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Greg P

Getting Healthy

177 posts in this topic

Looking back on my performance, i really think the heat was the biggest factor. Otherwise, i'm convinced i couldve held to a 10-minute mile, which i wouldve been very happy with. When i crossed the 13 mile mark on Sunday, i was right at 4:12. A little slower than my half marathon pace from the year before, but i was naturally holding back this time because i wanted to make sure i had enough juice to carry me another 13. It was what happened after this juncture that affected me the most. The course passed through a couple areas with minimal shade in the 18-23 mile area. I can recall just feeling really beat up at that point. I knew i was slowing down, but at the time it was all about finishing. Strewn along the course were quite a few guys who had blown their wad in the early going and who were barely able to continue walking. There was a kind lady holding a big sign at the 24-mile mark that just read "Ignore the Body"... Sage advice. I dug deep, put my head down and pushed for the finish line.

I was once a distance guy in competition (you wouldn't know it to see me today), but hated roadwork. I only liked racing and the mile (1500 now) was the shortest competitive distance for me. I still LOVE track and am an Olympics obsessive. Having watched plenty of marathons (I think I'd abhor running one and I'm not convinced my ankles would survive, the reason I don't run anymore) things always fall apart somewhere in the vicinity of 16 miles. And there is always a wall a mile or two before the lady with the sign. The body is thinking that it is falling apart at about 20 to 22 miles. Running through it is the key to the last wind to finish.

The heat probably was a factor (in high school, my first letter was because I wasn't daunted by snow and cold, but heat is worse for my metabolism than yours. You live in Fla while I intentionally don't), but you would feel the same way because you are running 26+ miles. You'd feel the same way in International Falls, MN. I'd read up on hydration techniques and maybe wear a highly ventilated hat next time.

I'm actually anxious now to try one up north and see if the lower temps and humidity, help my pace.

Is the local "Y" air conditioned? Try it.

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Coltrane & Rich, I have to commend you on your advances here. Losing weight and staying healthy is incredibly difficult, but certainly worth it. As you have said, it improves your mental and physical wellbeing. However, you also have to remember that your wellbeing is of incredible importance to those close to you. I say this as someone that has struggled to lose weight themselves AND seen the problems it has caused in later life to those I love. The worry and stress that I undergo because of the health problems I've seen people develop because of their weight is substantial - and the best gift you can give your children is to look after your own health.

Having said that: everything in moderation applies to exercise too. Running certainly helps lose weight, but it also damages knees and tendons and muscles, so don't overdo it! An ex of mine was addicted to running, and continued to do so despite a hamstring injury, much to his later regret. Walking 40 minutes a day is also a very good form of exercise, and once you've dropped weight should keep you in balance.

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About a month and a half ago, I thought, "Huh, I think I'll eat differently." So I did.

A few initial facts: I'm not obese, but I thought I was able to lose some weight; I ate well to begin with, usually cooking many time-consuming Asian or Indian dishes; I am remotely active, both in my day-to-day travels and as a result from running occasionally.

I decided to ramp it up. Time-wise, running has become VERY hard for me to do. I do walk a fair bit, though. So in addition, I started doing bicycle crunches and push-ups twice daily (in the morning and before bed

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Jason, that's really encouraging! It just proves that you can make reasonable but consistent adjustments, without starving yourself, and see clear results. Even more so with the addition of regular cardio and such. It's cool that you're having fun with it too. Keep pushing little by little!

I'm going to kickoff a slightly different regimen beginning next week. Along with a few, small dietary changes, I'm going to begin incorporating more strength training and dialing down the running just a bit. The fact is, I actually despise crunches, weights and all that kind of stuff, but I just like the challenge of pushing myself into different areas-- particularly ones that are outside the comfort zone.

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I also started eating lots of grains like quinoa, bulgher, etc. Lots of tofu. More fruit than I used to eat.Smaller portions, enough to fill me. Cut down on beer significantly.

Smaller portions is my biggest hurdle. However, I am curious as to how you've incorporated more grains into your diet, particularly the bulgher and quinoa you mentioned. I have both personal and professional reasons for asking (I run a natural foods department at my store right now and I like to be free with suggestions to customers)

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Smaller portions is my biggest hurdle. However, I am curious as to how you've incorporated more grains into your diet, particularly the bulgher and quinoa you mentioned. I have both personal and professional reasons for asking (I run a natural foods department at my store right now and I like to be free with suggestions to customers)

Well, first off

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I like your spice ideas. Here's something I concocted for a quick, but unusual pan-mediterranean kind of feel. Especially good with lamb and chicken, but good for veggies too. 2 oz "italian spices" and a TB each of cumin and coriander.

Thanks for the usage tips on quinoa. Right now, the only hurdle is the ungodly price here on quinoa.

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I like your spice ideas. Here's something I concocted for a quick, but unusual pan-mediterranean kind of feel. Especially good with lamb and chicken, but good for veggies too. 2 oz "italian spices" and a TB each of cumin and coriander.

Thanks for the usage tips on quinoa. Right now, the only hurdle is the ungodly price here on quinoa.

Good idea on the Italian spices, Rich! I might try that tonight. Cumin is another one I use often, and sometimes with grind coriander. The other day I think I went too far, adding some soy sauce, cumin, paprika, ginger, garlic, hot sauce, ground coriander, rice vinegar, and a bay leaf. A housemate opened the windows (in 20-some degree weather) to vent the house out. Whoops. :)

As for the quinoa price, yeah, it's a lot. I will say that the $6 bag I got at a local health food store has, oh, at least 25 servings in it. That more than makes up for it.

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As for the quinoa price, yeah, it's a lot. I will say that the $6 bag I got at a local health food store has, oh, at least 25 servings in it. That more than makes up for it.

Kroger has Bob's Red Mill for sale for $9.99 for two pounds on my shelves. Even organic brown basmati is less than half of that.

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Kroger has Bob's Red Mill for sale for $9.99 for two pounds on my shelves. Even organic brown basmati is less than half of that.

Whoa. Yeah, I'd go with the rice in that case too.

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It has been common knowledge for some time now that one consistently loses muscle mass from some point in the early mid-thirties on.

Not necessarily. I am 50 years old, and I've been gaining muscle mass. I don't know if you had seen these pictures on my blog or not, Rich, but they are from July, 2008. I entered a bodybuilding contest here in Detroit last summer, and lost about 40 pounds in the process, all while retaining my muscle. I've put on more muscle this winter in the off-season and will compete again on July 18, 2009. It's in Detroit, Rich, if you want to come watch.

During my 40-pound weight loss, I used no supplements at all (e.g., thermogenics or stimulants). It was strictly a matter of diet and putting in the requisite time on the treadmill. And the diet was not extreme; I ate 6 to 7 small meals a day, and never went hungry. I don't feel too comfortable posting my "Before" pictures on here, but will email them to anyone who is that brave!

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On a related topic, how much water do you guys drink each day?

Off-season, my coaches have me drinking 1.25 gallons per day. In the pre-contest phase (when I lost the most weight), they had me up to as much as 1.75 gallons per day.

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Treadmill eh? It never occured to me to benchpress or clean and jerk a treadmill. You didn't get that way just doing indoor roadwork. You HAD to be lifting and targeting muscle groups right? Oh, yes I did see the pics. I followed your progress on the blog.

So Paul, absent actual working to maintain and build muscle, is it still not the case that one steadily loses muscle? Wouldn't body building be easier in one's 20's and 30's just because of the aging process? Don't get me wrong. You look great and you worked hard to get that way. Much discipline to maintain as well....

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You HAD to be lifting and targeting muscle groups right?

Yes, sure. In some cases it worked; in other cases, not so much.

So Paul, absent actual working to maintain and build muscle, is it still not the case that one steadily loses muscle? Wouldn't body building be easier in one's 20's and 30's just because of the aging process?

Yes, you are right. Partly because of lower levels of HGH and testosterone, it is much harder to build/keep muscle as you get older.

I do think that this type of exercise slows down some of what we call "the aging process" though. I have seen some bodybuilders in their 60s and 70s (both men and women), and they are in spectacular health. You would think they are in their forties, to look at them.

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This came to my attention today (Friday):

http://www.amazon.com/The-Fitness-Challeng...=tellafriend-20

It's half-price for today only (~$15). The thing is, it's a game for two people, who put a wager in--your own personal "Biggest Loser."

I still have a few pounds to lose. This might put me over the top (or, under the bottom). But I would need someone to compete with and wager against.

Just sayin'.

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Holy crap, ABP! Those photos are outrageous! Congrats on all your hard work-- that is an extraordinary accomplishment . And yes, i'd love to see some before photos if you have them.

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Holy crap, ABP! Those photos are outrageous! Congrats on all your hard work-- that is an extraordinary accomplishment . And yes, i'd love to see some before photos if you have them.

Yeah, I had to read through your post a few times after doing a double take. I'll echo that congrats! You look great!

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Paul emailed me some before photos and I'll tell ya, folks... this is an astounding transformation. I know something about the hard work required to move from overweight to "fit", but this transformation goes several steps beyond that. Once again, congrats on all your hard work, ABP!!!

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Paul emailed me some before photos and I'll tell ya, folks... this is an astounding transformation. I know something about the hard work required to move from overweight to "fit", but this transformation goes several steps beyond that. Once again, congrats on all your hard work, ABP!!!

Thanks very much. I appreciate the kind words!

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This article comes from a distinctly British perspective but is applicable to U.S. consumers as well. Thought it might be worth highlighting.

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I just noticed this thread for the first time, it's very inspiring. I'm trying to take the first step with some of this since my diet and exercise routine may be killing me, nearly literally. Fast food for nearly every meal, free soft drinks + candy at work, sedentary lifestyle, 4-5 hours sleep a night, etc etc.

It will be tough to change, but I'm getting to that place where I'm disgusted with what I see in the mirror every day. I'm starting by walking to lunch more often... ideally I'll be running around the block (probably 3 miles) or hitting the gym a few times a week pretty soon. I suppose learning how to procure and consume healthy foods should be on the radar as well. But taking the first few steps seems to be the hardest part.

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I suppose learning how to procure and consume healthy foods should be on the radar as well. But taking the first few steps seems to be the hardest part.
It always is and i think if you approach any serious dietary change with the understanding that the first few days or weeks will be mostly unpleasant, you'll be OK. Push thru that phase and you'll probably wonder why you waited so long. Go get 'em!

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I really appreciate the honesty of those that have posted in this thread. I started a new "get healthy" routine a little over a week ago - June 1st. Here are my pertinent numbers:

Height: 5' 11"

Weight: 241.4 lbs

I am exercising, using an elliptical, for 30-35 minutes a day. I am keeping my caloric consumption around 1800-2000 calories a day. I am trying to walk around more during the day since my job is at a desk. I am playing with my boys as often as my schedule permits.

Results so far: 0 pounds lost. I weighed the first Monday and again yesterday - same time of the day, same scale. Same exact weight - to the very ounce. I know I have to be patient with the process and I know I have to keep at it, but that doesn't mean I wasn't really disappointed. I told my wife last night that she almost had a bathroom scale sized whole in her wall.

I've written all of that to say this: This thread has given me hope. My situation is very similar to some and there have been some great results shared on here. I just wanted to thank everyone who has posted their struggles and their victories.

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My wife is a fitness trainer at a private gym and knows a lot more about these things than i do... but i'll take a stab. The caloric intake seems reasonable, but you should take a closer look at meal to meal what you're eating. You may be eating more than you think... OR, (more likely) you may not be eating enough. I went thru a phase where I was working incredibly hard and the scale wouldnt budge. I upped the intake, stopped being so stingy with my portions and began eating two small snacks between breakfast/llunch and then again between lunch/dinner. Voila! Weight loss resumed immediately.

Also, how high does your heart rate go on the elliptical? 30-35 minutes should suffice for cardio in the early stages of your regimen. But it's possible that during that window of time, your heart rate plateaus below the maximum fat-burning range. Make sure you are working on the machine vigorously enough. The walking and playing with kids is fantastic and necessary. Just remember that the calories burned by walking or doing daily activities is typically not all that impressive.

I run because i'm lazy. Well, that's one reason. But I think ultimately it suits my personality. The calories i burn in a 40-minute, 4-mile run would take me double the gym time, plus 1-hour walking and maybe a swim. I dont have the time or the patience for that kind of routine.

But hey, congrats on starting! It sounds like you're doing the right stuff. You may just have to tweak it a little. Once you do, you will see results fairly quickly.

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Thanks for the suggestions. I adjusted my eating a little this past week by adding more snacks between meals. My caloric intake is still right around the 1800-2000 range, but I am spreading it out a little more. Also, I am cutting back on sodium as much as possible.

I am still exercising at least 4 days a week. I do keep my heart rate at a good level. Plus, I have been increasing the intensity as my body adjusts to the new demands that I am placing on it.

Result: I lost 4 pounds from Monday, June 22nd thru Monday, June 29th.

I'm taking this as a sign that I am on the right track. I feel better already even though I have only lost 4 pounds. My energy level is up due to the exercise and I am not hungry during the day like I used to be.

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Thanks for the suggestions. I adjusted my eating a little this past week by adding more snacks between meals. My caloric intake is still right around the 1800-2000 range, but I am spreading it out a little more. Also, I am cutting back on sodium as much as possible.

I am still exercising at least 4 days a week. I do keep my heart rate at a good level. Plus, I have been increasing the intensity as my body adjusts to the new demands that I am placing on it.

Result: I lost 4 pounds from Monday, June 22nd thru Monday, June 29th.

I'm taking this as a sign that I am on the right track. I feel better already even though I have only lost 4 pounds. My energy level is up due to the exercise and I am not hungry during the day like I used to be.

sounds like Greg's given good advice already, but i'll throw in a couple of cents. My cred? Don't have much--I've been working out regulary for years, and have never been above 165lbs, and am now at a comfortable 150. I hate cardio but slog through 3 to 4 20 min sessions a week. Saying all this not to say, look at me! Instead, to say, genetically I haven't had to work much at keeping a healthy weight.

Two things though: Add resistance training and put a big measurable goal on it. Benchpress 130% of your body weight by September. Get to 10 underhand grip pullups by Oct 1. There's something about strength training that adds a level of cofidence and competitiveness to a workout I've found very motivating. Its goal oriented, and the weight training will pay off in faster calorie burns.

Secondly, measure your % body fat and downplay the weight loss. Its a better measure. Get to <20%. 5 11 200lbs 18% body fat is way healthier than 5 11 190 22%.

Keep it up, Phil! And one final thing: don't put exercise updates on your Facebook status. If you're doing it, stop now. You'll look like a housewife. :)

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