At 54 years old after a lifetime of sports from Judo to Cross Country Motorcycle racing I was officially a fat-body. Was this it? Was this all I had? Was this the moment in time when I chucked feeling good out of the window and accepted being an old fat-body...or did I have it in me to get well, get lean and get strong one more time?
Having bought Gary Taubes book Good Calories Bad Calories the previous year I knew how, I just had never followed through. Now I was finally realizing that by being a fat-body I was risking not only being round and weak but much worse I was actually risking not being present when my kids 7, 9 and 13 grew up and had their own.
With "Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It" I went to work. Cutting out all forms of sugar cold turkey I saw immediate results. Within a very short time I had lost around 15 pounds and then I ran into an article in Men's Health "Everything You Know About Fitness is a Lie". Doing a bit of research into Rob Shaul of Mountain Athlete I discovered that I wasn't too old to get strong again...no indeed not. Contacted Rob and he sent me a 6 week program for endurance athletes as I didn't want to join a gym and didn't want to hurt myself. Fantastic ass-kicking program that had me getting strong at the same time that I was getting lighter and lighter. Then I stalled at 205 from 240 and nothing I did seemed to be able to get me down below 205...I was officially stuck. This was not going to do.
By this time I had finished the 6 week endurance athlete program and stunned my wife with my new found looks and strength. Indeed when, one night after watching a movie, she dared me to carry her to our bed, I simply reached down and picked up 6’2” 165 pounds of stunned wife and carried her across the house, I was as stunned as her that it was so easy. But I wasn't satisfied, I wanted strength and I wanted to get to 190. Read an interview with Gary where he said that as we get older, our weight, because of our abuse of sugar, makes it harder and harder to go below a certain point. That was depressing...I knew that insulin had something to do with it but didn't know how to correct it beyond what I was already doing...staying in mild ketosis all the time.
Two weeks ago I came across a study that showed Intermittent Fasting might help repair the damage done to my insulin sensitivity. So I immediately started eating once a day 5 days a week. I skipped breakfast and lunch 5 days a week. On weekends I ate normally. In two weeks I dropped 8 pounds and I now weigh 197. Bingo...I will probably continue IF for a few more weeks then gradually introduce more meals and see if I have actually moved my natural weight down or not.
About 4 months ago I moved away from weights and started body weight exercises. Yesterday while working out at the beach at LSU Lakes I was doing handstand presses and a group of young guys walked up. One of them said that they wouldn't be doing THAT exercise...heh. Yea I am pretty happy with the results! Not done yet.
What was the biggest challenge to adopting a carbohydrate-restricted or paleo diet?
Not being a pain in the ass for all of my friends who worried about what to feed me. Luckily I have converted a few of them and so it isn't such a big deal now. I run a private club and convincing my chef has been a challenge. He still counts calories.
What advice (if any) would you give to someone interested in trying a carbohydrate-restricted or paleo diet? Were there any obstacles that you overcame that could help future dieters?
It is very rewarding and there is no reason to be a weak old person.