One can spend a lot of time and bandwidth extolling the physical benefits of smart eating and exercising. Weight loss! More energy! Better sex! Heavy duty selling points, all. But what if you look beyond lifestyle?
Can a new way of looking at diet plans and eating, a new fat loss formula, along with a new way of exercising make a chronic disease go away and restore health? For David Musikanth, the answer is a resounding yes.
The Ultimate Weight Loss Battle
A GOOD PLAN IS ONE WHERE YOU EAT WHAT YOU LIKE. IT’S SOMETHING YOU DON’T SEE IN MOST DIET PLANS.
For most of his life, Musikanth had suffered from Crohn’s disease, a chronic inflammatory bowel disorder that brings on unpredictable spells of pain, diarrhea, bleeding, and constipation. It also causes fatigue and, in general, makes your life miserable.
“You can be at home and you want to go out and all of a sudden your stomach isn’t 100 percent and you can’t go out,” he says. “You absolutely can’t. You have to stay somewhere where you have facilities. Crohn’s ruled my life.”
Musikanth was medicated for the condition, and he did exercise, but even then he says it’s still difficult to control symptoms. Finally, a little over two years ago, at age 43 with a wife and two children, he reached a point where something had to change.
“You realize you’re not getting any younger,” he says. “Health is a bigger issue and it was hitting home much harder than it ever did. I wanted to do something for myself that didn’t involve doctors and treatment.”
His first stop, as it is for most of us, was the internet. What could he find? Who could help? He didn’t really have a set diet (“I didn’t think much about it at all”) and his workouts had never changed his body in any meaningful way.
Soon he stumbled on trainer Adam Bornstein’s Twitter feed. “I was intrigued by his posts,” Musikanth says. “So I just asked him some basic questions about nutrition and exercise.”
Bornstein engaged and suggested that Musikanth overhaul his approach to both eating and working out. The first change? Instead of eating the way he’d always had, Bornstein suggested intermittent fasting. It’s a simple concept: Between the hours of noon and 8 p.m., you eat all your normal meals. The rest of the time you consume nothing. “It sounded completely crazy,” Musikanth says.
Ditching Diets for Nutrition Plans
He and his wife decided to try it together – “It’s a lot easier if you have someone to do it with” – along with a change in what he was eating. “Before, there was no concept of diet. A typical meal would be like hot dogs or hamburgers and chips. And a Coke. I wouldn’t even think twice about it.”
Musikanth eliminated the garbage food, but also changed what he eat for the majority of his diet. He’ll eat chicken and vegetables. Fish. Eggs for breakfast. An occasional steak. “It was very strange at first, fitting all my meals into a set timeframe,” he says.
The biggest difference, though, was the flexibility. There was no talk of removing family favorites like pizza night and sushi. Instead, it was understanding how to build a eating style around a lifestyle, and then make sure the plan was doable.
The first three months were tough because of the adjustment of the “good foods” to eat, not because of what was restricted.
“What was amazing was where I initially struggled,” says Musikanth. “It’s not strict in terms of avoiding all foods. A good plan is one where you eat what you like. It’s something you don’t see in most diet plans.”
“But the bigger issue is how much you stay on plan versus having flexibility. In time, your body becomes trained for it. Now it’s second nature. More importantly, Adam set expectations so that when progress stalled, we knew that the plan didn’t stop working. Instead, we discovered how plateaus can be part of progress.”
Bornstein also gave Musikanth a new approach to fitness – a combination of strength and metabolic training that he’d never encountered before. “I did go to a gym, but what I did was very old fashioned, very boring kind of stuff,” he says.
“Now I walk into the gym and have to do all these strange movements. It was very weird at first. But in four months, my whole body changed. Even the people at the gym were asking me, ‘What kind of training is this?’ These were exercises that no one had ever seen.”
Reinventing The Fat Loss Formula
In those first months, Musikanth dropped 22 pounds, which took him from flabby to shredded – an unexpected side benefit. “I hadn’t been majorly fat. It wasn’t like I needed to lose this weight, but it was simply my body shedding fat. Now I look completely different.”
But again, to really appreciate Musikanth’s story, you have to look past the aesthetics. In those first months, along with the physical changes, all of his Crohn’s symptoms disappeared.
Musikanth has been on Bornstein’s plan for 2 years, is now 45, and is quite literally a changed man. “I changed everything. I did a complete change in what I ate, a complete change in how I train. I’m still on the Crohn’s medication, but I have no side effects. It’s in complete remission.”
There’s one more eye-opening bit of information you should know. Musikanth lives in South Africa. Bornstein splits his time between Denver and Los Angeles. This man managed to engage a trainer and successfully implement his plan from half a world away.
Think about that. Some people live 10 minutes from their gym and still can’t make it work with trainers.
Musikanth has thought about this. “I go to a beautiful gym,” he says. “But you look at the trainers and they’re very young. To me, what makes the relationship work is having commitment on both sides. When you see the results, obviously, you see the results. Then it doesn’t matter which side of the planet you’re on.”
The Born Fitness Family: David Musikanth
I went from 83 kgs to a constant 69-70 kgs. My body fat dropped from 20 percent to below 10 percent and my fitness level just improved like mad enabling me to do my 1st 10km run as well as complete 2 Impi challenges, which is a 12km trail run with 20 odd obstacles in between.
These would never even have been contemplated before Born Fitness online coaching. More importantly to me is that in the now 3 years of Born Fitness I have not had one incident of Crohn’s disease throughout this period which is quite astonishing!! Even my doctors are at a loss. For me this has been the real success of Born Fitness, helping me get my life back.
Why Born Fitness
I grew up in a home where diet certainly wasn’t an issue, so I was always overweight even though as a kid I went to the gym and did routine weights. In my 20s I was diagnosed with the chronic disease Crohn’s which affected me really badly both from a diet perspective and a training perspective, it all went flat from there on.
Even though I still trained I just had no plan and I ate pretty freely as well as being on chronic medication daily. This went on until I discovered Born Fitness when I was 44! Once I had joined Born fitness my life did a complete u-turn even at this late age. I got a managed, educated, designed and completely different training and eating plan that delivered the results I so desperately craved in its 1st month!!
Certainly a plan designed just for me and diet constructed around what I eat just made it easier and much more simple to negotiate. I would definitely say that a new world of exercises in a structured plan was what instantaneously made a difference. A mix of functional cardio and focused weight training just breathed new life into my system.