I am currently wrapping up Day 27 of the V-Diet. Since I have a really busy weekend ahead of me but find I have some extra time today at work, I decided to post about my experiences on the diet now instead of later.
Honestly, I’m probably different than a lot of people who try the V-Diet. I’m a FSB (former skinny bastard). In fact, I am downright terrified losing weight and have a complex about being small. Growing up, I was just plain scrawny.
About 7 years ago I found myself at a soft 140lbs my freshman year of college. I joined a gym and started a very dirty bulk that lasted for years. I’m talking fast food 2-3x a day, super-size all the way, baby. Unfortunately I stopped lifting at one point and changed jobs from active, physical labor to a desk job, and developed a certifiable addiction to online games… but the diet stayed the same.
Fast forward 3 years of inconsistent training and McDonald’s to 2006… and I found myself at 212lbs with way too much body fat and trying to reconcile how I felt (small, small, small) with the reality of mirrors/pictures (fat, fat, fat).
February of this year I got serious. Cleaned my diet up significantly and started hitting the gym 3-4 times a week with consistency for a change. I put on some muscle and lost some fat, but I would hit a mental wall every time the scale dropped below 200lbs, and I’d panic that I was losing too much muscle.
Calorie intake would increase, and I’d bounce up 5 lbs, lose it, bounce up, lose it. This cycle repeated itself a few times. But on the bright side, I stayed in the gym, so body composition improved at a slow rate.
Finally in October, I decided it was time to get over this irrational fear of losing muscle. Just so happened that the Dan John V-Diet article came out about the same time. I decided to go for it. If I lost muscle, then I would just deal with it and enjoy the process of rebuilding it.
Starting stats: 5’9, 207lbs, 38" waist (actually 39" but I lost one inch in one day, so I don’t count that) measured at the belly button, 36" waist pants.
Final stats: 5’9, 191lbs, 36" waist measured at the belly button, 34" waist pants.
Here is what my days looked like:
Wake-up: 4 BCAA’s, 2 HOT-ROX Extreme
Walk dog for 45 min
Breakfast: 2 scoops Metabolic Drive, 2 tbsp milled flax seed, 2 fiber tablets, 3 tsp Carlson’s Lemon Fish Oil, multivitamin
Late Morning: 2 scoops Metabolic Drive, 2 tbsp milled flax seed
Lunch time: 2 HOT-ROX Extreme
Early Afternoon: 2 scoops Metabolic Drive, 2 tbsp milled flax seed
Dinner: 2 scoops Metabolic Drive, 2 tbsp milled flax seed
Bed Time: 2 scoops Metabolic Drive, 1 tbsp Jiff peanut butter, 2 fiber tablets, 4 capsules Flameout
Middle of the night: 4 BCAA’s if I woke up to pee
During workouts (3x week, full-body, low rep): 1.5 scoops (3/4 serving) of Surge
Any ‘cheat’ meals replaced 2-3 shakes
Cheat Meal #1 (Friday Day 7, Week One): Home-grilled Steak, Spinach Salad w/ light olive oil based dressing and parmesan cheese, stir-fry broccoli w/ mushrooms.
Cheat Meal #2 (Friday Day 14, Week Two): Meal at Outback Steakhouse - grilled chicken on a bed of yellow rice and a skewer of red pepers, pineapple, mushrooms.
Cheat Meal #3 (Friday Day 21, Week Three): Meal at Stircrazy restaurant – stir-fry pork and flank steak with brown rice, snow pea pods, green beans, broccoli, peanuts, garlic, and carrots.
Cheat Meal #4 (Sunday Day 23, Week Four): 1/2 Large Papa John’s Pizza topped with pepperoni and beef (this was my one big screw up on the diet. I will explain later).
Week One sucked hardcore. Seriously. I dealt with a number of obstacles. Crippling hunger, lightheadedness, muscular cramps, dry heaves. My fiance had decided to do the diet with me but cried/whined about it daily and constantly tried to sabotage my efforts. The entire week was wicked cold and rainy, but my dog and I were still out there beating the pavement every morning. It took a lot of mental effort to make it through Week One, but my dedication is never a problem when enthusiasm runs high. I had a feeling the following weeks would be the greater test.
Week Two saw the resolution of many of my Week One obstacles. My body apparently figured out that I wasn’t going to die, so all the physical symptoms went away. My fiance seemed to settle into things as well (although I later found out she was ‘cheating’ on the diet on a daily basis, albeit with healthy foods).
The weather was better, but my feet started to take a serious beating from the long walks. I suspected my ancient tennis shoes were the culprit, but I pushed through until it reached a point where both feet were utterly bruised on the bottom and it hurt just to walk a few feet. I decided to give them a brief rest and armed with new shoes, I was completely better two days later.
My 27th birthday was halfway through Week Two and I fended off multiple offers to take me out to dinner, despite many people trying to talk me into it abandoning my diet for the day. I don’t see anything wrong with eating unhealthy meals for special occasions, but I wasn’t about to ruin my perfect record so far because my family/friends lacked the creativity to find something else to do.
Week Three was completely boring until about 3/4 of the way through, when I got hit with crushing fatigue. This was especially difficult since I lift weights in the evening (around 8pm). I would hit a point around 1-2pm each day where my energy would tumble, so I started drinking a lot of diet soda, trying to prop myself up on caffeine. I hate relying on stimulants for anything, but it was either that or be completely worthless for half the day.
Week Four was my big stumble. Sunday night (The second day of Week Four), I lay on the bed at about 6pm completely wiped out but knowing I still needed to go to the gym. I gave in and told my fiance to order us a pizza. It tasted good but certainly not divine, and I was angry with myself being so weak. The moment the order was placed, I suddenly found myself with more energy (imagine that) and I busted out a surprisingly challenging home workout consisting of slow-tempo pushups, pull-ups, inverted rows, one-legged deadlifts and squats.
So on the bright side, the pizza was eaten during the post-workout window and replaced my usual Surge. But still… very disappointed in myself.
All said and done, my adherence was nearly perfect. I had pizza instead of a healthy meal for Week 4. I missed 2 walks due to foot soreness and probably another 3-4 due to lack of time in the morning (which is no excuse, because I should’ve MADE the time).
A few days I had a tbsp of peanut butter at bed time when I should’ve cut it out to make room for the additional Surge calories (this was just plain forgetfullness). But all in all, I followed the plan without any major changes and stayed completely true to it except for the things I’ve already mentioned.
My tastes for unhealthy food is definitely changed. I suppose time will tell how permanent this is. I no longer find myself craving fast food, but I don’t know that I’d say it sounds disgusting to me the way some people have. I’ve always liked vegetables, but I find myself able to eat mushrooms now… which is interesting because I couldn’t stand them before.
I thought about having bloodwork done, but I’m going to wait until January and a couple months of cleaning eating to get a more accurate picture of my long-term cholesterol levels.
Strength levels have been pretty consistent, but strangely my dip/pull-up numbers have not improved at all despite being 15 lbs lighter. This makes me wonder if I lost a little muscle, but once I’m no longer carb depleted, I might find the numbers are up.
The weight loss was pretty darn quick (I figure once water weight rebounds, I’m looking at 3-4lbs of fat per week for a total of about 14lbs of fat, assuming no muscle loss) and I suppose on a grand scale, the diet was not that difficult. But I certainly have zero desire to continue it or repeat the experience.
I think I have conquered much of my fear of being small, but I still look in the mirror with concern sometimes. I have set a goal of 175lbs which I suspect will have me at a respectable weight with some abs and a tight jawline, although this weight is flexible based on what the mirror is telling me. I hope to reach this point by mid-January, at which point I will transition into a nice long, moderate bulk (without the McDonald’s this time). This diet has confirmed something I have always known: I have a pretty fast metabolism (which is the only reaso I’m not 350lbs right now) and actually do best on a moderate amount of carbs.
Thanks to anyone who actually read this whole thing. I knew it would be long but honestly didn’t expect novel length. I’ll consider posting some pictures but I’m really hesitant not due to my physique (which I’ve already established is quite poor), but something about posting ANY pictures online (let alone shirtless) throws up red flags in my brain even if I black out my face.