Shawn's Gut

On death row…

Paleo Humor

Paleo Humor

I laughed at this thing so damn hard!


I’m Hoping To Go Coo Coo For This Recipe

I’m Hoping To Go Coo Coo For This Recipe

I really, really miss cereal. This looks like it might be just the thing I need to satisfy that hunger 🙂

Post Post Football (Exercise) Fasting

As noted in my previous post Post Football (Exercise) Fasting I attempted starting my IF with strenuous exercise in the form of touch football with some guys from work. The reasons for this are noted in that post, and this is the update.

I am never doing that again.

It’s not so much that I am hungry… that part of my fasting experience remained the same. Here are the reasons…

First, my energy levels are way down. I think I may try a power nap to see if I can recover some for the evening, I also feel as if my stress level is higher. I did not sleep as well as I had hoped for last night. I woke up in spurts of high energy only to realize I should still be sleeping. This is not consistent with my former fasts.

Second, I woke up this morning feeling weaker and ultimately less confident in my appearance and progression. I take time in the morning to view myself in the mirror and monitor how my physique is shaping up as my regiment progresses. For the first time since starting I was not excited about how I was looking in the mirror.

Finally, this really should not be something you do all that often anyways. The article I cited in my previous post made note of this. One of the comments on that previous post linked to an article that described this practice as a mistake, and I would tend to agree.

Lesson learned! It was certainly worth giving this a go, but my body is definitely in a worse state than I started in.

Post Football (Exercise) Fasting

Since I started doing IF I have completed 3 24-hour fasts and am currently into my 4th. This fast will be different than the others as it started with a hour and a half of touch football and will be slightly abbreviated (maybe 20 hours). I laid out my IF schedule to try and avoid not eating after intense exercise, but changes in my schedule due to a bio-metric screening at work where fasting is suggested (I’d have to skip breakfast anyways) and some work related travel (where I will end up eating for social reasons) means I had to move it up or abandon it completely. To this point I have really enjoyed my fasts, and so I didn’t want to abandon it.

I did a little research to see if doing a fast after exercise was a big no-no and found an article on Mark’s Daily Apple (go figure) that suggests doing this occasionally might not be such a bad thing. You can read article to figure out why.

This will definitely be a 1 time deal. If it comes up again I will probably abandon the fast altogether, but for the sake of experimenting I am giving it a go this time. I am interested to see how my body reacts. At 4 hours in I can say I am definitely hungrier than I have been in other fasts, which means I’ll actually need to employ some will power this time. I’ll give an update tomorrow night when I’m done.

P.S. The scale said 205.6 this morning 🙂

Week 1: Weekly Update

It’s been 1 week since I started this journey. Here’s an update…

My weight has dropped from 213 to 209. Which is great for a week :).

My energy level/mood has drastically improved.

For some reason the sinus troubles that have plagued me for quite some long time have mostly gone away. I am, at this point, attributing this to the removal of gluten from my diet.

I ended my 2nd intermittent fast this morning. It was a bit more difficult this time. It was not hunger pangs so much as I could feel my blood sugar drop at certain points in the day. When this happened I got tired and irritated. I think this is because my body is so used to an eating schedule and it produces insulin at those times. Today I woke up feeling great. I wasn’t hungry. I knocked out my workout and had a great breakfast.

I discovered I am terrible at creating paleo waffles or crepes.

Lastly, it has been 1 month since my last drink of alcohol. I am not sure I’ll ever go back to drinking as much as I used to.

Non-Dairy Whipped Cream

It’s my “cheat day” today, so I made some nearly paleo apple crisp, and I wanted some topping for it. I discovered you can make whipped cream out of coconut milk.

If you put the coconut milk in the refrigerator for a few hours (4 or so) you get the following when you open the can:


The top is creamy the bottom is watery… it separates kind of like yogurt does. You can then extract the cream and leave the water in the can (use it for something else). 


Feel free to sweeten it if you want, with whatever… I used coconut sugar. You then whip it as you would heavy whipping cream and presto!


Non-dairy whipped cream 🙂 I admit it does not taste as good as the dairy stuff, but if you are trying to get away from dairy it’s a pretty good substitute. 

I used some with my apple crisp, the rest I am going to mix with some strawberries.

First Intermittent Fast

Hello again… thought I would give my first update on this adventure. Today at 12:30 I ended my first 24 fast. I did not go “pure” as I did have some coffee (with a bit of milk), but all in all my caloric intake for the period probably didn’t exceed 100. Next time (Wed) I am planning to go “pure” and not eat anything but water.  

Surprisingly, I wasn’t starving or really hungry at all at the end of the 24 hours. The only side effect is that I woke this morning very dry in the mouth/sinus.  I thought I had consumed enough water over the last day, but I think the amount of sweat I’ve been dripping lately really drained me. I’ll drink more water next time.

If you read my very first post I explain how my week might look with IF, YAYOG, and some cardio. One thing I am concerned about is how IF might impact what I am doing with working out, specifically with the YAYOG stuff, as I I am only doing the cardio at this point to try to shed additional weight and may kill that off anyways. 

I’ve looked around for information on what a good schedule might be, but nothing seemed conclusive. However, I think I might make one adjustment at this point… I am going to start my 24 hour fast 24 hours before I start my next YAYOG session, and immediately after I am going to try and consume one hell of a breakfast. From what I have been reading it will probably help with my recovery to do it this way. I guess I will see how things go? 

Hello World, Say Goodbye To My Gut

Hello, my name is Shawn Rakowski, and for most of what I can remember of the last 20 years of my life I have been a bit of a chub. The worst of it being this god forsaken gut and occasional man boobery. I am starting this blog to document my journey to get in shape and kill off my gut once and for all.

I currently 28, 5’11, and 213 pounds. Not as big as I could be, but nowhere near where I would like to be. According the Omron Fat Loss Monitor my father bought me a few years ago I have a body fat percentage of 25.7% and a BMI of 29.3. That puts me on the edge of being obese. 

My current goal is to make it to under 180lbs. This would put me right close to my the “normal” weight range for my height. 10 years ago this month was the last time I weighed under this mark. The closest I have come since was just over a year ago when I was around 189lbs. I was doing well at that time, but after my daughter was born I slipped and gained most everything back. However, this time I am determined to make my mark and take it the step further to keep it off. I would like to reach this weight by no later than my 29th birthday in February. I am hesitant to set a date because I don’t want to go to any extremes in this journey to make a deadline. Instead I am just going to focus on the month ahead of me and see how far I get.

How will I do it? Diet and excercise, duh! Oh, you mean specifically?

I am currently in week 2 of the basic program of Mark Lauren’s amazing book “You Are Your Own Gym”. I received this book for Christmas a couple of years ago, and it is what allowed me to get to the 189 mark last year. I know I can get results following his program.

Furthermore, I am going a step further this time and incorporating some cardio into my regiment. I plan on doing YAYOG in the mornings and cardio workouts in the afternoon on the same days. The other days of the week I plan on resting. I am adding cardio just to shave off a few extra calories. I plan on doing a mix of jogging, biking, football (work does a touch game every week in the summer), jump rope, and maybe some dance. I am doing a variety because I do not want to counter my gains from YAYOG by cannibalizing my muscles to make the cardio easier. Mixing them up, should thwart this, or at least that is what I hope.

I may also, during strength weeks of YAYOG mix in some free weights with the body weight exercises. Specifically, I have found I enjoy landmine presses and think they have a positive impact overall. We’ll see how thing go.

As far as diet goes, I am going to try and hold to a paleo diet + milks/cheeses as best that I can. However, I will continue to drink coffee or tea, as well as a whey protein shake after my YAYOG workout. As far as alcohol goes… a little less than a month ago I went a little overboard with drinking, and have decided to take it out of my life for now. I enjoy drinking socially, but the havoc it wreaks on your body is terrible. It is probably one of my gut’s best buds. And pop (or soda as you all might call it), *only* when I go to a movie. I really enjoy the popcorn/pop/movie experience, and am not planning to kill that off. However, I have to drive 60 miles to see a movie in a worthwhile theater, so this shouldn’t be a big deal. 

I am also going to incorporate intermittent fasting (IF) into my diet. From what I have read, studies have shown this to have a positive impact on weight loss, as well as significantly increasing the longevity of animals.

With all that in mind here is what my week will look like:

  • Monday: YAYOG in the morning, cardio in the afternoon
  • Tuesday: YAYOG in the morning, cardio in the afternoon, begin IF at 6 for 24 hours.
  • Wednesday: Rest, begin eating again at 6pm.
  • Thursday: YAYOG in the morning, cardio in the afternoon
  • Friday: YAYOG in the morning, cardio in the afternoon, begin IF at 6 for 24 hours.
  • Saturday: Rest, begin eating again at 6pm.
  • Sunday: Rest, no food restrictions “cheat day”

I may switch IF to Saturday @ 6pm into Sunday depending on social activities. I hope to evolve away from my “cheat day” over time, but for the next month at least I will use this to ease me in. 

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