cipro prostate inflammation

Getting Slowly Fatter…. Enough Already!

Time for some reflection now that summer approaches,

Time for a quick test to be done in the privacy of your own home or in a convenient Marks and Spencer’s, strip off to your undergarments (like that word) and stand in front of a full length mirror.

Have you done it? Tip if you have no full length mirrors at home and hide away from mirrors then there may be an issue that you need resolving about body image…. but hey let’s not go there right now, maybe later.

How do you shape up compared to a year ago?……

Now before you answer please take a moment to consider that after a certain age our bodies will run lower on certain hormones and will start to decline if we give it half a chance.

muscle weighs more than fatThis means that if you do not think about what is going into it (good nutrition, clean water, good air) and think about how it is moving (through activity, that challenges it) then you have a recipe to add a few pounds of that fatty stuff and lose a pound or so of the muscly stuff (here’s what 5 pounds of each look like – yes fat takes up far more space!) every year.

This does not happen all at once though, oh no. It happens in tiny increments day after day so you don’t really notice it. The same is reversed when you start eating right and exercising, it happens in increments and is hard to notice sometimes day by day, but a year later rolls by (rolls is the pun word in some cases) and the transformations happen.

Bottom line is have you fallen victim to time and nature, or have you taken nature by the horns and showed it who is the boss?

Which are you? Let me give this all some perspective….

My story is the former. Let’s go back to only six month ago. I went in to see my good buddy and one of the nations top nutritionists (in my opinion) to have a body fat and bio-signature measurement, see what that is HERE. I had been eating really well at the time and felt great as a result. My training was spot on and I wanted to see where I could take my body fat naturally.

Here are my results from that day (chart below). The results were 4.1% body fat. Callipers measure 13 points on the body and the composition is measured from an equation of these. It’s the lowest Steve had ever recorded. I worked very hard to get to this but still enjoyed cheat meals and lived. It was not as restrictive as a fitness competitor and for me it was very do-able.

CLICK ON CHART TO READ IT :-)

muscle weighs more than fat

A few weeks later I headed out to Antigua with some of my best friends to the most amazing wedding of Mel and Ben. The setting was out of  a fairytale and the food was all inclusive…. you fill the gaps (actually there were no gaps to fill, I ate so much. Picture below is Jolly Beach where we stayed, not too shabby 😉

muscle weighs more than fat

Next up came Christmas, so the gloves were off there. But hey it’s Christmas for Christmas’s sake. We’ll let that slide (sound familiar?)

January hit and I’d put on a few kilos. I said I’d start to get in shape, it was my newest New Years Resolution. I tweaked my back training and that gave me a great excuse to slack off, as I was injured. My back was injured, not my legs…. but I used the back injury as an excuse to not train my whole body. I’m clever like that and justify things to myself as I see fit. The lazy bastard within me likes to take control when he sees an opening and this was his in!

A few months passed and it was time for America and a fitness convention (see pic below with some of the UK connection. Dave, JJ, myself and Gav). I can see how people get so massive in America. Steak and eggs… no problem, cheeky side of buttermilk pancakes, sure thing…. what you can’t finish that french toast, let me help you…. oh and here’s your fourth free refill of nuclear powered rocket fuel filter coffee…. but i had no fries 😉

Flash fried shrimp…. I said to the waitress; “Isn’t flash fried a fancy name for deep friend?”, she responded, errr no it’s flash fried. The lazy bastard kicked in and justified that this clever use of marketing meant that the shrimps were not submerged in cooking oil that had been reheated and oxidised more times than I’ve done pressups. Tasted ok, but health benefits were negatory!

muscle weighs more than fat

Back from the States and Easter. Easter is snickers time…… then came Paris, which is white bread, cheese and wine time…. long story short and here is my bodyfat and bio-sig results from seeing Steve last week. A loss of 0.2 kilo muscle and 4.6 of weight overall. That equates to 9.6% total bodyfat a 5.5% rise in five months!

muscle weighs more than fat

Now some of you will say that this is still sub 10% and it’s ok… however it’s not ok. If I continued on this spiral then I’d soon be 11% then 12% and in a year or two 20%…. where does it end? The lazy bastard wins, then I weaken and the vicious circle closes and I tell everyone that I used to be in shape and look like people in magazines a few years back and the people that I say this to say; ‘Yea of course you did buddy, of course you did”.

I am 40 on june 4th. I’ve kept this kind of on the down low, but hey I am and who cares. I will be in my best shape ever in seven weeks. Now is the time to lock up that lazy bastard and get back to getting better every day, instead of worse (as we never stay the same)

HOWEVER this is easier said than done and I need a plan. That is why I saw Steve. Good intentions soon fall apart on the rocks if there is no planning involved.

I’m pretty clued up when it comes to training and nutrition, but I’m always learning and that’s where Steve came in.

Steve has a great way of listening and taking things back, rather than setting up loads of tests and supplements he listens and looks at what the underlying cause may be. We tracked down that my love of dairy has creeped in more and more of late and that I was looking bloated compared to when I say him last. My love of flat whites (strong latté coffee) has increased and a day never passes without protein powder, cottage cheese too….. time to cut out dairy to see if it has an effect, although that means more whole food and more prep time.

My work routine has changed radically in the last 6 months, with sleep suffering massively. I love Personal Training and working with some amazing people. However getting up at 5am every morning after finishing the previous night at 9pm takes it’s toll. It’s affected me and the stress from lack of sleep and not winding down before bed has dented my immune system and potentially my production of testosterone and growth hormone at the expense of extra cortisol, the stress hormone. I even wrote an article about this little deviant last year, check it out later HERE.

This is very ironic as I tell everyone to sleep enough but classically I don’t get enough myself and boy do I need it. The chink in many peoples armour is lack of sleep. Don’t expect results when sleeping less than 7 hours a night! If you have no option then catch up on weekends!!!!

Don’t go out and get smashed on a Friday and Saturday and wonder why your training is bearing no fruit! Alcohol is the enemy of fat loss and I am cutting down to one night per week (probably less, but hey we have to live and get a balance…. if I leave myself the option I probably won’t take it!!)

I am now working 4 mornings in the week so Monday is a time to really recoup and focus and I am planning my week much better!

In order to relax Steve suggested magnesium baths with Epsom Salts. Only issue there, is that I have no bath, only a shower. No worries he says, just buy some (I ordered from amazon) and use in a bucket as a foot soak in the evenings. I’ll let you know how this goes as it should help sleep and help the body recover. Interestingly enough I went to a talk by another amazing nutritionist Matt Lovell recently and he said 100% of athletes he has tested are deficient in magnesium! Baths and foot soaks are a great way to get it in.

Steve told me to focus on fish and seafood in the evening, some white meats would also be acceptable, especially turkey in the evening, he also suggested I should keep my red meat in the morning as this would supply the right amino acids for those particular times of the day. This means that some are more set up for help the body fire up and others to wind down.

Steve also recommended adding in some quality carbohydrates into my evening meal, such as sweet potato, brown rice and gluten free oats.  Back loading carbohydrates to the evening meal can be beneficial in reducing cortisol and improving mood last thing in the evening, which tends to lead to a more restful nights sleep. You may want to consider doing our 14 Day FAT FURNACE first to sensitivise your body to the carbs somewhat.

Steve also gave me a list of things I should attempt to implement in my evening routine, here is what he sent me

1.     No laptop or computer after 8pm, this includes staring at Facebook on my phone in the evening.
2.     Perform diaphragmatic breathing exercises each evening, this can be done while you are doing your Epsom salt foot soak.
3.     Avoid watching stressful TV like horror films, news and action thrillers before bed
4.     Read nonsense. That’s right Tom, re-subscribe to Heat Magazine. Seriously though try to read or watch things of little value, but allow you to shut off.
5.     Have dim lighting throughout the flat. Light can stimulate cortisol production which in turn can suppress melatonin levels.
6.     Perform static stretching. Static stretching is an effective way of lowering cortisol.

I’ve started implementing some of these already! If I can apply one or two per week over a 3-6 week period I have a much better chance of making them habit. If I try to do them all overnight, well I’ll most likely fail.

I need to up my protein from whole sources and I ordered from the legends at ATHLEAT this week, their deals on chicken are great and you get 10% if you put ultimatecity in box at checkout – result. Here is Gav modelling some of their wares.

muscle weighs more than fat

Yesterday Gav trained me and the awesome Alex O’Hanlon. He took my training to the next level as I tend to wimp out when training alone. I’ll be using Gav as my trainer from now on and other key friends to hold be accountable! the magic happens in the final 5% and if you don’t push into that zone you won’t get the best results!

I am drinking more water too. Bought a water bottle that holds a litre and will drink three a day!

Guys, the sad thing about all of this is that I already know 95% of this but I have not been applying it! This is why I am telling you and everyone I know what is going on so you keep me on the straight and narrow! Now a top nutritionist has told me to cut out dairy and sleep more I’ll do it. Now a top trainer is telling me what to do I’ll do it, now you know these things you’ll take joy in telling me to avoid certain things that that lazy bastard inside me craves!!!!

If these tweaks don’t work out then next step will be for me to go and see my doctor and attempt to get some blood work done.

An amino acid profile test will be next on list to see where I am at there. Hey this is really drilling down and it all depends where you want to take things. If you have certain foods that you are allergic to, does that not strike you as a little strange? Why are you allergic to them, it may be holding you back and it may also be stopping you from accessing the awesome nutrition in certain foods. Just a suggestion!

Here’s some background on Steve;

Steve became a Nutritionist and Functional Medicine Practitioner, firstly out of a love for the subject. He has been studying and reading about nutrition for more than 13 years now and over that time he has always been puzzled by the standard symptomatic approach to health. Not just the medical industry but also within natural medicine, people always seem to be chasing the symptoms rather than dealing with the cause. This was no more apparent when Steve’s health deteriorated around 5-6 years ago. Steve noticed his energy levels declining, immune health was compromised, hormonal health was not the same and was picking up more and more sensitivities to food. His health was at the point where he would schedule his sessions so he could go home for a sleep in the afternoon to get through the day.

Regular trips to the doctors resolved none of the issues and ended with the doctor assuming the symptoms must be in his head. Steve then began working with a Functional Medicine Practitioner he met at a conference at the Royal Society of Medicine. Using Functional Medicine principles and correct diagnostic testing they were able to pin point two digestive infections that were at the route of all of his other symptoms. After treating the Clostridium Difficile infection and H.Pylori within three months all of my other symptoms completely disappeared. No more fatigue, near all food sensitivities disappeared, immune health returned.

Steve’s results then motivated him to be trained up in Functional Medicine and Diagnostic testing, which helped complement his knowledge of nutrition.

All in all what is the point to this book I have written?

If you look in the mirror and are TRULY happy with what you see, then bravo and keep up the great work, or thank the creator for great genetics.

HOWEVER if not take control and change things as IF NOTHING CHANGES THEN THE ONLY CHANGES YOU’LL SEE WILL BE BAD ONES NEXT YEAR

Summer is coming so use it as a kick up the arse to take control. Our training ranges from between £20 to £100 a session. If you can get to the City we can help and if not we have trainers we work with all over the country and in other countries too (if you live out there outside the United Kingdom).

info@ultimatecityfitness.com is your point of call!

Check out Steve’s website for more info on him http://www.stevegranthealth.com/

Tom

[[[[UPDATE]]]]

Two weeks had passed since Steve’s initial consultation.

I decided to get a grip and set some boundaries. Dairy was out, so no more sneaky flat whites, or a splash of milk in my tea. This took a few days to deal with but soon became habit. Don’t get me wrong I missed it, and craved that flat white (strong latte) for about ten days, but soon dealt with it.

Steve had told me to cut out whey protein powder too. Now this I did find a struggle as it’s been a part of my life for years. I find a scoop of chocolate whey, a couple of scoops of organic oats and a little cinnamon a great snack on the go that gives me some well needed protein. I also see it as a treat and when I go low of sugars my body craves the sweetness of this as the body will search it’s cravings however it can :-)

I did well for ten days, BUT then I justified to myself that it was ok to restart it, as I’d noticed my body fat seemed to be lowering and my bloating had gone. Steve was not happy and told me to stop it again, so I looked elsewhere for my protein and got some Sunwarrior Raw Vegan protein which you can see the ingredients of below. It tastes ok and gives me my fix…. I cut out the oats too for now.

muscle weighs more than fat

I really missed milk chocolate for the first ten days, but that subsided after going cold turkey. I accidentally ate feta cheese at one point, which threw a spanner in cutting out dairy and it didn’t even occur to me that it was dairy until half way through the meal. Lesson learnt, and it proves that for someone that preaches about cutting things out, slip ups occur and that’s the beauty of being human (love that excuse).

I used the epsom bath salts and liked how they made me relax at night, I highly recommend them and have since sent a bag to my parents and my sister. Money well spend in my eyes. I don’t use them every night, but when I do I notice the difference. Habits can take time and keeping consistent is key, so I will focus on making it happen.

Now for a recap of Steve’s other points of which I’ll repost now and comment underneath;

1.     No laptop or computer after 8pm, this includes staring at Facebook on my phone in the evening. This is tough for me and my lifestyle. I start work early and end late and sometimes this is the only chance I get to catch up. However I have really cut down on this and I am now very conscious of if I do something it had better be important! So in conclusion I’ve cut it down by 80%!
2.     Perform diaphragmatic breathing exercises each evening, this can be done while you are doing your Epsom salt foot soak. I need to make this habit, one step at a time
3.     Avoid watching stressful TV like horror films, news and action thrillers before bed. Done
4.     Read nonsense. That’s right Tom, re-subscribe to Heat Magazine. Seriously though try to read or watch things of little value, but allow you to shut off. Heat, seriously! Well I’ve started watching cartoons before bed or funny films, which is good fun (go figure)
5.     Have dim lighting throughout the flat. Light can stimulate cortisol production which in turn can suppress melatonin levels. Conscious of this now.
6.     Perform static stretching. Static stretching is an effective way of lowering cortisol. This needs to become habit. I am foam rolling much more now!

So you can see that I have actioned most of the points and have seen results as a result in just two weeks of discipline and taking action. But what results did I get so far?

It was time to revisit Steve and get retested with the biosignature, here are the results, The initial ones from two weeks before first (to save scrolling up);

Old one on 11th April;

muscle weighs more than fat

Newest one 15 days later;

muscle weighs more than fat

Here is what Steve had to say;

“As you can see from Tom’s results, there has been a significant reduction in specific sites. I commonly see huge reductions in hamstring measurements when digestive health is improved. Tom had visually less bloating after cutting out his intake of dairy based products, hopefully this should be a short term change, so I have advised another 4 weeks off of dairy based products (including whey), then we will challenge test him against dairy foods, more on that when we get there.

Tom also had some good percentage drops off the sides of the body, commonly associated with improved carbohydrate utilisation, through good training methods and cleaner carbohydrate intake.

What would appear to be a very slight lean mass drop from 76.8k to 76.6k is actually a slightly skewed result. One of the pitfalls of the Biosignature software and body fat percentage formula is the total body fat percentage is based on the first 10 sites, so does not include the fat on the quad and hamstring. Therefore if someone drops significant amounts off the quad/hamstring sites it will actually be recorded as a lean mass drop. I would predict that Tom actually gain lean mass in that week because of the 30-40% drop off his hamstring site.

Tom has dived into the recommendations I made, hence the fantastic results, there are still some areas I need him to focus on including further improvements on his evening routine, something which I am constantly having to work on. It’s not easy to put the phone down and stop checking emails and Facebook updates!! But as I explained to Tom, if you have not replied to an email by 9pm, they are not going to expect a reply, if anything go to bed and get up 10mins earlier to do some emails then.

Tom is a great example of the power of lifestyle choices and how they can effect our results. Improved training with Gav, clean nutrition and a more healthy evening routine can obtain fantastic results in a short period. As much as Tom may credit Gav and I for his results so far, the truth is, it was him that decided enough was enough and it was Tom that took action.”

Thanks Steve.

Body Fat down 2.6% in 15 days is not bad. I now have a photo shoot booked for June 4th, my birthday with Simon Howard at SNH Foto. Here’s a pic from the last shoot we did when I was a youngster at 38

muscle weighs more than fat

[[[[UPDATE 2]]]]

So time for another update.

It was time to pass by and see top nutritionist Steve Grant again.

I’d kept off the tempting foods on the whole as I have an end goal of getting into the shape of my life for the shoot on my birthday on June 4th.

Training has been ramped up too. It’s been at a much higher intensity and consistent.

We work with many great clients and time and time again, the ones with a strong goal get the best results and then tend to keep them afterwards. This has been my strictest attempt at getting in shape and it’s been tough at times, but I write this feeling full of energy, even though I’ve eaten no carbs of note in 4 days. Crazy really.

Below are the results from Steve’s latest Biosig Test, using the Poliquin algorithm like in the past tests;

Tom D Bio 28th May

The observant of you will see that the measurements have all decreased from the charts above apart from on 2 sites. The bodyfat according to this protocol is 4.1% so just above my target of sub 4%.

Bottom line is that you’ll see that what I have been doing has been working and there is still 8 days to the shoot, from the day of this test. I’m writing this a few days after this test and I look much leaner, so i’m pretty sure I’m now in my target range.

It’s no magic bullet, it’s been focused hard work in the gym and great nutrition. I will write another post to explain how Prep Coach Grant Koch from Regenerate Wellness has given me guidance on a very strict diet for the days leading up to the shoot. I’ll give a view  of what it takes and how things like water intake and carb manipulation come into play.

I’ve been going to extremes (within safe and legal guidelines I may add) to see what is possible. Gav and I preach a lot of what I’ve been doing in our work BUT  none of this would have got started if it were not for Steve and his initial advice.

Here’s the progress in 8 weeks, and I apologise for the photo quality and realise the second shot does not have my head in, but trust me it’s me :-)

Tom UCF 8 weeks

It’s sometimes not as simple as just eating the right stuff as some of that ‘stuff’ may be causing your problems in the first place. You may have some hormonal issues, or even a parasite that is holding you back. This is where Steve comes into his own.

Steve is kindly offering UCF readers a 20% reduction on their first consultation. http://www.stevegranthealth.com/ to check out Steve’s website for more info on him and get in touch. If you have been having trouble reaching your fitness goals then Steve may well be able to unlock the door to your success.

So the shoot is in 4 days and I am 40 in 4 days. Life begins at 40, well that is my new view. I’ll post the photo proof next week.

TRAIN HARD, LIVE EASY

Tom

THE AFTERMATH!

Well I made it to 40 and life has indeed begun…. feels good and yes strangely enough it feels much the same as 39, which was pretty damn close to 38, and so on.

Feel lucky to be feeling better as the years go by and my ego fuelled drive to get into my ‘Best Shape Ever’ for the big 40 worked a treat.

So in conclusion the chart below documents the low start point (which is actually a high) then the highpoint (actually the low) and the very low point at the end where I have never been so low in my life and thus the reason that I’m on a high for hitting my GOAL… Make sense – yes clear as mud. Read the chart and it should make sense;

Biosig Nov 2012 _ June 2013

 

Here’s some pics from the 40th shoot

Screen Shot 2013-07-27 at 07.38.17

1 comment

  • […] As a fitness professional it’s all very well talking the talk, but walking the walk is so much more important. There are so many so called fat loss experts out there that are fat or physique experts that are not muscular. I was slipping down a slope towards this (well in my eyes) and thought enough was enough. See that story from 9.6% BodyFat to 4.1% BF HERE   […]

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