The “5 Weeks To Fitness” Goal

Welcome to 5 Weeks To Fitness. Read about my personal goal to drop 10lbs, hit 12% body fat, and run a sub 22 min 5k in 5 weeks.

Image of 2 men running on a mountain trail for article titled 5 weeks to fitness: The goal

Photo by David Marcu on Unsplash

Welcome to 5 Weeks To Fitness. Read about my personal goal to drop 10lbs, hit 12% body fat, and run a sub 22 min 5k in 5 weeks.

I was away on holiday for the last couple of weeks with my family, and I felt uncomfortable. I had put on a few pounds and was carrying an unwelcome guest in the form of extra poundage around my waistline.

I didn’t want to go swimming so I made excuses and I missed out on fun with my kids. I was self-conscious almost all the time. You see, in my mind, the me I am supposed to be is fit and trim, not fat and out of shape. But for one reason or another, I haven’t been living that idea. I have been fooling myself, ignoring the reality of my food and exercise choices.

Then I saw a picture my wife took of me in my wetsuit, and I was brought to the realisation of which I was already aware but chose to ignore; I was a fatty. I had now joined the ranks of 40-somethings who had lost their fitness mojo and resigned themselves to the inevitable effects of “getting older”.

Some call it the middle-age spread. I call it lazy.

In general population terms, I’m probably not in bad shape. But in Larry Maguire terms, I am in bad shape. I’ve let my intensity drop wholesale, and it is showing in my physical appearance. Interestingly, I can still get out and run a 10k albeit much slower than I used to.

Anyway, when I considered that photo of me in my wetsuit, I thought to myself; hold on, I’m a six-pack bloke, I always have been a six-pack bloke. Now I’m carrying a twelve-pack! I’ve got to sort this out once and for all.

The Fitness Goal

I write about the psychology of human performance and meanwhile, there I am, performing with respect to my health and fitness to pretty mediocre standards.

So I decided yesterday that I would take appropriate action and get back in shape — to make a commitment. The best way I have found to make oneself follow through on a commitment is to make it public, to make myself accountable by putting it out there. So that’s what this is.

5 Weeks To Fitness is where I will be documenting my progress and sharing everything I’m doing to hit my target. Here’s what that target looks like in absolute terms;

I am 45 years old on the 26th of September 2019, so I have picked that date as my celebration day. The real term of this process is 5 weeks starting today, Sunday 18th August. During this period, I will undertake several commitments to meet my linear target.

Start Date: Sunday 18th August

Finish Date: Monday 23rd September

THE TARGET: In 5 weeks I intend to drop 10 lbs, reduce body fat percentage to 12%, and run a sub 22 minute 5k.

The State of Play

Here’s where I am currently in terms of personal stats and fitness level.

  • Weight: 198 pounds (90kg).

  • Body fat percentage: 16%.

  • Height: 5'10" (1.78m)

  • Body Mass Index (BMI): 28.41 (I’m in the overweight bracket 25 to 29.9)

  • I can run a 10k in about 50 mins comfortably

  • I can run a 5k in about 27 mins comfortably

  • 1 RM squat 120kg (tested Dec ‘18)

The Regime

The training and diet regime is brutal, I realise this. But if I am to hit my goal it must be challenging. Besides, I have always pushed myself hard and I know I can achieve it. In fact, making it public makes it all the more achievable.

The Diet

My diet over the coming five weeks will essentially be Paleo based. Eating paleo has a tendency to bring the body into ketosis which speeds up fat loss. I’m not a nutritionist and I don’t recommend you take on this diet unless you’ve had the all-clear from a doctor. The ketogenic diet can have adverse effects on diabetics and other diet-related sufferers.

My diet will essentially rule out carbohydrate in the form of flour-based products, rice and other sugary based foods. Processed foods will also be ruled out. I will be eating fruit, vegetables, nuts and lean meat. Dairy is also ruled out, however, I will allow myself milk in my coffee.

The Exercise

I have prepared a 35-day exercise plan with checkboxes which I will tick off when an element is complete. It consists of a daily strength session which should take about 15 mins, then run sessions on Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. Sunday will be a heavy lifting session.

The training will be difficult to fit in given that I’m working, managing kids, and writing daily. So I will need to be economical with my time. College starts soon too, but most of the hard work will be done by then.

The Progress Record Sheet & Other Documents

I’m documenting my progress along the way and you can access all this information for free. I’ll be going Ketogenic and the basis for this diet in paleo. Here’s some of what I’ll be sharing;

Daily Reports

Today was Day 0 and I chose to make it a fast day. In other words, I have consumed no food today, only apple cider vinegar diluted in water, and cups of strong coffee. By tomorrow morning I will have fasted for 36 hours.

According to Dr. Stephanie Estima here on Medium, fasting is one of the best ways to lose weight.

Temporarily restricting the food you consume has wonderful benefits to the way our brains work, the way our hormones balance, and our ability to use fat stores on the body — Stephanie Estima

I’ll go with her advice until I prove through experiment that it doesn’t work.

Every day I’ll share with you my weight loss, body fat percentage, how training went for me, and the challenges I encounter on the way to my target.

So that’s all I’ve got for now.

Follow 5 Weeks To Fitness to get my daily updates.

Thanks for taking the time to read my stuff. Every morning you’ll find me sharing a new thought on life, art, work, creativity, the self and the nature of reality on The Reflectionist. I also write regularly on The Creative Mind. If you like what I’m creating, join my email list to receive the weekly Sunday Letters

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