Tuesday, October 29, 2013

David 2.0 -- The Bulkening

Back in December of 2004 I weighed 230 lbs. I had always been a skinny kid in life, staying that way up to and straight through college. The genes were in my family, after all. But then I started working for a living, and that 9-5 lifestyle wreaked havoc on my eating habits. From 1998 to the end of 2004 I had really let myself go.

Then, inevitably, I had a health scare in early 2005 at the age of 28, and completely changed my life around. I was dead serious about it all, too, as chronicled here on the Bimillennial Man in this 5-part series. Many of you already know the story. I lost a total of 62 lbs by September of that same year, weighing in at 168! A weight I had not been since my early years in college.

Recently a family member thought it wise to attempt to school me in proper protein intake. See, I now weigh 188 lbs. But it's not what you think! That there is 20 lbs of muscle I've put on--and relatively recently! As in the past 2 years, recent. And the way I did it was by lots of carefully planned exercises, and of course by properly monitoring my nutritional intake. Key among this was keeping track of my protein intake. I changed my diet for possibly the fifth time in as many years (it's a constantly evolving/revolving engagement, eating healthy) and really made sure I was getting a lot of protein the healthy way. Protein that would fuel those workouts of mine.

You be the judge of the results I achieved (click on the pics for larger versions):

168 pounds, versus ...

... 188 pounds. Fight!

The first pic was taken back in October 2005 when I was only 29; while the one at the waterfall was nearly 8 years later at age 36 (almost 37), taken this past July. Now, even though I am 20 lbs heavier in that second pic -- do I look it? Do I look like I let myself go? No. And yet, I'm 188 lbs there. How? And could I get bigger? The short answer to the last is: no. See, I wasn't trying to bulk up. I didn't want to look like a roid head, or even a bodybuilder or bouncer. No, all I wanted was a lean, healthy look. A slim but powerful build, if you will. I valued running and other aerobic exercises more, after all, than just lifting weights like most guys are obsessed with. But yet, I couldn't deny the health benefits of having more muscle than fat on one's body. The cardiovascular benefits alone were worth it. But in my case, it also provided for a faster metabolism and more efficient sugar absorption by my cells.

And it worked! My blood results when I see the doctor don't lie! But this family member decided to tell me that taking too much protein is not good for you. I told her that I monitor my levels very closely with both a calorie tracker and nutritional index app on my phone, which I use to log every single meal I eat during the day and break down the numbers for me. I know the formula by which a man translates his body weight into the total grams of protein he should be ingesting while keeping to a regular workout routine. I know all these things, and have been taking care of my body for 8 years now.

So when people like my well-meaning family member try to give me advice on something I already know a lot about, and have been doing for years, I say: thanks, but no thanks. I got this. You do you, and I'll do me. I've been my own best advocate for as long as I can remember.

How about you? Do you have any well intentioned nosy bodies in your family? You love them, don't ya? But sometimes you just wish they'd mind their beeswax, amirite?


  1. You look awesome, friend! Very proud of you!!! :) Ugh! I have family nosies that feel the need to scold or give unsolicited advice to me any chance they get. Oddly, I never get any praise from them. Meh. I love them to pieces but I can't stand them sometimes. :)

  2. Wow! Great job!

    I struggle with my weight...and I'm not as diligent as you. I tried eating high protein but it's hard for me. I used to be a vegetarian...still not a huge meat eater...but I do eat it.

    So, I tried a lot of Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. Found out I have a sensitivity to too much milk ;D Not so easy. But I run and stay active. And my sis and I always bug each other...on purpose.

  3. Yvonne -- LOL! I know what you mean. :)

    Kim -- Yeah, I eat Greek yogurt, too. Great source of protein! As well as beef jerky from Trader Joe's, which is lean and virtually no fat, but very high in protein. Then there's protein shakes I take before and after a workout. Finally, chicken breasts or salmon for dinner, which are both excellent sources as well. Eating a high protein, low fat diet is such a great way to replace fat with muscle, when used in conjunction with a reasonable exercise plan.

  4. Btw, if you haven't noticed by now ... blue is my favorite color. :)

  5. I think your arms might need some work! ;) LOL. You did an amazing job getting healthy and fit. Congrats and keep up the good work. I have been lax about my walks around the park but I did return to figure skating. So that should keep me fit and flexible but Oksana Baiul I'l never be. Gold medal only in my dreams. :)

  6. You and your old woman references, Cin. LOL! I kid, I kid. I know she's your age. But, that's okay. I'm sure you're a gold medal winner in other ways. Haha!


Panama Trip - Day 1: Here There Be Balboas!

In late May, 2017 I embarked on a trip of a lifetime. A trip to Panama's steamy tropical province, Bocas del Toro. Now, before 2017 ...