Mid Week Report: MD Visit

August 27, 2013 § 3 Comments

Clarence Bass at 74

For over a decade I have been making semi-annual visits to my family doctor to treat several ongoing conditions.  Each visit included the same admonitions from my doctor while I made every excuse I could justify in my mind.  I was depending on him to keep me alive while I continued the unhealthy lifestyle so many people in our population have become accustomed to.  Until today…

In previous posts I have detailed how one of the big reasons I wanted to change my body is because I don’t want to have to take medication for the rest of my life.  Well, today is the day that I can announce that I no longer have high blood pressure, high-cholesterol, or gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)!  It took less than three months to reverse three long term chronic conditions!  I knew that I had the ability to take control of my body and cure myself of these conditions but I didn’t expect it to happen so fast!  What an incredible emotional release!

Consider this a testimony of how healthy Darin Steen’s Fat Loss Lifestyle system is!  It’s about “the foods we eat, the things we do, and the thoughts we think!”  It’s moderate, it’s sustainable, and it’s repeatable!

For more information visit http://www.fatlosslifestyle.com/



Week 7 of 12: Breakthrough and thoughts for the next step…

August 25, 2013 § 3 Comments

My New Workout Shirt

My New Workout Shirt

If your’e following my blog, you know that I had reached a sticking point in my fat loss progress.  I started tracking calories more closely and decided that a range of 2,200-2,300 calories would give me the results I was looking for.  I’m happy to announce that this strategy is working and I have released another 1/2 inch off of my waist!  It’s now at 43 1/2″, down from 48″ just seven weeks ago!  It’s all so very exciting!

As I approach the two month mark of this 12 week program, I’m considering what to do next.  This new lifestyle is working for me but I also recognize that if I stay in a caloric deficit for too long my body will adapt and stop changing at my current calorie level.  I intend to cycle between muscle building and fat loss and see just how far I can take my body.  The real decision now is where to turn for information about muscle building that is as good as what I have received from Darin Steen for fat loss.  I’m not in a position to hire a personal trainer and frankly I don’t know that I want to yet.

I’m leaning toward Will Brink’s Body Building Revealed.  Will’s no-nonsense approach to fitness and health is refreshing to me.  I also like the fact that Will explains things thoroughly and has the research to back up what he says.  Maybe I’m over analytic (I’ve been accused of that before) but I like to know the why behind the what.  If you know of a better program I would consider any suggestions.

Next week is the two month mark with photos and full measurements!  Don’t miss out!

For more information about the system that I am following go to fatlosslifestyle.com

 Fat Loss Lifestyle System by Darin Steen

Week 5&6 of 12: Small changes

August 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

Andreas Cahling at 60

The results from week five showed no measurable results.  I have the same scale weight as 6 weeks ago and my waist is still 44 inches at the navel.  No more body fat changes either.

I wasn’t too worried about it but when week six was the same I panicked!  I was doing the same things as when I started but my body had stopped changing!  If I had hired a personal trainer I would have figured out the problem right away but I’m not in a position to do that right now.  I had to find out on my own what was going on.

I decided that the answers have to be in the basics.  I looked closely at what I was doing for diet and exercise.  Luckily I have been keeping a journal of what I’m eating and what I’m doing.  What I discovered is that I have not been in a caloric deficit.  I was tracking how much protein I was eating and combining carbohydrate with those proteins but I wasn’t keeping an accurate calorie count.  Fats were adding several hundred calories per day to what I thought I was eating.  An extra egg yolk, a pat of butter, a couple teaspoons of mayonnaise, and a drop of oil add up to quite a few calories.  So, for the first month my body was transforming by building lean body mass and burning fat but now I have reached a point of stasis.  It’s time to cut calories!

Counting calories can be tedious and time consuming.  That’s why everyone hates it!  I needed a tool to simplify the process.

I ran across an article by Tom Venuto on his blog at http://www.burnthefatblog.com/ 

The article described how it is much easier to plan your meals than to track them.  When you TRACK meals, you have to log what you ate and then figure out how many calories it contained and if it had the nutrient balance you need.  When you PLAN meals you figure out what you are going to eat and then all you have to do is eat it!  Much simpler!  He even provided the spreadsheet I was looking for, downloadable, for FREE!  I definitely like FREE!  Here is the link to the article so you can grab the spreadsheet for yourself, http://www.burnthefatblog.com/the-disastrous-diet-diary-mistake.php  Just click on the picture of the spreadsheet and it will automatically download to your computer.

Using some other calculators I found on http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bbinfo.php?page=NutritionCalculators Bodybuilding.com Information Motivation Supplementation

I estimated how many calories I need to loose weight and settled on 2,200 to 2,300 calories per day with a ratio of 40% protein, 40% carbohydrate, and 20% dietary fat.  I’ll check that against future results and adjust as necessary.  I feel good about this!


This is probably a good time to talk about supplements.  I’m only taking a couple that are outside of my normal diet.

Whey protein:  This is really a food source and not a supplement but it’s not food I had eaten in the past.  I use it because it’s a low calorie source of protein and because there are so many health benefits to eating it!  I read a little eBook by Will Brink called Fifty Shades of Whey.  It taught me a lot about this amazing food and as of right now it’s FREE as a Kindle book! http://www.amazon.com/Fifty-Shades-of-Whey-ebook/dp/B008RANHYG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377010569&sr=8-1&keywords=50+shades+of+whey

L-Ornithine: An amino acid that supports the pituitary gland when taken with whey protein.   (see Week 1)

Creatine Monohydrate:  Extensive research proves tremendous health benefits to taking creatine.  It supports muscle growth and helps prevent loss of muscle as we age.  Will Brink has some great videos on YouTube and articles on http://www.brinkzone.com/ about creatine.  

Multi-Vitamin:  Just to fill any gaps in my diet.

That’s it!  Nothing fancy in that list.

Next week I plan to have some sort of measurable result to report.  In the mean time I started a BodySpace account if you want to check it out.  http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/70usd/

For more information about the system that I am following go to fatlosslifestyle.com

 Fat Loss Lifestyle System by Darin Steen

Week 4 of 12: One Month Progress Report!

August 4, 2013 § Leave a comment

4.8.12Scale weight = 248, which means that I haven’t lost any weight.  In fact, I’ve gained 1.4 pounds in the last month and I’m about to tell you why I couldn’t be more excited about it!  I was going to wait for Week 6 to share results but I couldn’t.

The scale is a liar!  

When I started this quest, I was convinced (by average media sources) that I was grossly obese because I weighed 255 pounds with a height of 5′ 10″.  When I did my initial body composition test, I realized that I was not obese but merely had an average but higher that optimal body fat percentage.  This discovery was liberating to me!  It freed me from watching the scale and using my weight as the only source of information to determine my level of health!  Now, I really don’t care if I ever loose an ounce of scale weight again.  My main concern now is achieving and maintaining a healthy level of body fat around 8-10%.

Lifting weights

It’s amazing what kind of changes the human body can make in only one month!  I’m not talking about the kind of changes you see in magazine ads but changes that you can feel within yourself.  In fact, I was tempted not to post progress pics because the changes in my body are really not that visible yet but I can definitely feel what’s going on.  I feel thick and strong.  When I push my shoulder blades together I feel a meatiness that wasn’t there before.  I feel my lats under my arms.  My muscles have taken on a hardness that I haven’t known for decades.  Visually, I’m noticing curves and bulk that weren’t there before.  As a teenager, even though I was fit, I was small.  I entered the Air Force at the age of 19 weighing 165 pounds.  The thought of being a big, well muscled middle aged man is really cool!  It’s all very exciting!  


While there have been times in my life that I worked out regularly, this is the first time that I have focused my nutrition on growing muscle and burning fat.  Even as a teenager, I didn’t have a nutrition plan.  I ate what was provided to me by my parents and when I joined the Air Force I ate what was on their menu.  For the last quarter of a century I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants, eating what I felt like and my body reflected what I ate.  Eating with a purpose is allowing me to change my shape to something much more pleasing to the eye and to the touch.  This nutrition plan has also improved my health greatly!  My blood pressure has been dropping.  I’ve been able to stay off of my acid re-flux medicine since June 7th.  And, I’m hoping that when I see my doctor toward the end of this month, we can make some adjustments to my medications.  Ultimately, I want to be free of them.  


Day One

Day One


Day One:

Scale weight = 246.8 pounds

Body-fat % = 22.4%

Fat weight = 55.3 pounds

Lean body mass = 191.5 pounds

Waist = 48″

Legs = 25 3/4″

Arms = 15″


Week 4 Week 4:

 Scale weight = 248.0 pounds

 Body fat = 16.9%

 Fat weight = 41.9 pounds

 Lean body mass = 206.1 pounds

 Waist = 44 1/2 “

 Legs = 26″

 Arms = 15 7/8″





 That’s fat loss of 13.4 pounds and a lean body mass gain of an astonishing 14.6 pounds!  Do these measurements seem extreme?  I thought so, but I have been taking these measurements every week and they are consistent from week to week so I am not going to question their accuracy.  I’m just going to press forward.  

 Can you see any difference?  Feel free to comment.



For more information about the system that I am following go to fatlosslifestyle.com



Week 3 of 12: Life Changes

July 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

I’m late posting my week three results because I married my sweetheart over the weekend!  So, I’ll keep this post very simple.

I’m starting to notice some changes in my body already.  Visually, I’m starting to acquire a more eye pleasing shape.  It’s motivating!

Waist measurement at the end of week two 07/17/13 = 45.5 inches

Waist measurement at the end of week three 07/24/13 = 45 inches

I’m on track!  Everything is as it should be.

How about some feedback.  Would you like to see monthly body composition results or should I do them at six weeks and 12 weeks?

For more information about the system that I am following go to fatlosslifestyle.com


Week 2 of 12: Challenges and Why I Bother

July 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

Vince Gironda at 50

Vince Gironda at 50

I gotta tell ya, this week was no picnic! I had a headache for three days, a stye in my eye, a boil on my leg, had a mole removed on my back and did my best to stay hydrated during a full blown heat wave. All of this was exhausting. I missed two of my six workouts. Should I feel guilty about that? Maybe.

This seems like a good point to talk about why I am making these changes in my life, and to my body, in the first place. It’s been a long time coming. Specifically, about a dozen years ago, my health started to catch up with my habits. I started gaining some weight which caused acid re-flux in my sleep, then I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, which was a contributing factor to high blood pressure. I decided to quit smoking, and gained a bunch of weight. My heaviest was 285 pounds on my 5’10” frame. Recently I started taking medication for high cholesterol. It’s been a snowball of health problems that are controlled by medication, but I’ve never believed that medication was the real solution to my problems. Deep down I knew that all of these health problems could be controlled with changes to my lifestyle. Specifically, the old cliche, diet and exercise. I knew what to do, generally, but I didn’t know where to start from where I was. More importantly, I hadn’t made the decision to start learning where to start. Once I made that decision, with real emotional meaning behind it, then I could start.

Why do I do it?

I don’t want to be a statistic. American males now have an expected lifespan of 78 years but our quality of life in our later years is declining. I want to be like my grandfather who worked in a physically active job as a farmer into his 80’s with only a couple of years of decline. I want to see my children grow up and have some successes in life. Then I want to play with my grandchildren, and meet my great grandchildren.  There have already had times in my life when I felt like I was slowly dying and I’m way to young for that.  No more!

A full 60% of Americans are obese. It’s frightening to shop at our local Walmart and watch relatively young people riding around in electric carts, or hobbling, waddling, shuffling around because it’s such a burden to move their bodies enough to simply buy food! I’ve been that guy whose feet hurt so bad at the end of a work day that I couldn’t move off of the couch. It was hell! I won’t do it again!

I don’t want to take medication for the rest of my life. The foods I have eaten have not provided enough nourishment for my body to be healthy without medication. Poor food choices have caused me to retain fat around my organs, the most dangerous place to carry fat. It’s unnecessary and I won’t have it!

I want to look good in my clothes. I want to be able to take off my shirt in public and not be embarrassed. It would be nice for someone to say to me, “You’re looking good! Do you work out?”, and be able to say, “Yes, yes I do.”

So, do I feel guilty for missing a couple of workouts? No, not really. Although I am following a specific program for 12 weeks, the changes I am making to my lifestyle are permanent. I also know that recovery is underrated. Sometimes our bodies need more time to heal than at other times. This week was one of those times. I recognized it and got some extra sleep and took some extra quiet time.  At 46 years young I can’t feel too bad about “only” working out four times this week.


My food intake this week was spot on! My capacity to lift weights has greatly improved! All of my lifting exercises have gone up in weight or repetitions across the board! I haven’t taken my acid reflux medicine since July 7th and I haven’t needed it.

And, my waist went from 46″on July 10th to 45 1/2″ on July 17th! I’m gonna call it a good week!!!

45 1/2"

45 1/2″

For more information about the system that I am following go to fatlosslifestyle.com


Week 1of 12: Radical Changes & Results

July 14, 2013 § 9 Comments

Jack Lalanne at 50 years old!

Jack Lalanne at 50 years old!

As stated in my previous post, I started my Fat Loss Lifestyle 12 week program on July 3rd, 2013.  I had started making small changes to my lifestyle three weeks earlier but this program takes things to another level.  The biggest change for me was in the area of nutrition.

I have never paid too much attention to my food.  I suppose, at times, I would consider what I had heard was “healthy” or “not-healthy” when making food choices but it was never planned.  Mostly my choices were based on what looked good or what I knew tasted good to me.  I had also gotten into the habit of searching for a food source when it was time to eat.  This led to convenience and fast food regularly.  The same thing happened when I was thirsty.  Why pay $1.50 for bottled water when a 44oz. Mountain Dew is $0.89, right?

Now I am planning what I am going to eat and when based on my goals.  I’ve switched the foods I eat almost entirely to “whole” foods, most of which comes from the perimeter of the grocery store.  Produce, meats, and some dairy are what I’m talking about.  Exceptions are grains like oats, brown rice, or dense whole grain bread.  This took some adjustment.  In order to get enough calories into my body to support my new athletic lifestyle, I eat six small meals a day.  Each meal includes a source of protein, a fruit or vegetable, and a source of carbohydrate with one or two of the six meals.  I have also discovered whey protein (which I want to discuss in another post) that I find quite yummy!  I assure you, I am not going hungry!

The next biggest change for me was not just exercise but intense exercise!  I lift weights three days a week and cycle three days a week.  It’s a total of 5-6 hours of exercise.  I take Sunday off to recover and refuel.  I haven’t worked out with this kind of regularity since high school!  I wasn’t sure that I could do it but I made it through the first week and I feel strong, energized, and athletic!  It’s fantastic!

So, what are the results of the first week you ask?  To tell you the truth I wasn’t really expecting much.  I mean, how much can happen in the first week, right?  I also stated in my last post that I didn’t want to be a slave to the scale.  The scale only gives one side of the story (like modern news sources,lol) and any plan needs time to work.  A friend suggested that I use my waistline measurement to determine if anything is happening.  That makes good sense to me.

July 3rd, 2013  Waist = 48″

10July13 46in.

July 10th, 2013  Waist = 46″

That’s a full two inches in only 7 days!  WOW!

What do you think it will be next week?

For more information about the system that I am following go to fatlosslifestyle.com

Fat Loss Lifestyle System by Darin Steen