I gained weight (fat) on purpose and this is what I learned – amREADY Experiment Results
I created amREADY to empower people to be healthier and happier by providing information and support. One of the areas I’ve had the most questions, observed the most confusion, and seen the greatest struggle is with weight gain. (SEE the INFOGRAPHIC and LINKS below)
I’m not talking about packing on solid muscle, but that question comes up a lot too. No, I’m talking about getting fat and questions about how to slim down. Sometimes people want to know what exercises to do, sometimes they want to know what to eat, or not eat, but most often it is a mix of both. They want to ‘get in shape’.
What is the RIGHT answer?
There is no shortage of confusing and contradictory information on this topic. People want easy solutions, and sometimes they are willing to spend a lot of money for a hack or system. More times than not, these schemes produce some temporary results and the person goes right back to where they were before – or worse.
Excess fat and lack of exercise is an almost global epidemic. The avoidable death, loss of functional life, loss of life enjoyment, health related costs, increased levels of disease – BY ANY MEASURE – it is one of the greatest modern challenges we currently face. It can be treated using fairly simple methods. But it is one of the hardest, most frustrating, persistent and confusing problems to solve. amREADY was founded to help people and true to its founding principles, I am here to help.
And help I have. I have had almost a million views of the health and fitness related content. (which blows me away and is truly humbling by the way). And frankly, I am only getting started. Which brings me to this experiment. I found I simply couldn’t relate to a wide array of questions about diet, weight loss, and fitness. I’ve been active and fairly slim and ‘in shape’ my whole life. I simply didn’t understand – or at least not enough to help as well as I wanted.
I didn’t have a beginners mind. I didn’t know what it felt like to be fat, or feel the emotions that went with that. I couldn’t remember what it felt like to be weak or how hard it was to start an exercise program when you are out of shape. So I literally did it to myself. I gained over 15 lbs of fat. It is probably closer to 20 because I lost about 5 lbs. of muscle. Some people have been throwing around the term ‘Quarantine 15’ to acknowledge the extra weight many have put on due to more snacking, emotional eating, drinking, and less exercise.
This is really important: My intent is good. I am trying to learn how to help people be healthier and happier. I am not making light of people struggling with weight loss. Or toying with the impacts that Covid has had on mental or physical health, including gym closures, reduced mobility, etc. In fact, quite the opposite. I truly want to help.
The other important point is that I am very fortunate. I don’t have significant health limitations, I have the means to purchase quality food and exercise equipment. I’ve been lucky enough to be active my entire life, and I realize that putting on some extra weight and losing some strength and fitness is simply not at all the same as the health or fitness challenges that you might have.
I can’t stress these points enough. This ‘experiment’ isn’t scientific and it might not apply to you at all. I am not a health care professional and you should seek yours out for specific advice relevant for your own unique situation. That said, if you learn anything, find this interesting, or motivating, then that is simply awesome. Besides – I’m only half done. I need to lose the weight again and get back in shape.
I have to be really honest. I thought this would be easier than it was. And at first, it was – I enjoyed less time ‘wasted’ exercising and less soreness as a result. However, as time went on, the difficulty increased much more than I expected. (see #3 and #9 below).
The other thing I did was that I tried different combinations of eating and exercise types to see what halted and reversed the slow, steady weight gain. I found this particularly interesting and you might too.
As I mentioned, now it is time for me to switch to the second half of the experiment. As I approach my mid-50’s, I’ve heard many people ask me how they can lose weight to get in shape when they are ‘old’ (like me). Uh, I can hear you! Well, we’ll just have to see. I am not lying when I say I literally can’t wait!
I’ve found that there is a gap between sound research, solid evidence and what people know or do. That gap is an opportunity to make the world a bit better place. It isn’t an easy gap to fill. Providing information that is practical, relatable, actionable, and that will achieve lasting results is really challenging.
It is for this reason I’ve conducted a series of ‘experiments’ to better my understanding. These ‘experiments’ are designed to help me build on my knowledge and previous experience so that share it in a way that is simple and practical for people to understand and implement.
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