Welcome, all you Average Joes and Average Janes!  This blog is about my journey from an average, mid-30’s, married father of 2 with a dull 9 – 5 job and the beginnings of the “middle age spread” to my eventual goal of an Average Joe who also happens to be super fit.

I am starting this blog part-way along my journey, which started in early 2007.  Back then, I was a somewhat out-of-shape guy, with a growing family, a house and a full-time job.  I was not terminally ill, or 400 pounds, or anything like that – this is not one of those super-inspirational stories.  I was just an Average Joe, who “didn’t have time” to exercise, loved my food, and just kind of coasted through life.

Then, I made a friend who got me interested (or rather, re-interested) in the martial arts.  I started training with him, and realized by the fact that he was kicking my ass twice a week that I was not in anything remotely resembling good shape, and that kind of made me mad.  Being average (or possibly even a bit below average) fitness-wise was just not acceptable to me any more.

Add to that the fact that I had recently become a father to a beautiful little girl, who one day would grow up to possibly bring some jackass home who wanted to be her boyfriend, and I had a bit more motivation to become, not just fit, but crazy fit.  I mean muscular, ripped, freaky-strong and pretty handy in a fight.  The kind of dad that nobody would want to mess with, and whose daughter they would, therefore, treat with the utmost respect.  Imagine the added motivation when our second child was also a girl!  Beyond that slightly tongue-in-cheek reasoning, I wanted to set a good example for my kids for their future lifestyles, and I wanted to be able to play with them without getting tired out in five minutes.

I was also getting a bit tired of hearing my wife ooh and aah over the latest big-screen idol’s physique, while totally failing to comment on mine (which was a comment in itself).  I wanted my wife to have me as a high-standard for those guys to (no doubt) beat anyway, but at least I’d give them a run for their money.

Back then, I weighed 211 pounds at 5 feet, 7-1/2 inches.  I joined a gym and started working out twice a week at lunch, while continuing training in martial arts with my friend once or twice a week, wherever I could “fit it into my schedule”.  After my first couple of years of that while still eating pretty much the same, I managed to drop a whopping 5 pounds.  Mind you, I definitely changed my body composition a bit, so I could justify that five pounds by saying “I’ve gained muscle and lost fat”, but the difference was not enough for me.  That five pounds pissed me off.  It was time to get serious.

I started actually researching and learning everything I could about getting the best results possible with the minimum time invested in exercising.  I started learning about nutrition, not just food (I have a bit of a culinary background, so I already knew a fair bit about food), and how to optimize my nutrition for fat loss and strength gains.

Most importantly, I started to make my schedule fit my fitness plans – working out was no longer a “when I have time” thing.  I made the time, which was not easy, let me assure you.  There was (and is) a bit of pain and self-sacrifice involved when you work full-time, your wife works full-time shift work, and you have two young children that need to be fed, taken to daycare, put to bed, etc.  I am a bit of a “Mr. Mom” – I am responsible for 90% of the cooking in our household, and I am the one who most often takes care of making my girls their lunches to take to daycare (when my wife is working), drops them off and picks them up at daycare, puts them to bed at night and gets up with them in the morning.

With very minimal equipment in a small (8′ x 10′) corner of my garage, and occasionally at the local gym, I worked out on my lunch hours, in the hour between getting off work and picking up my girls, or in the late evening hours (10 PM onwards) after I put my girls to sleep and got their lunches, etc. ready for the next day.  I was working out until 11 PM, getting to sleep at 11:30 and waking up at 6:00 AM.

With that added knowledge and that work ethic, in the last year and a half, I dropped 20 pounds, and significantly changed my body.  In the last few months, I kind of “fell off the wagon” a bit, but I managed to maintain my weight.  Now I’m back on the wagon, and hoping to turn it into more of a body-composition express-train, with the eventual goal of being the same weight I am now (around 185 pounds), but at 10-12% body fat.

Well, that’s where I am as I start writing this blog, so now that you’re up to speed – welcome aboard!

UPDATE:  Six months on from when I initially created this blog, I was sitting at about the same weight, in slightly better shape, when I suffered a back injury that basically took me out of commission for the better part of a month.  A month off of training, combined with the inevitable temptations of the holiday season (it was mid-December when I injured myself) has resulted in a regression of sorts.  Not quite sure what my weight is right now, but I’m estimating somewhere in the high 190’s if I’m lucky.  I have opted to restart my blog and my journey from scratch again.

Here we go…

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