A non-sugarcoated story
With every word I type I am cringing like mad. I never wanted to do anything like this but the last few months have led me to writing this blog. The number of people asking questions or making comments have forced my hand a little. The main aim of this blog is to document what I am doing and hopefully something in here can help someone. I am also not going to sugar coat any of this or write it like a “real” writer. I am just writing it how I would tell it to you in person.
Struggling, binging and pizza
Ever since I turned 18 I have struggled with my weight. I’ve been on a diet or thinking about being on a diet or being told I need to go on a diet since. In the past I have had one major weight loss success, getting down to 97kg in November 2015 but before six months were over I was back above 110kg. The years between then and now have been the most frustrating. There was always a reason why I kept failing and I was just looking for the next excuse to binge or get a pizza ordered.
Too heavy to walk for 15 minutes
I was working in Manchester and had recently moved offices to further away from the main train station. This was a 15 minute waddle across town. The first few times I did this I was fine but after a few more times I started getting pain in my feet and ankles. So I started catching the free bus. Sitting with the over 60’s, folk in wheelchairs or the people who were morbidly obese. At 31, I was embarrassed to be on this bus.
Trying keto and every other thing
I had done loads of different diets in the past. Keto, chicken and rice, vegan, Palaeolithic , calorie counting apps, juice diet. I had success with chicken, sweet potato and broccoli for lunch every day in 2015 but every time after that I had tried it, I just couldn’t stick to it. I even ran weight loss competitions at work to try and sort myself out but none of it worked. It got to the point where I was just miserable after every meal, struggling to be a good dad, waking up feeling tired every day and something needed to change.
getting advice that shifted everything
I knew I had to do something but didn’t know what, so I spoke to a colleague. He is an ex-Marine, built like a tank and is one of the most intelligent people I know. We talked about Keto and how when I tried it the first time I probably didn’t do it properly, but would be one of the best ways for me to shift the weight. I said that I was sick of the sight of spinach broccoli and mushrooms, and that I am a salad dodger. He then said something that has changed my life.
“If you can’t be bothered with the veg, then don’t eat it. You don’t need it anyway. Google “Carnivore Diet”…”
ENTER: THE CARNIVORE DIET EXPERIMENT
Monday 1st April 2019 – Weight 122kg/ 19 stones 3lbs
After a few hours of research and not really understanding the complex nature of a true carnivore diet, I went into April knowing I had 40 days before going on holiday. It was only to Butlins at Skegness but it was to be my first real break from work since August 2018 and a good length of time away to try and lose some weight. My aim was to lose 24lbs and get to 17 and half stones. I went into it with my eyes shut and just literally ate any meat product I could. I committed to researching the diet a few hours a week and also to stop drinking any booze.
THE FIRST WEEK
I decided early on to couple the diet with intermittent fasting. I had to get up early to get to work on time so skipping breakfast was easy. The first few days were rough. The food tasted amazing but I soon realised I was reacting to any dairy I was eating. The first week ended and I wondered if it was all worth it. I got weighed and saw that I had lost 9lbs. In a week.
ONE MEAL A DAY AND FASTING
Soon I was doing 10-12 hours of research every week and had cut down to eating one meal per day. I also started doing 36 hour fasts every week and even a 60 hour fast at one point. I just didn’t need to eat as much. Cutting out all sugar, all carbs and all plant food was meaning the meals I were eating were extremely filling. That being filling without the bloating and the “food coma” feeling. I had got to a point where I was basically only eating beef and prawns with occasional meal of chicken and chorizo or pork belly when I started to lose will power.
At day 40 day, the challenge ended and I felt miles better. I was happily walking to and from the office with no pain, training 3 or 4 days a week, with no soreness the next day even though I was working harder than ever. To top it off I had smashed my target and lost 35lbs. I went on holiday and came off the diet but committed to getting right back on it when I got home to see how far it could take me.
GOING AGAINST COMMON NONSENSE
The more I read and learnt about the diet, the more that other people told me I was an idiot or would have a heart attack, the more convinced I became that this was the perfect diet for me and something I could stick to longer term. I was still loving the food and loving the results.
WEIGHT DOWN, STRENGTH UP
In the past when I lost weight, as the weight came down, so did the strength. This time I was getting stronger and stronger. I even started to run on the treadmill. For anyone that knows me or played football with me will say, I hate running and I am lazy but I wanted to prove I could do it and run for 5km without stopping.
By the end of August I had been on the diet for 5 months and people were commenting on my appearance all the time. The comments made are what sparked the idea for this blog as I was being asked all the time what I had done. The changes were drastic.
Friday 30th August 2019
The end of the five months Carnivore Diet experiment came at the end of the 3rd week of my new job. It had been a pretty stressful few weeks given the new routine and being out of the house 6am to 6pm every day. While trying to impress the new bosses and hit the ground running I had stopped training at lunch as much but was keeping up with the diet. Id given myself my birthday off but had stayed pretty consistent for the whole five months, give or take a few cheat meals when hitting milestones plus my week off in May.
I had also booked a blood test on the advice of a former colleague who was concerned that I was killing myself. Either that or he wanted to be proven right that meat is evil and a plant based diet is optimal. I was due a blood test anyway and found my old results from the previous two years: both sets of results showed the start of problems that would either see me on medication before I am 35 or face being a heart attack risk. Pre-hypertension, pre-diabetes, low HDL, high triglycerides. It was pretty grim reading that back now that I was feeling so much better about myself. I had the blood test in June so the results may well be better now but I will retest them in the 2020 when I hit my end target.
The final weigh-in
Tracking the results each week gets addictive when you are improving week on week, so I knew I had done pretty well and it was the final push to hit the 5 stones mark. I knew that if I saw 90.3kg or lower on the scale then I had done it. I got on, held my breath and saw it flash up. 90.1kg. Get in.
Results in full
Weight 90.1kg/ 14 Stones 3lbs
Weight lost – 31.9kg/5 stones
Waist – 20cm lost
Chest – 12cm lost
Stomach – 23cm lost
T Shirt size XXL to L
Jeans – 42 inch waist to 34 inch waist
From unable to walk for 10 mins to 5km in 27 minutes 58 seconds
Bench Press – 75% body weight 8 reps to 101% body weight 8 reps
Blood Pressure – Pre-hypertension to ideal
Blood Sugar – Pre-diabetic to ideal
Cholesterol – Low HDL, High LDL, High Triglycerides to ideal HDL, High LDL, Low Triglycerides