Progress So Far
It’s been almost 8 months now since I made my bet with HealthyWage and wrote my original post on the challenge. If you haven’t read that post, you may want to read that one before finishing this one to have some more info on the company and my starting point. I planned to be consistent with updating my progress here but definitely fell behind while writing about other topics. I’d imagine that some of you may be interested in how it’s been going and what my results have been to this point.
As of writing this, I have 8 days left on my challenge. I still have about two more pounds to lose, but that should be no problem as I’ve been very consistent with my diet lately. In this post I want to mainly focus on the weight loss aspect, while briefly touching on the total amount of money that I will have invested and what I will make total at the end. I plan to write a post once the bet is completely over about the total results, including weight and a more in-depth look at the finances after I’ve received the money. I am not very proud of the before pictures here, and I am disappointed that I let myself get to that point in the first place. But I am proud of the after pictures and the progress I’ve made in my physique as well as my overall health. Without further ado, here are the pictures.
The total weight difference between the two pictures is 43 pounds! The scale weight doesn’t tell the whole story though, as I’ve been able to improve my strength in all compound lifts since beginning as well. I believe that I gained at least a few pounds of muscle during the last 8 months as well, meaning that total fat lost is hopefully a little higher than the 43 pound total. Here’s a look at the compound lifts that I tracked.
- Squat: Increased 35 lbs
- Deadlift: Increased 65 lbs
- Bench Press: Increased 45 lbs
- Pull ups: 5 reps of bodyweight to start and 21 reps of bodyweight currently
I am very happy with the physique and strength improvements I’ve made. I also can’t believe how loose all of my clothes have been getting recently. Once this challenge is over, I plan to lose another 5-10 lbs before beginning adding muscle mass by continuing to lift while slowly increasing calories. Now you may be interested in what I changed in order to get to where I am now. Let’s take a look.
I didn’t do anything crazy or special with my diet. I cut out junk food and candy and reduced total carb intake. I hate to say it but there was a period where Whitney and I were making regular trips to Dollar General buying all kinds of different types of candy. I increased my total protein intake slightly for the muscle sparing and satiety benefits while in a caloric deficit. Fat intake I decreased slightly but nothing crazy. I focused on mostly eating leaner cuts of beef, chicken, vegetables, beans, eggs, cheese, and seafood. I supplemented my protein intake with occasional protein bars and shakes as well.
Most of my increased activity was in the form of lifting. I spent 3-5 days per week doing mostly compound lifts, alternating between upper and lower body days. The compound lifts I chose were deadlifts, squats, rows, bench press, shoulder press, and pull ups. I also did three sets per upper body day of varying biceps/triceps isolation exercises and calf isolation on lower body days.
I am not a fan of cardio and did exactly zero moderate or high intensity cardio (jogging, running, biking, elliptical, etc.) while losing the weight. I did, on the other hand, do some hiking back at the beginning of the challenge (not so much recently because of the cold weather) and added in walking outside on my lunch breaks when the weather wasn’t too bad. I also used the time walking at lunch to get some sun and listen to my favorite podcasts which makes it a win-win-win.
Between my main bet and a couple dozen side challenges along the way, I should end up making right around $1,800 total in prizes! That would mean a 59% annualized return on my total investment! Even with the strong equity rally at the end of 2017, my return if I had invested that money instead would have been no where close. As I mentioned earlier, I’ll write an updated post later on the finances including total amount invested and the total return once everything is finalized.
This journey has been far from smooth sailing. In the past 8 months I have wavered quite a few times. My 29th birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a vacation to Aruba were all particularly difficult times where I slid backward a little. Having money on the line made me get my act together and back on track each time though. I honestly don’t think I would have fought back from the set backs if it wasn’t for the potential financial loss/gain.
I plan to maintain my weight below 200 lbs from this point forward. 190-195 is about an ideal weight for my height and frame from what I’ve seen over the years. I’d like to lose some more fat and then gradually increase muscle mass and strength over the next three months until we leave for our international trip in July, and then I plan to do my best to maintain my weight while out of the country.
HealthyWage has been a game changer for me. Having money on the line finally made me stop procrastinating about my health and fitness. By the end of this competition, I will have lost over 45 lbs and made over a 50% return on my investment in myself. I couldn’t be happier with the progress to this point, and I’m working hard toward the finish!
I know that some of you guys reached out to me after my original post and said that you were going to sign up. How has it gone for you?
If you’ve been procrastinating about your weight loss and health like me and need some extra motivation, I strongly encourage you to give HealthyWage a try! If you sign up through my referral link, you will get an extra $40 added to your prize right off the bat! How’s that for a skinny waist and fat wallet?!