Need Encouragement.

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Need Encouragement.

Postby fateddy » Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 pm

Hello all. I need some guidance:

I'm a 50 year-old male living in regional (western NSW). I'm in a relatively sedentary job and have allowed my weight to increase. I am 6'2" and 125 kg...I feel generally unfit with poor stamina and any sustained physical effort can leave me feeling breathless. I'm a non-smoker and non-drinker and outside of work, I am always on the move. My basic diet is good but I consume a fair bit of rubbish between meals and have been drinking 4 cans of soft drink per day. I am aware of the risks regarding diabetes etc. but find the changes I need to make to my diet hard to implement. I had a full health check in February where everything checked out perfectly (except my weight).

Last year I stopped drinking soft drink, drinking water as a substitute. I went cold turkey for 9 months and expected to see the weight 'drop off'. I was disappointed to lose nothing. I have since reinitiated that particular bad habit but vowed to stop again last night... so far, so good. I've sourced and read numerous publications regarding the evils of sugar etc.

My wife is worried about my health and believes that my lifestyle is unsustainable and I respect her concerns. I am carrying visible weight around my waist (125 cm) which I know is unhealthy. I work shiftwork which can interfere with any type of routine.

Herein lies the problem: Despite knowing the cause of the problem, I am finding it very hard to make the changes that I need to so I can regain my health. I know I need to take control but can't give myself the kick in the bum I deserve.

I have been a cyclist all of my life. In my chilhood and adolescent years I raced road and track and competed with a veterans club for a few years a couple of years ago. Another job transfer bought this to an end. I enjoy riding on my own and I'm most happy riding before the day gets under way. I was riding at 330 am every second morning for 3 or 4 months last winter but lost the momentum when I had to go away for a work course.

I need to align the planets. I don't need to be told 'I owe it to my family' or that I have a responsibility to 'be fit for work'...I know that. I just need to know how to inspire myself to commit sufficiently that I might see some health benefits.

Any comments are welcome...

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Re: Need Encouragement.

Postby fateddy » Thu May 10, 2018 2:47 pm

I did read the associated weight loss thread. Genetics aren't an issue. I was 79kg and 7% body fat when I started my job in 1989....

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Re: Need Encouragement.

Postby Arbuckle23 » Thu May 10, 2018 3:08 pm

Concentrate on kilojoule in versus kiljoule out.
I used an app called My Fitness Pal.
Every thing that went in my mouth was logged there.
Every kilojoule used on the bike was went via Strava (or Garmin Connect).
I was then motivated to ensure that that my allowed daily/weekly average was countered by the appropriate amount of exercise.
I was 59 when I got serious about it, starting weight 106 kg, now 73 kg two years later.

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Re: Need Encouragement.

Postby RonK » Thu May 10, 2018 3:27 pm

No amount of exercise will compensate for an unhealthy lifestyle. You need to do more than cut the soft drinks.

This program has been widely recognised. CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet

There has been no doubt for me that increasing my intake of protein in the morning has helped to reduce my appetite (and my weight).
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Re: Need Encouragement.

Postby fat and old » Thu May 10, 2018 3:39 pm

Go to the local hospital. Check out the stroke ward, see what can happen and ask yourself if you want to be that burden on your family.

I'm serious here. It took me 3 strokes (in a very short timeframe) to come to my senses. Maybe you need shock value.

FWIW, medically I was supposed to be excellent. I worked outdoors, manual labour. However.... 5'8" at 99kg's. 50 smokes a day with food from a bain-marie. 20+ hr days, shift work.

Decide what's more important. Your own pleasures or your responsibilities re your family. Then, you can make a decision on what to do.

Edit.....I've fallen off the wagon a few times since. It's not easy. But I'm old enough to remember Malcolm Fraser and he was right :lol:
Last edited by fat and old on Thu May 10, 2018 3:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Need Encouragement.

Postby RhapsodyX » Thu May 10, 2018 3:41 pm

49, 6' 2", used to weight 127.2kg. I've been as low as 81kg with stupid amounts of riding and calorie counting, currently floating around 92kg. Ultimately, it's what works for you, but science says it's all about the food not the exercise.

Exercise got me down to 104kg, then after a health scare (turned out to be gall-stones) I cut all of the crap out of my diet in a paleo-ish way that was fairly high-fat, dropped down to 91kg but after being diagnosed and going back to my old diet ways, I went back to 104kg's. Then I went hard-core ketogenic, and ended up at 81kg before muscle mass (many hills) & a bit of over-eating put it back on to 92kg... and then my back went. I also tried high-carb (complex) / low fat again for about eight months last year, but my digestive system never liked it and my endurance performance suffered. On keto, I can just keep going - and I did well on the 160km+ sportives. Not elite level (VO2Max is down to 56ml/kg/min), but certainly in the top 10%.

The reality appears to be that poor food choices over time make changes at a cellular level that may not be reversible. The body fat just doesn't work the way it's supposed to, and they know that the BF interacts with the rest of the hormonal systems to drive that fun hunger feeling. These days, I do intermittent fasting, because once I start to eat I just don't get that "full" feeling and I want to keep eating. And after trashing my back, I'm not doing the 12+ hours of riding any more, which for me was also a good appetite suppressant. But if I can get past those hunger-pangs and drop into ketosis every day, it suppresses the appetite and I *can* lose weight. Calorie counting also works well for me, but partly because I always under-estimated the calories burnt each day, and reading labels doesn't tell you the true impact on the system.

There really is no easy answer, the body seems to want to maintain a set-point weight (the "set point hypothesis"), and with a "broken" system it's always going to be a struggle. Anyway - good luck. :)

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Re: Need Encouragement.

Postby ValleyForge » Thu May 10, 2018 4:07 pm

Focussing on the "Need Encouragement" rather than "Needs A Scare"....

Significant (>10%) adult weight loss is one of the hardest things we ever try. Stopping smoking or giving up alcohol or heroin show better success rates. "Return To Prison" rates are lower than rates of successful long-term weight loss.

Your demographic though has some of the best results for weight loss: male, age, former high-level activity, baseline good health, married. And you are at the ideal point in your life to make a difference.

I'd start by seeing your local GP or dietician about a VLCD (very low calorie diet) combined with dumping the drinks. This will give quick results adding to the encouragement, but on it's own will be temporary. Once you have lost 10kg, you will feel better about exercise, especially riding; at this point it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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Re: Need Encouragement.

Postby RobertL » Fri May 11, 2018 9:48 am

Mid-2015, I was 120kg and 190cm. I started riding my bike to work. It's only a 9 or 10km journey, but I started losing weight straight away. Since then, I have bought a road bike, started group riding, joined a club etc etc.

I am now about 98-99kg. (I'm still 190cm!)

I found that the big thing for me was finding a way to get exercise into my daily schedule. Instead of catching the bus to work and then planning on exercising when I got home (and not doing so) I made my commute my exercise.

Doing that, and seeing a little bit of initial weight loss made me think about my diet more. There was no rocket science there either, I just stopped eating as much rubbish and substituted healthier options.

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Re: Need Encouragement.

Postby g-boaf » Fri May 11, 2018 11:14 am

Regular riding is what you need, and you've got to do that yourself. You have to want to do it.

I dropped over 30kg and I'm around 60kg at the moment.

fateddy wrote:I work shiftwork which can interfere with any type of routine.

Maybe what you should try is a NEO smart trainer from Tacx:

Get your road bike on that with a laptop connected and probably sign up for Zwift:

I think that's probably going to be easiest wth your shift work and fitting in riding when you have time. You are at home and can go out to your garage and just get into it and do 1 hour or so on Zwift. Zwift also has built in training plans you can use and there are almost always other people on there at any time and it's a good motivation.

I wouldn't normally suggest Zwift, but in this case it might be the right thing especially as we are coming into winter here.

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Re: Need Encouragement.

Postby mikesbytes » Fri May 11, 2018 11:31 am

60% of the population is overweight or obese, you are not alone.

As the others stated the main thing to look at is diet and its not just a case of knowing the right things to eat/drink but to move yourself to a place where you no longer have the desire for the things that have put yourself out of balance.

Knowledge is key and one of the easiest ways to gain that knowledge is to use a food log app as the app will tell you what your got out of what you consumed and it can also help with desire as you will think "if I consume this, then I will need to log it"

Support is important, you have a much greater chance of support if your wife is on board, taking on the diet at the same time.

Stop eating out, take food from home such as home made lunches, they will almost certainly contain less calories than brought lunches etc.

Eat lots and lots of vegetables, the fibre will slow down digestion and that will help with avoiding the inbetween meal snacks and they are lower calorie than most other foods. I even eat vegetables with my breakfast, there's no law preventing it.

Don't buy any pre-built foods from the supermarket or whatever, buy only base ingredients and make your own meals.

Don't drink your calories, a Cappuccino has roughly the same calories as a can of coke, its alternative is black coffee or black tea. As you have already done, water is a substitute for cold drinks.

Processed versions of healthy products are not necessarily healthy. For example fruit is healthy but fruit juice is not.

This is only the tip if the iceburg, each time you make a step it will take about 6 weeks to get use to it and then you can make the next step
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Re: Need Encouragement.

Postby Tequestra » Fri May 11, 2018 12:36 pm

fateddy wrote:I was disappointed to lose nothing. I have since reinitiated that particular bad habit but vowed to stop again last night... so far, so good.

Hello Fast Eddy. What happened to the 'S' in your name? ;-)
Three things come to mind.
1. Wheat gluten.
2. Tea.
3. Endorphins.

WHEAT GLUTEN. On September 25th, 2015, I weighed 92kg+. I stopped eating dead animal flesh on the 26th and by Christmas I was down below 70. Then a dose of dengue H fever dropped my weight to 59kg at the lowest point. The past two years have seen my weight return to around 70kg which is only 5kg more than when I was running the 1,500m at high school. Approximately 25kg lost in 2 months, before the dengue factor.

Now, here is the funny part. It was not so much the animal meat which was making me fat, but the wheat gluten. The gluten-free bread costs a little more than the standard wheat bread, and almost every breakfast cereal at Coles contains gluten. Even rice bubbles. French fries are cooked in oil which is also full of the rotten stuff too, so it takes some research, but it maybe worth exploring some changes to your diet in this regard. There is not much to lose if you can find the motivation to try a gluten-free alternative. I am not one of those people that the academics refer to as coeliacs either. I am just a normal guy, but gluten has done some terrible things to me all my life.

TEA. Eleven months ago I was getting through at least ten(10) x 375ml cans of beer daily. It did not affect my weight one iota, but it cost a fortune in taxes, so on June 14th last year I realised that I could have beer OR an electric bike, but not both.

"Those Sri Lankans know where it's at", I thought to myself. I had changed from coffee with milk & sugar to tea & honey for the morning drinks back in September 2015 when I made the change to the animal-free diet (w/eggs). It was not hard to just drink tea in the afternoons and evenings, except that it does tend to get a little boring. How I fixed that was with spices. My usuals now with my tea are a sprinkle of vanilla essence, ground ginger, ground *nutmeg and a tiny smidgeon of cayenne pepper. Now the tea & honey is an exciting drink for me, because it has some intellectual value in the customisation of the standard beverage, If you are never too far from a kettle in your working day, then maybe some kind of hot tea-like mixture could replace the cold soft-drinks, especially in the Winter. Change the sugar for honey. Honey doesn't make you fat. It's a magical thing.

ENDORPHINS. It is slowly wearing off after an hour, not much different to the 'stoned' feeling that wears off after a smoke over an hour or so. What a great high I just experienced though after my first proper ride of the month.

Because I took a couple of weeks off, it was so much more noticable this morning than usual. Everything in my world makes me feel so happy now, all of a sudden. Nothing has changed at all, except that I have just been for a good hard 5km ride (which is enough for my old bones currently), and it is not just the improved breathing; the full-body oxygenation. There is something else in my blood which was missing for these past two weeks, and whatever it is, it is GOOD! I feel twenty years younger.

I hope that you can share the joy. Do the ride. Feel good! Be young!

* go easy on the nutmeg. Apparently it can be a kind of hallucinogen of one consumes more than around 5g per day.
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Re: Need Encouragement.

Postby macca33 » Fri May 11, 2018 5:52 pm

My only comment is that if you cannot inspire yourself - on your own - then you'll never get anywhere...

There is only one person who is ultimately responsible for dictating one's destiny.

Jump on the bike mate - get over the first couple of months of drudgery, then reap the rewards that you know are there.

Best of luck.
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Re: Need Encouragement.

Postby Thoglette » Fri May 11, 2018 7:00 pm

macca33 wrote:My only comment is that if you cannot inspire yourself - on your own - then you'll never get anywhere...

The question is: what will inspire you?

Some people find keeping a score helps; some need to form new habits; some need to completely re-invent their lives; some need a near-death/divorce experience; some need constant reminders.

Which of these works for you?

I recall reading "The Hacker's Diet" by John Walker, founder of Autodesk. A guy who'd created a multimillion dollar company but couldn't keep the pounds off the conventional way: for him, it was constant feedback and calorie/exercise counting which worked.

Me, when I need to lose weight I just stop eating starch and sugar for a month or so. As long as I have enough fat and unami (cheese sausages :D ) I actually eat a whole pile less (but I do so miss noodles).

Sweet biscuits and crunchy things are my weaknesses: I have to remove them from "my world". This is the biggest problem - matching my diet with the rest of the household.
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Re: Need Encouragement.

Postby AUbicycles » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:10 pm

I can’t provide a list of things you should be doing but have a tip.

If you don’t have Strava (smart phone app), I suggest that this could be a nice way of increasing your enthusiasm for cycling in the form of constantly rasing the bar.

I enjoy it to compare my own trips and also compare against other riders. The goal is not necessarily to be the top rider, the fit young riders always have an advantage, rather to have and enjoy your own little conpetitive challenges which help keep you motovated.

Otherwise, group rides are really fulfilling.

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Re: Need Encouragement.

Postby jules21 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:42 pm

shift work is notorious for encouraging unhealthy habits and outcomes. are you getting a regular, quality 7/8 hours sleep? there's some evidence that you're pushing crap uphill if you aren't.

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