Question: If you could wake up tomorrow morning with an enhanced physique, improved strength and stamina, and a surge in energy – would you let yourself be bitten by a radioactive spider?

Unfortunately, I do not have a radioactive spider to offer you. No spider – no pill, no supplement, no wrap, no fad diet is going to make drastic changes overnight. Sorry if I got your hopes up there.

Whatever your passion or purpose in life – whether you’re a reporter, a lawyer, a teacher, a student, a nurse, or a genius-billionaire-playboy-philanthropist (superheroes gotta have that day job) – a healthy body composition and regular exercise will enhance all parts of your life – physical, mental, and emotional.

Even if I can’t offer you a radioactive spider, I can offer you this:

Your Origin Story

No getting stranded on islands or experimented on by mad scientists here. Below is the one tool I used throughout my journey. It is the tool that helped me lose 50 lbs. It’s the tool I plan to use to lose the vanity weight I want to use. It’s the tool I am going to use when I finally decide to put on muscle.  But before you jump right in, I want you

Day One

Mark Your Starting Point

This is your defense against discouragement. Progress is rarely linear and never as fast as we want it to be. We often get so caught up in how far we have to go, that we forget to look back at how far we’ve come.

  • Take Your Measurements – hips, waist, thighs, arms, neck. Inches lost can often tell you more than the scale can.
  • Write it down – put it somewhere you can find it easily. Put it in a notebook or a google doc, tattoo it on your forehead, even! (no, please don’t do that. that’s a very bad idea.)
  • Take Photos – our brains do not see the change day to day in the mirror, but having a visual record of where you were and where you are now can make a huge difference.
  • When in doubt about your progress, look back at day one.

Current Total Daily Energy Expenditure

Putting on my Mythbusters hat here – there’s no such thing as a “slow metabolism” or a “fast metabolism”. In fact, the more mass you have – height, adipose, muscle – the more energy you need to sustain it.

Your base metabolic rate (or BMR) is the number of calories your body uses simply existing and it’s a very important piece of data to have. Your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is the amount of energy you use in a day when you factor in all the sitting, standing, walking, and exercise that make up your life. This is the number of calories you need to maintain your current weight. From there, you can adjust up or down depending on your goals. Give it a try.

Your Utility Belt

Utility Belt Tools

Now, it’s time to trick yourself out with a range of fitness tools ranging from totally broke to tricked-out Batmobile.
Some of these links are affiliate links and I may receive a portion of any purchase you choose to make. See my full affiliate policy here.

  • MyFitnessPal – completely free method of tracking your calories and macros. Come add me, superpowerssoldseparately! I maintain an open diary and track most days of the week.
  • Bodybuilding.com – Dozens of free strength training plans tailored to various goals.
  • Digital Food Scale – This one is $10 on Amazon, with an easy to read digital display. Humans are notoriously bad at estimating our caloric intake on sight alone.
  • Batman Level Food Scale – This one scale is $60, but it also calculates nutrition info for you. I have been trying to get Santa to get this for his favorite Jewish nerd 🙂
  • Bathroom Scale – You don’t need bells and whistles, this is one of Amazon’s best sellers. Clean and simple and under $30.
  • Fitbit’s Aria Smart Scale Or if you want bells and whistles, Fitbit’s wifi enabled smart scale can probably cook you breakfast. (No it can’t. But it can measure your body fat percentage and a whole host of other metrics and syncs with the Fitbit app.)
  • Fitbit fitness trackers – Ranging from $59.95 for the Fitbit Flex 2 up to $269.95 for the Fitbit Ionic Smartwatch, they offer a wide variety of fitness trackers to keep track of your daily steps, calories burned, exercise, distance, sleep. I love Fitbit and I used their products since the first one launched in 2009. I only just switched to Apple Watch this year.
  • Or if you want a simple digital tracker here is one for less than $20.

That’s it. That is the secret. Moderate caloric deficit over time, consistency, and patience. Those are the three special ingredients.

Are you ready to start your origin story?

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