though I was eating way more than I usually did I am not at a point where I feel I can eat more. Its said after the first week you should be a ravenous endless food pit, this never happened. Maybe I still need to eat more?
I should have had a rough log of daily calorie intake. Since I wasn’t using a fancy program or app I had no idea how many calories I was taking in. This was a problem as I could get my allotted protein intake but be nowhere close to the calories I should have been taking in. Towards the end when I realized not keeping track of this was probably why I wasn’t eating enough I finally did track a few days. I was short like 800-900 calories. This also most likely hindered my muscle/weight bulking.
Even though I was making amazing gains at the gym, only working the bare minimum I felt I was cheating myself of feeling “great after a workout”. I still do an intense workouts but not working out more regularly I feel doesn’t deliver that euphoric feeling. Going forward I will start doing more frequent workout sessions but just keep them light. Reserving the usual days for occams intense workout protocol hoping my general happiness will increase without injuring myself.
I must say any other workout plan I’ve followed or didn’t , always ended up with multiple minor injuries along the way. I’ve been injury free with the current workout schedule.
I also did not have protein shake for a week-ish due to me running out and then spending that time pondering weather I should order it online or pick it up in a store. Then I couldn’t find the brand I had. Also looking through all the choices at the store was a little overwhelming.
I totally could have reached closer to the 20 lbs – had I buckled down and been a Nazi about everything. Things I’ve learned along the journey are way more valuable and I’ll share them. Nobody cares that you running to the bathroom 10x a day, just as long as you get your work done ofcourse. Plus with all the Overtime nobody noticed me taking a little extra time to do air squats in the bathroom.
Lots of Overtime sounds bad but with a little planning actually makes this easier. In my case we were catered dinner for the OT we were pulling. For the most part there was always a meat that was ordered and that’s what I’d have. I avoided the chips and fried stuff as best I could but guess what? I snuck in a few fried felafel balls here and there and I still got accomplished a lot toward my goals. I even fell off the band wagon on my diet for a day or two. My goals were big but having only reached even half way, I still had huge changes in the way my body looks and feels. AND I did it while being a desk monkey.
All I had to do was plan lunch. Most people eat out, I did a half and half approach, I found a grocery store #UrbanFare Has rotisserie chicken for cheap. I spent around 6 dollars for thick quarter pieces of chicken PLUS a side of veggies. Any where else I’d be spending at least 12 and that is exactly what my coworkers were spending for unhealthy food/smaller portions for more money.
For the other half I brought in the rest of dinner or cooked my protein slop bean mix concoction. I really tried not to let excuses get in my way of around 90-100 grams of protein a day. If I had to I doubled up on my protein shakes.
I never even attempted to leave early to do the gym. I just did it on my lunch and yes I still had time to grab my chicken and veggies. Also I had no choice to come in early or after work. I take my daughter to school in the mornings and going after work would be at like 10 pm +. Yea no.
I also recommend having something to eat consistently throughout the day. Luckily for us desk dwellers that’s no problem. I usually kept a tupperware of my bean mix to slowly eat all day.
ALSO something that I’ve been doing now is avoiding beer as much as possible, I usually stick to wine or one of those fruity palm bays for beer friday. I know BEER friday, oh well. I drink plenty of wine to make up for that, plenty.
To Infinity and Beyond
Where next? Glad you asked. I came up with my Get Big Plan 2.0.
Goals for this will be a little more targeted since I have the ball rolling. I’ll also be using what I’ve been doing so far with a few tweaks.
– 1ish liters of Milk a day.
– Logging Calorie intake, setting it probably around 3000 to start.
– 2 Protein Shakes vs 1 per day
– Been using Creatine as suggest by 4hr body so officially incorporating it.
– Work fermented food into diet?
– Ran out of cordyceps not replacing them.
Goal #1: Get to 160 lbs total weight in the next Four weeks.
Goal #2: Frequent light workouts for added Happiness/ Mental Clarity. At least 2 workouts per week.
Both my personal life and work life have been interesting to say the least. Alas its another Beer Friday, how time flies. CHEAT DAY!
Lets see, as far as where I’m at health stat wise, I’ve plateaued gaining weight. Although thats not the worse that could of happened through my week-ish of absurdness. Last weekend was “cheat” weekend lol, though to be honest I didn’t go crazy. I also took steps to mitigate most fat gain. Though I probably put on a pound or so of pure fat.
I did my air squats, coffee with cinnamon and as high as I could of protein intake.
My next slip up was throughout the week I slipped in some carbs here and there. looking back at my food log got in some popcorn, bites of my kids bagels and a hand full of chips. Etc Etc. I’ll also say that I’m not on a natzi strict diet or anything. I’d rather eat a bagel and get back into my plan for the rest of the week then acting like I failed and go completely off the tracks. It happens, plus my goals are more towards gaining mass so extra calories aren’t the worse thing even if they are bad calories.
Next up I ran out of protein powder. Limiting and making it harder to hit my protein requirement.
Also looking through my logs I should be eating more. However buying more food is EXPENSIVE.
On the POSITIVE!
I’ve added in Creatine , a few glasses of milk everyday to help me with the protein I lost with powder and I’ve still gained in strength as every session I’ve been able to up my weight by 10 pounds each time.
Other positives are my coworkers are actually picking up things that I’ve been doing. Not that I’ve been talking about what I’ve been doing but its kind of hard to miss me pouring cinnamon into my coffee, my large containers of random drugs and nuts all over my desk. I’ve actually tried to just give the fewest details about what I was doing but all that did was make people more curious. A few have even said they’ve joined the gym to get into better health! Awesome sauce, just by beginning to get my fitness in order caused those around me to start to. I still can’t believe how many people have started a few small things to be healthier. Not bad for failure week. 😉
Its been around two weeks. Now I haven’t used the most scientific methods but here are my results and conclusions.
My starting weight was around 140.
At end of week one I gained 3.5 pounds that put me at around 143.5. I probably gained a 1.5 pound of muscle while the rest was fat and probably mostly water weight.
At end of weekend on week one I weighed 140, meaning I dropped 3 pounds after cheat day? lol I guess the cinnamon grapefruit combo worked.
At end of week two I’m back to around 144. However I feel significant portion is muscle, as my arms and peck’s are starting to look more defined. I can definitely tell I’ve shaved fat off my chest and abdomen.
I do need to eat more, I feel I could have gain more muscle and mass in the right places if I fed myself more. My average for protein intake was approx in the 90-93 grams a day, again need more of that too.
Even though I should be eating more I am more than pleased with the results, on top of that my gym time has been something like 3 hours. #Awesomesauce
About one full day into my new lifestyle change I began to get headaches and feel a bit nauseous. I guess some people feel like crap others feel like dying, I seemed to have mild unconformable-ness constantly. Awesome, I get to look great but feel slightly crappy nearly all the time.
Thankfully it didn’t last. It could have though if I didn’t tweak a few things. When you start something new your bound to forget to do things or throw yourself out of wack getting into the hang of it. Some people on slow carb diets do report getting headaches and nausea, luckily for me nothing I read about why they got them helped me!!! Most sites attribute this to the new patterns of eating and that it will pass shortly. It could last anywhere from the first couple days to first few weeks!
At this point I was already a week and a bit into all this. Kinda panicked as I figured It would last the whole time for me. Then I did some further digging and experimenting. I came up with this:
Eat frequently throughout the day.
Thankfully the people around me didn’t mind me eating a tub of Tuna bean quinoa slowly all day. That was the best solution I could come up with, as we sit planted in the same place most of the day it was super convenient to have on the desk. This took care of my constant nausea feeling, either eating super large meals didnt agree with me or my body needed more in between meals. The only way I could describe the feeling I had was almost being nauseous and hungry at the same time. I also found early on if I missed a meal I would spiral into a horrible mood like one of those commercials where you need that candy bar to be yourself again.
Now that I eat consistently throughout the day, I’m more or less back to my normal moodiness.
Drink Water like its your JOB.
This killed my headache’s I’d get, plus I’d get a little more exercise in running back and forth between the water cooler and bathroom. It might seem common sense but drink more water than you usually do.
Easy peasy. Well that is what worked for me, Im a bit of an odd ball so you might be like everyone else. In which case your symptoms are just you starting a new routine and will pass.
Beer Friday, most studios have some version of this. My challenge for today is to eat total crap for science!
It is my cheat day where I’m allowed and should spike my intake to reset certain body functions. Also I do want to test something. My weekends aren’t very exciting food wise so I’ve made my cheat day on a Friday. Where I dont have to fight the urge to drink beer. Work has kindly provided us with a healthy snack in the morning … 4 boxes of DOUGHNUTS! This is also a day when most people break out the birthday/leaving the company cakes. So my whole day could be summed up easily like this, sugar/sugar and more sugar.
Apparently there is a way to put my metabolism into overdrive. GrapeFruit Juice, Coffee and Cinnamon to start. Combined with another step I can shunt everything I gorge on to either go into my muscle or pass through me. Fingers crossed.
#Science! Apparently the science behind this is Grapefruit and Cinnamon both turn off a key digestive process in the liver that breaks down caffeine. So extending caffeine’s time in my body and its many beneficial properties. Thankfully it actually went down well, as I usually don’t have coffee.
As Far as setting my muscles up I did 40 air-squats in the bathroom stall a few minutes before I ate any crap for lunch. This gets everyone in the bathroom a laugh. I also have to do some more 30-90 minutes after I’m done with my doughnut, beer and crappy food choice lunch. I also threw in 20 push-ups near my desk. The logic behind this is that you don’t spike insulin levels and the crap you do absorb get shunted into your muscles. Hence the small workout opens them up to accept more of the crap you eat. So my body doesn’t dump it into my fat stores.
I also did some isometric leg exercises, try not to look as constipated as I look and yes everyone noticed.
Protein So far today (lunch) seems to be approx 60g of protein and probably another 20 when I drink my shake later on. Dinner will probably add 12-18 so I’m looking for 90-100g total by bedtime. Sadly beer only has 1.6g of protein per drink, I’ll be having plenty of those later on!
Will update later if I have anything interesting to report, right now I feel great even though I’ve had a sugar/carb filled day so far.
I should have started shortly after my first post, however ( insert excuses here ).
That being said its OFFICIAL I have started. This is my worldly and very public proclamation that I have started and intend to reach my goals. Cant back out now.
I will now be updating here and there on my progress. Reporting if something hilarious happens such as too much gas or awesome progress. All whilst in the context of being a VFX artist sitting in a desk all day.
Lets dig in, I actually started Monday and it is now Thursday. Technically speaking I started last week around Wednesday, but I really wasnt sure what or how to eat or anything… so the first week we wont count as I was figuring things out. I am not a machine nor is my will rock solid but I am consistent and steady, once I get rolling I’ll keep at it. I think many people feel this need to start out and be perfect and know exactly what there doing. They dont realize even those “experts” started right were you were. Just start, trust me I want things to go as perfect and awesome as the next person but I’ve learned just to keep at it. This week I have it down packed but it took me a week to figure it out. To be honest another two months of telling myself I’ll start tomorrow.
I got myself a membership at a local community center gym nothing fancy. Here in Vancouver with my company discount thats running me 36 bucks a month. Most companies get you some sort of discount at a gym. When at MPC they had something with Steve Nash, not sure if they still have though.
Every day usually starts with a few eggs and a protein shake. I’ve also had my protein “slop” is the best way to describe it. That is one can of tuna, at 40 grams of protein. Then a can of beans, 9ish grams and last but not least Quinoa. That has a whopping 6 grams per quarter cup according to the back of the package. Using a cup apparently I’m getting 24 grams of protein. I’m skeptical however ignorance is bliss, and for now I’ll cap it at an arbitrary 20. Now this mind you I split up during the day for lunch and dinner. I also depending on how the day went will throw in another protein shake.
As you can tell I am focusing on protein, as of right I’m just going keep track of that.
I’m aiming for 95 – 115 grams of protein a day. As I think its one of the more important markers to keep track of for muscle growth. I’ll try and be as accurate as possible with my slow-carb routine and workout. I also happen to be human so anything can and will happen, Like today. Fell asleep before making my protein “slop” and wont be having that today, instead I will be having additional shakes.
Stay tuned! I’ll try and post an update on this week as a whole, starting and finish weight and gym stats.
I am an avid Tim Ferriss fan. I happen to think his content is awesomesauce.
That being said a-lot of my current plan for healthier eating will be based on his book ” Four hour Body “. Which is a great read and got me thinking I could whip myself into shape. I’ve been digesting on how I can do that for the last month or so. Finally I’ve started… kinda, just got to get all my ducks in a row while working 16 hr days! 🙂
Goal #1: Reshape 20 pounds. Gain weight mainly with muscle in 4-6 weeks. Sounds crazy but go big or go home.
Goal #2: Mental Clarity. Getting rid of mental fog I’ve been experiencing more and more.
Goal #3: Get rid of the extra fat hanging around my abdomen.
I probably have some more goals I’ll add them in later when my brain fog clears and I remember.
Goal#4: Boost my testosterone, as research is hinting at the fact that testosterone and other hormones linked to it boost repair abilities. Hoping to fix some previous surgery scar tissue.
My basic outline will be the “Slow-Carb” approach with “Occams Protocol” for my exercise routine and diet plan.
My diet will be mostly Meat and Veggies. Mainly beans, tuna and quinoa. Tim suggests keeping it simple and repeating a few simple meals to get the required nutrients/protein/etc.
Will also include some supplements he suggests along the way, the only two I take now is vitamins, whey protein shakes 1-2 a day and a Cordycep supplement .
Also I get one “cheat Day”. I can already hear it , well then this is never going to work for you. Actually there are a lot of reasons to HAVE a cheat day. Spiking my caloric load once a week will prevent my body into starvation mode, basically a system reset.
With the Occams Protocol, work outs will be one set 7-12 reps to failure. Below is a link to all the exercises I’ll be using from Tim’s website. I will also be alternating workouts. The more I go up in weights the more I space out my workouts. Theory is do enough to trigger muscle growth while giving enough time to repair and grow. In between I’ll be stuffing myself with Proteins and veggies.
Disclaimer, I am not a doctor nor do I play one at any VFX studio, this is not medical advice. I do pretty well advising myself but just barely, so don’t assume this is an exhaustive list of all the rules of this new eating/workout routine. I DO think someone should be talking about their experiences getting healthier in the context Visual Effects industry. I think there is a lot of room for us to be really healthy even though we have a desk job. Like standing desks, which are cool but are limited due to space. How many push ups can you do while you render?
So let the fun begin, I plan to start this when I get all that’s needed, including a gym.
Luckily I’ve half stumbled through life with good genes and a little bit of knowledge. I’m what you’d call the classic skinny guy, who can eat roughly whatever and loose weight. I think I’ve even managed to loose weight by just thinking of running. All while having a career that has me chained to a desk for 9+ hours on a normal day.
As a starting point, I’m 5 foot and 8 inches-ish, I’ve generally hovered around 138-145 pounds my entire adult life. Although my weight stays constant, during my more unhealthy periods my body just re-arranges where it put that weight, mostly around my belly and chest.
Starting out I currently weigh 140 lbs. I’ve taken “before” photos in my stylish black shorts, hiked up a bit of course.
As I get older it seems I’m loosing a bit of my skinny guy powers. I’ve decided to start being a little more crafty and hands on with my health rather than leave it up to fate or my desk. This section of my blog will cover my haphazard fall/journey/Fail into being “healthier”.
Currently my website is under construction, however I’ve decided to start writing some posts under my “health VFX style” tab. Chronicling my change in eating to gain muscle, while sitting at a desk all day.