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One year anniversary

Posted by Dave Astle, 15 September 2005 · 351 views

A year ago today, I weighed 265 pounds. I was wearing size 40 pants. My ankles were starting to give me problems from the strain of the extra weight. This is what I looked like at the time:


Then I made a Decision. The capitalization is significant. I’ve heard many successful people talk about how it all started with a Decision. I’d made the decision to lose weight many, many times before, but I ultimately ended up falling off the wagon after a few months (at best). But on this day last year, I knew that I was starting something that I would see through to the end. I felt a very palpable shift in my attitude and outlook on life that hadn’t been there when I’d made the decision previously. I knew that this was a real Decision.

So, on the one year anniversary of that Decision, I thought I should share my results. I know that many others have struggled with reaching their ideal body composition, so I hope that by sharing I can offer encouragement to others.

As of today, I weigh 205 pounds. My pants are size 31. This is me today:



The most common question I get when people notice how much I’ve changed is “How’d you do it?” I did it through a number of different things (which I believe is necessary for any major body composition change) which I’ll lump into diet and exercise.

Diet
I’d been eating a lot of crap, as typical for an American: lots of high fat, high sugar, highly processed foods. I knew I had to change that.

A year previously, I’d tried the South Beach Diet, which worked pretty well for about a month, until I quit due to “getting to busy to cook the meals”. Although I now think that most low-carb diets are too extreme, I did learn some useful things from South Beach that I applied. I also started to educate myself online, both on diet and exercise. (As an aside, I think this was key in not only helping me lose the fat, but in developing lifestyle changes that will help me keep it off forever. I’ve probably spent several hundred hours in the past year reading up.)

My diet immediately started looking better, and I’ve continued to refine it. Rather than go through the evolution, I’ll just describe what my meals look like now.a

I eat 6-7 meals per day. That’s not 3 normal meals and a 3-4 snacks, that’s 6-7 regular meals.

Every meal includes a source of protein as its main component. This is usually chicken, lean beef, turkey, fish, eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts, or cheese. I also usually have a couple of protein shakes a day, and will add protein powder to some of my other food (like oatmeal).

Each meal also includes several servings of fruits and/or vegetables.

I don’t really eat much bread anymore. I’ll have maybe a couple slices of whole grain bread once or twice a week. I use low calorie tortillas a bit more often than that. I usually have one diet soda a day, though I’m trying to phase that out. Other than the occasional glass of milk, I don’t drink any calorie containing beverages. I drink a lot of ice cold water instead.

I take fish oil and flax seed every day to ensure that I’m getting enough healthy fat.

Exercise
Initially, I focused on cardio, with some weight training mixed in. My cardio sessions were 45-60 minutes long, and consisted of treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, and rowing.

I gradually moved more toward weight training, and I try to stick to short, high intensity cardio activities on my off days. Right now, I’m weight training four times per week, training my full body each day. On my off days, I’ll spend 15-20 minutes doing hill sprints, uphill treadmill walking, HIIT, Tabata protocol (either running or front squats), jumping rope, etc. The only high-duration cardio type activity I do now is cycling (on a real bike).

Besides scheduled exercise, I’ve formed habits to make myself more active in general. I always take the stairs, I avoid parking in the stalls closest to the building, I stand instead of sit whenever it’s practical to do so, etc. I even bought an old-style push reel lawnmower so that I’d have to work harder when mowing the lawn.

What’s Next?
I’m very happy with what I’ve accomplished in the past year, but I’m still not where I want to be yet. I still have a layer of fat around my waist that I’d like to get rid of. The problem is that after a year of being mostly hypocaloric, my metabolism is in the tank. I can eat as little as 1500 calories a day (way below what someone my size needs) and not lose weight.

So I think that until at least the end of the year, I’m going to forget about losing fat for a while, and instead focus on building muscle and getting my metabolism back up. I’ll slowly start increasing my caloric intake each week, and monitor my body composition to make sure I’m not gaining the fat back. Hopefully, I can gain 10-20 pounds of muscle and get my metabolism back high enough to lose the rest of the fat at the beginning of next year.




Photo
Toxic Hippo
Sep 15 2005 01:25 PM
Wow, you've made some amazing progress. Most excellent!
Congrats. Now I'll officially be the only fatass at the next GDC.
Way to go duder!
Congratulations! You've been working hard for the past while and I'm glad to see that you're now enjoying your efforts.... Now to load up Photoshop and see what I can do with these pictures. [wink]


You go dude!
That's awesome. I know just how you feel. I've lost around 45 pounds myself.
Holy Cow! Living with you day after day, I had no idea what a fat-ass you really were.

Thanks for losing the weight. You're right sexy!

And progressively more metrosexual by the week.

xxooxxooxxooxx
WOW!...XXX
You are teh roxxor.

A true inspiration for your fellow GameDev chubbies. Nice job man, you look great!
I was going to say.. those are some hella metro clothes you have on there. [smile]
Impressive and inspiring. I hope to have similar results a year out from now.

Thanks for sharing this. Having already lost two inches off my waistline, this really helps.
Very nice! The other thing you forgot to mention that you lost was that old age look [smile]. You now look like you are in your 20s! I bet the Mrs. is gonna have to work extra hard to keep the other ladies away now [wink]
Quote:
Original post by Khawk
I was going to say.. those are some hella metro clothes you have on there. [smile]
This coming from a guy who's known to love the cock...



Quote:
Original post by evelyn
WOW!...XXX
Why thank you... XXX right back atcha! [wink]
HEY!
Stop kissing at the other girls!
Congrats, changing your diet/lifestyle is tough. Do you mind if I ask how tall you are?
I'm 5'10" weigh about 40 pounds less than you (though I have lost about 30 pounds over the last 4 years or so) and have a slightly larger pant size than you. This whole pant size thing makes me think I really need to get some more exercise.

And by the way, looking forward to More OpenGL Game Programming. Beginning OpenGL Game Programming is an excellent intro to OpenGL.
So I guess this rules out re-re-re-posting the Santa Claus Rhino photoshop this Christmas.
Another 'well done' comment.

The thing I really liked was the fact that you took the time to learn about what you were doing; glad that time paid off.

Now you've got to keep it off! My advice - stick a 'before' picture on your fridge.

Jim.
Will: I'm 6'. And MOGLGP is in production now, so it'll be out very soon. I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Jim! I haven't been visiting the forums much lately (due to the aforementioned book) so I didn't realize you were back. I was looking back over some of the posts you made last winter in regards to training advice, and I was amazed to see how much of what you recommended I'm now doing. If only I'd listened to you sooner! [grin]

Anyway, although our goals are still somewhat different, I now recognize the importance of developing strength, power, and conditioning, in addition to size. I finally started digging into the articles at T-Nation (and other sites), and it radically changed my training philosophies. Most of what I'm doing right now is based on Chad Waterbury's programs, with a lot of other stuff thrown in. No more one-body-part-per-day training for me.

I want to start incorporating O-lifts into my workouts, but I'm worried about doing them properly. I'm considering contacting UC Riverside, since they're nearby, and since they seem to have an excellent S&C program, to see if they do any workshops that are open to the public.
Thanks for the kind words! Glad you found some of my meandering nonsense useful.

I've sent you a PM with some links for your weightlifting goals; haven't posted it here because one of the links probably isn't really for the gamedev masses; I think I'd probably get an insta-ban if I posted it.

Jim.

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