TechGenix FitITproNews

Vol. 01, #08 - November 01, 2017 - Issue #0008

FitITproNews: Body transformation story - Yuri Diogenes

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Editor's Corner

This week's newsletter tries to answer two questions: What can working at Microsoft do to your body? And what can one do about it? To explore these questions we've interviewed Yuri Diogenes, Senior Content Developer at Microsoft, and we promise you'll be AMAZED at the way he transformed himself from a typical "fat IT pro" into a...well, you'll just have to read on and see for yourself!

IT pros have some unique methods for building muscle. Did you know that you could get pumped from using the mouse? Dilbert explains here:

Disclaimer: I am not a certified fitness professional or nutritionist so take any suggestions made here "as is" with a grain of salt and a heaping supply of your own judgment. Please read our full disclaimer at the bottom of this newsletter. 

Subscriber preferences: As a WServerNews subscriber we're sure you'll enjoy reading FitITproNews each week as much as you enjoy reading WServerNews. But if you'd rather not receive FitITproNews any more, just go to the bottom of this issue and click Update Newsletter Preferences to change your subscription preferences. And by the way, we also have two other TechGenix newsletters you can subscribe to: our Weekly IT Update and Spotlight Articles. Why not subscribe to all of them today?

Ask Our Readers: Need help or advice concerning fitness, weightloss, exercising or nutrition? Why not tap into the huge collective expertise of our IT pro readership from all around the world! Send your questions to us today by emailing us at [email protected]

From the Mailbag

In Issue #6 Caloric consistency we talked about some of the myths surrounding calorie counting. This prompted Phil Sharpe, a System Admin working in the UK, to write to us as follows: 

You don't need to count calories! Do you really think we all need another obsession? Your body comes equipped with a built-in calorie counter -- it's called your hypothalamus. Since I cut anything with added sugar out of my diet (over a year ago) I lost all the weight that I needed to. I lost over 15kg in the first 3 months and I now have my 29" waist back. Once you cut all of the fructose out of your diet, you completely regain control of your appetite. You'll actually find it hard to over-eat. If you haven't read "Sweet Poison" by David Gillespie, then I'd really recommend it to you. Once you've read that, then please give "Toxic Oil" a go (by the same author).

Well, to each his own I guess. Some people like one IT pro that we're going to interview in our next issue have succeeded in losing significant weight and keeping it off without counting calories or tracking any other nutritional macros. Others like myself though have succeeded by rigorously recording everything they eat and how many calories they consume each day. Maybe I'm more neurotic than the typical IT pro. Or maybe it's because I've always loved math and got a degree in Physics at university so I love to measure things and graph them and analyze them. Regardless, calorie counting has worked for me and I don't find it a burden in any way, I actually think it's fun. But as I said, to each his own.

In Issue #5 Staying motivated I asked our readers the following question:

How much money do you think it will cost you per pound (or half kilo) to lose all that weight? A dollar a pound? Five dollars? Ten? Twenty? More?

A reader named Bob Hoyng sent us the following story in response to this question:

I've actually lost significant weight a few times. I'm 42 now and 5'11". At one point in my life I was up around 239 pounds. I was completely sedentary...I would play with my kids but that was about it. I spent most of my time at home on the couch or the computer and sat at a desk at work all day. I didn't get enough sleep. I finally decided that I was likely to live a relatively short life if I continued on that path. I started paying attention to my sleep, trying to eat a bit more reasonably, etc. Just those relatively minor changes helped me drop about 20 pounds. After that I took advantage of the YMCA family membership that we had primarily for our kids. I started light swimming/water walking as well as casual weight lifting. When I added in activity I dropped another 20 pounds or so. Finally, when my sons were old enough to join a karate class I ended up joining it with them. That took up the slack for the swimming that I'd had to drop out of due to some health issues unrelated to the weight. I also added in running, at first on an elliptical as I had trouble running at the 210 pounds I was back up to and gradually ramping up to running miles in the high-6/low-7 minute range. Since that time my weight has fluctuated in the 165-200 range depending on my motivation level and time available. Ideally I'd like to cap out at about 185-190 but none of us are perfect. :)

I say all this just to point out that the only money I've had to spend on losing weight has been unrelated to the weight loss itself. The YMCA membership, the karate classes, etc...they were all just extensions of things I wanted to do for reasons unrelated to health goals - usually things for my kids. I'm now a black belt and martial arts instructor and the #1 thing I try to communicate to my adult students that are struggling with their health is this: There is NOT one right way to get healthy. There isn't even one right way for THEM to get healthy. They just have to find something they enjoy that they can stick with and then do it. That's it. That goes for both diet and exercise. Finding what works for you is far more important than any catch-phrase like HiiT or any particular activity like Martial Arts. And while I have no problem with the idea of people spending money to lose weight they should only do so if they WANT to spend the money for other reasons - losing weight can be free and honestly, since you're eating less food, should save you money!

Bob has made some good points there, but my own experience was quite different. When I lost more than 50 lbs over the course of nine months, I totaled up how much money my body transformation had cost me and I discovered it had cost me about ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS PER POUND LOST. The main reason it cost me so much was because I had to throw out my entire wardrobe--suits, jackets, shirts, pants, coats, underwear--ok maybe not shoes or socks, but almost everything else in my closet had to go to the dumpster. I then had to buy all new suits, jackets, shirts, pants, coats, underwear to restock my empty closet so I wouldn't go to client sites naked. That expenditure, plus various supplements that helped me changing my nutritional lifestyle, plus the cost of outfitting my home gym with dumbbells, kettlebells, an exercise bike, and other exercise equipment, all together brought the total cost of losing weight for me to around $100 per pound lost. 

Golly, I never knew fat could be so expensive!

Anyways, let's move on now to the main topic of this week's newsletter...

Interview with Yuri Diogenes

MITCH: I'm talking today with Yuri Diogenes, an IT pro who works for Microsoft as Senior Content Developer, writing about Azure Security Center. Yuri when I saw the following before/after photo of you my reaction was WOW!


I understand that photo of you on the left was taken seven years ago in 2011 when you weighed 285 lbs while the right-hand photo shows you today when you now weigh only 185 lbs. That's an amazing loss of 100 lbs! But what's even more amazing is that you lost all of that weigh in the very first year of your fitness journey! Tell us what motivated you to change your life like this.

YURI: Thanks Mitch! As you can see on the left picture I was way too heavy, and with that much weight (36% body fat), I was having a lot of health issues, including early arthritis in my knees, fatty liver, high cholesterol, etc. My youngest daughter was born in 2008, and in 2011 when she was on her "running around" peak, I wasn't able to catch up with her, matter of fact I was having problems to climb the stairs because my knees were locking. I had to do injection treatment on both knees just to be able to walk correctly. It was very frustrating to have a young kid at home and not being able to actively play with her, plus I was feeling terrible. All that together motivated me to make a real lifestyle change (since I don't believe in seasonal diet). Note that my 100 lbs weight loss didn’t take 6 years, it took one year, as explained below:

MITCH: Once you lost 100 lbs of bodyfat, what made you decide to pursue bodybuilding rather than running or triathlon some other sport fitness activity?

YURI: I was first exposed to bodybuilding when I was 16 years old, my first job was in a gym, and I saw how disciplined those folks were. I knew that if I wanted to make a lifestyle change, I needed to be disciplined, and bodybuilding is something I knew it could lead me to that. On top of that, I never wanted to be skinny, and I never liked running anyway. Even nowadays my cardio is done on the StairMaster, and not in a treadmill. 

MITCH: You look pretty muscular and lean (and mean) in the right-hand photo. What's your percent bodyfat at present? And of course I know you're really a very nice guy and not at all a mean son-of-a-gun ;-)

YURI: To be honest I don't know, I don't worry too much about that during my offseason, I just worry about hat when I'm getting ready to compete. My body fat one week out from a show is usually 7%, but that doesn't last long, and it is not realistic to maintain that low. So, I would say that 10% to 12% is a good and realistic number to maintain.

MITCH: What kind of equipment do you use for working out? Do you go to a gym or are you set up with equipment in your basement?

YURI: I usually go to the gym, but I also have my own gym in my garage. I wake up 5 AM, and do 40 minutes fasting cardio (empty stomach) on my StairMaster. After that I have my first meal (usually 8 egg whites, 2 whole eggs, and half cup of Grits), and around 7:30 I go to the gym for weight lifting training. What I use there varies with the muscle group that I'm exercising, but I usually do most of the exercises using free weights, just some exercises I use machines.

MITCH: Do you work out alone or with others? With a personal trainer?

YURI: I started training with a friend one year ago, but before that I was training by myself. I do have a coach that guide me through the last 20 weeks prior to the competition, by providing me the training program and nutritional plan.

MITCH: How many calories do you consume per day on average?

YURI: Right now around 2500, but when I'm prepping for a show, it drops to 2000, and in the last six weeks, goes to 1800.

MITCH: Can you give us an example of what your meals might consist of on a typical weightlifting day?

YURI: I told my breakfast previous, so that's one. After working out I have a Whey Protein shake (around 50 grams of protein), around 11AM I have 7 ounces of chicken and one cup of white rice, around 1 PM I have 7 ounces of lean ground beef with half cup veggies, 3PM - 7 ounces of chicken and 6 ounces of white potato, 6PM another protein shake, and last meal I have 6 ounces of salmon with veggies.

MITCH: Do you use any supplements?

YURI: Yes, including: Whey Protein Isolated, BCAA, Fish Oil, Multi-Vitamin, Joint Support, Vitamin K, Potassium, Magnesium, Creatine, and Glutamine. I don't like pre-workout, but I take when I need.

MITCH: Do you ever have any cheat meals?

YURI: Yes I do, every Saturday night I have a rewarding meal, AKA cheating meal. Since I love pizza, I usually eat pizza on Saturday night. It is good, and it really doesn't do any harm. I tell my friends that is not what you do once in a while that defines you, but what constantly do. Having one single cheat meal a week is absolutely fine. Now, when I'm getting ready for a show, that doesn't happen every weekend, maybe once a month.

MITCH: Tell us a bit about your career at Microsoft, how long you've been working there and what kind of work you do there nowadays.

YURI: I've been at Microsoft for the past 11 years, where 5 years were at the ISA/TMG Security Support Team, and for the past 6 years I've been in the Content Development organization. In this org I worked with Windows Security content, Cloud Infrastructure, Enterprise Mobility, and nowadays I'm dedicated to Azure Security Center. I work close with the Azure Security Center product team, identifying opportunities to document solutions, key scenarios, and I usually speak at conferences, such as Microsoft Ignite, Hacker Halted, and TechReady.

MITCH: You're a busy guy! How do you balance your work at Microsoft with your bodybuilding activities and your family and social life?

YURI: That's an interesting question, because I wrote a book about that, it's called Ready, Set, Achieve. Balance is everything, that's why I got morbid obese in the first place, because I was unbalanced. To me is critical to get my workout done early in the morning, for many reasons: I have more energy, I have zero excuses (no meetings, not tired, etc) to not get done, and I feel energized for the rest of the day. By 9AM I'm done with all my training and I can be in full production at Microsoft. The key is to create a habit, and do this every single day even when you are not at home. For example, when I travel to the Redmond, I keep my CST time zone, so I wake up 3AM PST, and I go to the gym (yes, 24 hours fitness is open 24 hrs). Once you change your mind to adopt this lifestyle, you feel the need to do it, is like taking a shower: you do it every day (ideally). As far as social life, you need to make good choices, mainly when the subject is food. If you are going to hang out with friends, suggest a place that has the food that you are supposed to eat. Nowadays there are so many good options, that you really just eat junk food if you want, or if you didn't plan right. When I travel I ship my food to the hotel via, which helps me to have all I need, and keep eating every 2 hours and half. It's easy, but it requires discipline, and that's where people fail….lack of discipline and consistency (because you can't do this just for a month and expect life changing results).

MITCH: Do you have any personal goal that's driving you to keep bodybuilding and continue healthy eating?

YURI: I like to use the "growth mindset" principle that we are talking so much about it at Microsoft to apply to my personal life. It's all about continuous improvement, if you are always chasing a better version of you, you will never stop, because you know that the best is yet to come. I compete because I like it, its fun, and I think by the age of 50 I will be on my best (I'm 42 now). I say this because it will be 10 years continuously doing the same routine, and continuity is imperative to personal growth (mental and physical). So, in summary: my goal is to be the best I can be, year after year.

MITCH: What's the biggest challenge you've faced to staying on track with your fitness and nutrition?

YURI: Right now I'm in cruise control, maintaining is not hard, because it became a habit. But, traveling is still catchy, because sometimes you can't find a good gym, or your schedule messes thing up. But, I would say that 95% of the time, I'm able to replicate my routing on the road.

MITCH: Got any warnings for other IT pros who might want to follow in your footsteps? I'm thinking especially of guys in the 40s and 50s who have let themselves get badly out of shape because of the stresses of the IT profession and who are thinking it's time they finally got serious about their health and losing weight.

YURI: First step is to know yourself, go to your doctor and request a full blood check. Make sure that you have your own "performance monitor" baseline before you even start. It is very important to understand not only how you are outside, but mainly inside. Even if you don't have heart problems, make sure to go to the doctor, do an EKG, and test it. Once you have all your numbers, hire a professional to help you. Forget the Internet buzz with magical diets, miraculous shakes, and things like that. Best results come from a custom program, create based on your own needs, and designed to increase your overall performance. Lastly I would say: if you think you don't have time to take care of yourself, you're wrong -- you do, you just need to better manage your time. Being healthier and more active will have a direct impact in your work performance. Read this article that I wrote for more info on this.

MITCH: Can you recommend any resources that can help other "fat IT pros" get started properly with bodybuilding and health eating?

YURI: I really like the website, it has a lot of good content, many article written by PhD in the subject, and professional athletes:

MITCH: Yuri thanks very much for giving us some of your valuable time.

YURI: You bet, and thanks for having me. Congratulations on this initiative, we really need to switch the mindset of many IT PROs that think that they need to eat pizza, do not sleep, and have a sedentary life in order to be successful in the field. That's an old stereotype, and we really don't need to be that way.

About Yuri Diogenes

Yuri is a Senior Content Developer for the CSI Enterprise Mobility and Security Team at Microsoft.

Connect with Yuri on LinkedIn:

Visit Yuri's blog on TechNet:

Follow Yuri on Twitter:

What about you? Do you have an approach that has helped you build muscle while also losing or at least maintaining your weight? Email me at [email protected]

Today's workout

Today's workout was contributed by Eric Scheaffer, a Systems Administrator from Ohio, USA. 

I have been working out off and on for most of my life. I was a college football player with different workout goals when I was younger. My goal now is to have the Greg Plitt look to some degree, but also to only take that look to the extent that I can reasonably maintain it at my age. I'm 49, and too busy to spend more than about 45-60 minutes a day working out.

So my workout is this:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 

Whole body circuit training with only 3 dumbbells (lighter weights with higher reps):

  • Front shoulder raise -- 12 reps
  • Lateral shoulder raise -- 12 reps
  • Triceps kickbacks -- 12 reps
  • Reverse fly -- 12 reps
  • Switch to heavier dumbbell
  • Biceps curls -- 12 reps
  • Romanian dead lift -- 12 reps
  • Dumbbell squat to kettle bell-style swing -- 12 reps
  • Pushups -- 20
  • Ab crunches -- 15
  • Bicycle ab crunch -- 15 each side
  • Grab first set of dumbbells, staying on back from ab work
  • Pec fly -- 12 reps
  • Skull crushers -- 12 reps

I finish with a bonus lift like bent over rows, extra curls with heavier dumbbell, resistance band shoulder work. That's one circuit, and I go from one exercise to the next with no rest. I do three circuits total on my lifting days, with about a 3 minute rest between circuits.

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday:

I do cardio of some type running, hiking, biking or the first workout for the Insanity workout series.

Got a workout? Have you developed a workout that you enjoy doing and feel has been contributing to your health and which you'd like to share with our readers? Email us at [email protected]

Send us your feedback!

Got feedback about anything in this issue of FitITproNews? Email us at [email protected]

Fitness Toolbox

Products and services we think you shouldn't be without!

GOT ANY exercise equipment, nutritional supplements, personal training services, fitness websites, or anything else you would like to recommend for our readers? Or for that matter do you have any IT products or services you would like to promote or recommend? After all, our target audience here is mostly IT pros! Email us at [email protected]

Do you travel a lot and like to exercise when you're on the road? The Rove Portable Foam Roller is the world's first fully functional, portable foam roller:

BSN's N.O.-Xplode is the original pre-workout igniter for explosive energy, enhanced endurance, and performance:

Do you get thirsty when you're running outdoors? Try using the TrailMix Plus 2 Hydration Belt from Nathan Sports:

Exercise tip of the week

Inspect your fitness bands regularly! 

The other day I happened to look at one of my exercise bands before I started using it and I saw this:


I immediately retired the band to the trashcan as I didn't want to take a chance of having it break while I used it and end up getting a bad bruise, knocking a tooth out, or losing an eye.

The moral of the story? Check all of your exercise equipment regularly to protect yourself against injury or even possible death. Stay safe!

Nutritional tip of the week

Can't get enough water

Water is essential when you're working out whether you're doing cardio or weightlifting. Cardio generates a lot of sweat so it's obvious you need to drink more when you perform it. But for weightlifting it's your muscles that soak up water as they swell up and "get pumped" as you lift progressively heavier weights. In other words, drinking water helps augment your strength when you perform weightlifting. 

I like to drink at least two litres (about two quarts) of water in the early morning before I start my workout routine, and during my workout I usually drink at least another litre (about a quart). I also like to drink most of my day's allotment of water (about four litres or about one gallon) before noon as that way I don't wake up in the middle of the night needing to relieve myself. 

And don't worry that drinking a lot of water will make you swell up and appear bloated. Actually the more water you drink the more water you will expel from your system. So if you want to get that grainy dry look (assuming you've dropped enough fat from your body) you actually need to drink more not less to achieve this. Or so I'm told, anyways--I'm still pretty far from having that kind of look. 

Got tips? Do you have any exercise or nutritional tips you'd like to share with other IT pros who are trying to lose weight and get more fit? Email us at [email protected]

Fun stuff

Have trouble controlling your caloric intake? Let's make it even harder with these videos of fantastic desserts, bwahahaha...

The Best Desserts In The World

Magical Amazing dessert!

The World's Best Chocolate Dessert!

Masterchef - George's Amazing Dessert

The Best Dessert In The World?

Product of the Week

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Download the Free Permissions Analyzer Tool Today. 

About FitITproNews

FitITproNews is the only weekly newsletter in the world that is entirely devoted to helping IT pros get fit, lose weight, and live happily ever after as they face the daily stresses and workload of being in the gristmill of the IT profession. FitITproNews is brought to you by TechGenix and is created each week by the same all-star editorial team that brings you WServerNews, the world's longest running IT pro newsletter focusing on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. Subscribe to FitITproNews today! And while you’re at it be sure to also subscribe to our other TechGenix newsletters such as our Weekly IT Update and Spotlight Articles!

Editorial Team

Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of FitITproNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud technologies. He has written numerous articles and whitepapers and has authored or been series editor of more than 50 books for Microsoft Press. Mitch also successfully made the transition from being a typical "fat IT pro" to becoming fit by losing almost 50 lbs through a combination of resistance training, cardio exercises, and proper nutrition. Mitch's passion with FitITproNews is to help other IT pros do what he has been able to accomplish by sharing his personal story and lessons learned.

Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of FitITproNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. She is also Head of Research for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program. Ingrid is also committed to personal fitness and is a believer in clean eating and proper supplementation for optimal health and longevity.

Mitch and Ingrid are also the editors of WServerNews, a weekly newsletter from TechGenix that focuses on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. For more information about Mitch and Ingrid see their website.


This newsletter is designed for informational purposes only and the health and fitness information presented in it are based solely upon the personal experience of its editors and of any guests or readers who contribute content to it. Nothing in this newsletter is intended to be or should be construed to be professional medical, fitness, or nutritional advice. Always consult a physician or other health care professional before starting an exercise or nutrition program to determine if it is appropriate for your personal needs. Do not follow any of the suggestions in this newsletter if your physician or other health care professional advises against doing so. If you are exercising or dieting or taking supplements and experience any dizziness, faintness, pain, or shortness of breath, you should stop immediately and seek medical help. The use of any information presented in this newsletter is solely at your own risk.

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