Exercise, Food, and Looking Awesome for the Ladyfolk

Ok, the primary reason to take care of oneself is to feel better, feel stronger, and have a commitment to oneself.  But throwing in the motivation for the ladies, that just drives the search engines straight to this article right away.

Have you been to a singles activity where the men look…well, a bit large?  Certainly it’s not a race or a competition as we are only in competition with ourselves as to whether we can do better and take good care of ourselves.

Oh wait, but when we throw the whole dating thing into the mix, then (right or wrong) we do get a hint of objectification and we are compared to other men at the activity, or even Abercrombie and Fitch models.


I was in great shape…at 19.  I could run and run, I didn’t have any flab, I could eat…well, whatever I wanted.  But now with a desk job and being…slightly older than 19…by a lot…my body doesn’t do the same things.  I wasn’t even shaped the same way.

I was fed up with it.

Now, almost a year later, I look different.  My clothes are all new as my old clothes aren’t even close to fitting.  I get told that I look great a few times a day by strangers.  Women stare, they hit on me, they give me phone numbers and ask me out. Their age doesn’t seem to matter as even those too young have way underestimated my age and…well…no worries, that was an automatic no (we should have an article on age differences in our society…hmmm).  What’s different?  A few things, but one of which is visually I’m simply in better shape.

The clothing make the man…er…after you’re getting in shape.  Suits look better.  Dress shirts look better.  Tuxedos especially.  Polo shirts, flat-front pants, t-shirts, all of it.

At first I was doing well, on the exercise and nutrition track, and I knew the scale was telling me good news, but only one or two people ever noticed.  But as my clothes become just way too big on me, I started getting new clothes, new clothes that fit.  It was like night and day, and everybody started noticing.

To give you an idea of the impact of this, I used to hit the McDonald’s drive thru for a breakfast.  Part of my nutrition stopped that.  But sometimes you eat on the road, so using CalorieKing.com I’ve come to pick out a couple menu items I could live with if I didn’t make it to my own food stash.  One of which is the McDonalds Premium Grilled Chicken Wrap.  Good in calories, fat, and protein.  So a couple months ago, I stop at the drive-thru near my home and order the chicken wrap and at the drive-thru window, the McDonalds worker that had been there for a while noticed through the window and into my car and started asking me, “Did you lose weight?”  “Wow!” “Haven’t seen you here in a while” “You look great!”  When the McDonald’s employees notice, then you’re doing something right.

I get asked several times a week what I did.  So here it is…written down, the fantastic plan that I went through and am going through, and will continue to go through.

The 6 Things

  • Anaerobic
  • Aerobic
  • Yoga
  • Nutrition
  • Sleep
  • Uplifting Content


This is lifting weights.  I lift 3-4 times a week.  I started in the gym as a beginner on the machines.  This way I could learn the motions.  But as soon as I could I moved to free weights, especially dumbbells to get the maximum return on my effort.

I used basic two-joint exercises.  A pushup uses two joints, the elbow and shoulder.  Some exercises, such as the curl, only bend one joint (elbow).  Using mostly two-joint exercises makes for rapid development.  But throw in a couple single-joint exercises here and there.  Read up, watch the videos on bodybuilding.com to see what basic plans to begin with.  It doesn’t matter a whole lot as long as you stick to it.

An important part to lifting is that I get dressed to exercise.  I bought new shorts, a new t-shirt, and new athletic shoes.  Then I’d dress up and “look good” to go and do my thing.  This also motivates myself that I’m not messing around, I’m seriously going to go through with it.

I also track my sessions.  I use a smartphone app Fitness Buddy, but any tracking system will work, as long as you stick to it. (The sticking to it theme is essential in all of this).

Two more tips:

  • Squats, work them into your routine. As you exercise, your muscles use more calories while you sleep at night.  Doing squats, you’re working the biggest muscles.  Squats are not called the “king of exercises” for nothing.
  • Focus on Form – do the exercise perfectly. You’ll find that this makes faster results than anything and is even more important than trying to go up in weight.


Again, I get dressed to exercise.  Then I take on my aerobic routine.  At first…I walked.  And I didn’t (couldn’t) walk very far.  But keeping on it, 2-4 times a week, every week.  I walked further and further.  I do like running, but my joints don’t like that as much, so a combination of run/walk.  The mixing up of the two really make for the best exercise anyway from what I hear.

If I’m strapped for time, an exercise bike in the house is used while I watch an episode of White Collar or something.


Schedule-wise, I’ve only built this in to hit it twice a month.  But I enjoy it.  And before yoga, it felt like something was missing, I just wasn’t rounded enough.  But taking in some yoga really feels great.  I’m no super-flexible-yoga-person, but I go and do what I can.


Chips/cookies/cake/sugary/candy/soda – I’ve told myself that I am now allergic to these things.  After all, they make my tummy bigger.  I did have a cookie like, uh, two months ago.  A friend made it, it was good.  I still remember that cookie.

Drive-Thru – nope, next to none.  Only in times of emergency when CalorieKing.com says there’s something that’s not overly bad.

Don’t purchase the junk food – if the junk food was in my house, it’d be too easy to eat it.  But I find for me it’s easier not to buy it in the first place.

Eat the preplanned amount – I plan for the amount I’m going to eat, then when I’ve eaten that amount, I stop.  No more eating until full, or overfull.

Protein – I do about 1 gram for each 1lb I weigh.  I get about 30-40% from regular food (eggs in the morning and grilled chicken at night are a regular).  The remaining protein I get from protein shakes, usually 2-3 a day.  To get good protein shakes it has to meet these three criteria:

  • Tastes good to you (or you won’t drink it)
  • Costs semi-ok
  • Has the protein you want

Bread – yeah, next to no bread.  Any bread is 100% whole wheat and I probably average about 4-6 slices a week.

Water, water, and more water


When you lift weights, you don’t build muscle.  You tear it down.  It’s at night when you sleep that the muscle building takes place.  So you need enough sleep.  Figure 7 hours minimum.

Since the only time for me to work out is often 430am, I’m looking for lights out at night around 930pm a lot.

Uplifting Content

This drives the other 5 areas.  Without this, I would stop.

Motivational music or speeches while working out.  Searching YouTube for epic motivational workout or motivational music/speeches brings up many hour-long mixes to listen to.

While I’m getting dressed for the day I often play a Marie Forleo YouTube video or others.  Just some 5-10 minute item that soaks in slightly.

Scriptures, church motivational things – just a little a day is all that’s needed.

Get the new workout outfit mentioned above, this is motivational

Get a new haircut, etc. to feel the makeover for myself

Set a 2-3 month goal for yourself – Perhaps your goal is to look good for swimming season this spring.  Maybe a singles activity that you have on the calendar.  Simply put it on the calendar and as you work out, remember your goal.  After you get to that goal, set another 2-3 month goal.

Get myself a new piece of clothing that fits.  This is often a reward to myself over the weeks.  That way when I look better in the mirror, it’s an uplifting content item.  When people come up and compliment me, it’s an uplifting content item.

Side tip, get a compression shirt.  This does four things:

  • You will feel snug and firm to yourself all day
  • You will feel like standing/sitting up straight – and end up looking better
  • You will look slimmer/trimmer
  • Your arms will look better

Wear it under your regular shirt.  Later as you tone up, on a casual day, wear one as your outer shirt and you’ll get lots of attention.

Sure, the UnderArmor brand is good. But I’ll recommend a SubSports shirt (their sizes are slightly small, so read the reviews to adjust slightly).


As you do this, it’s not about looking good for the ladies anymore.  Which interestingly enough is when they start complimenting physically more and more.  But that’s not what it’s about, and you’ll find that you’ll want the deeper connection.

Oh..and by taking care of yourself, the ladies have said often that it’s a sign that taking care of yourself shows them that you take care of other things in your life too.

If I can do it, then you surely can.