T Nation

I was Setup to Fail from a Young Age

Hi All,

I’m a 35 year old, 5’ 9", between 195-204lbs depending on water retention, pretty healthy in terms of weight lifting 2-3 times per week, cardio 2-3 times per week (max), and able to run a mile in 8 minutes (probably less if I really tried and didn’t care about burning myself up for the next training session).

Long story short - from an early age, I was given a horrible diet full of processed carbs, bad fats, etc. This developed into hypoglycemia in my teens, got worse as I got older, then at around the age of 23ish I realized I either had to change things up or suffer being a diabetic.

At that time I started my early research of health and diet, went through a LOT of trial and error, and fast forward to now (~10+ years later) I’m suffering the consequences of my overall diet in my earlier years AND the genes I have from family (family history of heart disease etc).

So nowadays once again I’m active, eating almost all organic healthy foods, and yet still suffer consequences to a degree that bothers me, despite being healthier than the majority of people in my age:

  1. I have ED - not 100% sure if it’s psychological or not but I used to have ZERO problems with this in the past. For the past year or two it has progressively gotten worse and I’m using ED med to overcome it (worried since I’m starting this at the age of 35…maybe the meds won’t work forever).

  2. I have a clean diet and am losing fat slower than I should - I’m thinking it’s either insulin sensitivity issues or stubborn fat (all in the chest/ab) area that built up during my years of bad bad eating when I was younger.

  3. I have slightly elevated blood pressure.

My general diet:

Morning could be 2-3 Ezekiel toasts w/ almond butter and thin layer of honey ROR banana w/ milk.

Mid-morning is usually 2 eggs, 4 whites, avocado, some beans OR oatmeal w/ banana and cinnamon (if I’m training that day)

Snack could be yoghurt, some nuts (macadamia and brazil nuts and walnuts) along with 2-3 fruits (blueberries, mangos, cherries, grapes, banana, or pineapple are my usual)

Lunch is always a clean protein with a salad, avocado, etc. Could also be w/ rice or sweet potato if training that day.

Post workout is usually an organic pop tart OR some rice pudding OR 3 bananas OR chocolate milk - if going w/ the pop tart/rice pudding/bananas I throw in a whey shake also.

After that it’s usually a clean protein with sweet potato and veggies.

I tend to not eat too much at night - I’ve cut out the ice creams and sweets altogether. IF I do eat at night it’ll be something like chicken w/ avocado and salad, or maybe a can of skipper fish, etc. Keeping insulin low at night feels better to me.

My food is 99% organic, hardly eating out, I take good supplements (quality multi, magnesium, pycnogenol, and turmeric extract), everything in my eyes is optimal.

My issues again:

  1. Despite being healthy with exercise, I have ED.

  2. I’m having so much trouble burning the fat on my chest/stomach…

  3. I sometimes have high BP.

My training is on point:

  1. Twice a week I have a HIGHLY knowledgable trainer - we do the basic moves (squats, bench, press, deadlift, shoulder presses) and we throw in a couple pump sets at the end.

  2. I rest well, tend to sleep well 80% of the time.

  3. I’m on TRT and have had my levels checked - all is within range and I feel very optimal mentally.

  4. Few times a week I do cardio on my own - this could be a 1 mile run, could be some sprints, could be a combo of jump rope/climber/rows, etc…get the heart going.

With all this effort, what else am I to try ?

Do I go super low carb and only take in carbs around training?

Do I go Keto despite not having enough energy with low carbs to push at training?

I’ve tried more/less workouts to make sure I’m not overtaining etc. Just at a loss of words how at 35 years old, with all this effort and looking “decent” I cannot overcome these few challenges after so many years at it.

How long have you been doing exactly what you described, and what have the increments of time/effort yielded?

Like xlbs. loss/y years = Z lbs. loss/year.

Great question. My diet has been 80% good for years, got to pretty much 95% good as of almost 3 months ago when I got on TRT (mainly due to the water retention…I HAVE to eat super clean or else it gets out of hand).

In terms of weight loss results, I went from 230 (hypoglycemic) to 180lbs, stayed around there. Then on TRT I jumped up to 200 lbs in 1.5 weeks (water weight) and I’ve stayed around that range as stated in my OP.

Overall it’s been super difficult to lose fat despite the clean diet, fasted cardio, 4 mile walks while fasted and on yohimbine, etc. If anyone else did my food/workout routine they’d be in damn good shape and less fat on the chest/abs area. I’m baffled but won’t give up.

OK, so 3 months.

Give it time. Some of the trt guys (there is a trt subforum just FYI) have said it takes up to a year to fully realize the effects and balance out.

Stay consistent and for the long haul. It sounds like you are literally doing everything right.

Maybe give the T-ransformation a look over and some thought for next year.

Good advice and thank you for that. Maybe I’m asking this in the wrong forum…but going to try anyway…is there any chance that I can get rid of my ED along with the ED Meds once health improves? I’ve read nothing but articles about dependence on the ED Meds, and that terrifying if I have to start at age 35 because I know at some point they might stop working.

Sorry, but I don’t know much about the mechanisms involved in erectile dysfunction. That could be one to run up the flagpole on the trt forum. Some of the guys there may have some experience and tweaks to recommend based on your numbers.

Although testosterone levels play a significant role in erections, the issues tend be more circulatory related. A major issue is the blood vessels’ response to nitric oxide as a means to relax the vessels and allow more blood flow. A long duration of high blood sugar and high BP will wreck that, especially if it were several years. It might take a while of good diet, plus some dreaded cardio, for the circulatory system to recover to nearly 100%. Are you monitoring your blood sugar?

Also, BP medicines will tend to play a factor in ED. Are you on meds?

Thanks for the info. I don’t take any BP Med as I know it’s not good, I rather work on bringing my BP down naturally hence the cardio and all.

What would be the best/easiest way for me to check my blood sugar levels?

Walmart has relatively cheap blood glucose meters and test strips.

post in the T replacement forum with your TRT protocol. It could be that what you are doing with it is not fully optimized for you. The ED issues sticks out with that the most.

Could be protocol as @cstratton2 stated but also could be a thyroid issue. Ever have any thyroid tests ran?