What I Love about “Huge in a Hurry”

I’ve written before about my journey of losing weight and battling an eating addiction. In the process of losing weight, I started riding a bike which jump started my weight loss.

I’m often asked how I kept the weight off. One of the main ways has been having a clear exercise plan. Most people I’ve met at some point make a goal of losing weight, getting healthy, getting thinner, more muscular, you pick. The problem, and this is the problem I was running into, they don’t know where to start or what to do as they get into shape.

As I was scouring the web for a workout plan, I came across Chad Waterbury and his program Huge in a Hurry (kindle version). Maybe you are like me: you have a career, a family, you are in your 30’s. Which means, you don’t have hours to spend in the gym, you don’t want to lose your neck and have one continuous body, so I was immediately intrigued by Waterbury’s program: just 3 days a week in the gym. On top of that, I like to look at pictures of people who use a workout program. Most of the people I’ve seen online who have used Huge in a Hurry are normal looking people.

Here are a few things I love about Huge in a Hurry:

  1. It has a clear plan. If you want to get big, get strong or get lean, there is a clear plan. When you arrive at the gym, you know exactly what you are doing from the warm-up to the cool down.
  2. It takes 3 hours a week. I dont’ have 10 hours a week to workout. One hour a day, three days a week fits my schedule.
  3. The workouts change. I get bored quickly with working out, which is why I don’t run. Too monotonous. Huge in a hurry switches what you do every 4 weeks, creating the important muscle confusion.
  4. I could workout with Katie. This workout plan was something Katie and I have been able to do together, which has been a great way for us to spend time together as a couple.

In the end, the reason I love Huge in a Hurry is because of the changes I’ve seen. When I started, and I’ve been using it almost a year now, I couldn’t do a pullup without help. Now I attach 30-35 pounds to a weight belt to do 20 pullups. I can deadlift twice my body weight. And I feel better than I did when I was 18.

If you are looking for a workout plan that works for your lifestyle and will challenge you, this is it.

Links of the Week

  1. Thom Rainer on 7 personality traits of effective leaders.
  2. What to do about KONY 2012. This is a helpful perspective. Here is some more information about the invisible children. I appreciate how transparent they are being about things.
  3. Scott Williams on How to effectively handle criticism.
  4. The truth about post-workout nutrition.
  5. Justin Anderson on Reflections on 7 years of church planting.
  6. Leadership lessons from Ed Young Jr. There are some nuggets here.
  7. Charles Stone on Introverts don’t make good pastors. Being a pastor and an introvert, I found this really helpful.
  8. Are you called to be a pastor?
  9. Ben Reed on 5 things a pastor should never say.
  10. Sam Rainer on The trap of availability among leaders.

My Journey of Losing Weight

Over the last week, I blogged about my journey of losing weight and keeping it off. It has been awesome getting messages from people about how this series has challenged and encouraged them. I hope it spurs you to being healthy.

You can read the posts here:

  1. How I got to where I am 
  2. The idol of food (the spiritual side of weight loss)
  3. Have a plan
  4. It’s for the rest of your life
  5. The effects
  6. Do your homework
  7. The idol of exercise & staying in shape

Losing Weight Park 6: Do Your Homework

I’ve been chronicling my journey of losing weight this week. It is by far the thing I get questions about the most. You can read part 1part 2part 3part 4 and part 5 here to get some background on this post.

Many times people go into the idea of losing weight or being healthy without doing their homework. They might have a plan, eat better and exercise. But what does that mean? Are you going to do the right thing? Recently, for our workout plans, I started using Men’s Health Huge in a Hurry and Katie started using The Female Body Breakthrough and one of the things they both pointed out is that many people shoot themselves in the foot by doing the wrong things. While I am not a trained personal trainer, going on what they have said, what we’ve seen happen to our bodies, their logic (while not conventional) makes sense.

Often the idea that men have who want to lose weight is lift a light weight a lot of times. Not true. Cardio alone is the not the best plan for losing weight. This is why, the authors point out, you see aerobics instructors, strict runners who don’t have a lot of overall muscle.

My point? Do your homework on your plan.

I used to think, if I wanted to lose weight and be healthy, I needed to run. Not so. I maybe run once a week now (which because I hate running is awesome for me). This isn’t to say running isn’t good and healthy, but make sure you do your homework.

While there is a ton out there, here is one thing I’ve used to wade through all the information:  Look at the person giving forth information and ask, “Do you want to look like them? Feel like them?” If someone isn’t healthy, I don’t want to hear their opinion. Just like I don’t take marriage advice from couples whose marriages aren’t healthy. I do the opposite.

It’s the same with making a plan.

When I started out almost 4 years ago, I read almost every article on Men’s Health’s website. I wanted to learn what food does. When to workout, how often. It took me awhile to find something that fit my body, my schedule and I could do for the rest of my life. That’s the key and that’s why this takes so long. It is not a quick fix. I didn’t become 300 pounds over night.

So, do the homework, read, study, make a plan that you can stick to for the rest of your life.

Losing Weight Part 3: Have a Plan

I’ve been chronicling my journey of losing weight this week. It is by far the thing I get questions about the most. You can read part 1 and part 2 here to get some background on this post.

One of the problems many people run into when they want to lose weight or be healthy is that they don’t have a goal or a plan. If you say you want to lose weight, how much? How will you know if you are healthier? How do you plan to get there?

I remember when I went to the doctor when I was 27 and telling him I wanted to be skinnier. He told me that wasn’t the goal. He said, “The goal is to be healthy.” So, I set out to be healthy.

We started small. Before going on I need to say this, if you want to lose 30 pounds in a month, what I am about to describe will not help. It is not sexy what I did. But here is the prize, what I did I can do til the day I die. Which means, I accomplished my goal of losing weight and my doctor’s goal of being healthy. So, start small. We started by changing to wheat bread, which was a bigger battle than you might think. We stopped drinking soda, sweet tea (this was a battle for me).

To get an idea of what I would eat. When Katie and I would go out to eat, we’d share an appetizer, I’d eat my meal and finish hers. No leftovers was my motto. It wasn’t uncommon for me to eat a footlong sub, drink a gallon of sweet tea, eat a whole can of pringles (not the snack size) and sometimes eat a can of chunky new england clam chowder. That was a meal. Recently we were back in Maryland and ate at our favorite sub shop where I would drink 60 oz. of their sweet tea, eat a footlong sub, a huge bowl of cream of crab soup and eat a side of fries. That would be a lunch. It was not a secret for me why I was fat. This trip, I could barely finish an order of the soup. My stomach and appetite has truly shrunk.

But again, this has taken since 2005. I started working at it at the end of 2007. In 4 years this change has happened. You will never see that on a magazine, but if you want to be healthy for the rest of your life, you must take the long range view of it.

So, what is your plan?

I read books and magazines on food, understanding calories, and I began to see food as fuel for my body, not just something I enjoy or turn to. The secret to losing weight is exercise and portion control. Regardless of what fad or plan you use, if you boil it down you will get to these two things.

So I started controlling my portions, eating less. I still grill out meat, eat dessert, enjoy good drinks, coffee. I basically eat just about anything I want, just less of it. Now when I grill out meat, instead of a large portion of potatoes and a small veggies, we will have meat with 2 veggies. I often get asked about alcohol and weight. According to Men’s Health, you should limit it to 2 drinks a day. The calories in alcohol is pretty high, especially mixed drinks, so if you drink, be smart about what you drink. You can go to Starbucks, but again, be wise. You can get a drink at Starbucks and knock out a third of the calories for the day.

Exercise is the next part of the puzzle. When I was my heaviest, I couldn’t run as it hurt too much. So I bought a bike. We spent more than we normally would have, but it needed to hurt for me to ride. I started riding and slowly started to see the weight come off. When I was able, I started running. And running.

Now, I use the workout plan found in Men’s Health Huge in a Hurry. I eat 5 smaller meals a day (lots of protein and veggies). I workout 3 days a week and then watch what I eat. The great thing is that I have essentially been this size and weight for almost a year. Since using this workout plan I have seen a difference in my weight and physique.

Again, these are all changes that I can do for a long time. I can eat well and exercise regularly.

More tomorrow.