Nearly 60 Days ago I started a challenge to get in the best shape of my life, while being the busiest I’d ever been. Honestly, when I started this challenge, I didn’t really know what to expect. I figured that my life would remain busy and that I would try to add workouts and healthy choices into the mix. Once I stepped on the scale on Day 1, I wasn’t really that shocked. I figured that being 6’4 and 220ish pounds was normal. There were two defining moments at the start of my challenge: Taking my “before” pictures, and getting my body fat checked. I can remember a few years back preparing to go to Florida with my family, and my body fat % hovering around 12%, which was great. So, when I went to Peak Nutrition and hopped into their fancy BodPod machine, I was shocked to see my body fat percentage over 30! But, these defining moments of shock gave me a good basis to build my challenge.
As I’ve stated before, this challenge was not only about getting in the best shape of my life during my busiest time, but it was about breaking the mold of “insanity” (doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results). I’ve tried the Paleo Diet, HCG, gluten free, CrossFit, weight training, MMA, etc…etc…etc. The list goes on and on with regards to all the crazy diets and workouts I’ve done throughout my life without ever getting the results I wanted. So, with this challenge I reached out to the professionals to make sure I was eating right, doing the right workouts and keeping my head on straight. When I was in the early stages of developing this challenge (about a month before), I had NO doubt in my mind who I wanted to turn to for help. Once I knew that I was going to do this challenge, my first phone call was to Peak Nutrition. Over the years I’ve purchased supplements and protein shakes from a few local companies, and can honestly say that the people at Peak have always been the most professional, knowledgeable and down to earth. So, I must give a major shout out to everyone at Peak Nutrition. After hearing of my challenge they helped me to develop a specialized workout and nutrition plan for my challenge. I know that there is NO way that I could have had the results I’ve had without their help, especially since I was ONLY working out at my house. Their suggestions of workouts and exercises helped me to kick it up a notch.
What was my diet like?
If you were following me on Instagram (www.instagram.com/boom_getfit ) or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/backercharlie), you would have seen a lot of my meals. Long story short, I followed “flexible dieting”. Flexible dieting is a type of eating by which you target certain numbers for your macros (carbs, fats & protein) daily. While I had tried Paleo and other diets in the past that denied me certain foods, flexible dieting allows you to eat pretty much whatever you want, but in moderation. I highly recommend flexible dieting to anyone that wants to better their health without losing their sanity.
One of the FIRST things I realized that I had to CHANGE with my mentality was that I could no longer say, “oh, I’ll figure out what I’m going to eat later or tomorrow.” I think one of the biggest mistakes people make with their diets is no planning. For the first week of my challenge, I knew every meal that I was suppose to eat, and exactly how many grams and ounces I was suppose to intake. BUT, and here’s what makes the big BUTT, BUT: I didn’t prep. Just because you know what you’re supposed to eat, doesn’t mean you’re going to eat it. We get so busy throughout our days that sometimes food is the last thing on our mind. Plus, having two kids at home, I can’t always step away and make a big healthy meal. So, I realized after the first week that I had to take time a few nights a week to make meals for a few days. This ended up being one of the best realizations during my 60 days. If you prepare your meal before hand, it takes the guesswork out of “what will I have for lunch, or what will I make for dinner.” Plus, it also takes away the temptation to slip from your challenge. You have no idea how many times I just wanted to order Dominoes pizza, but was able to stay focused on my diet because I already had my food prepared. Also, a little note here: If you prepare your food and leave it on the counter waiting for it to cool so you can put it in the fridge, make sure your dog can’t reach it (Bad Bella!).
Does drinking water really matter if you’re eating healthy?
Absolutely!! For this challenge I made it my goal to drink at least a gallon of water every day. Yes, that may sound like a lot, and honestly, during the first few weeks it felt like I was always drinking water and going to the bathroom all the time. But, after the second week I would say that my body was used to drinking a gallon of water every day, and I felt refreshed and hydrated. This was especially evident when I was working out or doing cardio. One thing that really helped me to drink a gallon of water a day was buying a gallon jug from the store, slicing up a whole lemon and throwing it in there. The gallon container seemed like it made it a lot easier to monitor my water intake, as opposed to running to the sink every time my glass was empty. I remember reading somewhere that many times when people have hunger cravings that it’s actually not hunger, but thirst. So, try to make it a rule of thumb to drink at least a bottle of water every hour. Your body will thank you later.
(Also, realize that if you drink alcohol, that your body will urinate out more than the alcohol you consumed. So, remember that if you’re out drinking alcohol and feel thirsty later, it’s because alcohol PULLS more liquid out of you than it puts in. Stay hydrated.)
Working out at home is easier because you only have to walk downstairs
As my two-year-old son, Carson, would say “LOOOOOWS.” That’s the way he says “lies”. For this challenge I limited myself to working out at home. Having two small children, I thought that by working out at home it would make the challenge easier on my wife and myself. But in reality, it kind of made things harder. Granted, nearly every afternoon my son and I would go down to the basement and I’d try and get my workout in while he played with his toys. But getting in a workout every day is a little difficult when there are so many distractions. When you’re at home, there is always something to do; there is always a mess to clean up and a game to play. I loved this! But, I had to question: Why am I doing this challenge? This challenge for health was not to do everything at the same time, but it was to challenge myself to get in the best shape of my life while the busiest, so that I can be the best father, husband and person to everyone. Also, trying to workout at home is never a guarantee on what time you’ll get in your workouts. Sometimes I was able to workout after work, sometimes later in the evening, sometimes not at all. So, in the future I plan to do the majority of my workouts at a gym (plus there’s more equipment).
People that work out and are in good shape are self-centered and never spend time with their family!
This is a myth I’ve heard a few times. I’ve heard people that don’t work out or eat healthy give those that do work out or eat healthy a hard time, saying their priorities are off. But, after doing this challenge, I must admit that those critics are dead wrong. Your priority as a husband, wife, mother, father, friend, worker, or person is to be the BEST you can possibly be. When I turned 30 a few months ago, I realized that I didn’t want to turn 40 and be out of shape. I want to make sure every day I’m working towards being in the best shape of my life, so that when I’m 40 I can still play with my kids and do things that they enjoy. So, I hope my challenge has helped sway the naysayers and helped people to realize that living healthy doesn’t take up a lot of time, but it actually GIVES you time. I found myself a lot of days with MORE energy, so I was able to play with my son, or go for a bike ride with a friend, or even play tennis with the guys. A healthy lifestyle is contagious, and it’s fun. Before this challenge I would typically relax and be lazy on the weekends, but now I play tennis with friends, or bike ride. The time is there: make it yours.
OMG, I just Googled that, and that’s not healthy
One of my best friends is notorious for Googling diets or workouts, and finding some obscure website that will say it’s unhealthy. I too, have fallen into this before. Sometimes when you make changes to your eating or way of life (like I did for this challenge), you begin to doubt yourself. You begin to question, is this challenge really healthy? Is this diet really making me better? Are these workouts worth it? Well, as I said earlier, this challenge was also about breaking the definition of insanity. If I would have given up and fallen back to my old ways of eating or working out, I would have ended up the same way I was before. But, the goal of this challenge was not to fail the same way I had failed in the past, but to succeed where I had failed. Reaching out to Peak Nutrition gave me a fall back plan. If I doubted myself, I simply had to remember WHY I was doing this challenge: for my family. By giving myself rules for this challenge, I cut down the likelihood that I would fail. I knew going into this that I would be tempted to quit, to scale back or to turn away. I knew when my challenge started that my life was going to get busy and that I was going to get stressed out. Did I think I was going to get as busy or stressed out as I did? No, not at all. But, I realized half way through my challenge that no matter where you are in life, there will ALWAYS be an excuse to quit. I knew that if I didn’t push myself, that I would not reach the goals that I had set. I started this challenge to get in the best shape of my life, but it ended up changing my life forever.
Wow, you didn’t lose much weight, you call that a success?
Yes. Yes I do. Here are the final numbers for my 60-Day Challenge: I lost 3 pounds. I lost 4% of my body fat. I lost 8 pounds of fat. Those numbers may not seem that impressive (especially if you watch Biggest Loser). But, at the end of this challenge, when I was able to take my “after” picture, I realized that I’m in much better shape than I’ve been in years. This challenge helped me to realize that life should be lived out in the world, not on the couch. Your body & mind should be tested and pushed beyond its comfort levels, because that’s what challenges us and stretches us to become better people. Many times we limit ourselves to our previous failures or successes and we choose the comfortable as opposed to the challenging. But, I promise you, if you set out to become a better person, though it will be difficult and you will want to quit at times, there will be people around you that will validate your excuses and help you push on. You must push through your fears and stresses because people NEED you to be your best. The world NEEDS people who are not comfortable with mediocre, but with greatness. The world NEEDS people that will choose the road less traveled.
Thanks for the support
This challenge required me to do things I normally wouldn’t do, to eat things I normally wouldn’t eat, and to drink things I normally wouldn’t drink. So I want to thank those closest to me that supported me during my challenge. I’d especially like to thank my wife, Kelly, who motivated me, always affirmed me when I asked almost daily, “do I really look better?” and dealt with my kitchen messes, and everything in between. I’d like to thank my family and friends who pushed me and motivated me throughout my journey. And a HUGE major shout out to Corey with Peak Nutrition who personally developed my home workout plan and nutrition. Corey, along with Brandon, Bill and the rest of the great Peak Nutrition Team helped make me a better person, not just for this challenge, but also for life.
Thank you for following me on my journey the past two months. I hope you’ve learned a little bit about health and fitness, and I hope something I’ve said or posted inspired you. I will be starting a phase 2 of this challenge, where I’ll be going to a gym. At this current time I’m not planning on making this phase public. My Facebook and website will return to me sharing motivations, and I hope to inspire people to ALWAYS strive to make themselves better. If you ever find yourself questioning WHY you should strive to be better, just reach out to me. Everyone needs someone in their life that will say “it’s okay, it’s going to work out, don’t give up, you got this.” Boom.
Let me know if I can help YOU. Charlie@charliebacker.com