So, I have debated whether or not to share this, but I remembered that WAAAY back in 2008 toward the beginning of my blog I wrote “Yes to Plastic Surgery” when a friend of mine was trying to decide whether or not to get a pec implant. This entry also comes on the heels of my writing “Roid Rage,” wherein I spoke about my choice to not take enhancers (despite a keen desire to do so). But recently I did have a treatment done, and thus far I have been very pleased with it. I want to talk about it, because, unlike other people, I don’t want to put up the false notion that all my results are absolutely natural. I became disillusioned with trying to find gymspiration, and now that people are telling me that I am THEIR gymspiration, I want to make sure they know to temper their expectations as well.
From 2010 to 2012 I went into a bulking mode unlike any I had ever tried before. I ate when my anorexic demons screamed vile curses at me (thankfully they finally passed out in a carb stupor and never came back). I ate until I thought I would be ill. I ate even when I wasn’t hungry. I ate when the thought of food made me angry. I ate every three hours, even if it meant interrupting what I was already doing. And I put on weight. Lots of it. Between cramming and heavy lifting, I shot up from the 130 pounds I had been stuck at since 2002 to nearly 170 pounds. The problem is that it wasn’t all muscle. I had done a dirty bulk without realizing there were other options. I fell for the crap diet myth about eating six times a day to prevent muscle loss. What a bunch of bullshit.
Anyway, I needed to lean down, and, no matter what I did, I simply could not get as lean as I wanted. I spent all of 2013 trying to lose fat. I did High Intensity Interval Training religiously. That helped dramatically, and I am still doing it now in 2014. I would also spend two or three weeks rabidly avoiding carbs. I’d get a little leaner, have one cheat day, and gain all the bloating back within hours. In particular, I could not get a layer of fat off my waist and lower back – it was like wearing a lard cummerbund. Then I made two discoveries, and they have made all the difference.
First, let me tell you that I had Cool Sculpting done in mid-December 2013. At about the same time I also started Intermittent Fasting. Between the two, I am finally starting to feel that I am approaching my goal of weighing 160 – 165 pounds at 10-12% body fat. I finally, finally, FINALLY feel like I am making headway. And minus the Roid Rage I mentioned earlier, I think my hard work is paying off.
Anyway, Cool Sculpting is a non-invasive procedure that helps already fit people get rid of the last (and most stubborn) layer of belly fat without surgery or healing time. Essentially they put a layer of cold, slimy gel on your fat roll, suck it up inside a cold vacuum cleaner attachment, and take the fat down to 37* Fahrenheit for a little while (I think it was 30 minutes, but I could be wrong). It is not painful per se, but it is very unpleasant. It felt like a voracious lamprey from the icy bowels of Hell was sucking on my lard. There was residual pain and numbness for about two weeks, but that went away on schedule as promised. Fat cells, made on demand by the body to store globules of fat, can be emptied, but they cannot be gotten rid of. That means they are sitting there ready to suck fat back inside themselves when you cheat, and that is why my cheat days would reverse my weeks of leaning down. I could work hard to empty my fat cells, but the cells themselves remained. By taking the fat cells to 37*, the fat inside them ruptures the walls of the fat cells themselves. Your other tissues freeze at 32*, so the fat freezing doesn’t damage the water-filled cells around them. So, the fat cells have ruptured… AWESOME! What happens next is a very gradual process. About a month after the procedure the damaged fat cells begin dying. They release their fatty contents, which (along with the dying cells themselves) gets eliminated from the body. You lose about a french fry worth of fat every day for about 90 – 120 days after the procedure. Not only is the fat itself gone, BUT SO ARE THE CELLS THEMSELVES. Remember what I said earlier? The cells were there waiting to take fat back into themselves? Well now they are gone. My body has that many fewer places to store fat. I would have to again overeat to again produce new cells to again store fat. I don’t plan to do that, so it’s PERFECT! So now I am able to get fat off and keep it off, because it has nowhere to go (even on a cheat day).
Along with the Cool Sculpting, I have been eating on a new schedule. Remember a few moments ago when I said I couldn’t get lean? I learned why: The newest lie the food industry and fitness industry are foisting on people is the myth of the Famine Mode. What a bunch of shit! My understanding now is you could not eat for three days and experience only 8% reduction in metabolism, NOT 20% reduction after only three hours (which makes no sense anyway: If my metabolism is supposedly slowing down, why would my body need to digest my muscles to get the energy out of them??). How would our ancestors have ever survived if that 3-hour rule were true??? I am embarrassed I even fell for this crap. What they are saying is that you have to eat every three hours or your body will panic and go into “famine mode,” and all your hard gained muscle will be devoured by a ravenous metabolism that cannot endure muscle to exist (despite the fact that they also say your metabolism is plummeting while it’s also becoming crazed… stupid). This means you need to stay in fed mode constantly! (How convenient, since this means your grocery and supplement bills will now double.) There is a major problem with that reasoning: When you eat, insulin is released, and it tells your body to store energy. If you eat every three hours and there is constantly insulin in your blood, you CANNOT release the body fat you have stored. Six Meals a Day is perfect for gaining mass, but it is absolutely terrible for getting lean. To get lean you have to allow your body to go into fasting mode. That is when glucagon comes out and tells your body to use its stored energy. Besides, having too much insulin in your blood is exactly what causes you to become insulin resistant, and that is what can lead to diabetes. These people need to try harder. GOD!
By waiting ~16 hours to resume eating on day 2 after you have put your fork down on day 1 (half that time you will be sleeping), Intermittent Fasting allows you to eat every day, but allows the body to get out of fed mode long enough to burn through all its easily accessible energy reserves and start burning stored fat. When you do finally eat again, your body is primed to burn up most of the food you eat, store only a little, and then begin the cycle again the next day with a little bit less stored body fat. Over time, you access your body fat stores more and more deeply, until you achieve the leanness you want. Insert irony: That is how I had been eating my entire life without knowing it had a particular name (until I started my dirty bulk in 2010).
Let me use myself as a piece of anecdotal evidence: I was a diagnosed anorexic for 20 years. But I was athletic at the same time. Although I never put weight on, I never lost the muscle I did manage to have. I was dancing and exercising eight – twelve hours a day, five days per week for all those years, and I never wasted away. I simply never added any mass gains. And this is what I am seeing now: Just as when I was younger, I eat all my calories in a narrow window of time, I exercise intensely six days out of seven, and the fat is disappearing, BUT THE MUSCLE REMAINS. If you pair Intermittent Fasting with strenuous exercise, the muscle is preserved. Fasting without exercise is what will cause muscle wasting.
Right now it is March, 2014. Next month I intend to do a five-year comparison between how I looked when I first submitted pictures to shoot porn and how I will look this time when I submit pics again (click here to see 2009/2014, Then/Now). Just as in April 2009, I have no idea if anyone will want to cast me. In April 2014 it will be for very different reasons. Between Sean Cody and launching my own site, I may have burned too many bridges. That remains to be seen. But what I will want to focus on next month is the long time it took to go from being 32 years old and 130 pounds with 8% body fat, to being 37 years old and 165 pounds at 12% body fat. Except for the Cool Sculpting, it will have been all on my own. So although I could have done it faster (and probably more drastically) with steroids, I have chosen to do it (mostly) naturally. I think I am okay with that.
[UPDATE, 4/17/2014: I do not recommend having this procedure done. Four months later and the leanness is reversing itself. The changes were expensive, subtle, and temporary. I don’t recommend this at all. I am utterly disappointed.]