FFL 039: How I Got Serious About My Health And Lost Twenty Pounds In Two Months

Poscast How I...

So I want to get right into the show, and in this podcast I want to talk about how I got serious about my health, and how I lost 20 pounds in two months. So I’m going to start with this story: about 3 years ago I was super focused on my health and fitness and nutrition. And I found a program called P90X. Now, for those of you guys who are familiar with it, you know what I’m talking about. A guy named Tony Horten does it. It’s basically a 50-60 minute session that you press play on a DVD, you watch it, you do the exercises, you can do it straight at home. And it gives you amazing results. So I did that 3 years ago and I experienced amazing results, it was awesome, it was great.

Now, since that time, things changed a little bit and this year, at the beginning and kind of towards the tail end, or the middle of the year, I pretty much wasn’t really at my fitness game the way I should be. And so, I’ll never forget what happened about 3 months ago. I was walking into a meeting and somebody saw me who saw me 3 years ago. Basically, they saw me at the peak of me doing P90X. And I was fit as a fiddle, looking awesome, and when they saw me, this person, 3 months ago, they exclaimed… I mean, this is not a joke. This is what they told me. They looked at me and they were like: Wow, Bogdan, you gained so much weight! And this person wasn’t trying to be mean, they were just basically being honest. And you know what? I needed that. I needed a swift kick of honesty to be dropped on me.

After that person said that, I was at first thinking: I wonder why they’re saying that? And then I remembered that when they saw me 3 years ago, all I was eating was little snacks here and there and pretty much working out every single day. So I was like ‘Wow! Things did change!’ and I knew I got a little bit heavier, but I did not think it was that noticeable. So anyway, it was. And I thought to myself – you know what? There needs to come a point in my life where I make a radical change. Not just go on a fad diet, not just do things that are basically 3-4 months in and then stop doing it. No, I want to do a completely different lifestyle change. And 3 months ago, I was feeling sluggish, I was feeling tired, worn-out and I know the reason. It was because I was eating like junk. I was eating too much processed food, I was eating late at night, I was eating things that were not giving me energy or the things took energy away from me.

So what I did was, I decided to get serious about my health and about my nutrition. And I was able to lose 20 pounds in 2 months. Now, this was done with no ridiculous diets, no meal plans, no frozen dinners, and no lean cuisine – none of that stuff. And it cost me absolutely nothing in gym fees or membership fees. So in this podcast, I’m about to tell you exactly what I did and how I did it. And my goal with this is, I hope it inspires you. If you’re looking for a radical change in your life, this is your wakeup call to just go and do it. Now, keep in mind, if you don’t agree with things I say in this podcast, or you think gyms are awesome, or you lost a bunch of weight using shakes, meal plans or another program – that is completely cool. Whatever works for you, that’s just not me! So I’m going to tell you about my story, and what I did, what I was able to accomplish in the last 2 months with hopes of inspiring you to do the same.

Now, keep in mind: I’m not a health expert; I’m not a nutritional expert; I’m not a medical doctor. I’m just a simple guy who decided to change his life. So let’s begin.

Spiritual: I want to talk first about the spiritual part of it. And when we read the Bible, Proverbs 25:28 says this: A man without self-control is like a city broken in two and left without walls. Another version says it like this: Like a city that is broken in two and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit. Jesus constantly talked about self-denial. And I believe that going through a radical lifestyle change is all about self-denial, it’s about self-control. And I think the problem we have in America, we don’t have a problem of what to eat, we have a problem of what not to eat. And I believe if you become disciplined in one area of your life, this will inevitably impact every other area.

The Food Philosophy: So I have a food philosophy, and here it is: the food culture in the US, it’s positioned strategically to make you overweight, sick and nearly dead. And this is not a new thing that I’m telling you because there’s been countless documentaries made about this. There are places where people live that are food islands, that don’t provide any healthy food and all it is, is fast-foods. There’s chemicals in food that have been proven that they make you feel hungry. There’s a reason why after you eat pizza or you eat Taco Bell or whatever else, you feel literally hungry 30 minutes later. It’s because they’re chemically designed to make you feel hungry. It’s food that basically rents space in your body for a very short period of time.

And when we talk about grocery stores, it’s 90% of grocery stores are filled with processed foods and the problem is the only healthy items in grocery stores are on the periphery. Have you ever noticed that? Think of the last time that you walked into a grocery store. Immediately, there’s rows and rows and rows of processed food; however all the veggies, all the meats, all the proteins, all the healthy stuff is on the periphery. A grocery is made up of 90% unhealthy food, 10% healthy food. Again, strategically designed to make you unhealthy. Not only that, but healthy food is very expensive. If you ever shopped at Whole Foods for example, I don’t know where you’re listening from, so in California, in Southern California we have Whole Foods. I think there’s a few in Washington as well. Whole Foods is incredibly expensive, because they do sell a lot of healthy food. And so, basically, in America, it has become more expensive to eat healthy food. I can either go to a fast-food restaurant, buy 10 burgers for $10, or I can go to a grocery store and barely buy 1 avocado for $10. Now, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit, but you understand my point.

So we have these organic, grass-fed, farmer-aced foods that are incredibly more expensive than your average run-of-the-mill food that’s not going to be as healthy. And basically, here is what I did. This is what my diet consisted of in the last 2 months. And I’m not going to call it a diet, because it’s not. It’s a lifestyle change. And so my wife and I radically changed the way we consumed food. We basically cleaned out our entire pantry, our fridge and dumped all the junk from there. And honestly, in this podcast, it’s easier for me to tell you what I eat instead of what I don’t eat. Because what I do eat, that list is very short and what I don’t eat is practically everything else.

What My Diet Looks Like: Basically, my diet consists of protein, such as chicken or fish, and basic vegetables. Steamed vegetables or just basic salad. Sometimes I will eat Chipotle. I believe that out of all the fast-food choices, Chipotle is the healthiest one. You just get basically a salad with meat in it and never with the tortilla. I always, 100% leave it out, it’s super clean. And so, I have a food philosophy that if it doesn’t have a mother, or if it did not come from the ground, I’m not going to eat it. So basically, my diet has been completely reduced to exclusively protein and vegetables.

What My Liquid Intake Looks Like: In regarding liquid intake, I only drink 3 things: water, about 3 liters a day which is just under a gallon; sometimes I will drink a full gallon a day. I drink Perrier or Pellegrino mineral water and, of course, coffee. And I don’t drink any of those sugary coffee drinks, none of those Frappuccino’s, white chocolate mochas – nothing of that sort. Just straight expresso with milk. That’s basically it. So that’s pretty much been my diet. It literally can fit in one sentence what I’ve been eating and I feel amazing! I feel great! More on that in just a moment.

What My Eating Schedule Looks Like: Now, some of you might be wondering what’s my eating schedule? I eat twice a day. Once around 2 PM and once around 6 PM. Then, I don’t eat after 8 PM at all, ever. And I don’t eat until 2 PM the very next day. Now, some of you are wondering: Wow, this is blasphemy! How can you not do breakfast? It’s the most important meal of the day! In fact, I would say breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. And the fact that we have believed this for such a long time has been the biggest myth. Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. I have not eaten breakfast in the last 2 and a half months and I feel absolutely amazing! And what this is, is called intermittent fasting. And intermittent fasting actually bolsters your brain power, and if you’ve never heard of intermittent fasting, it’s because it’s not mainstream yet. But it’s going to become mainstream very, very soon.

Intermittent Fasting: Now, why does intermittent fasting work for me? It works with my schedule, so I don’t have to worry about having 8 small meals throughout the day. So basically, what happens is my body is in a fasted or non-fed state for about 18 hours. And once I week, I do a 24 hour fast; and this is basically what it typically looks like. So, I will eat a dinner on Sunday night, at around 6 PM. Then I won’t eat until Monday at 6 PM, which basically gives me a 24 hour time period when I’m fasting. Now, when I’m not doing a 24 hour fast, when it’s just my everyday diet, here’s basically how it looks like: I’ll wake up in the morning, I’ll have my double shot expresso, I’ll have a few bottles of water and I don’t eat my first meal, I don’t intake any food at all until about 2 PM. Now, when I intake food at 2 PM, my body has been in a fasted state for about 16-17 hours because, keep in mind, I have not been taking in any food since 7 PM or 8 PM the night before.

And so, I’ll eat at 2 o’clock. Usually it’s the same thing pretty much every single day: it’s going to be a small portion of veggies and it’s going to be protein. Whether it’s meat, chicken or fish. Then, I will usually do a workout – 40 to 50 minutes, sometimes 60 minute workout, and then I’ll have dinner around 6 or 6:30 PM and again, the dinner will be similar. It’s going to be veggies, and it’s going to be meat. And that’s it! So once 7 o’clock hits or once 8 o’clock hits, I do not eat until the very next day.

Are You Crazy? Some of you are listening to this and you’re saying: It’s crazy! How are you not able to eat? Honestly speaking, the culture in which we live in, the mass-media, the marketing from food companies, they make us think that we have to be eating all the time, because of course, it’s what they want us to do. Why? Because they’re going to make more money and we’re going to buy more hot pockets, and we’re going to buy more string cheese and we’re going to buy more of this stuff that they’re trying to sell to us through commercials, through marketing in grocery stores and here’s the thing. For thousands of years people did not eat like the way that we eat. If you think back to caveman days, people basically ate when they were able to go hunting. If you don’t hunt, you don’t eat. So basically, the men would go out and hunt, right? They would bring back food for the family to eat. Now, what would happen if the people went out and they hunted for food, and they didn’t catch anything? That means that the family did not eat for 3-4-5 days! So the intermittent fasting, not eating for 16 or 17 hours a day and having your body in a fasted state for that long of a time, it’s actually very, very normal. The problem is we’ve just been conditioned to think the opposite way.

So when we talk about, in the New Testament, Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days and we know that even though he got hungry, he did not eat anything! Now, the Bible is silent on whether he drank water or not, but it is proven that humans can survive for 40 days without water. So I would venture to say that Jesus did not drink water. And like I said before, culture has dictated to us that we need to us. It’s marketing companies, they’re doing this so they could make more money and honestly, if you were to go shopping with my wife and I and you would look into our grocery cart, you would see how simple it is. It’s super, super simple.

That’s basically what my eating regiment looks like and what I eat. And keep in mind, once I’m talking about this, I would love to tell you anything you would want to know about this, about intermittent fasting, so if you have questions, please hit me up on any social media. I’ll answer for you, I want to inspire you with this as well. I wish somebody would’ve told me about this earlier. Now, what does my exercise look like? If you’ve followed my content, Fuel for Life for some time, you know I’m a big fan of P90X. It’s pretty much what I do. I do a P90X session 4 times a week and twice a week I’ll run 2 miles. And here’s my personal opinion: so if you do this, don’t get offended. I love you still. It’s just not for me. I think gyms are a waste of time and they’re a waste of money. I think classes that people take, that people pay money to, to lose weight, they’re also a waste of money. I’ve done all of that and I found that for my wife and I, personally for us, P90X works the best. It just works the best.

Don’t Buy Into The Gimmicks: Now, I want to warn you: don’t buy into the gimmicks. The fitness industry is massive, and I want to tell you that you don’t have to spend a dime of your hard-earned money on all the gimmicks. And one thing that I did which was horrible in terms of the result, because actually it resulted in nothing, there was a fitness gym next to my house. And basically, you pay for a session, you go in there, you exercise for like 60 minutes and you have an instructor, you do different sessions, you do different stations and then your heartrate monitor is up in the screen and you kind of compete against other people. I did that, and the thing is it provided so little variance that I didn’t even get any result. And to boot, I paid money for that. And another thing that they did to scam you for your money is basically, they said: If you register for a class and you don’t show up, they’re going to deduct the cost of the class from you, which is horrible. So one time I didn’t make it and I had to pay money for pretty much nothing. Well, somebody made money off of me, I didn’t – that’s why P90X, I do it on my own time. When I want you, how I want you and I just press Play. So it works for me. Now keep in mind – a lot of you listening, you love gyms. You go there, you workout, you bulk up, you’re part of this whole generation – that’s completely fine. I’m just telling you from my perspective that P90X works for me, it’s the best thing for me.

More Fitness Gimmicks: Now, besides gyms and different classes that are a complete scam, the other thing that the fitness industry wants you to do is that they want to help you track your calories and track your steps. And what they offer is a bunch of different fitness watches. Now, I also found out that these were a complete gimmick. Now, keep in mind, if you use one of these fitness watches, awesome! More power to you! Maybe it’s something that you need to do. However, for me, I was not happy at all with them. So I had a Fit Bit Charge HR and a Fit Bit Surge. Now, if you know what Fit Bit is, you know exactly what model names I said to you. That was the medium-based model, the Charge HR and the higher-end model, the Fit Bit Surge. And I’ve also had the Apple Watch. Now, all these things are really cool, but here’s the thing, friends. If you’re not actually going to put in the work, those things are useless. Like if you’re not actually going to eat healthy, if you’re not going to continuously put junk in your body but you’re wearing a Fit Bit or you’re wearing an Apple Watch, it’s not going to help you. It’s going to function as a placebo effect.

Now, I will have to admit those things were fun. Once I were my Fit Bit while I was preaching and it told me that I burned like 220 calories in 30 minutes. Okay, that’s really cool but that’s not real information that will get me anywhere. And keep in mind, this is coming from a numbers guy. I love data, I love analyzing data, spreadsheets, graphs – but if you’re not going to eat healthy, which is literally 80% or more of where your success comes from, then don’t bother spending money on these gimmicks. They don’t do anything. It’s like somebody buying a treadmill, putting it in their garage and never using it, or dumbbells, putting them in the garage and never lifting them. If you’re going to work out, if you’re going to eat clean, it needs to be a lifestyle change. You’ll be fit and healthy and you will lose weight, regardless of whether you know that you burned 400 calories during that workout or not. So when I go out in the morning for my 2 mile run, I know I’m going to burn calories. So whether a Fit Bit tells me I’m going to burn calories, or it doesn’t tell me, it’s going to happen either way. It’s just another thing on my wrist trying to vie for my attention when I have a bunch of other gadgets and things that are already vying for my attention.

Now, the other gimmick is, I believe, is inputting how many calories you are consuming into your phone. Like I’ve literally witnessed people sitting down at dinner and for 30 minutes, fumbling with their phone and putting in how many calories they’re consuming. Honestly, that takes so much time, so much effort and I believe it’s going to lead to frustration more than any success or more than any results. You have to understand your body, you have to understand the rhythm and you have to get into the rhythm and then, eating healthy, working out and having a lifestyle that’s very healthy and fit, it’s going to become like second nature.

Tips, Tricks And Hacks: By this time in the podcast, I hope I’ve inspired you. Maybe you’re fit as a fiddle. Maybe you’re amazing. Maybe you can teach everybody Fuel for Life community. Maybe many amazing things, but maybe not. Maybe you’re looking for some tips, tricks and hacks. And I’ve learned a few things along my short two month journey that I believe will help you achieve your fitness goals. Now first, here’s what I’m going to say: if you do this particular lifestyle change, if you say: You know what? I’m going to do intermittent fasting, I’m going to eat clean, I’m going to eat twice a day, I’m not going to eat after 8 PM, I’m not going to just intake water, mineral water, coffee and I’m going to eat super clean, no junk, no sugary drinks, none of that horrible, nasty, icky stuff – you’re bound to run into some challenges. Okay? And here’s the thing: intermittent fasting, when you first start doing it, it puts your body into a fasted state for a very long time. Probably longer than you’ve ever been before. Here’s how you survive, here’s how I survived.

The first thing is I drink mineral water between my fasting times. So I’ll get up, have my coffee, have my water. Around 10 or 11 AM I’ll drink some Pellegrino or some Perrier mineral water. Then I’ll have my lunch, after lunch I’ll drink some mineral water again. I’ll have my workout, I’ll have dinner and then after 8 o’clock I’m not eating anymore because I’m intermittently fasting, plus I’m not really hungry. And if I do get hungry, when I drink mineral water, it makes me feel full because of the bubbles and basically you’re good to go. That kind of quenches your hunger. Because your body doesn’t actually need as much food as you think it does. So for me, here are my 3 saviors during times that I get super hungry. So the first one is I drink mineral water throughout the day. The second thing is, I’m a huge chocolate fan. I love chocolate so much and so I obviously I can’t eliminate that. And that’s the other thing I wanted to say.

When we talk about intermittent fasting and it’s a lifestyle change, it’s not saying you’re never going to have any more of your favorite foods. It’s not saying you’re never going to have a piece of chocolate, it’s not saying you’re never going to have fries, or a burger, pizza, pasta – it’s just having those things in moderation. That you’re not eating pasta and burgers for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So besides mineral water, because I’m a huge chocolate lover, I love the chocolates – they’re called Green and Blacks, I think they’re out of the UK. That’s the brand. And so basically, I’ll stock up on those and if it’s 8, 9, 10 PM at night, I get super hungry, I get the munchies, what I call them, I’ll have one or two squares of chocolate with some mineral water. And it’s amazing – I feel full, I don’t need to eat. So that’s what I do.

Another thing is a brand of chips called Pop Chips. These things are amazing, they’re super low calorie and they’ll fill you up super fast. So get a bunch of different flavors with those if you’re supper hungry, you’re doing this, it’s late at night – throw in a couple of chips, a couple of chocolates and you’re good to go. And now you’re thinking: Oh my goodness! This guy’s crazy! He’s eating chocolates and he’s eating chips and he lost 20 pounds in 2 months? Yeah! And it works!

The crazy part is that when I shared this with a friend recently, he said: You know what? It took me like almost a year to lose this amount of weight. And so, this is how powerful I think intermittent fasting is. So that’s what I recommend. So Pop Chips, Green Blacks chocolates and mineral water. Those are kind of like things that will help you through. Now, the other thing that’s very important to know is a thing called calorie cycling, or zig zag dieting. Now, here’s what happens. Your body is highly intelligent. I still can’t believe that there are atheists out there who don’t believe in God. I mean, I don’t understand how, when you look at the human body, but I digress, this is for another podcast. So when we being to eat less and you being to eat clean, your body will require less food. So what might happen to you is you might hit a plateau with your fitness goals and your metabolism will slow down. Here’s how I hacked the system: once a week I will have a cheap meal, and I call this calorie cycling or carb loading. And I’ve shared this before on my Snapchat. By the way, if you’re not following me on Snapchat, just search for my name and add me. And you can see highly exciting life: drinking coffee and mineral water and being sad with my salad and chicken. And it’s funny because I was traveling a few weeks ago and one of my friends, when we met up for dinner, he’s like: Hey, so is it calorie cycling day? So they kind of see what it looks like.

Calorie Cycling: So here’s how calorie cycling looks for me: one night a week, I’ll eat a huge burger. I’m a big burger fan, like honestly, before I started intermittent fasting, I did a burger once every other day. Now it’s once a week. So I’ll eat a huge burger, bacon, cheese on it, everything, fries, onion rings and what happens is after that meal it tricks my body into thinking I’m back to eating things that are not the healthiest for me. So this actually speeds up my metabolism. Also, when I eat this food, the intensity of the flavors is so climatic and mind-blowing that now I can sense, and smell and taste food much more clearly because I’m not eating all that junk that will mess up your sense of smell and taste and everything else. So cheat meals once a week are a great way to go, and cheat meals get you something to look forward to. And here’s the thing – there’s going to get to a point where you’re not going to want to have food that’s not healthy because your body is going to be repulsed by it.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’ll say: you know what? What about when you’re at a party or when you’re at a social gathering, or you basically live in a household where people are not going to cook food for you that is going to be to your specifications? What you can do is just choose to eat the healthiest option out of all the options that are available and you’ll be good to go. Keep in mind: I’m from the Slavic culture. We love food – all of our food has either mayonnaise or sour cream in it. And a lot of it! And I totally understand that. So when you go to a party or you go to a social gathering, choose the healthiest option. And it’s okay to have food that you love, but just don’t make it your entire meal. Remember: it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. And you’re going to be so happy that you did it!

Life Style Change: Which brings me to my next point. After you being to eat clean, you won’t want all that junk, garbage food that you used to eat before because your body will be repulsed by it. I’m going to tell you a personal story. One of my absolute favorite drinks ever was Diet Coke. I loved Diet Coke. I just loved it so much, I loved the way it would taste. And so I would go to dinner with friends and I would basically drink like 3-4 diet cokes. So when you go to dinner to a restaurant, you get free refills so I was just getting more and more diet coke. And people already knew, okay – Bogdan’s on his 3rd or 4th diet coke, means he’s had a really stressful day. That’s horrible! I would drink sometimes 12-24 ounces of diet coke a day. And now, I can’t even take a sip of it without gagging. It’s disgusting! Now, keep in mind, if you love coke, if you drink soda, whatever – that’s completely fine. I just don’t, I just don’t drink it. It’s something that I do not like, you’ll never go wrong with water, you’ll never go wrong with mineral water and most definitely you’ll never go wrong with coffee. And this is what I noticed: when I began to do intermittent fasting, when I began to completely clear my diet and everything from all these garbage junk foods, I began to have such a clarity of thought, I began to think clear. My thoughts became much richer, much deeper and I began to notice that I was a lot more alert because all these different foods were not going into my body and all of these different foods were not affecting my thinking process.

The Power Of Pattern: I mentioned before the power of pattern, and it’s basically doing the same thing over and over and over again, and that’s how you basically achieve great results. And I mentioned in blog posts before that one of the ways that I simplify my life is when I’m basically doing my business meetings or just having meetings in general, if you would see me during the weekday, you would only see me wearing two types of shirt: either it would be a white shirt, or it would be a checkered shirt. I cleared out my entire closet and just let either white or checkered shirts. Why did I do that? So I don’t have to make these decisions in the morning. The decision for me has already been made, it’s all about minimalism and I believe with food it’s the same type of thing. And if you look in my fridge, it’s very, very empty. It has mineral water, it has water, it has veggies and it has protein. And that’s all it has, and I believe we has humans can survive on that, in fact we can excel on that and I think that’s how we were created to it. But unfortunately, marketing and everything else pretty much ruined it and we’re brainwashed into thinking we don’t have to. So that’s my little rant about that.

And I love intermittent fasting because my mind is super clear. I get my best work done in my fasted state because my mind is clear and it’s not clouded by any type of food particles. So anyway, that’s what I would say. Now, keep in mind: this is a lifestyle change. And if you do decide to do intermittent fasting, don’t expect everyone around you to agree with you. In fact, I would probably venture to say that as you listen throughout this podcast, there were maybe points you didn’t agree with me on. And it’s completely okay. Not everybody’s going to be on-board with you, and that’s okay. You don’t have to convince people to get on-board with you, you have to do you. Do what works best for you. That’s what pretty much works best for me, for my wife, and that’s pretty much what we decided to do.

If you have any specific questions about any of the things we talked about, my diet, the things I eat, the things I don’t eat, what my eating schedule looks like, what my exercise schedule looks like, I mention all of these things in the podcast and I’m going to try to get this podcast transcribed into a PDF, that way if you are more of a reader than an audio listener, you can read that. But if you have any questions, still, please feel free to message me on any social media and I will respond right away. I hope this will help you and inspire you to be a self-controlled person and not allow culture or the world to dictate to you how you handle fitness and nutrition. So I’m praying for you and my God bless you in this journey.

That’s it, friends! This is the podcast where I talked about how I got serious about my health and lost 20 pounds in 2 months. And this was an amazing lifestyle change, it’s not even about the pounds being lost, it’s about the lifestyle that was changed and I feel great, I feel amazing, I feel like I can be more alert for my family, for my church, for my work – everything that I do. So it worked for me, I hope this podcast inspired you. If you have any questions, let me know and thank you so much for listening! And if you’ve listened to the Fuel for Life podcast but you’ve never left a rating or a review of the podcast, please do so on iTunes. Also, if this is a podcast that you found inspiring and you’d like someone else to listen to it, please share it with your friends, tell someone about it, share it on social media!


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