Motivated by wanting to build muscles, I began weight training in my teens. But I never thought too much about my overall health and well-being until the age of 43. After overcoming some challenging life events and temporary setbacks, I decided it was time to make a serious lifestyle change. I entered a body transformation contest where I lost thirty five pounds and gained lean muscle. I did my first Men’s Physique competition at age 45. At age 49 I published a fitness and nutrition book. Get Fit, Lean and Keep Your Day Job outlines the proven program I developed over the last 30 years. Get Fit, Lean and Keep Your Day Job has helped hundreds of men and women improve their fitness, wellness, and self-esteem. A walking, talking, real life proof of concept is yours truly.
As a 50th birthday present to myself, I did a photo shoot. The resulting image leads this blog. As a self-published author, I am my own marketing and promotion department. This photo, as is the case with the photos on my book’s front and back cover, is an example of what following my program can achieve. Everyone is capable of dramatic change. With a little hard work and discipline anyone can transform their body into whatever shape they’d like.
Get Fit, Lean and Keep Your Day Job is about much more than vanity. Sure, most everyone wants to look good. But as we age, we come to realize that health and wellness are most important. Since publishing last September, I’ve helped hundreds of people improve their quality of life. My program can help you, too. It’s never too late and your starting point doesn’t matter. Whatever your age, gender, and level of fitness, you too can dramatically improve your health and fitness.
Unlike so many of the popular fad diets that come and go, I’m not going to pretend like there is some magic pill. There’s not. In fact, my program is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. “Going on a diet” implies a temporary plan with a fixed duration that you do before returning to your normal habits. A lifestyle change, however, is permanent and becomes your new normal. A lifestyle change is for life. Regular exercise and good nutrition are the keystones of a healthy lifestyle. It’s important to do cardiovascular exercise as well as resistance training. But because nutrition is about 80% of the challenge, let’s talk about that for a moment first.
Other than refined carbohydrates and manufactured fats, I’m not going to focus on what you can’t eat. I’d rather focus on all the delicious foods that you can and should eat. The overall nutrition plan is pretty straightforward. There are two variables to solve for. First, if your goal is to lose weight (lose fat) you need to put yourself in calorie deficit. Second, you need to optimize your available calories by eating the right foods. You do this by eating the right ratio of the three macronutrients. You then eat the right foods within each of the macronutrient groups.
Most of your calories should come from proteins and fats, with limited carbohydrates. Try your best to eat whole intact foods. If it’s packaged in a box or a can, it’s not real food. Read labels and accept no added sugar. Refined carbohydrates like sugar and enriched flour trigger an insulin spike which is inflammatory. Continued inflammation leads to a whole host of non-communicable diseases. Conversely, naturally occurring sugar like the sugar found in fruits and root vegetables is bound in fiber. Eating fruits and vegetables in reasonable quantities triggers a slow release of insulin. Whole foods are what we are perfectly designed to eat. We have not adapted to deal with refined carbohydrates.
The second piece of my proven program is cardio. Doing regular cardio exercise will fire up your fat burn by burning more calories than sitting at a desk all day. Additionally, daily cardio has a residual effect of bumping up your basil metabolic rate throughout the day. Cardio also has the added benefit of strengthening your heart and respiratory system. The addictive part is the endorphin release which is not a bad drug to get hooked on. Try it, you might be surprised at how good you can feel.
The third part of my program is resistance training. Also known as weight training, weight lifting, and pumping iron. Here’s a secret. Resistance training is as much for women as it is for men, and it’s for people of all ages. As we age, we slowly lose muscle and bone mass. We can’t stop the aging process but we can significantly slow it down. Weight training triggers our body’s adaptive growth response, which strengthens muscle and bone. For women, who are at risk of osteoporosis, weight training as you age is extremely beneficial. Despite the popular misconception, weight lifting won’t make ladies look masculine but instead will accentuate your female form. Skinny isn’t sexy, fit is sexy.
I present myself as an example of what is possible by living the fitness lifestyle. I hope that I inspire and motivate others who want to improve their health, fitness, and self-esteem. My book, available on Amazon.com, tells the story of my fitness journey and provides a complete transformation guide that will help anyone who wants to help themselves.
Yours in fitness,
J. D. Griffin