Update: On September 12, 2008, Emmett took the Air Force physical. Emmett passed the physical easily and made the weight with just 0.5lbs to spare – just enough to get in!
I have lost over 20 lbs of FAT while using the Power 90 program for about 6 weeks. Astonishing. Amazing, and perhaps even unbelievable to some, yet it’s 100% true. I have been consistently averaging a weight loss of about 3lbs/week while simultaneously experiencing gains in lean muscle, strength, and cardio vascular endurance. Isn’t this what so many of us pray for! In a little over one month, my V02 max has improved from “moderate” to “very good.” I have gone from only being able to do 10 push-ups, to now being able to crank out 25. I am 5′ 8″ tall and weighed 202lbs, smoked a pack a’ day of “Marlboro Red” cigarettes, and lived in a primarily mesomorphic body before I “woke up” to an urgent need to change my health immediately. I explained this in more detail on my updated “bio” at WOWY.com.
This has not been my first attempt at weight loss. What is “different” for me, however, is that this is the first time that I have implemented a rather extreme weight loss routine performed a “reasonably” healthy way (sane and sensible) and have been both consistently and dramatically successful. I am very excited about this because many years ago, I attempted weight loss by starvation and the abuse of a product called Dexatrim. I starved myself on a liquid diet and Dexatrim capsules for about 3 months. I lost a lot of weight at an average of 4lbs/week and was still flabby because I had lost mainly muscle and water. I became a thin looking guy whose boobs literally bounced when he ran! I can still remember it! Like most people who do this sort of insanity, I gained it all back – and plenty more – in just a year or two.
Now, here I am, losing 3lbs/week, not starving at all (might depend on who you ask though), but eating “fuel” foods instead. My health, strength, and attitude are all improving. All I have to do when I reach my immediate goal of 175lbs, is to increase my calories just a bit more and simply keep eating the right foods and exercising. Then I can lose a more comfortable 1lb/week. And I have come to enjoy doing both of those things! How did I manage to make something so simple into something so impossible, for so many years? Can someone please say, “Lifestyle changed!”? This is so much better than suddenly stopping months of Dexatrim and quickly going back to Burger King.
I want to mention here that while “Power 90” and “Beachbody” deserve a huge and sincere “THANK YOU!” for creating and providing the greatest tools and resources to help get me going in the right direction this time, I would be horribly wrong in failing to state plainly that God has orchestrated all of this recent experience for me – big time.
First of all, he had to create the situation in which I would “wake up” to the need to improve my condition immediately – before I died from it. He had to give my life meaning again – for I had lost that completely. He had to help me with the daily discipline and sense of purpose to stick with the direction he wanted me to go. He had to open my heart to forgive others and then tender it so that I could love once again. Finally, he had to humble me and break me down completely in order for me to come to this place where there is now hope that he can mold me into who he wants me to be. I now know what it is to cry just as Tony Horton knows what it is to sweat.
A couple of the amazing things (amazing to me) that God has done lately are to put me in better communication with my body, and to make me a sponge that has soaked up fitness and nutrition knowledge to a point where I can now, much more intuitively and skillfully, negotiate with my body about what I want it to do, and what it needs to best get the job done. We no longer discuss Whoppers and Big Macs. We discuss important and meaningful things now.
Perhaps much less amazing, but also important, is that I have learned many tips, and perhaps a couple little tricks, that when combined, have helped me consistently drop all this weight over the past 6 weeks (4 of which are with Power 90). I would like to share them with others, (and you know who you are). Quite frankly, I need to do this before I get way too busy in life and likely neglect doing so at all. It is my prayer to be of value to others on their personal journey back to health and fitness – not that I have made it all the way there myself yet, but as God is currently working miraculously in my life, in many ways, I would be wrong in failing to share with others what he can and will do for us – if we are willing to let him. I am thankful that you fellas have been willing to be used as his chosen instruments to get this job moving in my life, so I now thank God for you Mike, and also for you Rich, and all the people at Beachbody. I am moved each day to pray for those I see on www.wowy.com who are facing the same extraordinary challenges that we do – that they may all experience what I am experiencing today – and greater things to come in the future.
Take these for what they are worth :
· I definitely eat 5-6 times a day to keep the energy level and recovery up.
· It doesn’t matter too much (but does a little) how spread out/not spread out my meals are, as long as I don’t experience strong hunger during the day and do not consume too many calories. I have even eaten all my meals in as little as 6 hours – though not preferred.
· Last meal of the day is very high in protein preceded by one piece of fruit – like a peach.
· Resistance training does much more to burn up the fat than anything else I do.
· As exercise begins to get easier, (but way before it gets easy) I immediately implement increased exercise – both intensity and duration!
· I want to lose weight fast right now, so I use high reps on the dumbbells and do not exceed 25lbs per dumbbell.
· I do ‘Power 90″ in the mornings, and then burn any leftover energy I have at the end of the day with a 45 minute (or more), brisk walk after my final meal. I am currently unemployed, so this may also make up for lack of ordinary energy expenditure.
· I chose not to stick with Phase 1/2 of Cardio/Abs simply because I cannot perform one or two exercises for as long as Tony can. (run lunges come to mind as they burn out my quads fast due to my overall body weight)
· I feed myself just enough to keep up the BMR and make it to the next exercise session with sufficient energy and, at least, a perceived 90% recovery from the previous day.
· I reduced caloric intake just a little when weight dropped by 5-10lbs, but not enough to induce a starvation mode. This is a “fine line” to walk. I really have to listen to my body.
· On the last consecutive workout day of the week, I now expect to be dragging a bit so there is a “sense” of actually needing the next day off for recovery.
· A “Polar F11” heart rate monitor is an invaluable asset and motivational tool.
· I wish I had body fat calipers.
· I don’t jump for food the minute my stomach wants it. I have a “talk” with my body for a few minutes before deciding what (carbs,protein), how much (calories), or even IF I SHOULD eat something.
· Sugarless gum helps me with small cravings.
· I got married to a 32 ounce water bottle and take it everywhere I go. Throwing in a few slices of lemon helps me enjoy the water more.
· At the first hint that my body was even “thinking” about going into starvation mode (about week number 2.5 of Power 90), I got some protein powder and added 1 scoop to my oatmeal in the morning, another scoop to my yogurt on the mid-morning snack, and started taking Metamucil fiber 3x a day. Within 48 hours, my body was balanced again, my resting pulse went up about 5bpm, and my recovery improved.
Forgot one: First thing in the morning is the best time to let my body tell me if I ate enough yesterday to recover and if I need to increase my food. I judge this by how stiff I am, and whether or not certain minor joint pains have subsided (healed). I also take my pulse rate first thing when I wake up to see if my resting pulse is up or down. If it is “suddenly” lower, then I worry about starvation mode coming. No matter how I feel, I NEVER just blow off a workout. I might reduce the time and intensity, but never, ever cancel it unless it is an emergency.
“And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. “