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Jim's story

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Jim's story

Postby Aldebaran » Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:08 am

By the end of 2005, I had peaked 120kg. It was taking it's toll, because I live in inland central Queensland, and my job involved a lot of travel. I was also stuck in a vehicle for hours at a time. Add to that a culture where socialising equates with eating large meals and drinking, and you can see where the problem lies.

One of the problems is that if you leave home early, and get home late, there is very little time for exercise or preparing food. Road Houses and other fast food outlets in rural Queensland are a disaster! All you see is wall-to-wall fat and sugar. In most places, you can't even buy some fruit.

My main incentive for losing weight was that it was having an effect on my health, and I was having trouble coping with 40 deg + days, to the extent that I found walking to be difficult. By the way, I'm 50.

I'm now 86kg, and I'm heading for 78, which equates to a body fat content of 13% in my case. Current Body Fat is about 21 percent.

I think it might be of interest to some people as to how I got to this stage, and how I lost the weight that I have.

Initially, I started with an Ultra Low Calorie program using Optifast. I stuck religiously to Optifast and water only for the first three weeks.

In the first week, I lost something like 4 kg.

I also set a target early on, and have revised that target as I progress with my weight loss. My initial target was 80kg. I did a lot of reading on dietary science (There's a lot on the internet, but some of it is very faddy). I based this on a body fat content of 15%, which is the upper limit of the normal range for my body weight and dimensions (different sources vary on that).

I find that it's important to know exactly where you're at, and exactly where you're going. When I had reached 100kg (About the obese/overweight border for my height), I found I could walk for 20 minutes per day. This, combined with a continued ULC diet helped me to lose an average of about 1.5kg per week.

From 100kg, I started to plot my weekly weight on an Excel spreadsheet, which I used to automatically calculate my BMI and body fat content, based on body measurements, and using the best calculator I could find on the web.

At 95kg, I started to add green (and other free) vegetables to my diet. As I started walking further (stepping up to 40 minutes per day, then 1 hour per day, and currently 2 hours per day at 7km/hr) I weaned myself off the ULC diet, and substituted vegetables (some potato and pumpkin as well as free). I then discovered diet yoghurt , and fell in love with it. Read the nutritional label. The one I use has about 325kj/100grams. It has diet written on it. You can use diet yoghurt for so much. V8 juice is also great stuff.

I then started to get slightly technical, and calculated out my resting metabolic rate. I came out with about 1886kCal (sorry, I prefer Calories). I designed a diet with about 1350kCal per day, and find that this lets me lose about 500g to 1kg per week.

I have upped the proteins as I get towards the end of my diet, because I'm concerned that I might get muscle atrophy as well as fat loss as the available fat declines. I use mostly low fat chicken, pork and fish as the primary source of protein.

One of my favourite energy snacks is dried apricot, soaked in boiling water with added splenda. I then drain after an hour and serve with diet yoghurt.

So next week, in terms of exercise, I'm planning to start 7km/hr walks up hills. I also do 25 sit-ups per day. I should get some weights and try to build up the biceps a bit more. I understand that higher muscle weight can also help to increase basal metabolic rate.

As winter came in, I found it became easier and easier to exercise.

I also sleep better and need less sleep, so I can get up earlier to exercise.

My social life has gone to the dogs, and I'm regarded as a slight paria, but hey - a few more weeks and I can start to wind down.
I will always continue to monitor my progress then, because now I know how to keep my weight down, and I don't want to go back where I was. I fit into a medium shirt and size 92 pants, so that's another good thing. My resting pulse rate has dropped from 90 to 55.

Somebody said the other day that they thought I was about 35. It's always good for the ego :)

Now I just have to convince my wife to do the same.
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Postby Dolly » Sun Jun 25, 2006 11:24 am

Hi Jim, that was quite some journey you took to lose that huge amount of weight. I'm sure it's going to inspire many of us to get back on our calorie programs and to exercise as well.
Thank you so much for sharing your success story with us, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Perhaps your wife would like to join us here too so we can all lose weight together. I understand how we women metabolize differently to men but we can all get to goal with a great plan such as yours.
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Postby Aldebaran » Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:46 pm

Thanks Dolly.

One important thing I forgot to mention. Every Saturday night is my time out. I still take my wife out to the local Leagues Club and have a full three course meal, but I don't go crazy on it. But that's the limit.

I also found that on Optifast, I was getting a bit (well a lot) constipated. That's where the rehydrated sweetened apricots come in.
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Postby Butterfly_Dawn » Sun Jun 25, 2006 3:56 pm

Hi Jim,
What a fantastically technical way of going about weight loss! Good on you for working it all out that way, I'm sure it gives you a great sense of control which is good. I'ma bit more ad hoc with my weight loss plan. Essentially it involves eating better and exercising more and my definition of both is a little etherial :oops: .

Basically if you watch my food and exercise diaries, it involves primarily fresh/whole foods and as Low GI as I can get with the occasional bit of meat (usually chicken). I also love low fat yoghurt as a quick snack. I use Tamar Valley ' No fat' Natural yoghurt, 300kj per 100g, total of .15g fat per 100g (.05g saturated). I also am almost addicted to dried mixed fruit mixed with cashews and seeds.

I manage to fit in my exercise as transport to and from work, but oviously that's not going to work for you.
Good to see that you've put your health first though!
Cheers,
Tegan
35kg lost. (November 2005 - October 2006)
15kg gained again (as at October 2010).
Back to the drawing board - Let's do this thing!

"You can't change the winds, but you can change the sails"

"Reach out and take control of what lands in your lap"

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Postby KimE » Sun Jun 25, 2006 4:55 pm

Thanks so much for sharing that with us Jim I don't feel quite so geeky now knowing I am not the only one who gives the spreadsheets a workout. I keep track of just about everything. Have also started gathering information to understand the mechanics of what I am doing it is fascinating and has prompted me to continue with the strength training which I really enjoy but was getting a bit lazy with.

You should be proud of yourself and I know you must feel so much better for the weight loss.

Well done!
Kim - To thine own self be true
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Postby Dolly » Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:54 am

It's when a person loses weight and wants to tighten the arm flabs up, how does one do that? or are we destined to wear sleeves to the elbow forever.
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Postby Aldebaran » Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:01 am

KimE wrote:.... Have also started gathering information to understand the mechanics of what I am doing it is fascinating and has prompted me to continue with the strength training which I really enjoy but was getting a bit lazy with.

You should be proud of yourself and I know you must feel so much better for the weight loss.

Well done!


I feel 100% better because of the weight loss, not just physically, but mentally too.

I'm interested in strength training too. I'd join a Health Club if I had time, but Health Clubs don't seem to open in the early hours when I have time to exercise.

Any pointers or links that you have found useful would be good to have. The only non scientific part was guessing how much protein to add to my diet for muscle building etc. I average around 500 grams of meat per week at the moment, usually with heaps of vegetables. I also get protein from beans, but prefer the dried variety, because I've heard that the canned type is packed full of sugar.

I guess any strength training is better than none. I'll adopt a cautious approach to start with. Don't want to pull any muscles.
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Postby KimE » Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:25 pm

I initially bought a book and DVD for the strength training which had 10 exercises working the whole body with no equipment or using items found in the home. Most book stores have a selection of exercise and strength training books. This one came with a DVD as I like to see what the heck they are talking about and how it is to be done. The down side for me was I wasn't confident on how to progress or if my weights (800g tins of tomatoes :oops: ) were really enough for the job. I joined a gym as a reward for getting over 10kgs and got a 3 session deal with a personal trainer that was invaluable. It was great as I had someone to ensure I was getting the technique correct and discuss weights and how to progress etc. From the instructions in the book I was doing almost all of my exercises using the correct technique so that was great and got to fine tune the ones that needed it. There are also plenty of sites that go through strength training and show the exercises and give tips on what to do and what not to do. Google 'body building' and you should find heaps of sites. This site also has dumbell exercises under the exercise tab on the home page. Do take the time to read about it however as there are some real 'don'ts' where your muscles are concerned. Happy to discuss further if you want to pm or email me.

Have recently acquired a copy of a book called burn the fat feed the muscle written by an american body builder that despite the silly american hype on the site actually seems to have some down to earth information and a somewhat technical approach to all of this that I am finding interesting. It seems to include pretty much everything relating to exercise, nutrition, mental attitude for fat loss but I am not far into it yet.
Kim - To thine own self be true
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Postby Butterfly_Dawn » Mon Jun 26, 2006 8:07 pm

Dolly wrote:It's when a person loses weight and wants to tighten the arm flabs up, how does one do that? or are we destined to wear sleeves to the elbow forever.


My pilates video has an exercise targeted at the triceps (at least I think that's the one) which tightens up the arms and buils definition. It uses a resistance band, but you could do the same with weights such as a couple of tins of food. Put your elbows behind you and upwards, with your hands pointing forward, like you're trying to poke your chest out. Then just straighten your arms so you're putting your hands out behind you until your arms are straight and you've lifted your arms as far up behind you as you can (don't go out to the side).

If you're doing this with a resistance band, stand on the band, if you're doing it with weights, hold them in your hands.
35kg lost. (November 2005 - October 2006)
15kg gained again (as at October 2010).
Back to the drawing board - Let's do this thing!

"You can't change the winds, but you can change the sails"

"Reach out and take control of what lands in your lap"

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Postby Dolly » Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:25 pm

Thanks Tegan.
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Postby Aldebaran » Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:21 am

Thanks KimE. Now that I think about it, I should check our local library to see what books they have on the subject. When I hear the term bodybuilding, I get these images of 'Charles Atlas' types with huge muscles, but I guess you don't have to get to quite that stage :)

I should also check at the local gym to see if I can get some professional advice.
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Postby KimE » Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:32 pm

Jim, I know what you mean about the bodybuilding image :lol: It took me a while to stop thinking of it like that. They take it to a whole other level. However, all the exercises are for us average joes too. It might be worth having even one session with a personal trainer and tell him/her your dilemna in getting to the gym and you need things you can do from home.

Dolly, if you have a dumbell there are some dumbell workouts on here under the exercise tab on the home page that has one for the triceps called dumbell tricep extensions. Also chair dips are for the triceps, not too good at explanations so you may need to look them up if you are interested. Must admit though I find them tough to do.
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Strength Exercises

Postby admin » Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:32 pm

Hi Jim,

There are some strength training exercises in the workout section of this website you might find helpful:

http://www.weightloss.com.au/workouts/dumbell-workouts.htm

Adding in body weight exercises like push ups, chin ups and squats will make these workouts even better.

Scott. :D
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Postby Aldebaran » Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:07 pm

Thanks for the heads up, Scott. I'll give them a try.
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Postby clare » Thu Jun 29, 2006 12:47 am

in reply to the resting heart rate, I just did mine and it is 96.... what is the average for a fit healthy person???????
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