Self Quarantine Diet Advice

Shit is not good right now. I’m not sure where you are but I hope you and your loved ones are taking the necessary precautions to keep yourselves safe as well as help keep those around you safe. I know this drum has been beaten repeatedly but we are all in this together.

I know this is a shitty situation but I am someone who attempts to look for silver lining where I can. I feel this is a good opportunity to strengthen a lot of my practices and attempt to develop new ones. This post is going to be me laying out my advice for how to get through this time without totally sacrificing your health progress. We will be covering Timing, Portion, and Quality. I feel these are the three pillars to good diet practices.

NOTE: I am in no way trying to imply that everyone can follow these practices or that they should work for everyone. This is my method and I just wanted to share it. Always do what works for you – make it yours.

Timing

The idea here is very simple: be aware of how much time you put in-between meals. When I look back at my pre-hero days, it was clear that I never cared about this. I’d eat a meal and then less then an hour later grab some kind of snack or potentially eat my next meal less then two hours later. This overlapping of calories can easily cause you to eat more then you actually need in the day. This is particularly troublesome now since most people are trying to limit runs to the store. What is very important with timing is to give your body a chance to fully process what you ate and let it register that it is full. When I finish eating I like to check the clock and make a mental note of when the next meal is. I recommend four hours between meals with a snack at the two hour mark. This timing helps the day move along and also gives you a solid point of when to look forward to food (something that can happen a lot if you are particularly bored). It also will help remind you to just “wait a bit longer” if you are feeling the urge to eat and haven’t gotten to those timings.

As a bonus note there is some general knowledge (that I have found true in practice) that major macros have different timings of their own. Carbs tend to give us a full feeling quicker but will drop off sooner. Proteins have a good average of time to feel them and how long they last. Fats have the slowest time to register but will last much longer. That last bit really opened my eyes when I thought about the heavy meals I used to eat and how I could down so much before suddenly realizing how full I was.

Portion

Now this one is something everyone hears a lot: portion control. In theory a very simple concept – just eat a reasonable amount. I started my portion control discipline by using meal prep containers. This was basically 1 cup protein, 1 cup carb, 2 cups veggies. There are several guides for proper amounts but what is important is really getting the sizes right. For starters try to use the serving sizes listed on nutrition labels for each food. Stick to that amount as much as you can. Start busting out the measurement cups. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend you get a food scale. I know this sounds very obsessive but learning how to really gauge how much you are eating can be helpful.

Even if you don’t go nuts on the measuring part, what you can really do is focus on how you feel (the importance of Timing) after you eat. The more you become mindful of those hours after a meal the more you can gauge if the meal was big enough or composed properly. Really try to learn to say no to that extra handful if you know you have really hit what you needed. Keep fine tuning your portions.

Controlling this will give you yet another edge in not burning through your stock of food too quickly.

Quality

This can seem pretty dumb advice in this time of limited food but I think it still sticks: try to focus on the nutritional quality of your food. It is very possible with the types of food we have out there to be caloric satisfied but nutritionally starved. Focusing on minimizing the processed food you eat and working with whole ingredients will go a long way in improving your overall state of being. I also find that focusing on these types of foods will lean your towards healthier options and help reduce your overall calorie intake. Basically dump the chips if you can.

When it comes to your meals be mindful of the composition of them. What are the macros being represented? How much of each do you have? Can you adjust amounts to make the composition better. Yes you can eat a whole bowl of white rice but with no protein or healthy fats you will be starving shortly after. Always think about bang for your buck as much as you can.

Bonus Credit: Tracking

I started calorie tracking in February 2020 as part of a weight loss challenge at work and to learn to step up my game for the 2nd year of my journey. I have found it to be incredibly helpful in this time. By being as diligent as I can I’m keeping track of my total amounts and learning what macros give me a more balanced day. I can plan my day the night before which helps alleviate food anxiety and keeps me in check from taking too much food from our wares. If you are keen on going nuts like me it can be a great tool to learn more about your eating habits.

Conclusion

This is a pretty shitty time. I know I’ve already said that but it just really is. If you can try not to let it take everything – especially your health. Food in these times can be a source of a comfort but can also become a vice. I have found these habits – Timing, Portion, and Quality – to be the best weapons to keep it in check. I hope this helps in some small way. Please stay safe!

You Can Wear The Mask Pt 1

Motivation is everything when it comes to unlocking the superhero in you. Having a goal and seeing yourself at that point while you give your blood and sweat to the cause is critical to the success of this. I wanted to spend this post talking a bit about something that has become a bit of a new obsession for me and a driving factor in my successful health changes. That thing is cosplay!

For those who don’t know – cosplay at its most basic level is dressing up like someone else (‘costume play’). More often then not it is a character from pop-culture works such as comics, movies, anime, or games. You see a lot of this stuff happening at pop culture related conventions. There is an enormous culture around doing it.

When I first started on this journey my initial inspiration was Into the Spiderverse. The movie’s message resonated with me: “You can wear the Mask”. To me this meant that I could be a hero to myself. I could be the one who swung in and saved me from…well..me! I’ve always been in love with hero myths and those so awe inspiring hero moments in film and books. I could channel that energy into myself and use it fuel me going forward. At the end of December 2018 I was determined to become a hero.

With my heart full of unstoppable energy I pushed into this new life. With the support of everyone around me and most importantly myself, I started to show progress. When I hit 20 lbs down for a some random reason I thought about cosplay. I always had an interest in it but never thought about actually trying it. For some reason I found myself looking up “Miles Morales Cosplay” and seeing what options were out there. The second I saw some of the costumes, I knew a mission had been laid out in front of me. If I hit my weight loss goal – I would buy a miles costume and dress like the hero that initially inspired me to become one. I would wear the mask. At first this seemed like I was cracking but the more I thought about it the more it made sense: the costume was a reward that was celebrating my physical changes. Instead of thinking of food at the end of the tunnel – I was thinking about embracing the new lifestyle I was creating. I knew in my heart this was the right thing to do.

I finally decided to share this crazy goal on social media and immediately my friend Meghan demanded that I go with her to Wizard World Austin. I accepted. This was real now. This was going to happen. This was in April and the convention wasn’t until November. I had many months to prepare. I started seeing myself in the costume in my mind. I used that vision to fuel me when I got tired or would just not be feeling it. It always worked to bring me back on focus. I saw myself standing tall and proud in a way I had never been before. Seeing myself in cosplay literally saved my life. Day by day, month by month, pound by pound. I fought with everything I had. I was going to be Miles Morales dammit. I had come too far to quit.

I used Halloween as an opportunity to test the waters. I ordered a Spider-Man Far From Home suit. I still remember slipping it on and mentally preparing myself. I was preparing to for the suit to show me how far I had not come and how I had left to do.

A slightly lumpy Spider-Man

I think I can say, without being to egocentric, that I was wrong. I didn’t look half bad and I can tell you that wearing something slim and having it not look wrong almost broke my mind. My wife said it felt like a complete stranger was in the house. At that moment, I knew I had found something to keep me going.

I ordered the pieces to Miles and with a little trial and error I finally found the costume. I want to emphasize how much the vision of me being in this costume got me through that first year of weight loss.

From here…
…to here

Halloween provided my first opportunity to wear the costume in front of total strangers (well I knew some of my neighbors). Several kids would clearly stop when they saw me and their parents would have to push them forward “look it’s Miles! You love Miles!” One neighbor who knew me stopped by with his kid and yelled out how he couldn’t believe it was me. “So this is what you have been doing! You wear it well man!” I’m so glad that mask was on cause I was damn near close to bawling. With that night under my belt, I was confident about the con. Well I thought I was. I mean I was going to go downtown wearing a body suit for crying out loud.

lil Caps are the best Caps

Well this post got long and I have more to say! Part 2 will cover the life changing experience that was convention and me embracing a new chapter in my life.

You can wear the mask

Whatever it Takes

I recently had a friend reach out and ask me a question I get a lot.

“Do you still get those days when you just don’t wanna do the workout or cook the meals? What gets you through that?”

There is one core rule to creating a healthy lifestyle and that is consistency. One day of healthy eating and one hour at the gym are meaningless unless you continue to come back and do those all the time. So it is obvious that the greatest enemy is anything that will work to make you inconsistent. The problem my friend asked me is one that will eventually come up. How do you really just keep going? I mean you are tired. You worked hard. You’ve got a lot of stressful crap going on. Can’t you just skip this crap for one day? two? a week? a month?

I hate to say it but there is really not a straight forward answer I can give you to this problem. What I can do is take you through the mental training I underwent to eventually conquer this.

One day at a time

When I first got started my older brother gave me this great advice: just take it one day at a time. Just make it through this day eating in the calorie limit. Just make this one day where you don’t eat that slice of pizza. Just get through this one hour of exercise. Do not think about the fact you have to do this tomorrow or that this is your whole week, etc. When you find yourself wandering into those thoughts just focus on clearing your mind and just finishing this one day. Do not let yourself evaluate the big picture.

I know that is all way easier said then done but it is crucial you practice this daily. You will see mental gains slowly accumulate where each day becomes easier, each workout becomes common, and when you pass from a day to a week to a month to months, you will have the biggest mental guns you can imagine…bro.

This is the Way

There are going to be times where you will need to give yourself a pep talk. Where you will need get yourself to remember why you need to get off the couch. Now you could sit and go over a deep, detailed account of why this is important but I found it more helpful to try and summarize that into a simple expression – a mantra if you will.

When I got started I was very focused on improving my life for my future family. I started saying “Fight for the Future.” When they brought those cakes in for birthdays at work or pizza for late night work sessions and I found myself reaching for it – I would close my eyes and just repeat to myself “Fight for the Future.” I know it can be cheesy but that one line had so much weight to it. The nerd part of me connected with the movie like expression. As time went on I found new mantras to keep it fresh but keep me focused. The one that I found so much success with came with the release of the teaser for Avengers: Endgame – “Whatever it takes.” I said that to myself a lot to keep me turning down those treats and adding 1 more minute to my run.

Be a badass like these badasses

I’ve pitched ones at friends getting started. My new favorite is “This is the Way” from the Mandalorian. In the show it represents and unbending practice of their code. When you have to turn down the fries and are hit with that gut punching sadness of not getting to taste that delicious basket of fried carbs just tell yourself “This is the Way” and remember the code you adhere to that is bigger then you.

Find the right mantra for you. Think of any movies, music, tv, or literature that mean something to you. You don’t need to keep it to pop culture either – go to history, to famous figures, or religious texts. Find something that will remind you of the spirit you need to keep fighting. Make it the tagline to the movie about your life – about the fight you are going through.

Showing up

Consistency is the real way you are going to win here. If the deficit in your diet is causing massive problems and is damn near unbearable then adjust the numbers to make it more reasonable. If the exercises you’ve been recommended are not working for you but another less effective method is then stick with that! Even though your progress will slow you are more likely to keep doing it and that is what matters the most in the end. You have to keep showing up!

Think about this as volume of practice. To get good at something you have to keep trying at it. You will stumble in this but the more you are willing to climb back up and give it one more day, the closer you are going to be to changing yourself forever.

Mantra

Meal Prep 101

Time to get to work y’all

I cannot emphasize enough how important the practice of meal prep was to losing weight and working towards a healthier lifestyle. At the most basic level, meal prep is preparing meals in advance of when you eat them. For me this means preparing lunches for the week – specifically work lunch. When you are at work you don’t have a lot of time or ability to create a healthy meal on the spot. If you do the work in advance you can take comfort knowing that regardless of what else happens nutrition wise that day – you got lunch covered. I’ll go over a couple of simple tips then dive into a super basic meal I’ve done for almost a year.

Come ready for battle

To make this easier I highly recommend the following gear:

The containers are designed to take measuring out of prep. Just fill up each compartment and be done with it. The Instant Pot is a super easy to use pressure cooker which will speed up cooking of a whole host of things – for me I find it clutch with preparing things like lentils or black beans.

What foods should I eat though?

There is a whole helluva lot you can make but I found this guide early on and it has been a great source of help:

Darebee Modern Hero Meal Plan

While I did not follow this plan to the letter I found it gave me a lot to work with. I try to follow the 4 hours between meals but I added a simple snack at the 2 hour mark. If you don’t like how this reads feel free to expand. Make the meal prep something you want – just be reasonable about nutritional content.

When you do meal prep, you are basically making a huge amount of food at once then dividing it up to access later. Since you are making so much and will need to do it every week you should make sure you pick something that is fairly simple and not a huge hassle to make. Of course that means the food itself will be simpler but as you progress in skill you can keep finding ways of jazzing it up. I’m gonna say it again though: keep it simple. Make sure the ingredients you use are easy to get each week and more importantly you kitchen tools are always available on your meal prep days. That last point is critical: do not let anything be held ‘hostage’ by the dishwasher.

Captain Browns’s Baked Chicken and Lentils

Trust me. This is really basic. I’m a whale biologist.

Ingredients

  • 3 lb (ish) of skinless chicken breast with rib meat (I’ll often try to get as close to 3 lbs with a 4 breast packet as I can)
  • 1 lb packet of Brown Lentils
  • 5-6 Vegetable Medley Bags (10oz per bag)
  • Salt, Pepper, and any rub you think looks good (just explore your spice cabinet)

This will make six meals.

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Place some foil on a pan and spray some oil on it. Place the chicken on the pan.
  • OPTIONAL: using a Ziploc bag with a little oil in it, pound the chicken breasts to an event size. This is messy and kind of pain if you haven’t done it before so maybe skip the first time.
  • Put spices in a cup and place it next to the pan. Pour or spray a little oil (you won’t need to if you pounded it flat) and rub it on the chicken. Generously cover the chicken in the spice mix you made. Try to keep one hand clean and handling spice and one dirty which is handling the chicken. Do both sides.
  • Place chicken into the oven for about 30-40 minutes or until the chicken reaches about 165 F internally
  • Get another pan(s) and put foil down and spray some oil. Pour all the veggies onto the pan(s) and then spray lightly on the top. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on them. Place them in the oven as well for about 40-50 minutes.
  • Wash off the lentils and place them into the instant pot along with 2 cups of water. You may feel free to add spices here. Lentils are highly absorbent and will take on the flavors just be generous with the amount you put in to make sure it shows up.
  • Set Instant Pot to high pressure for 15 minutes and seal.
  • Let Instant Pot run its course and then do a ‘natural release’ for 10 minutes – that means don’t touch anything when it is done until the timer goes from 15 -> 0 -> 10. At that time, put on a cooking mitt and release the pressure (watch out for the steam!)
  • Turn off the instant pot and open that sucker up.
  • Remove the inner pot and place it on towel on the counter. Lightly stir to help heat release and aid in cooling down. Don’t over do it or else you will mash your precious lentils.
  • When the chicken is done, pull it out and set it on the stove to rest for about 10 minutes to reabsorb some of the juices.
  • Pull the veggies out when they are ready (keep an eye on em, don’t let em get too burnt).
  • Once the chicken is rested, get out a cutting board and start hacking it up and putting it into each container. I like to take one breast for 2 containers and split it up. Since I usually buy 4 breasts and am working with 6 containers I will have the 4th breast be the ‘back fill’ and even out the others.
  • Put lentils in the containers.
  • Fill each container with as many veggies as you can. Remember that veggies are more or less free when it comes to calories. PACK IN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!

I make this on Sundays and will take 3 of the meals and put them in fridge and other 3 in the freezer.

When I eat this meal, I microwave it for about 4 minutes and prepare a simple dressing with 1/2 an avocado, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, ground mustard, and sriracha. It adds more calories but makes the veggies a lot more enjoyable. I recommend starting by making a simple vinaigrette and then experimenting form there.

That is it! If you have any basic cooking skills this should be laughable. If you were like me and the idea of baking chicken was scary just know you can do this and the more you unlock in the kitchen, the easier this is going to be and the more you are going to enjoy it.

My final advice with Meal Prep is not fear the kitchen. Taking that first step will always be a challenge. Keep pushing that goal post forward. Go forth and fear no darkness!

Ride! Ride to ruin and the world’s ending!

The Nutrition Stone

I’ve talked about motivation and starting mental health up to this point but now we are gonna switch gears and get to some hardcore mechanics. You may be asking: Naveen, what the f**k did you do to go from 260lbs to 185lbs? Well buckle up cause here we go.

NOTE: Please remember I am in no way a licensed expert in ANY health related field – or really any field for that matter. Everything I’m sharing comes from personal experience.

“There’s a little pee coming out of me right now”

There are three Infinity Stones to the health universe: Nutrition, Exercise, and Mental. Each of these contains powerful energy that when forged into a proper gauntlet will enable the user to snap themselves into the shape they want to be.

Well okay you can’t actually snap but you still wield some pretty f**king awesome power.

For this post we are going to focus on the Nutrition Stone. It is the most important and powerful of the three. I will drop some mentions in here about the Mental Stone but will explore it more later. Mental is really the support stone that keeps the other two from burning out too quickly. It is allows the gauntlet to stay active forever so therefore it is the trickiest to understand and use.

The Nutrition Stone

There is an expression in the fitness world that “abs are made in the kitchen” and this is 100% true in every way. Your shape is defined by the food you eat. Exercise can help but the truth is that you can’t out run what you eat. What I want to get across is that nutrition is the most important thing you can adjust in your life. If you are going to do ANYTHING please make it nutrition. Screw the rest!

The bedrock to nutrition and weight loss is the idea of “calories in / calories out” The idea is very simple: your body needs x amount of calories to keep you alive everyday and do basic function. The more active of a lifestyle you live, the more calories you need. Whenever you exceed this amount of calories, your body will store it off as fat. When you consume less calories then your body needs, it will start to burn other stores of energy to keep you running – this will end up being fat! So using less calories is generally called a ‘caloric deficit’ and is what you need to create to lose weight. The nice thing about a caloric deficit is that it does not need to be dramatic – the amount you remove can be tuned to how fast you want to lose weight. A smaller reduction is easier to maintain and less mentally taxing (MENTAL STONE!) but cause slower weight loss (this is NOT a bad thing since it will be more sustainable).

To get started I recommend you first start tracking calories for at least one day. The goal here is to try and get as close of an approximation as you can for what you do in an average day. DO NOT apply metagame thinking and try to eat really clean and be on your best behavior (I SEE YOU D&DERS!). Just be yourself and be honest. Remember that we are not looking for those spikes or abnormal days – the regular day is what we are going to combat.

Now that you have a good idea of what you consume in a day you will need to know what numbers you want to aim for instead. There is an insane amount of info out there for caloric deficits and I recommend you go look at as much as you can but I found Jordan Syatt’s video a very good jumping off point.

Hope you like Harry Potter cause he is gonna talk about Harry Potter

Now you got your numbers to work with. Lower what you are eating every day to be at the number he suggests (or lower if you are bold).

Oh boo they have a fixed menu

While that was more or less calorie intake 101, I want to provide some info on what worked for me. I found that finding fixed meals/snacks and repeating them all the time allowed me to maintain a caloric deficit without having to track calories. I STILL RECOMMEND you track early but if you create these fixed foods you don’t need to worry about it as much. For me I found a breakfast that worked and I make it every day. I meal prep lunches for the week and then keep dinner open to be flexible with my wife but we still figured out go to carry out or at home meals that fit in the calorie amount. For snacks I started doing apples and nuts. Now i’m a simple(ish) guy and I like doing the same thing cause it becomes very dependable. If you don’t like this idea think of more foods and calculate out the calories. Know how to make them fast and keep yourself stocked so you are not caught unaware.

On that last point I want to stress that with food you want to move from a ‘shooting from the hip’ mentality to a ‘tactician’ one. This of course is the Mental Stone at work again. If you are going out and it is not a special day or meal, look ahead at the menu. Yes that takes the fun out of it but the Nutrition Stone does not bend to those with weak will.

There are options like intermittent fasting that I’ve seen many friends have great success and work better with their lifestyles. Do what works for you but whatever you do – stick to it. This is about what you do on the regular day – which means basically everyday. Consistency is insanely vital to unlocking the power of the stone.

Bang for your Buck

The last tip I’ll leave you with about food is that the further you go with being in a caloric deficit the more you are going to want to reach for foods that help you last longer without eating your caloric budget. For example fruits are going to become a huge friend. They are usually low calorie for the volume which means they can help fill you up or at least trick your brain into thinking it. I call this “bang for your buck” – look for foods that can satisfy multiple nutritional needs while keeping the calories low. Those 100 calorie bag cheezeits? GET THE F**K OUT OF HERE. Sure they taste great and give you that salty satisfaction but they will leave you with nothing else. You could do some nuts for 100 calories and while not as awesome to eat they will potentially stay with you longer and give you some extra minerals while you are at it. Stuff like brown rice instead of white rice. Sure white rice is tasty as all hell but it has been stripped of the extra goodness that brown rice still has – fiber and some other minerals. As you advance in using the Nutrition Stone, you will want to start optimizing your food more.

I want to point out that for me I generally started picking foods that were higher in protein and fiber and lower in overall carbs and fat. I understand that fiber is part of carbs but I try to stick to foods that contain that kind of carbs. Fiber was one of the things I made a massive increase in since generally most of us are eating way too little of it. Fiber helps get shit out of your body and can also help keep you satiated longer. I mean it is more complicated then that but just think of it as helping keep your body clean.

Snaps require sacrifice

None of this is easy. It requires changing your whole lifestyle – especially if you were like me and food was the center of your day. Oddly enough food will STILL be the center of your day but now it is about controlling it and telling it “no, you move”

Create the deficit. Plan your food. Do not shoot from the hip. Wield the power of the Nutrition Stone and snap the fat that stands in your way.

It will cost you, but that is the price of being a hero

See you next time as we discuss the Exercise Stone. You won’t like it either.

I have a plan: attack!

” Stark, we need a plan of attack!”
“I have a plan: attack!”

It is very easy to want to wait for the right moment. To wait for the right time. To wait till some hurdle or big thing going on is over and done. To wait till next week. To wait till tomorrow. To wait till you have some kind of perfect plan.

That is 100% bullshit.

When I decided to do this I dove in. After that call with my brother I scheduled a physical and an ordered a fitbit for in store pick up. One hour later I was pushing for my first 10k steps.

You can’t hesitate.

When I got back from holiday travels (I flew out the day after the fitbit) I was going to just get walking in every day but my brother got on the phone and said very clearly “you will go sign up for the gym right now” I didn’t want too. I was afraid of diving too deep. That seemed like too much commitment but that tiny voice from the fateful day spoke soft but clear from the back of my mind.

This is not like before. You can do this. You will do this.”

I went to the nearby Planet Fitness and signed up. I didn’t think about pricing or deals – I just wanted to know that when I walked out the door I had a pass. This was New Years Eve.

On January 1st, 2019 I walked into the gym for the first time since…well lets just say the first time ever. I’ll go more into my exercise evolution later but the point is I just started going.

The next thing was food. I knew immediately that the first thing that had to go was all the ‘junk’ food – anything that was basically just for taste and had little to no nutritional value. There was a huge emotional component to letting those foods go but not one that was health related that would of caused me concern. Again I’ll dive into that that whole thing later. My brother sent me some picture of the meal prep he was doing. I decided to emulate it and bought the first meal prep containers I saw (at a grocery store). I am a terrible cook – well okay maybe I’m a little better now – and did not really know how to do much more then cook ground turkey and make some quinoa in the instant pot. So hell yeah that is what we were cooking. I figured out portions for six containers and bought some frozen veggies (again advice from my brother) and just mashed it in there.

The Mk 1 Meal Prep

I still remember heating my first prep meal up and thinking “this is the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten” The taste came from knowing I was doing the right thing and sticking to my pledge. A lot of questions were thrown at me about if it was okay to eat the same thing or how would you deal with eating the same thing every day. These were all valid but the point is that I didn’t give a f**k. I just knew I had to keep going and if those things became issues, I’d deal with them as they came (which I did and again I’ll dive into more later).

If you are looking to change your life like me then you need to be a little reckless. You need do to what a hero does naturally: act.

“What am I doing!? Why am I running!? Why can’t I stop!?”

All right, people, let’s do this one last time

The first year of my superhero journey

In December of 2018 I started a journey to overhaul my lifestyle and replace it with a new one focused on health. I was about 260lbs and been pretty obese my entire adult life. I was not active even when I was a young adult and lived a pretty sedentary lifestyle. I developed a terrible food addiction that carried through my whole life. The quick version is that I was an emotional eater who also was a private binger. So to be clear – there was no prime of my life version of me from the past.

So back to the December. At that time I went to see Into the Spiderverse and being someone who has a great fondness for superhero stories I loved it but something was different about this one. As a coworker of mine put it later: Spiderverse genuinely asked you to become a better person. To, as they say in the movie, wear the mask. This was on my mind when I then had a phone call with my older brother. We were catching up before the holidays and he started to tell me about getting some bad news about his overall health from his doctor and that he was starting a new regimen to fix it. He asked if I wanted to do this with him. Now my brother has tried for years to get me to lose weight. Nothing has ever stuck but during the conversation this time he said a few things about how I have a great ability and drive when I focus on something and that if I just tried I could do it. This resonated with Spiderverse’s themes of “a spark in you”. The real clincher was when we came to the subject of kids. My wife and I plan on having children. We actually planned to have them sooner but life gets in the way. That is fine – in fact that is why it is called ‘life’ in the first place. You can’t control everything. What that did mean though was that I was on borrowed time and that if I truly cared about my future children then I needed to show that I truly cared for myself so that I could be there as long as possible for them. Now the motivation became clear. If I wasn’t going to do this for myself then I sure as hell needed to do it for them. 

Fighting for the future. That was the battle cry at the start. That was the mantra. Fight for the future.

I decided at that moment to start. Now here we are over one year later and I’m down 75 lbs and  I’m in the best shape of my life. So much has happened to me and I want to share it with anyone who wants to hear about how one fanboy found the hero in themselves.

The plan for this blog is to write about various topics as they come to mind vs doing a pure chronological take. I’ll try to dive into the details of my diet and exercise plan if you want to try them out or take inspiration. If you would like to hear about specific things please leave a comment below.