USA Today noting that often exercise is better for a condition (particularly heart ailments...) than meds.
USA Today noting that often exercise is better for a condition (particularly heart ailments...) than meds.
I used to weigh close to 400 pounds, and had been fat to obese most of my life, from elementary school on. Then I had a health scare with extremely high blood pressure (the imminently lethal kind) and my family forced me to go to the doctor. I'd been having problems for a few months (restless legs, constant gagging, heart irregularities, etc) but it wasn't until I collapsed into the bathtub at a family thing that I couldn't hide my symptoms any longer. I didn't have insurance, so I didn't want to go to the doctor, but I had to. He gave me pills, and I decided I had to get off of them. I was unemployed and the prescriptions would destroy my savings in about five months, less if you count the fact that my doctor was having me visit him every two weeks at $100 a pop. I also didn't like the idea of being on medication for the rest of my life. So I became a puritan about avoiding foods with salt, and I started walking every day. A fresh-foods diet and constant exercise (7 miles a day at a brisk pace) saw me drop to 206 lbs in a matter of months -- starting in August and ending in March. Since then I've stayed in range of 200-215. I'm nominally overweight (I have a little belly fat left), but my medication has been slashed to 10% of what it used to be. I'd like to get to get to the "Healthy" weight (<190) and get to stop taking the last 25 MGs of my medicine, but it turns out the last twenty pounds are a LOT harder to lose than the rest. It helps that now I have a job, so I can only do 4 miles a day, and now I have spending money so I can indulge in eating out more. I'm sure I could do it if I went back to walking 3 miles 3 times a day and eating like a man half my size, but considering that I already fit into medium shirts it's kind of a hard sell. Discipline or just resigning myself to the itty-bitty pill? Maybe if I pretend it's a lot bigger, and more expensive...
My life started anew at age 27, essentially. Not only did the restless legs and so on go away,but after I lost all the weight I stopped having sicknesses I'd gotten used to, like chronic sinus pressure headaches. I used to keep BOXES of Sudafed PE to attack those! In two years I haven't had one instance of a malady was a constant visitor from 1998 on.
the last few pounds are infamously hard to shed. One reason is that a thinner person burns fewer calories because they're simply carrying around less weight when they exercise. You need to eat much less when you're skinny, but most fat people have hormones that instruct them to eat a lot.
Another reason is that after extreme weight loss, one is left with several pounds of excess skin that formerly held the fat.
i'm fat. i'm 5'6" and weigh about 185. that's not obscene i suppose, but i have a gut and a fat face. i'm riding my bike more than ever, but the gut stays. at first i lost 15 lbs, but i've been stagnating ever since. i eat alot of crap food and drink a lot of beer and neither of those are about to change, so I guess its something i'll live with it.
[Edit] Although probably a minor tweak in your diet and a little extra riding would take care of it. You might not lose much weight but it would arrange itself it better places. :)
One thing it does allow me to do is eat wayyyyy more peanut butter than I should and not gain a pound. And even if I'm not losing anything, I definitely feel healthier.
Here's me at a triathlon this year:
Instead of number-on-the-scale-based? Yeah for a time I was unhappy that I'd been riding around 5,000 miles a year and had lost 5 pounds. But apparently some of the weight shifted from belly fat to leg muscle. So the number on the scale didn't budge much.
The main thing is if you enjoy do these triathlons. I know a few older people who do these and they seem to get a real kick out of it. In the last big event here, there was one guy who was 83 and did the event... a full triathlon. He came in dead last in the event. But I'd guess he felt pretty good about things.
I was fat as a kid. When I turned 15 I decided I was no longer going to be fat. I put my self on a diet and lost 40 lbs. The girls suddenly thought of me as cute! 43 years later I am still slim and in shape, a large part due to cycling. My weigh will fluctuate a little according to holidays and occasional lazy vacations but I make sure the 2/3 lbs comes right back off.
I gained 17 lbs from when I started my urban commute, a lot more stop and go traffic and hill climbing, causing me to bulk up and gain more muscle mass.
I was up to 78Kg, especially after a holiday in the USA, when I was 44 and took up riding a road bike. Now I am back down to 67kg. But, I would like to be 60Kg, like when I was 18.
At the very tail end of the season I am now back to 62Kg. If I could keep up the pace for another month, I could be eighteen-size again but the darkness is coming in fast, making it difficult to cycle mornings and evenings.
One thing that has helped is putting the graph of my weight on my
using an great Android/IOs App called "Monitor Your Weight."
I used to get to work by walking a mile to the station and taking the train to work. My job involved spending most of my day sitting behind a computer screen, then I'd take the train home and spend most of the evening sitting down. So my weight rose - the highest I ever saw on a scale was 287 but I didn't weigh myself much because it was depressing so I wouldn't be at all surprised to find I went higher than that. The trouble was that after a long day followed by over an hour on a packed commuter train I lacked the inclination to do much of anything. At over six feet tall I carried it reasonably well but still find myself double-taking at photos from the time when I see that I really was fat.
When I simplified my life and decided that making good money wasn't worth it if I couldn't enjoy the fruits of my labour, I bought a bike purely as a means of getting around for leisure. I'd decided to give geocaching another try and just wanted a means of getting to geocaches without having to drive. I'd expected to buy the cheapest bike I could find but after speaking to the owner of the local bike shop he tactfully suggested that a very cheap bike would lose most of its value almost instantly and I'd probably break it within a few months. So I looked at better models before buying a mountain bike. Even then I was concerned that in six months time I'd scrape five month's worth of dust off it and sell it, but soon found that I loved being out and about.
I'm still heavier than I really want to be - somewhere around 240-250 now, but whereas when I bought the bike I rode 5 miles and that was about all I could do, these days I'll often ride 20-30 miles rather than taking the train.
I remember gaining something like 15 pounds over the course of a three-week trip to the US (although that time did include Christmas). More recently I took a six-week trip to the same area and gained no weight at all. For me the biggest difference was drinking unsweetened iced tea rather than Coke or Dr Pepper - when you get free refills it's terrifying to think of the amount of sugar you're taking on.
My wife did the same when she went to stay in the UK. It was partly the culture shock though, and being lonely, but also the chips and cake and other carbs, but above all culture.
I am thinnish (for a old British geezer) less because I love my bike but because I am surrounded by thin Japanese people. If you look at a map of globesity you will see that East Asians are thin. Judeo-Christian cultures are plump.
East Asians do like their bicycles though.
I'm 54 now. I've generally been in the 140-160 pound range since I was about 25. I'm 5'7". I weigh 150 right now. I stepped out of that range once in 1997 after a head injury and coma. During my recovery I got up to 190 lb and then started bicycle riding again:)
I'm 5 lbs into obese on the BMI scale. I find the BMI scale very accurate for me. Cycling has helped me go from 252 down to 195 over the last 4 years.
I am a 6'3" male. On January 1st of 2012, I tilted the scale at 270lbs. I decided it was time to go back the other way. Started running (I had never run anything more than a mile, and that was in the late 1980's). Ran my first marathon 10 months later. Second marathon on January 20, 2013. Kept running and by the spring 2013 had put a few more runs under the belt. I was also down to 200lbs. During the fall I stress fractured a heel (not running related) and put my old road back into serious use. Decided in the spring of 2014 to split the miles between the bike and run, so I replaced the 24 year old Cannondale with a new one. Got back to serious riding, and got talked into a a couple of sprint triathlons. I am now rapidly approaching 44 years old, and am sitting at 195lbs and am within spitting distance of the 185lbs I was when I was rowing crew in high school.
I am 5' 8" and 48 years old. I have been over weight all my life. Jan. 2013 I was at 335lbs and my diabetes was out of control even though I was on meds for it. I had gave up and decided that I was just destined to live a short life. Then something clicked. As of the morning I am at 236lbs and I am off all my diabetes meds. My glucose levels run in the low 80's. My blood pressure is now normal. I bike 4 times a week with each workout 17+ miles. I have been given a 2nd chance.
5'7" 45 yr old male. Right now I'm at 170lbs; mid-summer I expect to be around 165; February 2015 I will more than likely be back up around 175. According to some, this puts me about 20lbs overweight and I do have belly fat to show for it.
Into the 90s, not eating particularly well, drinking beer, not exercising very much, I gradually found myself at a median annual weight of 185, fluctuating between 180-190. In the early aughts, things went south with my marriage, drinking of alcohol increased, job stress including losing a long-held job, had me packing on the weight. When I needed waist size 36 pants and was getting close to 200lbs, I decided I needed to do something about it. Background: my father and grandfather both suffered heart attacks in their early 40s; grandfather died of heart attack in his 50s, father had a triple bypass. Both were smokers, but both were (are) overweight. I don't smoke, and I know I need to stay not fat to survive.
Cut out most alcohol. Took up yoga and bike commuting. Started making all food basically from scratch, controlling ingredients to cut down on salt and sugars. Each of these resulted in basically a 10lb loss, getting me back to 170. New relationship, better job, resulting in less depression certainly helped. We also engaged in the Fat Flush Plan -- at the end of a month doing this, I was down to 160, with a few dips into the high 150s.
Eating vegetarian didn't really help with weight too much -- mostly because of increased dairy consumption -- but I did feel healthier and my poops were awesome. Not eating vegetarian anymore, but definitely meat-lite and conscious of what I'm eating.
Last physical, I was given a very clean bill of health -- excellent bloodwork readings and a decent stress test result. No suggestion regarding lifestyle changes. Not on any maintenance drugs.
I'm more comfortable in my body at lower weights, but I can live with the 165-175 range. I've lately given up some snacking and have been bike commuting a bit more, paying even more attention to diet, so it wouldn't surprise me if I dropped another 5-10 lbs. I really should take up yoga again, too -- I like hot yoga and there's nothing like motivation to lose my gut bulge than being shirtless in a room full of mirrors and yogini...
Six feet, one inch, one-hundred-fifty pounds. I am in good riding condition. I have never been fat and the most I've weighed was one-hundred-sixty-five pounds, before colon cancer. I lost twenty-three pounds in the hospital for one week. I lost about ten pounds from a reaction to blood pressure medicine and dehydration last year. then, I gained it all... lost it not too long ago with a 24-hour bug. I gained it again. I'd like to hit one-hundred-fifty-five pounds and stay there.