September 1st, time for the next weigh in. Also, time to level up and start taking things a little bit more seriously. Because I'm finally ready to lift the bar and raise the steaks (sic).

But first, last month's outcomes. There's good news to report. The approach with staple meals and smaller plates I outlined a few weeks ago really works for me: it helps me feel satiated with smaller meals.

This is a major win and a huge step towards auto-regulating my food intake. This hopefully means I won't have to count calories in the long run, so this is probably the biggest accomplishment of the month.

That being said, let's look at some actual numbers.

Results

These were my measurements this morning:

Lost 4.4 lbs (2kg) ⚖️
Lost 1.5 in (3.8cm) 📏

So absolutely great progress all around, especially considering that I started this newer approach less than three weeks ago.

I'm especially happy with the loss of inches, because now I'm only 1.5 inches away from a healthy waist circumference! 🙌

Leveling up

Despite these nice results, I'm ready to step this whole thing up a notch. And seeing my whole story up to this point, this requires a little bit of explanation.

Because if you've followed this blog for a while, you know that I've felt very uncomfortable not going as hard as I could from the get go. It's been a huge struggle to forgo quicker results in favor of long term maintainability. So much so, that it's been pretty much the theme of this series so far.

I set up my systems for success with the long term in mind. Purposefully going slow and taking things easy, all to minimize the chances of falling off the wagon in the long run, like I had all those previous times.

But, now I'm wondering: is that careful approach still necessary?

Maybe not.

I've been thinking about this, because my wife Katie pointed out the other day, that falling off the wagon is not going to look the same as it did before, because I've learned so much in this process.

And she's right.

By building the habits I set out to build, I've established a baseline. I have a base diet and exercise regimen now that's so easy to maintain that I can do it forever.

But that doesn't mean I have to limit myself to what's easy, forever, does it?

What if I finally allowed myself to channel that hunger and enthusiasm I've been feeling into a more intense diet and exercise approach? What if I treated what I've been doing so far simply as a base to work from, and as a fallback for when life gets in the way and makes going harder impossible?

There's really no reason not to. The worst that can happen is that I fall back down to where I am now, with a slow-and-steady-wins-the-race approach.

In short: there's much to win and nothing to lose.

So I'm ready to level up.

Lifting the bar 🏋🏻‍♂️

First, I'm finally going to take my lifting more seriously. Here, too, I've been inspired by my awesome wife, Katie. She recently started a lifting program for novices and she's seeing some great quick progress, like a novice is supposed to.

Seeing her do a real program where there's real challenge, rewarded with constant progress, made me jealous.

I started to long back to the days where I was also training to get stronger, instead of merely doing exercise for its own sake.

And I realized: I want more now.

Screw keeping workouts 'doable' and 'easy to maintain'.

I want progress!

I want to hit respectable numbers again on the big lifts. I want to get strong again! And I'm willing to do what it takes to make it happen.

So what I've decided on is that I'm going to embark on a serious strength program once again, namely a slightly modified version of the Candito Linear Program.

This is what that looks like:

Monday: Lower body (heavy)
3x5 Squat
2x5 Deadlift

Tuesday: Upper body (heavy)
3x5 Bench
3x5 Row
1x6 Press
1xM Pull up

Thursday: Lower body (control)
5x3 Pause Squat
3x3 Pause Deadlift

Friday: Upper body (control)
5x3 Spoto Press
5x3 Pause Row
1x10 Press
1xM Pull up

This program will allow me to lift heavy, get plenty of volume and (hopefully) see some nice linear week-to-week progress on all lifts, which is really exciting.

I started yesterday, and I have to say it feels really good to get serious again.

Raising the steaks 🥩 💧

I'm also running an experiment this month with my diet. Throughout the month of September, I'm going to be consuming beef and water only.

This version of the carnivore diet is sometimes referred to as Level 3 Carnivore (Kevin Stock) or the Lion Diet (Mikhaila Peterson), and it's the ultimate elimination diet.

I've wanted to give this diet a shot for a long time now, for a multitude of reasons.

First of all, I'm just curious to see if I'll feel better on beef only. So many people report feeling better on this diet. And even if that's just because those people apparently had food intolerances that this diet eliminated, it's really hard to discover which foods you don't respond well to if you eat a variety of foods all the time. So this diet approach will give me a nice baseline to work with for the future.

I'm also really interested in the effects of sensory-specific satiety. The idea of sensory-specific satiety is that you wouldn't eat as much total food if you were only eating one type of food, because tasting a different food reignites your appetite.

I think everybody has experienced this phenomenon first hand, when eating at an all-you-can-eat buffet for example. You would never eat the same amount of food if you could only choose one specific food at the buffet. So I'm curious to see if this single-item diet will help me eat less as well.

Lastly, I'm attracted to the simplicity this whole approach brings. Seeing that I'm planning to mainly eat ground beef for all my meals, it should be exceedingly easy to keep track of calories and total grams of protein, which is a nice bonus.

So I'm going to give this a shot for at least the first half of the month and see how it's affecting me. I'll report back in two weeks!