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The Player One "Get In Shape" 2012 thread


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#1 PlayerOneStewy

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 12:09 PM

Let's try this again!

So last year was a total bust for me. After starting out with great intentions, I got very lax and ended the year at about the same weight I started it.

To recap - I'm 35, 5'8", and currently weigh about 290. Lately I'm feeling it a lot more, too. I'm finding I get short of breath quickly, and am just in generally bad health. Recently went through a whole bunch of blood tests and an EKG, all of which didn't point to any major issues, thank goodness.

Either way, I've got two small children and another on the way, and I need to not only be able to keep up with them, but to do my best to be around for them as they grow up.

What I'm doing - This year I've resolved to fix my diet, and to get at least 20 minutes of strenuous activity in every day. No gym memberships or sweeping changes to start. I know those are too hard to keep and I don't want to get discouraged in the first few weeks. So the activity can and will be anything from going swimming to going skating to playing Dance Central for a half hour in morning before work. Or even taking the family out for a walk.

I'm using MyFitnessPal on my iPhone to log my meals and my exercise (I find the food database is way more Canada-friendly than Lose It's). So far it's telling me to aim for around 1800 calories a day (adjusted based on any exercise done), and so far this week I've been doing pretty well as I feel out how good or bad the food choices are around me.

My ultimate goal is to get back down to my wedding weight, which was around 200lbs. But I'm realistic about the fact that doing that in a single year is highly unlikely (and probably not very healthy). So really, my goal is just to see progress. I want to feel better and see the numbers on the scale trending down over the next 12 months.

I just scanned over last year's thread and saw lots of friendly motivation and encouragement, and I think that's a great thing. So let's do it all again :)
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#2 Reivax

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 01:11 PM

Skating is a good idea. Around here there are plenty of arenas that offer family skates several days per week. It seems like a great way to spend time with young kids. There are plenty of things offered for them to balance themselves with and a third of the rink is blocked off from the adults leisurely skating. It's something I have done plenty of during the winter months in 2011 and now 2012.

I don't know how close your local YMCA is, but I've been told they are a great alternative to a gym. My brother-in-law has a membership with my niece and they get a really great deal between the two of them. I'm not certain, but I think for the both of them the cost is only about $20, but that's possibly because she has some special needs. From what he tells me it offers way more than what my gym offers (racquet ball, pool, sauna), but only costs 1/3 the price. It's a place I'm probably going to start going to next month when my membership is done.

All these workout, get in shape video games are a great idea that probably work for some people, but for me, getting out of the house is required in order to get exercise. None of your stuff is there to distract you, there's nowhere to go but get on that treadmill, skate in that circle, run down that path, or whatever you're doing. Just the actual physical act of getting off the couch, packing your bag and getting in your car is way harder than the actual physical activity.

I did incorporate video games into my cardio for a while last year, though. I would play my ipod touch games when I was using cardio machines like an elliptical or stairmaster, since you're actually not moving all that much. It's a good way to pass the time on days where the clock seems to be moving backwards. I beat Plants vs. Zombies on one of those things and played dozens of rounds of Movie Cat. I need to start doing that again.

Edited by Reivax, 04 January 2012 - 01:12 PM.

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#3 Wenny

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 01:31 PM

My ultimate goal is to get back down to my wedding weight, which was around 200lbs. But I'm realistic about the fact that doing that in a single year is highly unlikely (and probably not very healthy). So really, my goal is just to see progress. I want to feel better and see the numbers on the scale trending down over the next 12 months.

This is a great goal. Shoot for a realistic and healthy weight loss rate: 1-2 pounds a week. It'll take a long time to get where you want to be but in the process you'll develop and maintain good diet and fitness habits. That's the key...getting these things from being something you're doing to full blown lifestyle changes.

You can do it you just have to resolve to do better! I'd suggest setting a schedule - say some form of activity four times a week. You have to remember that you'll be taking away times from something else. When I shifted to biking to work I lost time playing video games...but it was worth it long term. Decide what time block you're giving up and just say "eff it." Your long term health is more important than playing an extra 30 minutes a day.

As far as eating, the first advice I'd give is to evaluate what you snack on. Snacks are important but they are often not healthy. I carry some fruits and vegetable with me everyday as snack...and at least once a week I say fuck it and get a chocolate bar. That's OK because the cumulative affect is still a positive. Also, I never eat till I'm full unless it's an eating holiday like Thanksgiving.
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#4 PlayerOneStewy

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 01:51 PM

Also, I never eat till I'm full unless it's an eating holiday like Thanksgiving.


This is something that my wife and I struggle with. With two small children who don't always eat everything we make, and most recipes meant to feed at least four (sometimes more) full-grown adults, it's really easy to end up with portion sizes that are much too big, or to finish off what's left of a dish just because it's easier than putting in the fridge for the next day. It's something we've been actively working on in the past couple of weeks.
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#5 mik

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:18 PM

So, a couple years ago, I lost about 60 pounds in a year's time. Got down from 250 to 190. Over the two years that have passed since then, I lapsed back into some bad habits, and put about 30-35 pounds of that back on. I decided not to wait for the new year to start, thinking that if I can get through the holidays and actually LOSE weight, I'll have a chance to change my habits for good (or for another two years ;) )

I've been hitting the treadmill almost every night (at least five nights a week) and putting in 45-50 minutes of varying pace. That coupled with trying not to eat anything after dinner--my major downfall--has brought me down about 10 pounds since Thanksgiving.

I'm already going longer and faster on the treadmill, too. Like Stewy, my goal is to hit 200 and maintain. I got down to 185-190 before and that was honestly a little too thin, I think (even though BMI says otherwise).
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#6 PlayerOneStewy

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:22 PM

Isn't the BMI thing bullshit, anyway?
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#7 mik

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:23 PM

it's really easy to end up with portion sizes that are much too big

I've had to adjust everything I cook around this. Even though my kids are older, they don't really eat all that much (or NEED to eat all that much). The main thing that's affected is how much meat I cook for a given meal. If I'm grilling chicken breasts or steaks, I make three for the four of us, then slice and divide them evenly. Still plenty of food, but 25% less.
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#8 mik

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:24 PM

Isn't the BMI thing bullshit, anyway?

I believe it is. But my company--a health insurance company, mind you--uses it as part of their health assessment for insurance purposes. fuckers.
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#9 Wenny

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:43 PM

Isn't the BMI thing bullshit, anyway?

No (unless you're elderly or a body builder) but it's not a diagnostic tool which many people tend to treat it as. It's a rough gauge for when a doctor should recommend weight loss (or gain) to their patients. Like any rough gauge it's, uh, rough around the edges. It doesn't (and never claimed to) account for high muscle mass folks (athletes) or low muscle mass folks (children and the elderly)...

It's a useful number to target but it's shouldn't be the end all be all.

One interesting survey recently found that while our average weight has increased as a whole, so has our the ideal weight that people think they need to be at. This might be why mik thinks he was too skinny even though he was 30 pound heavier than me. Who knows.
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#10 mik

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 02:47 PM

(I'm also 6'3")
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#11 Wenny

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 03:04 PM

(I'm also 6'3")

Yeah, I am three inches shorter so for our first six feet we weight about the same...your top half of your brain must weigh a lot! :>

I understand why insurance companies rely on it like gospel. Being an insurance company (aside from being evil) is all about monetizing your risks. The four scales of BMI very loosely represent different levels of risk for very specific health categories - most notably blood pressure and heart related conditions that are strongly linked to being under- or overweight.

Realistically, better to be a fit 200 pounder than a 160 lb couch potato.
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#12 Reivax

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 03:09 PM

Huh. I imagined you were on the shorter side, Wenny. Like 5'6" or 5'7". Certainly there's more factors than height, though.
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#13 Wenny

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 03:14 PM

Huh. I imagined you were on the shorter side, Wenny. Like 5'6" or 5'7". Certainly there's more factors than height, though.

I'm a shorty for my family (I have an uncle who is 6' 9"). Compared to the general public I'm a wee bit above average. I'm a lean 165 because of the biking. A higher percentage of my body weight is in my legs than the average person since.
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#14 mik

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 04:48 PM

One interesting survey recently found that while our average weight has increased as a whole, so has our the ideal weight that people think they need to be at. This might be why mik thinks he was too skinny even though he was 30 pound heavier than me. Who knows.

That is pretty interesting, though. When I got down to that 190 weight, there were a number of people at work and in my family who thought I was, literally, sick and/or dying. I guess that's what happens when you become a nation of fatties. My wife keeps telling me not to go back to "nuts cancer weight Mike."
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#15 PlayerOneStewy

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 05:23 PM

I can't even imagine being around the 160lbs I'm apparently supposed to be at.
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#16 KnightAttack

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 05:24 PM

I'll join you guys in letting you know how my attempts have been going.

I've really struggled with my weight all my life. I'm not sure why. I was always bigger, but manageable to a point, but after I blew out my ACL in high school during hockey, things really changed. The past few years I've seen a dietician every 4 to 6 weeks, and she's really helpful for me. I'm big, but 've managed to stabilize my weight in the past year or so. I don't eat absurd amounts of things or tons of junk, but what she believes (and so do I) is that my metabolism is shit, which is why I have a hard time losing weight.

I've now starting having extra protein for breakfast (thanks to Weigh Protein Isolate mixes), which is attempting to help kickstart my metabolism. It's tough doing this myself. My friends know my struggles, but there's not much they can do. My family drives me bananas as they tell me I need to lose weight, then proceed to put cookies, ice cream, chips, etc out whenever I'm around. It's frustarting as all hell, but I try to relax.

I'm almost uniquely disabled on having too much to eat as when I do, I got severe indigestion. We're talking borderline feels like food poisoning. My stomach aches and gas comes out both ways, making for an incredibly uncomfortable day as it hurts to be in any position.

Anyways, I'm trying to eat better and get more exercise in, which I'm hoping will be more possible as I have a fairly light school schedule this semester. I'm still dealing with other fun things though. My knee that was repaired still doesn't have quite the strength it use to and occasionally gives out, while I'm fairly certain I've torn my other knee (but getting a diagnoses on that is incredibly difficult without a bunch of scans.)
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#17 Wenny

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 09:07 PM

That is pretty interesting, though. When I got down to that 190 weight, there were a number of people at work and in my family who thought I was, literally, sick and/or dying. I guess that's what happens when you become a nation of fatties. My wife keeps telling me not to go back to "nuts cancer weight Mike."

Just show her pictures of Rik Ocasek.
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#18 thecrankymonkey

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 09:51 PM

I'm 34, 6', and I weigh 210. According to BMI my ideal weight is 158. When I got married 15 years ago, I weighed 165. Skin and bones I tell you. Even though I'm a little thick in the middle now, my wife has asked me to never be that skinny again.

Portion control has always been an issue with me. It was something I really started monitoring a couple years ago. At first it was difficult, but now I don't even think about it. I made small changes at first. Smaller plates, no second helpings, and splitting meals at restaurants. Of course my wife being a dietitian doesn't hurt.

My biggest problem now is having motivation to be active. I have CMT so it is difficult for me to gain muscle and when I do, if I'm not consistently working out, I lose it very quickly. There have been many times in the past where I'll make gains, but then I'll catch a cold or some crap will happen in my life. Just enough distraction to keep me from working out for a week. Then everything I had worked for is gone. I made the decision a couple of weeks ago that I'm not going to look at my weight, how much I can lift, or how long I can be active. I'm just going to be more active. Right now my goal is 30 minutes a day of activity. I'm hoping this attitude of "it's the journey not the destination" will be what I need to kept me going after life's distractions.
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#19 Wenny

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 06:52 AM

Sounds great! Just focus first and foremost on being active and the rest will follow!

I'm confused at how BMI told you an ideal weight? BMI only represents four groups of weight ranges. For you to be in the "Normal" range you should be between 136.5 and 183.5...of course it's nice to be, roughly, in the middle so you have room for holiday weight gain but don't get too focused on getting to a specific number in your range...just get to 183 first!

This is a good calculator if only because they're not trying to sell you a product or service. They also have a nice Portion Distortion quiz that shows how portions at restaurants have gotten larger over the last 20 years.
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#20 levitynyc

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 09:34 AM

Once again in the interest of fitness and a good cause, I am climbing to the top of the Rock for MS research

Care to donate?

http://main.national...nal&fr_id=17407
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Remember kids: Friends don't let friends buy Bose.

#21 famousmortimer

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 07:37 PM

That coupled with trying not to eat anything after dinner--my major downfall--has brought me down about 10 pounds since Thanksgiving.



Except when nasero starts talking to you about cereal or some shit on skype on friday and saturday night.




I've been on a very restrictive low carb diet since mid november. I have no idea how much i've lost since my scale says "E" when I stand on it. E = fat


I was wearing size 50 pants in november, I fit in 44s now. So it seems to be going well.


Sticking with this won't be hard. What will be hard is changing it over to a more balanced diet and basically reteaching myself on how to eat properly. I plan on the standard eat only natural, whole grain, fruits and vegetables out the anus, type thing. I also hope to drop enough weight by summer to start exercising a bit in a way that's fun to me (like maybe playing basketball).
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#22 nasero

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 04:16 AM

Except when nasero starts talking to you about cereal or some shit on skype on friday and saturday night.


I will not accept blame for his love of cereal.
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#23 Wenny

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 08:33 PM

I will not accept blame for his love of cereal.

Apple Jacks are awesome and the box is meant to be eaten in one sitting.
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#24 SpoonZ

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:03 PM

Although I'm a little heavier than I should be, my major life change this year is to pack in smoking. It's been 10 days now and the cravings are getting less and less.

Are there any other P1Pers that are trying to quit the dreaded weed?



I'm quite a light smoker, just 4 or 5 a day but it's still costing me au$80 - $100 per month - Which for me is the cost of a game. This is my main motivation. I'd rather have something to show for my money at the end of each month other than lung cancer.

Also my daughter, son and daughter in law smoke too, I just want to prove to them that it's easy to go cold turkey and that they are just a bunch of www's :O) (Weak willed w@$kers)

The only problem I've had in the past is the urge to nibble snacks when I fancy a smoke - This caused my weight to balloon when I tried to give up a couple of years back.

I'll be watching this thread for support, and to see how everyone's going along with their resolutions :)

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#25 Wenny

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 06:39 AM

I quit smoking about 4 years ago. Hang in there!

Nicotine is an appetite suppressant so it's fairly common to gain weight while quitting.
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#26 mik

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 01:45 PM

Update: just hit 210, which means I'm down just over ten pounds since Thanksgiving. About ten more to go!
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#27 SickBoy

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 04:49 PM

Alright, I'm in this year. I've yet to start in earnest, but my wife has already improved her diet, and I need to follow suit.

Growing older hasn't been great for me. I ballooned to 265 (maybe 275) somewhere around 2001. Small town living, bad diet, long work days, stress, stressed out wife, etc. A couple years later, I got down to about 195 -- about right for me (I'm 6'3). I could probably stand to be closer to 180... I'd always thought it might be better to aim there before seriously working on building muscle mass (focusing on diet and cardio), but this time I think I might try a more balanced approach.

Anyhow, kids and lifestyle issues (where to fit workouts and cooking into my stupid schedule, which has gotten worse in the past couple of years), and I'm back up to about 245-250 (looking at last year's thread, looks like I put on 20 pounds last year. Nice). The positive thing about it is I know I can do it -- I've done it before, after all... just a matter of getting back into that groove, which could be harder this time around.
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#28 PlayerOneStewy

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 06:45 PM

Went on my first swimming night of the year tonight. I thought I was going to die. Luckily a friend from work has decided to come with me. He's a former competitive swimmer and he's super encouraging. So everything went really well.

Spoiler

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#29 Wenny

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 06:17 AM

Awesome!
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#30 mik

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 10:46 PM

Weighed in at 204 tonight. Might go for the 185-190 or so, after all--we'll see.
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#31 Wenny

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 06:46 AM

Weighed in at 204 tonight. Might go for the 185-190 or so, after all--we'll see.

Great - keep it up!
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#32 Tron

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 10:51 PM

Good luck, guys. I was derailed last year by requiring knee surgery, but I really want to do something about it this year. I'm 6'4" 250-260. I'd like to drop about 60 lbs, which will take awhile.
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#33 SpoonZ

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 03:43 AM

Well done Mik, We're a month in. How's everyone else doing?

I''ve been plugging away 30 minutes a day on the wife's cross training machine. I've not lost a butt-ton of weight but I certainly feel fitter already and my legs are permanently "restless"

More importantly for me though is that I'm still smoke-free after a month.
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#34 PlayerOneStewy

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 06:51 AM

I haven't stepped on a scale in a few weeks. Stress levels at home and at work have gone through the roof lately. Gonna have to check my progress today.
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#35 Reivax

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 03:35 PM

Sorry to hear about the stress. Congrats if you're able to still keep up some of your exercise under those circumstances.

Spoonz, you're doing the right thing by exercising while quitting smoking. A lot of people turn to eating to deal with the loss of cigarettes, but while exercising is not only good for you, it will help keep you motivated to not smoke. If you read last year's thread, you'll realize how hard it was for me to finally start losing those first few pounds. I never worked harder than those first couple months and the pounds never really went off. At best I was losing half a pound to a pound per week. It eventually does start coming off, so don't feel too discouraged.

As for me, I'm staying on course. I've toned down the gym a bit. Just going a couple times per week. Work still gives me quite a bit of exercise. Now that I've reached an ideal weight, I figure just maintaining and slowly burning a little fat at a time is good enough to keep me happy.
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#36 dammitmattt

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 05:11 PM

I've lost 12 pounds (161 to 149 on a 5'9" frame) in January. I want to get to 140-145 and stay there, which shouldn't be too much of an issue at this pace. It's a lot for one month, and will probably take me the entire month of February to drop the next 5 pounds. What did I do? Outside of regular exercise (no set plan, but a varied combination of 40-minute gym visits, Insanity/P90X workouts, 1-2 mile runs with my dog, and random bouts of exercise during TV watching or video game playing), four things happened:

1. I started substituting 1-2 meals/day (usually one) with a Special K meal bar. They have a decent amount of nutrients and protein plus they taste okay and have less than 200 calories. I never feel bad after I eat one and almost always have enough energy to get me to the next meal or through a workout.
2. I made slight changes to my liquid (mostly eliminated my two weakness - Mt Dew and Sweet Tea) and solid (completely eliminated fried foods, ate more sensibly otherwise) intakes
3. Didn't drink as much...especially beer.

These three things got off the first 6 pounds in about two weeks.

4. My wife really wanted to do a whole living 4-week cleanse (start with raw foods, then slowly progress to nuts, fish, and light carbs with the end goal to make this a lifestyle for the majority of your meals long-term). You mostly eliminate sugar, carbs, dairy, alcohol, red meat, and processed foods. Since I travel a decent amount for work, I couldn't stick to it perfectly, but I've been 80% there, and even when "cheating," I've stuck to the intent of the program. I've been slightly hungry for the week and a half that we've been doing this, but I've definitely seen the results. Each of the two times that I've "cheated," I felt slightly off. Whenever I stuck to the diet, I was fine. I oftentimes feel "off" after meals and since I've started this, none of the "raw" meals have made me feel anything "off" at all. The only downside is that you have much less energy to workout and there have been two days where I got what my grandmother-in-law calls the "weak trembles" where I felt weak and ornery. Both of these occasions were on weekends when I wasn't on my normal weekday eating schedule.

This contributed to the next 6 pounds (my wife also lost 6 pounds in the same time frame - about 9 days). I highly recommend it. It's a test of willpower and it WILL shrink your stomach. I'm treating the weight loss like a game (it doesn't hurt that we have a company-wide competition at work...that I'm winning currently but will ultimately lose because I'm nearing my limit for healthy weight loss) and check my weight multiple times a day. The constant positive reinforcement is really nice.

Best of luck to everyone, and if anyone wants more information about this cleanse, check out the Martha Stewart Whole Living magazine. The recipes are all pretty decent (though time-consuming) and you'll feel and look better.

Edited by dammitmattt, 01 February 2012 - 05:12 PM.

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#37 Wenny

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 07:46 AM

Great job, Matt! Those cleanse regimens are very difficult to pull off but the benefits are very real.

This was a great step:

3. Didn't drink as much...especially beer.


We are a beverage obsessed culture when all we need to water. I've switched to drinking water (tap water since it's free) and some hot tea - it kicks out a bunch of mostly sugar calories and saves money. Double win!
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#38 RareMonkey

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 02:48 PM

Alright I'll join this as well (I know i havent posted in like 1 year but whatever)
Starting out 6ft about 300. Me and the GF just joined a gym and have totally revamped our eating habits. So here is hoping for the losing of weight
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#39 dammitmattt

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 04:58 PM

Alright I'll join this as well (I know i havent posted in like 1 year but whatever)
Starting out 6ft about 300. Me and the GF just joined a gym and have totally revamped our eating habits. So here is hoping for the losing of weight


You WILL lose weight from changing your eating habits alone, but the gym part will really help, too. Just make sure you get as much cardio in as you can handle, no matter if it's high impact (running) or low (bike, elliptical, stairs). Good luck!
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#40 mik

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:38 PM

Weighed in at 204 tonight. Might go for the 185-190 or so, after all--we'll see.

Two weeks later--201.
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