Who I Am

First off, I suppose I should introduce myself. My name is Rick, a married 42 year old small business owner, and I'm a fat man. Not hugely immensely obese (although I suppose that's a relative observation), but certainly overweight enough to cause problems like achey knees, a little panting when climbing stairs, and not being nearly as acrobatic as I once was in the bedroom. The last weight I took before writing this, I was around 142kg (313 lbs)... even at 188cm (6'2") I'm surely not going be labelled as having a greek god physique any time soon. Well, possibly Bacchus.

My History

Of course, it could be worse than where I'm at now. In fact, it WAS worse. At my heaviest, around christmas of 2013, I was up at around 151kg (333.8 lbs) and doughy, where only a half decade ago prior I was at around 105kg and reasonably healthy. There's any number of excuses I could make as to why I ended up this way, but when simmered down to their essentials it's basically because I had a cushy desk job, I was a chronic workaholic, and I just plain ol' ate too much. I'd eat to sooth work stress, I'd eat to keep my hands and mouth busy while my brain was otherwise occupied, or to just fill in a blank period of time.

And the lifestyle I'd allowed myself to fall into was taking its toll on me. I used to break a sweat while putting on my SHOES because of the effort it took to compress or re-arrange the fat on my belly to allow me to tie the laces. I had to take several breaks while mowing the lawn because the effort of pushing it around (despite it driving itself through most of it). I literally couldn't walk my dogs a half km up the road and back due to my back aching. Finally one day, after seeing a picture of myself from behind, I noticed that my ass had grown to a point where it looked like two badly parked volkswagens under a tarp. On the spot I decided "Fuck this. I'm over 40 but I'm still a relatively young man, and if I keep this up I'll be dead by 45 with a massive coronary or at least blow my knees out so I'll never have a chance to get things under control. This needs fixing."

So Why This Site, Then?

Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE who claims to have the inside scoop on how to lose weight and keep it off all agree on one thing: having other people EXPECTING RESULTS from you is a powerful motivator. Everyone has different advice as to how to create that demand, of course... one guy suggests giving $1000 to your best friend and telling him to only give it back when you've reached your goal. Another suggests for you to tell *everyone* you know, even your most casual acquaintances, of your plans and goals so that the social stigma of failure is more painful than continuing to drop the weight.

So, here's my version. Various people will be given the URL to this site in order to keep a close eye on me. I'll read the feedback, I'll see the visitors, I'll know people are watching and waiting to pounce on my fat ass if I slip... and frankly, I wouldn't want to give you pack of vicious bastards the satisfaction of seeing me blow it.

My Goal

It's presently the start if 2014. My target weight is still to lose 51kg and hit my desired target weight of 100kg, with an extended deadline of my 43rd birthday in january 2015. First by controlling the caloric intake to a rational 2,000kcal a day, and then (after I get down to a weight where my joints won't go WTFPWNT when I start putting some serious action on them) by putting focus on resistance training in combination with cardio. I've heard good things that even though you lose weight at roughly the same rate as cardio alone, it ends of being more fat lost with a gain in lean muscle mass. I can roll with that. :)

My ultimate target weight is 200lbs (~90kg), but I'd be pleased as punch with 100kg. My body is mostly mesomorphic in nature so it's possible that once I get down to where I want to be, the muscle growth I'll have might make staying at 200 impractical... I suspect that when I get there I won't give a good goddamn whether I'm precisely 200 or not.

I also want to rejoin sports, preferably hockey. She's a harsh mistress tough, Hockey, and does not treat kindly the unprepared. So, why hockey then? In my school days I played almost every major sport, but as a good Canadian kid my one true love of the sports realm has always been hockey. The time is fast approaching for me to pick up a stick again and feel the smooth glory of metal on ice and hear the slap of wood against rubber.

The Plan

Phase One - Stop Eating So Goddamn Much CRAP

The first part was the easy bit: Controlling my completely outrageous diet. Almost daily I'd "grab a quick bite at wendy's" or stop off at the corner store for a "snack" consisting of peanut M+Ms and a big bag of potato chips. Cutting this crap out of my diet was surprising easy, but finding tasty substitutes for daily snackage has been an interesting challenge... my focus has been on cutting out high-sugar foods that result in my feeling hungry again right away (low glycemic index). My typical 'fill the void' snack food now is almost always protein now, my favorite being packages of chicken breast from costco that I can just pull chunks out and pop into my mouth, and my wife makes amazing nutritious meals that almost eliminate the need for between-meal snacking.

In the past I've tried to keep myself to 1500-1750 calories a day, although I've come to realize that until I'm in the mid-200s weight range that's going to be very severely undercutting my caloric intake so I've moderated that to 2000-2500 until I get to the mid 200s. I used to utilize the useful abstraction that the weight watchers people came up with and assign 'point' values to things. 50 calories = 1 point, 12g of fat = 1 point, 5g of fibre = -1 point. It's deceptively easy, however, and it leads to "glossing" and getting extra calories without really thinking about them. This time around I'm keeping a much closer eye on my caloric intake, keeping it habitually in my range and actually counting the calories themselves. Turns out if you use the weight watchers system, it's relatively easy to pad your diet with extra calories if you eat things with a lot of fibre. That in turn slows down the weight loss. My best results of counting actual calories yielded 9kg (20 lbs) in only 7 weeks, for a subtantially larger drop of over 1.3kg/week (Almost 3lbs/week!)... An extra pound or so a week in exchange for being more anal about calorie counting sounds like a perfectly reasonable trade-off to me!

Phase Two - Paying Someone to Kick My Ass

My local fitness center, the Canada Games Centre is a new facility that went in just last year. Has a pool, classes, a metric asstonne of cardio equipment, olympic rack and all that other good stuff. They also have people there who I can pay to encourage me to do pain to myself (the right sort of pain!) I'll be paying a visit to them once I get down to a more rational weight level, say around 120kg, to really kick that last 20kg's ass and rebuild some of the muscle I've lost by being lazy, and from prior weight loss attempts. My goal here isn't to become huge and swole. I don't want to live my life pumping iron and staring at my hugely misshappen biceps in floor-to-ceiling mirrors. All I want is a solid base of functional muscle from which to get back into sports and doing active things that I used to enjoy. It'd also be nice to go from being called 'cute' back to being called 'hot', a moniker that I find has more meaning as one gets older. I'll also need my strength back if I expect to be anything more than a bench warmer if/when I get on a hockey team.

I should be careful though... My wife recently rejoined a local woman's only gym and her trainer worked her so hard that she ended up with a headache that lasted for weeks and constant dizzyness. A CAT scan fortunately revealed nothing problematic, but it's been a cautionary tale for me against trying to go too far too fast.

Phase Three - Rediscovery of the World Outside My Walls

Over the years, I've become a bit of a shut-in. Not because that's who I am as a person: drop me in the middle of a gathering and I'll work the room like a pro. Thing is, when you get fat and lazy, going to a party starts to feel like too much effort. It's easier to just hang out at home, watch re-runs of family guy (or do more work!) and snack on chips and pop for the evening.

In order to kill that bad habit dead, I've thought up a number of things I'd like to do in parallel to the diet and exercise changes. Things that I've always wanted to do, or seem fun, or interesting, or whatever. Things like taking dance classes, for instance, so that when I decide to cut a rug I don't end up giving my impromptu impression of an overweight yeti with epilepsy. Sports of course I've already mentioned. Perhaps T'aiChi, a constructive outlet for the frustrations of the work-a-day world... things guaranteed to get me out of the house and force me back into a society which I'd become too lazy to interact with as much as I should.

Of course, in these things there's no 'metric' to track my progress... nor do I want one. My measurement of progress is how much fun I have doing them, and how much richer my life will be for doing them.

What's Coming?

I've already put a database-driven weight graph with a rolling average which has allowed me to ditch the spreadsheet I used to use. I've also picked up a tripod so I can start taking daily pictures of my progress. In the past they've been... unflattering, but I'm okay with that so long as they serve the purpose: to track my progress, visually. I'll put those up when there's more to show than a few pixels worth of slimming off the waist. Maybe when I get to around 50lbs off, so the before-and-after shots are relatively obvious.

All this and more, coming soon to a website near you.

- Rick            
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