Fat with a pH

Categories: Miscellaneous

‘You’re in crisis!’ – that’s what my doctor told me… No excuses anymore I have to make changes to my diet, lifestyle, and priorities.

Maybe not to the same extent but I could relate to Jeff Garlin’s book: My Footprint – in his struggles with weight. It seems like I’ve always been combating weight too.  Growing up, I was a scrawny kid and couldn’t put weight on no matter what I tried. I remember believing the milk ads and chugging a carton of chocolate milk, a bag of Doritos, and a Boston Cream steady almost daily (yeah, ok, i shouldn’t have added the doritos..)!  And then I hit Grade 10, and in like a month, grew almost a foot and i went from being a stick to 175lbs which slowly crept up to 185 by the time I went to University.

I used to sporadically try different diet and workout plans to gain muscle and strip away fat, played football and made the basketball team, but I always had that layer of fat which I couldn’t get rid of no matter what I did.  It was never a real problem though – it wasn’t like I always gorged or anything (maybe the late nights at Golden Griddle weren’t necessary).  I actually didn’t even gain the ‘frosh 20’ of weight when I started university – in fact I dropped to 150lbs in 2nd year with some unknown flu and never went over that 185lbs mark up until two years ago.

But now it has gotten out of hand.  Since moving to the Bay Area, I’ve put on 20lbs and worse, my body fat has gone to 28%! I’m literally 222 lbs! My doctor warned me about my pH levels, that my insulin is not regulating correctly, and that I’m on the road to getting Type 2 diabetes…
And on a more worrysome note, half my clothes don’t fit – I think a button on my shirt popped yesterday when I was eating dinner. I actually contemplated buying a pair of jeans that were size 38” waist yesterday…

Last year, my theme was ‘health’ which I got under control. This year the theme was ‘bring back the fun’ but I think the theme, combined with me using dislocating my shoulder as an excuse to not workout as much or take up too many sports since coming here, has killed my physical health component of last year.  It doesn’t help that you’re bombarded with fast food out in the US… seriously – how is Carl’s Jr even allowed to operate???

So I’m taking to the blogsphere… and twittosphere, and facebooksphere to hopefully embarrass myself into getting back into shape (and no, I am not counting round or pear as shapes).  I’m asking everyone else out there to help me out too – feel free to advise, encourage, or mock me.  I’ll be posting updates, and tweeting my food intake and energy output.  My goal is to be below 200lbs and 20% body fat by the end of the year. That’s a bit less than 2lbs a week, which should be realistic – although a bunch of turkey days are coming up which is going to be challenging…

I’m not putting up a before or after picture (i’ll have them…),  those will remain private 🙂

Ok – it begins now.  The first challenge – the ‘Manning bowl’ football game – no crap food allowed…

  • Totally inspired Rahim. I’m in. Just had my second baby 3 months ago. Want to lose 20 lbs by the end of the year. I’ll be following The Zone diet. It’s worked for me in the past. Hello – smaller meals, egg whites, protein shakes, lots of water, salads, fruit for dessert and grilled fish and chicken Good bye – sugary drinks, fried foods, late night eating, large portions and excuses for not getting to the gym. So ready for a change. Let’s do this!

  • Hey Rahim,
    I’m on the same bandwagon, but also a little different. Never had a problem with the exercise, but it’s what I eat after about 3 pm. All my home made stuff is done, so if I get hungry I run across to the other side of plaza where there is a Pizza Nova, Dairy Queen, or Mary Brown’s.
    As an ex-personal trainer I should know better. One thing I need to do is make sure I drink more water, will cut down on my cravings, and also hydrate me better. Overall better functioning body = faster metabolism.
    So I’m joining you, looking at going from 175 to 165, and shedding my % from 23 to 15. I think my scale is screwed but that is what it says.
    Good luck!!!

    • 15% ?? I don’t think i’ve ever been that!
      ok – you’re on – so there are now 4 of us – another friend who wants to remain nameless for now is in too.
      btw – didn’t know that water reduces cravings… good to know

  • It’s all about creating a calorie deficit. The basic premise is to count the calories you take in and the number that you burn. So long as you’re burning more than you’re taking in, you should see weight loss.

    A good start is to cut back on eating out a lot. Take lunch to work, use healthier grains in home cooking (quinoa instead of rice), complex carbohydrates & foods with low GI . Also – smaller meals to keep the metabolism going all day.

    Exercise is key. My experience is that unless it’s part of your daily routine, you wont do it. Also – and this is the big part – it’s got to be convenient. You can’t have a routine that has you come home from work, eat, relax and then go to the gym. Chances are, you will never do it. Make it part of your commute – stop at the gym before coming home.

    Another alternative, if you’re an early riser, is to exercise in the morning which gets the metabolism going early on and keeps the body burning calories for the better part of the day.

    Good luck and keep the updates coming!

    • I’ve tried the straight cal in and cal out method but that just ends up starving you i find… For example, if I burn 2000 cal and eat only 1700 cal, theoretically I should lose weight… but if that 1700 cal all came at night it was such a good thing since I was losing muscle mass, so BMI index wasn’t changing.

      I gotta start with your other points i think – no eating fast food (do i have to cut out restaurants all together??), exercise (I really have no excuse for not doing this – we have an amazing gym at our company), and rising early (although I question this.. I’m generally up by 7am latest daily for the past 8months – maybe i would’ve been worse if I hadn’t?)

      my one difficulty is finding good munchies – i need things to munch on during the day and i end up getting either a pastry or chocolate bar….

      • Good point. For the calorie deficit approach to work, you have to space out intake. One way to do this is to have small meals which can also fill your need for snacking.

        My approach was the following:

        AM: little or no breakfast – which is bad. This was one aspect I never fixed but should have since it can really help to keep those munchies down. Oatmeal is a great option – Low GI, keeps you full for a long time.

        Between 10AM-11AM: snack time – apple and a small piece of cheddar cheese.

        Lunch: Light lunch. When I was in serious weight loss mode, I used to have a small soup + bagel. Yes, this amounts to starvation, I admit it. Desert – low-fat fruit yogurt.

        Afternoon snack: Cottage cheese, a piece of fruit cut into slices (my fav. was peaches), low sugar granola (easy to make at home + healthier than packaged options) and honey. This would keep me going until dinner time.

        Dinner: Something on the light side. Complex carbs & proteins which is especially good if you’re just coming home form the gym. Examples: Chicken with Quinoa or Broccoli and Soba noodles.

        http://www.101cookbooks.com/ has some great healthy recipes which we’ve tried.

        There are many ways to structure it. My strategy had five meals, but some suggest six in which case you have a light dinner and an evening snack. Best approach is to write out the plan and track it daily for a while.

        • Yeah breakfast is going to need some work. Right now I generally have a tassimo latte, a bowl of golden grahams or some other childrens cereal (fruit loops have at 12essential nutrients).

          101cookbooks.com looks really good (all veggie?)

          Btw – I’m using fitday.com to track.

  • I can totally relate. Throw in the stress of leaving a job, starting a company, moving countries and a 1 year old and you have the makings of a 8 chin disaster.

    I think the best thing to do is make it a competition. I’m at like 190lbs and at my height that’s not the greatest, mind you I’ve been fatter and thinner, and enjoyed thinner a whole bunch more.

    Tell you what, let’s make it a public bet, loser has to buy the winner a dinner in Toronto at some point in the next 20 months. The metric is % of overall weight loss from now till years’ end. We weigh ourselves this week and the last week of the year. What do you say?

    • Done! I have a weekly check in on Wednesdays (I joined up to Yahoo’s Biggest Winner challenge too).
      Who gets to pick the restaurant? I won’t settle for a kabab on the streets of London!

  • Thanks for the recs! The bitfit.com site doesn’t seem to work – but I found some youtube clips http://www.youtube.com/user/TheBitfit#p/a/u/0/7PTuGy0QXeg – is it for the same?

    I’m going to start using fitday.com for food intake and activity again. I haven’t used it for a long time. Not sure if there are better sites out there now but fitday is great because you can add in your own foods.

    btw – i tried the running room a couple times. great program – i just realized eventually though, that I just don’t like running! Although it is more fun in a group. I think the max I’ve ever gotten to is 10k before i just get bored/annoyed…. Good luck though – i’ll run in spirit!

  • Hey,

    so a great way to start is tracking some of your current habits like the number of calories you consume daily vs. your activity level. A great website to do that is: http://bitfit.com/. They recently got some love from Google which is how I found out about them but its really a fantastic site. If you are happy with it you may consider getting a premium membership or getting their little tracker (with Wii technology).

    Another recommendation is running. If you are not a runner a great way to start is the ‘Learn to Run’ program with Running Room. If you don’t have time to run with a group you can be my virtual running partner I’m starting to run again as well (https://twentytotwentysix.wordpress.com).

    Keep me posted and let me know if any of this helps!!

    Noorin 🙂

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