Getting my health back

Ten years after my swimming career was over, I was getting desperate. My weight has ballooned from 190 to almost 240 pounds (an average of 5 lbs per year). I tried different diets, and programs, but their results were short-lived. I needed to change but did not know how. Then, I learned about P.D Mangan from Nassim Taleb’s twitter feed. Buying into his program has allowed me to lose 40 pounds and get my health back. Here is how my story unfolded from August 19, 2019.

Addicted to sugar – My first course of action was to stop eating sweets. I hadn’t realized how addicted I was to sugar until I stopped eating it. The first two weeks were horrible: headaches, chills, muscle aches; that’s how my body reacted to sugar detox. Luckily, the symptoms stopped after 14 days.

Walking – I was overweight and borderline obese according to my old BMI. My height was a mitigating factor (6’3), but any form of exercise was a struggle. I would either: a) work out and have no energy to do anything else, or b) feel guilty about not working out and fall back into my old habits.

Therefore, for the first month, I decided to implement two small changes: no sweets and walking about 8 miles per week. These small changes made a huge difference as I lost 17 lbs in 30 days.

Weightlifting – Being 17 lbs lighter made me feel good about myself, I thus decided it is OK to start lifting weights. The great things about the P.D. Mangan’s program is that you only work out one hour per week! That’s right, I only lift twice a week for about 30 minutes per session. I am not a bodybuilder, but my deadlift went from 135 lbs (first session) to 2 x 265 lbs before the COVID-19 closure. That kind of improvement is both confidence boosting and practical (see below).

Intermittent fasting – Once I started to build some momentum, I also introduced intermittent fasting, which in my case amounts to eating during an 8 hours window and then fasting for 16 hours. For instance, if I eat my last meal at 5 pm I do not eat breakfast until 9 am the next day.

The changes I outlined above helped me lose 40 lbs (I am 200.6 lbs as of writing this post)! There are many things I love about this new program, but the major one is that it is not a program at all; it is a new lifestyle. I was able to implement these changes, and enjoy them, just like I enjoy eating meat. The progress of course is not linear, I suffered some setbacks; mainly a result of my stupidity. But the point is that I feel great. I feel strong. And I have the energy to play with my kids.

Yesterday, I took my two girls outside. The older one challenged me to climb a tree. Six months ago, I would not even dare to try. Yesterday, I was surprised how easy that was. And the look of surprise on their faces – that their dad is in fact a superhero – is something that will stay with me forever.

The journey continues!

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