I am a few days into the third week of my 5-month fitness mission. If you haven’t heard me explain what I’m doing and why, I made a video at the very beginning of my adventure:
I’ll be putting up a new, updated video on my YouTube channel soon. If you aren’t subscribed to my YouTube channel, just go to http://youtube.com/bunkdad and subscribe. Hit the bell button and you can make sure you get notified when I put up a new video. Also, please “like” the videos so more people will see them. Thanks!
Anyway… I say I am a few days into my third week, but that isn’t altogether accurate. I started on a Thursday and was finishing my weeks on Wednesday night, but that seemed awkward and I kept having to explain it to Danielle and my daughter Sarah – that when I was saying “next week,” my workout and diet weeks were starting on Thursday. After completing my 2nd week, I did a standard diet and workout for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (Saturday is always a no workout, fasting day) so I could shift my week from ending on Wednesday night, to ending on Saturday night.
For this mission I’m waking up on most mornings at 3:45 a.m and going to bed at 7:30pm. I’ll put my schedule at the very bottom of this blog post. No alcohol at all. Remember, this is a 5-month mission plan.
A Little About Me
I am not a “yo-yo dieter.” I haven’t lost and gained thousands of pounds in my life. I gain slowly, but I have, in the past, taken off weight very well. I’m older now. Things change. But back in the past, my metabolism gets going and if I wasn’t careful, it can run away from me. In the early 90s I started working at a gym for one of my jobs, and I was working out ferociously because it was all free. My weight went from about 220, down to 175 before I finally had to stop working out. People were saying I looked very ill. We didn’t know everything we know now about bulking and adding lean muscle mass. Or at least I didn’t. Also, I’m 53 now. Things change.
That happened again in the very early 2000s. I’d been on the road for 3 years and my health was suffering greatly. I started working out and eating better and I lost 40 lbs and started getting too skinny. Again, I didn’t really know anything about adding lean muscle mass, so I ended up cutting out the workouts so I wouldn’t go too far. I’m not surprised, then, to see that things are going so well this early in my plan. But I’m older now…
Ok, how things are going:
Starting weight: 240 lbs.
Current Weight: 226 (-14lbs)
I’m doing pretty good shedding some fat weight. I’m not in this to lose weight, per se. More on that later. And I was already on a long-term trend downward. Here is the history: When I moved to the land here in 2005 at age 38, I weighed 224 lbs. I was in ok “farmer” shape. At my peak in 2017 I weighed close to 275-278. I didn’t weigh myself much back then, but I was pretty big. I’m a big fella, so I could carry the weight, but I was too big. That’s when I started regularly intermittent fasting (which has since become quite a trend.)
I want to get in the best physical shape my age and my genetics will allow. If it takes longer than 5 months, then I’m all in for however long it takes. But my goal is that by June 8th I’ll be well on my way. I want my health to improve as well. For the initial fat loss part of the journey, I’m setting a goal of 215 lbs., and a backstop at 210, meaning if I get to 210 I start doing some radical things to make sure I’m not operating daily in a caloric deficit. This is what I didn’t know when I was younger. And all of this is, of course, God willing.
Prior to 2017, I had fasted a few times on and off going back to the 1980s and 90s, and had done a few long-term fasts, mostly for religious reasons, but I hadn’t started fasting for health and fitness reasons until 2017. I am going to provide a few definitions for “intermittent fasting” because the term can now have WILDLY different definitions. Stay tuned for that. But, back to the story… In 2017 I started having what I thought could be serious health issues, and Danielle and I started doing some fasting for health reasons. I had severe kidney and liver problems/pains, and sometimes I couldn’t sleep because of liver pain. I did a 7-day water fast in December of 2017, and I kept a handwritten journal, planning to publish it here on the blog. I didn’t get around to it for a year, and by then, out of nowhere, there were blog posts and videos EVERYWHERE about water fasting, so I never published it. I figured it was already well known and who wants to hear what I have to say about it? Anywho… the fast helped me considerably. My liver stopped hurting, and I went off my antihistamines for allergies for a whole year! Slowly, my weight started to come down, and I was being more attentive to my eating. I started intermittent fasting (Type 1, below) and for a while had my health in check, but then I started slipping again. The liver pain came back, and so did the allergies. In mid-2019 I started fasting again and got my weight down to 228 (only 4 pounds more than back in 2006, by the time we went to Hollywood in September. So, here is where I going to give you some working definitions for intermittent, since the phrase no longer has one meaning.
Type 1 Intermittent Fasting. (This is my term. It’s not official or anything.)
In the regular world of health and such, Intermittent Fasting means fasting on and off for a day or more each time. So maybe fasting for a few days, then coming off the fast, then going back on it. Maybe fasting once a week, or up to two or three times a week. Most of these fasts would be for over 24 hours. This is generally what intermittent fasting used to mean before it got popular. But…
Type 2 Intermittent Fasting.
In the world of fitness, bodybuilding, etc., the term “intermittent fasting” has another meaning altogether. Basically, it means just not eating for several hours at the beginning of the day… putting off your first meal until mid or late afternoon. Some fitness people use the term 16/8 or 23/1 to indicate this type of fasting, though there are no rules. The term 16/8 means to fast for 16 hours (so maybe your last meal of the day is at 7 pm, then you wouldn’t eat your first meal of the day until 11am the next day,) and then you are free to eat for 8 hours. The term 23/1 is also called OMAD (or One Meal A Day) which means you fast for 23 hours, and then eat whatever you want (within reason) for one hour a day. This kind of daily fasting is now called “intermittent fasting” though in my reckoning it’s not really fasting. It’s more like just waiting a long time between your last meal and your first meal of the next day.
As for me, I am doing both kinds of fasting, and my diet/exercise/fasting schedule is changing from week to week. My regular Wednesday and Saturday fasts mostly stay the same (definitely the same on Saturday).
Week 1: 20k Steps a Day
This was my starting week, beginning on January 8th. Again, if you don’t know what I’m doing or why, please go watch the startup YouTube video at the top of this post. You really need to know this to understand everything. As I said, my weight was 240 on Jan. 8. My goal for the first week was just to get my metabolism going, start loosening up, and get my heart rate up regularly. I set as a first goal 20,000 steps a day. For most of the last year, I’ve been averaging up to 6,000 steps a day. Sometimes I would peak well over 10k. On the day before I started this mission, I hit 13k steps, and that’s what convinced me a I could do 20k a day. On the first two days, it was hard to make it, and I was walking well past dark, but I made it. I was also doing some other exercises and started doing push ups. That first day, I found it difficult to do 5 push ups.
My diet plan for the first week was to continue my twice a week fasts. Fasting on Wednesday and Saturday. My Wednesday fast would start on Tuesday after supper (around 5pm or 6 pm) and I would set as a goal to go 36 hours. Same with Saturday, starting Friday evening and going until Sunday morning. I had no hard-set length but wanted to go between 36 and 40 hours on each fast. As for eating, I would use a pretty standard bodybuilder’s diet. I didn’t get into counting macros or trying to kill all carbs. I ate a lot of calories, but counting my walking and other exercises, I maintained a calorie deficit, which was my goal.
By the end of the first week, I was doing my 20k steps easily, and on some days, I was getting to 20k by early afternoon. On one day at the end of that week I did 30k steps. By the end of the week I was easily doing 10-15 push ups per set.
Week 2: 10k steps by 10 a.m. 100 push ups per day. 30 minutes on the elliptical.
I had modest goals for week 2. Get 10k steps by 10 a.m. and don’t worry about steps the rest of the day (but keep walking regularly.) Start a workout session in the morning, and one in the afternoon. Try to do 100 total push ups a day. My dad had given us his old elliptical machine. We don’t have electricity to run it, but it runs great without it! On the first day I could barely do 3 minutes on the machine, but my goal was to try to do 30 minutes a day, even if it took a lot of sets.
My diet plan was more severe. I would keep the two daily long fasts, and I would do keto too, for the whole week. Less than 50 carbs/day was my goal. I did well, only accidentally creeping over 50 carbs twice. I tested my ketones daily to see if I was staying in ketosis, and for almost the whole week I did. The one time I went quite a bit over 50 carbs (Danielle and I had lunch at Chilis for a celebration,) I was back in ketosis within 12 hours. By the end of the week (Wednesday night) I was feeling really good, not hungry at all, and handling both kinds of fasts really well. Remember, I added Thursday and Friday to this week, and fasted all day Saturday. Week two was ten days long.
By the end of week two, I was down to 226 pounds. Danielle is taking weekly measurements and I could see that I was making great progress. I was able to add some body weight strength building exercises, and many of my step days were over 25k, and one day was 33k steps. I started doing the elliptical twice a day, easily doing 30-minute sessions. One session I did was 45 minutes. I was doing 60 minutes a day by the end of the week. By the end of week 2, I could do 21 push ups in one set.
Week 3: 10k steps by 10 a.m., Regular REAL push ups as part of my workout routine. 30 minutes of elliptical a day. 2 long workouts a day. Body weight exercises for the whole body.
I started this week on Sunday (writing this on Monday.) I was still in a long fast (47 hours) from Saturday and wouldn’t eat until 4 pm on Sunday because I’m doing the OMAD plan (One Meal a Day) plan.
As I just mentioned, my diet plan for this week is OMAD. My diet regimen changes every week during this first month. The reason I’m doing OMAD, is that about this time in a mission like this, the mind and body starts craving carbs and delicious dishes. I’m not wanting to pig out on bad stuff, but I would like some potatoes, rice, spaghetti, maybe a cookie or two. Also, I handle short fasts (under 36 hours) very, very well. No worries about getting overly hungry. I’m doing a 23/1 plan. I fast for 23 hours straight, and then I can eat what I want for 1 hour. No counting calories or trying not to eat carbs. I still will eat sensibly. The basic idea behind OMAD, if you are working out, is that it is virtually impossible for you to eat too many calories in one hour (unless you binge on bad carbs) to take you out of a caloric deficit. For example: My “maintenance” caloric necessity is between 2600 and 3300 calories a day (depending on who you believe.) My exercises/workouts in a day often burn between 1700 and 2800 calories a day. These are added to your maintenance calories. If you eat less than that number, you are at a caloric deficit, and you will lose fat weight. Ok, so I’m doing OMAD this week, but it’ll only last one week. I have been in a caloric deficit for every day of this mission, and the weight is coming off.
In case you’re curious. Here above is a pic of my OMAD meal on Day 1. One meal a day!
One Bunker Scramble (3 eggs scrambled with one full smoked jalapeno cheese smoked sausage, one ounce of cheese, a cup of spinach, all fried in butter,) 3/4 of a potato, pan fried. 4 oz. of chopped chicken breast fried in oil, 4 strips of bacon, 1 cup of cottage cheese. NOT PICTURED: 3 chocolate chip cookes. Total of my one meal this day: 2,266 calories. 22% carbs. 57% fat. 21% protein. I eat the Bunker Scramble a lot even on my Keto days. Remember, I was coming off of a 47 hour fast, and immediately started a 23 hour fast after this meal. I was back in ketosis in under 12 hours.
My workouts are going great. I don’t count walking as “working out” per se, but I’m walking a lot. Averaging 25k to 28k steps a day. I don’t count walking as “working out” even though it is my primary plan and my primary cardio, because I’m counting it as an overall lifetime change. I hope to keep doing it even after all of this is over. Elliptical is an hour a day now. I’m doing two long body weight workouts following some great YouTube videos. Adding progressions and reps almost daily. I started doing push ups CORRECTLY too. I’ve been doing push ups most of my life but watched a great video on how to do them better with more effect. That has helped, but my reps dipped from 20 at a time, to 10 at a time and building back up. They are harder.
My goal has been to spend the first month getting my metabolism up, burning fat, getting fitter, so I could get into a gym by February 8th. Since then, with so much improvement, I’ve decided to probably stay out of the gym for another full month and focus on improving what I’m doing. By March 8th, if the Lord wills, I’ll be doing weight work.
My Schedule Right Now (Subject to changes each week)
3:30am (First Alarm)
3:45 Out of Bed. Make Coffee. (Black)
4:15 First walk. I usually walk up to the front gate at the top of our land, then back down to the very back of the land, then to the office. I figure this is a mile or so. I’ll measure it and get back with you.
4:30 or 4:45 Prayer Time
5:00. Stretching, then get on the elliptical for minimum of 30 mins. More walking.
7:00. Back to the cottage. Say good morning to Danielle. Get more coffee. Chit-chat.
7:45 or so. Danielle and I take our first walk.
8:30 or 9. Begin body weight exercises. Finish whatever steps
I have left to 10k if there are any.
10:00. Do some computer work, emails, social media, anything that needs to get done.
11:00. Animal chores, hauling water, etc.
11:30. Danielle and I go on our second walk.
12:00. Back to work, writing, whatever needs to be done. Meetings, etc.
1:30pm Danielle and I go on our 3rd walk.
2pm. Second workout.
4pm. I have one hour to eat. I get creative, but nothing too crazy. This week I can eat some goofy carbs if I’m craving something. I can eat whatever I want (within reason).
5pm. Danielle and I go on our 4th walk. After that, it could be whatever I want to watch. A movie, YouTube videos, study, read, whatever.
7pm. In bed. Try to get lights out asap, but no later than 8:30.
Ok, this has been long enough. Drop me some questions in the comments if you have any!
More posts and YouTube channel videos soon. Please go to my YouTube channel and subscribe and LIKE my videos so I’ll do more. Tell me what you want to see. I’m not turning my channel into a workout channel, but I don’t mind talking about whatever is going on in my life. It’s all connected.