That was cool. It took me three weeks to get to a tolerable appearance. I’m very satisfied with the result of this attempt. I am less satisfied with the fact that I planned this attempt to last for a month. The attempt itself was quite easy. What really got me dull was the measuring and writing part. It is the main reason why I quit it one week in advance. That and the fact that I’m satisfied with my current appearance.
What I did
First of all, I couldn’t exercise at all because of a recent knee surgery. So, I did zero exercise. (That is unless somebody would count in rehab.) Furthermore, I wasn’t even active. I am now able to walk a bit but during this whole attempt I couldn’t do a single bodyweight squat without some pain. Needless, to say, I was advised against squats. I couldn’t and still can’t stay in plank position because my knee gets some unfavorable load. So, no push ups either. To make it short, I didn’t exercise and I wasn’t active.
Luckily, there were other things I could do. First of all, I did cold water immersions, cold showers, and ice packs. I didn’t enjoy it much so I used them only during first and last week. I reinstated this cold stuff on third week because I didn’t see much of a positive change during second week. Based on what I’ve read about getting cold, it should have helped me immensely to reach my goal.
Second of all, diet. This is too religion-like topic for me to debate about. Based on what I’ve read all over the place and seen on YouTube, basically every diet has its followers with success stories which put that particular diet on a pedestal while other diets are claimed to be rubbish or even downright unethical, deadly, poisonous. That being said, for this attempt I ate very low carb, moderate fat, moderate to high protein diet. I didn’t care nor count calories because the idea of that is simply silly to me. I also implemented time restricted eating, intermittent fasting or whatever it is called. It just means that I ate less frequently. To be precise, twice a day within 5-7 hour period. During these three weeks I had only one cheat day. If I remember correctly, it happened on day 9. This could be the reason why I wasn’t happy with the progress of the second week. Anyway, the diet obviously worked. I’m not sure how important was the schedule of less frequent eating but I liked it.
Third, supplements. I did none. Well, ok, it depends on what would you call a supplement. I mean, caffeine pill is usually called a supplement but a cup of coffee isn’t a supplement. Even though I would drink coffee for the effect of caffeine pill. Based on this idea that supplements are pills, powders, and tablets, I did none. However, just to be safe and clear, I should say that I consumed some food stuffs for the effect of supplements. Examples: tea, coffee, garlic, hot peppers. Although, I’m not sure whether these things helped me at all.
Lastly, I tried to meditate. This didn’t feel too good so I quit. Then I tried some breathing exercises. I liked them more than meditating but I wasn’t able to do them regularly. Despite this, I’d like to implement some breathing exercises into my daily routine. I also corrected my broken circadian rhythm. It required quite some effort and frustration but I made it. Based on my knowledge, things written in this paragraph should have helped me as well.
During these three weeks I managed to shrink by 14,6 cm / 5,74 in on the spots that I chose to measure. As a result, the outline of my abs is slightly visible and, under a favorable light, I can even see a nice four-pack. That’s totally awesome.
That being said, the measurements are probably not accurate. Pictures aren’t either. It is very likely that on some days I applied more pressure to the measuring tape than on other days. It also likely that on some days I was more relaxed in the pictures than on other days. It doesn’t bother me. What I care is that there is a definite difference. I don’t care how big that difference is. I declare the improvement based on the observation that some of my abdominal muscles are now somewhat visible which wasn’t the case before this attempt. I am content with that kind of end result and accuracy.
I can’t say that I feel some kind of amazing difference before and after this attempt. People usually claim that diet, cold showers, proper circadian rhythm, breathing exercises, and stuff like that greatly improve their quality of life. I don’t notice anything like that. Well, at least I don’t feel worse.
By the way, I do look a bit more tanned in the “after” picture. It’s nothing artificial. This attempt happened during the middle of the summer so I got to see a bit of the Sun. I note this just because when I usually see “before and after” pictures, quite often there are many changes in these pictures. Background, posture, smile, tan, light, body hair… I tried to keep things constant.