Big Mac's Training Log (Formerly Rock Bottom)

My story is somewhat like yours in places: gained a ton of fat from 11th grade to sophomore year of college. Diagnosed as obese. Lost it all, started lifting, and kept the fat off ever since (around 33 years and counting).

How? Well, a lot of things, and this conversation could go deep very quickly. Some thoughts:

• I started lifting weights and never stopped. This is the core of your training. Any type, any plan, just lift weights consistently. There is no magic plan. Choose a form you like and do it, then switch something else. But always be lifting. I’ve used every style, every plan, you name it. The secret was never the plan; it was the fact that every plan involved lifting.

• Junk foods, fast foods, soda, candy, etc. are off the table. Forever*. This was important for me. For many years, I just had to say, “I don’t eat that stuff.” No excuses, no birthday treats, no cheat meals, no holiday binging, no foods with added sugar, no alcohol. For fat guys (like I was), it’s a slippery slope. Don’t step onto that slope. Don’t panic though, because the cravings fade anyway and you learn to make delicious things that are just as satisfying. (I have a whole thread about that.)

“Forever?” I will say that after years of avoiding those slippery situations, of course you can have the occasional holiday meal. I think I full-on “cheated” three times in 2023. But the cycle was broken years ago and I’m at no risk of making a cheat meal into a cheat week, then a cheat month.

But right now, you likely yo-yo because you’re either on or off the junk food. You’re either “on keto” or “eating everything.” You don’t even need a brand name diet; you just need to stop eating obvious shit. You are now on the “Stop Eating Shit” diet. :grinning:

• What do you think a good, healthy weight is for you? 215-ish? If so, eat that many grams of protein per day. We call this the Protein First Eating Strategy, and it generally helps autoregulate everything else in your diet without calorie counting. Combine that with “I don’t eat anything with sugar in the ingredient list” and you can’t NOT lose the fat. (Just don’t drink a gallon of vodka each night.)

• Mentally/internally, before it all became habitual and easy, what worked for me was self-directed anger. I was pissed I’d gotten fat. It wasn’t who I was. It was a sign of weakness. It was a sign of having no discipline. And that wasn’t ME, you know? So I quit blaming, whining, and making excuses and got a little pissed at myself. I’d get tempted to eat creap or skip a scheduled workout, and (this sounds a little nuts) I’d cuss myself out. But like I said, it was a feeling and a strategy that I didn’t have to stick to forever, but it worked until the better habits kicked in. May not work for everyone.

• Healthy habits stick because you stick to them long enough for them to stick.

• Every choice counts. Every positive choice is a win. Soon they’re not even choices; there are just what you do… or don’t do.

Hope this helps a little. Feel free to ask questions.