Seeking Community Support for My Personal Weight-Loss Goals
Research shows that one of the most powerful success factors for achieving and maintaining weight-loss is an effective support network.
I'd like to put that to the test.
I'm in OK shape, but like most middle-aged men, I have some stubborn pounds around the middle I'd like to get rid of. I'm hoping the PP.com community can help me do that, as well as then keep the weight off.
I have 2 goals:
- Get my weight down below 190 pounds
- Stay under 190 for a month
I figure if I can achieve both, I'll have developed enough good habits and discipline to have decent odds of staying at my target weight.
I'm a little under 6'2" tall and currently weigh 205 lbs. Given a target weight of 189 lbs, I'm looking to shed ~7.8% of my body weight. That doesn't strike me as unreasonable, especially if I take a gradual approach (i.e., several months).
Research also indicates that weight-loss primarily occurs from dieting, helped along in no small part by a good exercise regime. Once you've achieved your target weight, exercise then switches to become the primary means of staying there.
My diet is pretty good, though not perfect. One of my worst offenses is that the majority of my calories are consumed late in the day. I hardly ever eat before noon. I'll be working to kick-start my metabolism earlier in the day with breakfast, as well as tapering my caloric intake as the day goes on.
I get some exercise almost every day, though there's certainly room for the duration, intensity and variety to increase. I plan to bump up the tennis and bike riding, and resume strength training.
My biggest obstacle is the sedentary time in front of the computer that keeping PP.com running demands. Which is one big reason why I'm enlisting this community's help. I'm hoping you will remind me that stepping away from the computer to squeeze in a quick re-energizing workout will be to both our interests.
I'll update this thread with news of progress towards my goals. My hope is, with your help, we can validate the research cited above.
And if I do indeed hit my targets, my hope is that others will start using this group for similar benefit. But if you don't want to wait for the results, feel free to jump in and join me in working towards your own goals!
Thanks in advance for your support.
Note: If you're reading this and are not yet a member of Peak Prosperity's Healthy Living Group, please consider joining it now. It's where our supportive community shares information, inspiration and encouragement to help each other become healthier and more fit. Simply go here and click the "Join Today" button.
Sounds reasonable and smart.
I've been reshaping my own health habits for the past couple of months. Slowly but surely, it's making a difference. I turned 40 this year and with that came some heavy awareness that if I don't make some important self-care changes now, I will later regret not doing so.
I have become a runner. I was never a runner, ever. In fact, I was never much of an exerciser. I have a routine that I follow several times a week (goal is every day) that includes stretching, running, and fiddling. (Yep, the fiddling is also an important form of self-care for me — your mileage may vary, but I think everyone can benefit from something they do daily that brings them joy.) Once I've done those things, I can more easily give myself over to everything else that demands my attention and/or my sedentariness.
I chose running because it's virtually free, convenient, and there are no obstacles (except perhaps weather, and I'm thinking of alternatives for when blizzard season sets in). No need to schedule, find a partner, or drive my car anywhere to do it. (Although, for me, it did require the purchase of a good, supportive jog-bra.)
I started by walking. I couldn't run; my heart and lungs weren't up to it. Then I started interspersing short spurts of running in between walking — I'd run until my heart beat out of my chest or I felt my lungs working too hard, and then I'd walk until it all calmed down, and then run again.
I felt ridiculous. But I also figured that anyone else who saw me who was as out of shape as I was would be cheering me on and maybe even be inspired. (Oh look, there goes an overweight middle-aged mom running slowly in outdated sweats and ratty sneakers! I can do that.) It actually helped me to know that a friend and neighbor made a huge lifestyle change and went from being morbidly obese to being a running addict. I'm not hitting those extremes, but it has been awesome seeing her out running and hearing her talk about how great she feels.
Anyway, after several weeks of walk/running, one day I ran a mile without walking.
The next day I upped the ante and ran a mile and a half without walking. There's a nice 1.6 mi flat loop in my neighborhood, and I'm sticking to that distance for now. Some people might scoff and others marvel. It doesn't matter to me; it's working for me, and I have kept up the habit for a couple of months now. I aim to be comfortable in my body and fitting back into my favorite clothes by Christmas.
Telling friends and neighbors about it has kept me accountable. My kids are keeping me accountable. And now you all know. So, no turning back.
All that is to say, Go, Adam! I'm right here with you.
Hey Adam: Good on you.
First an anecdote: I cut bread out of my diet for about 3-4 weeks. I have no idea how many lbs melted away since I don't use scales. What I noticed was an overall loss of padding all over my body. And no one would think I'm overweight to look at me. Only I know how "not skinny" I am.
So, after having found "Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us" by Michael Moss on my Nook (a hand-me-down from family), I now know why all those inches disappeared. Every slice of commercially made bread is jammed packed with sugar. So now I only eat artisan bread, if I eat bread at all. It actually feels great to only eat (for my body type) proteins and veggies and fruit. My energy levels skyrocketed and best of all, those pesky aches and pains went away; you know, the ones caused by inflammation from eating crap that poisons your cells. My advice is to avoid all processed food, since cheese is added to increase fat content, and hidden fat leads to over-consumption since our brains don't have a fat governor. This book is especially impressive to me because it is very approachable and also includes the biochemistry that explains why we respond as we do to blatantly unhealthy "foods".
I also started going outside barefoot to do chicken chores, and that is also subtlety energizing. Yeah, my feet were tender at first, but that gets better pretty quick, too.
Enjoy your journey. It's so worth it.
Similar story at my house, Adam. 209 pounds with a healthy target weight of about 185. In years past when I got down to 185, my cholesterol normalized, obstructive sleep apnea resolved and pre-diabetes disappeared. And I could run and bicycle with my more athletic friends again.
So I'll join you on this project. And good luck.
Adam, One of the most important personal discoveries I have made this year is the work of Dr. William Davis, a practicing cardiologist. His 2012 book "wheatbelly" is revelatory for most people who have stubborn weight problems, as well as for those who suffer from a spectrum of auto-immune and inflammatory-related maladies. Dr. Davis explains what is going on in the level of detail I needed, as a chemist, to convince me that this was not pseudo-science (as many diets are, such as, IMO, the blood-type diet, etc). Getting to the point, I finally turned around years of slow but sure weight gain and have lost 12 lbs in the last 4 months of gluten free/wheat free living. I sleep better, my acid stomach problems are all but gone, and I feel better than I have in years. My boss has lost 45 lbs – he introduced me to the ideas and loaned me his book.
I am not going to review the whole book here… but you will learn that wheat is addictive (very true in my experience… I can now say no to donuts without a second thought), wheat Gliadin's can incite autoimmune reactions (http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2013/10/gliadin-the-universal-human-poison/), and last but not least, as Luna suggests, that wheat is highly glycemic. You will learn that selective breeding in order to increase crop yields and gluten content has brought out the worst in wheat.. which may very well map to the increases in Celiac disease over the decades.
One thing I did that really helped me build the case for change was to read the review comments, of which there are almost 2500!, on Amazon for this book;
Although each person's experience is, in itself, anecdotal, a picture will emerge as you read the comments of lives being improved in many different ways; weight loss, improved thinking/cognition, freedom from longstanding IBS problems, getting off stomach acid reducing meds, eradication of skin conditions, normalization of blood numbers .. .the list is long.. but if you read enough reviews you will start to see the patterns and the underlying truth of the contentions that Dr. Davis makes in the book.
I will never eat wheat again. For me, being free of the addictive nature of wheat, and having a new ability to avoid foods that I always knew were bad, like donuts and pastries, is a revelation. I thought I was lacking in willpower. As it turns out, I was actually under the influence….
All the best Adam
When I saw this topic I was all set to praise "Wheat Belly" but Jim H. beat me to it!
I've lost sixty pounds since a friend recommended the book and it convinced me to cut way back on wheat. I haven't eliminated wheat completely, but many days I have none, and my consumption is probably 90% less than it used to be. Social life is to blame for the remainder!
In a nutshell, reduced wheat consumption = better appetite regulation that's more in line with what the body actually needs.
Beg, borrow or buy a copy of Wheat Belly and start doing what it says.
I'm a bit like Jim H and Yoxa in that WheatBelly seems really important. Partly avoiding wheat disrupts my tendency to stop at the convenience store for a box of Oreo's on the way home from a stressful day of work.
Nothing like the blissful biochemical effects of chocolate/sugar/butter on my mood centers. Until I need the next box of Oreo's…..
Adam, yours is an issue most Americans face.
My suggestion is to "shape the path", meaning to find what you're willing to do consistently, begin doing it, and then add incremental degrees of difficulty. This idea may be applied to both diet and exercise.
Since you sit long hours at a desk — a real killer recent studies say — consider getting your phone (or a timer) to chime once an hour. Soon, like Pavlov's dogs, you'll immediately react to whatever it is you've decided to do when that chime goes off, such as stand up and do 20 squats, or pushups, or burpees, or stretch, or walk 200 yards, etc. This stuff adds up and can be quiet beneficial.
For a more detailed plan, check out a post I wrote called, "The Baby Boomer's Guide To Trimming Body Fat" right here: http://www.garmaonhealth.com/diet/baby-boomers-guide-to-trimming-body-fat
My integrative medicine doc recommended the "Wheat Belly" book to me. I am trying to avoid wheat as much as possible but not sure if it's having an effect. Of course, I haven't cut it out completely like Yoxa it's the eating out that's hard – pizza! But on a day to day basis, I avoid it. I'll be glad to report back here on how I'm doing as I need to lose too. With age has come extra weight and it has to come off in the name of resilience.
Good luck everyone!
If you haven't had a date with gout consider yourself blessed. Anyway, no gluten/wheat – no gout with one winter down.