Thursday, October 3, 2013

Back in the saddle... again!

Weight loss is no easy thing.  It is filled with it's ups and down, bad diets and miserable failures.  But at some point in our lives we need to get real and man up!

Here I go again. It is 10/3/2013 and I am committed, again to losing the pounds.  This time however I have a plan.

First, I realized I could not do it alone. I have sought out help in the form of counseling by a nutritionist and therapist at a Diabetes clinic.  My bloodwork was so bad that I qualify for the program through insurance and if you are reading this blog, you might as well.  Hell, most of you are probably gamers who eat the same crap I do and look the same as me, so it is likely you have the same issues!

But in addition to that, I have joined a gym.  I started up a membership at a gym in my town, and paid upfront for four physical training sessions. Yes it is costly, but I have spent a LOT of money on toys and models. You would probably not think twice about spending 150 bucks on a couple of GW box sets. Why not spend that on your health?  I bet at most gyms you can get a package deal price on training sessions if you negotiate.

Finally, I invested in some proper gym clothing and shoes.  Yes it makes a difference if we feel good about what we are wearing, especially the shoes.  :)

So my check in weight at my first training session on September 21 was 291 pounds.  At the second session on September 28 on I as at 288.  Looks good so far!

I will try to keep a running record here.

Oh and I am planning on doing a Zombie 5k in the spring. Wish me luck!



  1. As a fellow gamer, 40K enthusiast, and diabetic who is also trying to lose pounds from about 274 down to under 200, I wanted to give you all the encouragement I could. I found the most enjoyable exercise for me is cycling because I can cruz along, enjoy nature, and think about gaming. I don't get to the gym nearly as much as I need to or would like and my weight seems to have platteaued about halfway to my goal. So I'm going to use your progress as inspiration for me. Go Jawa!

  2. Wow Dan, all I can say is seek help. This is hard to do alone! Try to scrape up a few bucks to get some training sessions at the gym. If the trainer is any good, he can pinpoint what you need to target to push through the plateau. Keep a daily food record, writing down every thing you put in your mouth for a couple weeks before you meet with him. Also if you are diabetic and have insurance it probably covers a weight loss clinic run by a hospital. Check your local health care places! I stumbled across the Greenwich Hospital Weightloss and Diabetes center, and found out because I am prediabetic I qualify for unlimited visits with the nutritionist and councilor! They are great for motivation and support. Good luck! and thanks for the well wishes.

  3. Also, you have probably heard this before, but force yourself to eat breakfast and snacks. I will do a post about my usual meal plan. Check it out!

  4. Yup, done all that and talked to the trainer a few times. My blood sugar is under good control. I think part of what I need to do is adjust my calories downward - right now I eat for a 275 pound person trying to loose weight.

  5. Ahhhh! I have not really gotten to counting calories yet. But I am trying to do a 2k calorie a day plan eventually. I think the thing for every one to think about is that this is not about going on a diet, it is about changing your lifestyle forever. It is an important mentality to have. My boss turned me onto the Paleo diet. Here is an interesting youtube video:

    I don't really buy into the full blown paleo thing, but there is a lot of sense in this and I am using it as a base for my personal plan.

  6. My reply was apparently too long so I'm going to break it up.

    After talking with my nutritionist and my doctors and so forth, there were several options for diets from South Beach to pure calorie counting. All of them might work for weight loss - mostly they were systems for managing two things: eating healthier and eating less. The other component was to make an effort to be more active. What's worked for me:

    - Eat slower and try not to eat while you are doing something else like watching TV or browsing the Internet. (I've discovered that spicy food is good for forcing me to eat slower).

    - PORTION CONTROL - Americans eat too much and we take too big a serving. Psychologically there is a tendency to eat what is on the plate. So, I try to use smaller plates, put less on them, and if at a buffet, I only make one trip.

  7. - Eating better: One of my fundamental changes was to try to reduce the amount of processing my food had and to try to move towards the more natural forms. I think this is what your paleo diet does. I now eat more whole fruits and whole grains than I used to. I try to make every carb I eat worth something nutritionally and avoid empty carbs (white bread, potato whites, white rice etc.) Remember chemically to a diabetic there is little difference between simple carbs - white flour is just as bad as sugar.

    - Seek out fiber: Insoluble fiber doesn't really get metabolized. It adds bulk which make you feel full. It slows down the speed with which you do metabolize other carbs, giving you a more even blood sugar load by flattening the spike out over time. A lot of the carbs I eat these days come from homemade bran muffins, whole grain or alternative flour baked goods, and fresh fruits. I also use a lot of alternative flours like Quinua flour and Amaranth flour. Rye flour is also awesome (and don't think it has to have fennel seeds like most rye breads). These have fiber but also a lot of other nutritional stuff making their carbs less empty. (Quinua can also be boiled for a rice substitute).

    - Trying to lose weight or not, LOW FAT or NO FAT is NOT your friend most of the time. Always read the nutrition labels and compare the lower fat variants to the "normal" ones. Often when they reduce the fat in something, they add carbs which is exactly what diabetics don't want. Thus, in my morning coffee I use genuine 1/2 & 1/2 and not a lowfat creamer. I also use regular yogurt and regular mayo.

  8. - I tried whole wheat pasta and it was awful. Then I found a brand called Dreamfields (black box). It's a low GI pasta with a decent amount of fiber (for pasta). If you don't know what GI is, it's the glycemic index, a measurement of how something metabolizes into sugar (vs either white bread or glucose I think). Anyway, it's a comparative ratio of the product versus one of the standards and it changes based on the standard, none of which is probably important to you right now. Runners and diabetics pay attention to it and you can Google it for more info. The take away is that if you like pasta like I like pasta, this is a higher fiber pasta that does not convert to blood sugar as readily and tastes no different than "regular" pasta.

    - Finally, there are things called sugar alcohols which you will see in more and more sugar free products. As far as I know, they are not really sugar and not really alcohol, but they do make things taste sweet. The thing is they are also carbs. However, people do not absorb all the carbs in the sugar alcohol. The problem is that different people absorb different amounts so you can't really predict how much carb you'll get from a sugar alcohol product in advance. Also, people are reactive to it to different degrees. Now if anyone eats enough of it it will give them the runs and cramps and all kinds of fun stuff. Some people will get that with a very little amount though, so you have to be careful. And that's true with almost any diabetic foodstuff - all of us react differently to different things so while you can talk general diet stuff, ultimately it comes down to watching what you eat and how it affects you and adjusting to that.

    If you are prediabetic you at caught this before the point that I did, though I caught mine by accident to be accident. I went in for a general physical and discovered I had sugar in my urine. You are doing the two best things you can do, drop the pounds to ease the load on your pancreas and start paying attention to what you eat. Bring a couple apples and some celery sticks to your next tournament.

  9. Wow that was a lot of info! I'm glad I don't have comment moderation enabled on this blog. :) I will try to format that all into a post and get it all archived as a formal article. Thanks for the info! I will read through it all when I don't have a room full of screaming 8th graders.

  10. If any of it helps great. I know I'm still learning though.

    Oh and as far as fruits go, my understanding is that most berries are pretty good; apples, peaches, & cherries are pretty good; and citrus isn't bad. But grapes and melons actually have a lot of fruit.