Lost 50 pounds, and on the way to losing another 70, and vlogging it...anyone else?

  • Jerebear

    Posts: 329

    Aug 15, 2010 11:49 PM GMT
    Hi there

    I thought I would introduce myself and tell you about my rinkydink little weight loss channel. I know that I personally always enjoy reading others' blogs and vlogs and to watch their progress and I especially enjoy ones by other men (the weight loss community is so female dominated, men tend to do it on their own and privately), bonus if its gay men. So if you have one please post a link to it or whatever, I would love to know about it.

    So first off I started on New Year's Day of this year at a whopping 334 lbs. and I estimate that I was around 43% body fat. I have been a fattie my whole adult life but never this bad. My speculative final goal (an oxymoron, I know) is 15% body fat and whatever weight that ends up being. If I stay at my current fat-free mass and 15% stays my goal then I am about 70 lbs. away (today I am 281.5 lbs., my current FFM + 15% body fat is 209.5 lbs.). My timeline is to complete a body transformation by the time I turn 40 (Mar.28th, 2014), so in terms of time I am only 14% done.

    My general philosophy:

    I don't believe that I am fat because I am lazy and overeat. You may believe that, but you don't know me. I know plenty of people who eat more than I do and are lazier than I. If you think its because I have no self-control and no discipline or some other defect of my personality, I've heard it all before, save it, its total garbage and kiss my ass.

    I am fat because I wasnt regulating my fat tissue well. Period. Calories matter, but calories are a side effect, not a cause of fat gain or fat loss. My favorite example to illustrate this point comes from a lecture I watched of Gary Taubes (author of "Good Calories, Bad Calories") in front of some doctors and medical students at Dartmouth College. He gave an example of the tallest man that ever lived and the fattest man that ever lived walking into a doctor's office for treatment. Both of them have huge calorie surpluses obviously, but for the tall man the doctor would look at the hormones and the tissues that make and regulate those hormones and may be able to treat him effectively (however this guy lived in the 30s and 40s I believe and died young of heart failure). For the fat man, the doctor would restrict his calories and that would work (with diminishing returns) only for the duration of the starvation diet, after which he would regain it all and more. You could have probably stunted the tall man's growth by starving him as well. Why don't we do that? Because its not effective. So what makes anyone think calorie restriction is effective for the very fat.

    To be clear, if you are naturally a mesomorph or an ectomorph who has acquired a little extra padding because you've been eating shitty processed junk and don't exercise, this doesnt apply to you, but if you are a life long fattie, than I personally believe it does.

    I would consider myself a low-carber, though I think the low-carbers are (necessarily) simplistic in their singular focus on insulin. Insulin regulation is key for fat loss but it isnt the only hormone or neurotransmitter of importance. There's also cortisol, HGH, testosterone, dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin to consider, amoung many others. Through research and experimentaion I'm learning how I can affect some control over those with good regular sleep, weight lifting and choices in what I eat.

    I am not on Atkins or Paleo or anything like that. Those diets work in theory, but at least for me they would be failures because realistically they are not sustainable. I have not cut out anything. I don't count grams of anything. I go by how I feel and results. If I am hungry I eat and if I am satisfied I dont, if I am losing fat mass and maintaining lean mass then I am confident that I am getting the mix right and if not I adjust a little bit and see what happens. My body is also quite good at telling me how many carbs I should eat because if I go over the line I get sluggish and tired, so thats another good indicator.

    Every single change I make is done one at a time. At my age Ive acquired a generally clear view of who I am, what my limitations are and my personality. I take a very hard cold look at everything I do to make sure it is realistic for me and can fit in my life. If I cant see myself doing whatever it is in 10 or 20 years then I wont bother with it (like spending any time on a rat-wheel...err, a treadmill). Sustainabilty is paramount. This fat may take a very long time to get off as a result, but it will be lost forever.

    There will be 40 changes overall done over the course of the next 4 years, which is why I called my channel Mr40by40. The changes that relate to weight loss are:

    #1 weight loss - started Jan. 1st

    I calculated the target weight for every day for the next 4 and some years. The rate of loss is based on the difference between the BMR for my total mass and the BMR for my fat-free mass. My fat-free mass and my fat mass do the same activities, the only difference in terms of calories is the calories needed to maintain the two categories of tissue. I am not eating an arbitrary amount of calories. I have no idea how many calories I take in or use up in a day and I don't care, the deficit is the thing that matters and the deficit is determined by results of experimentation, not by intentions. This way I am eating enough to maintain my lean tissues and then its up to me to make sure that most of the weight lost is fat by affecting my hormones like I just mentioned. As my weight goes down, the difference between my total mass and my fat-free mass goes down, my weight loss slows along a decelerating curve until it is flat at goal. What this means is I will never shift out of this. I am already eating a "maintenance diet". I don't have to worry about going back to normal eating, because I'm already doing it.

    Also, I should point out that I dont allow myself to go under the target weight and lose faster. This would only lead to loss of lean body mass, a slower metabolic rate and ultimately a plateau and subsequent gain.

    #3 fruits and vegetables - started Feb. 3rd

    Basically this change was to force myself to eat a minimum of 5 fruits and vegetables a day for vitamins and fibre.

    #4 regular sleep - started Feb. 21st

    Pretty self-explanatory but more important than exercise in my opinion. If you dont get regular good sleep there is zero chance you are regulating your tissues well.

    #5 strength training (upper body) - started Mar. 11th

    I don't do any cardio (except for warm-up). Cardio is great for those whose goal is cardiovascular fitness. Cardio is as useless as a calorie restriction diet for those whose goal is permanent fat loss. Its calorie restriction on the other side of the equation. I'm also an introvert who cant stand working out in a gym so I use a bench at home and dumbbells. At this point I was doing bench presses, incline bench presses, shoulder presses, tricep extensions, kneeling rows with elbows in and then with elbows out for rear delts, upright rows, and curls. One set of each of these, every other day.

    #7 strength training (full body) - started Apr. 3rd

    When I thought I could handle it, I added squats, stiff-legged deadlifts and situps to my routine. For my birthday, my boyfriend bought me a cable attachment and a leg attachment for my bench so I dropped the rows for which I could only do one arm at a time in favor of cable rows, lat pulldowns and rear delt rows using the lat pulldown bar. After a month of doing deadlifts I dropped them in favor of leg curls. At this point I simply dont have the hamstring flexibility to do them properly without hurting my back.
  • Jerebear

    Posts: 329

    Aug 15, 2010 11:55 PM GMT
    In early June, I started doing a hypertrophy specific training routine. I like it so far and I'm seeing good results in terms of maintainence of my fat-free mass compared to before I started it, and in terms of what I'm seeing in the mirror. There's plenty of information on the net about it, including here (I think), so I wont go into the details.

    #8 pre- and post- workout carbs - started Apr. 17th

    As I stated previously, I don't cut out foods, but that was a strategy aimed at making sure I could integrate my plan into real life. I still eat high-carb food, just less of it, and this change was about considering the timing of that. I started drinking cans of protein drinks that contained sugar before my workouts, in order to generate an insulin response, and to get the anabolic effects of that insulin. My energy levels and my performance overall has shot through the roof after I brought in this change. I also shift food like pizza and stuff like to only the post-workout 2 hour window. Once again, this is to generate an insulin response while the stem cells in the muscles are activated. This way the anabolism of high-carb foods are directed at lean tissue building rather than fat tissue building.

    #10 supplements - started June 26th

    Initially, I wasnt taking any supplements. I really wanted all my nutrition to come from real food, but in analyzing my protein intake I determined that although I was eating enough to maintain, I really wasnt eating enough to get the full benefits of my workouts. So I started supplementing with protein before, after and the moring after my workouts. I'm also not a huge fan of fish, so I thought that I should be taking some fish oil to get more Omega-3 fatty acids.

    So there's more to it then just that, but I've spent long enough writing this. If you want to know more about my plan if you can call it that, at least the plan so far, its all there in my videos. They are not super exciting, just another talking head in a box, but if you like them feel free to subscribe. I really do appreciate all the support and the useful advice you may want to give and I especially appreciate having to be accountable to someone other than my friends and my boyfriend (who love me the way I am, bless their little hearts, and would never judge my failures as harshly and coldly as they need to be judged). Thanks for reading and again, if you have a weight loss blog or vlog please let me know about it in a response to this post or an email, I would love to know about it.

    This is my latest vid:

    I do progress pics for every full body fat percentage I go down. This next video contains the latest one. Move the slider to the 7:30 mark to skip the info about protein that most of you already know anyway.

    and if you want to see my first video here it is. This was late Feb. I lost the first 16 pounds offline.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 16, 2010 2:33 AM GMT
    judgin from that latest clip u done post, ama say ur not a bad looking dude. i think i can see a decent good face under the chubby cheeks.

    u lose another 80-90lbs and add a few lbs of muscle and i guaran-T them cubs will be chasin yo lean ass till u get sick of em.

    keep up the kickass werk.....and then werk it....lolz
    give it another year of good exercise and nutrishun n yo ass might just get there. icon_cool.gif
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    Aug 16, 2010 3:58 AM GMT
    Good luck on reaching your goal. Like mom used to say if you want something bad enough you'll get it.
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Aug 16, 2010 5:06 AM GMT
    Way to go man! I like your steps. It seems like a life style change not just a short weight loss scheme.
    Good luck and keep us posted.
  • Crucializer

    Posts: 389

    Aug 16, 2010 5:27 AM GMT
    You and I are in a very similar boat ... I am only about 7 lbs behind you and on the weight loss journey ... good luck and I look forward to watching your videos!
  • Jerebear

    Posts: 329

    Aug 18, 2010 12:21 AM GMT
    nycjosh: Believe it or not, I've never actually had much of a problem in that regard and I've been happy with my boyfriend now for 7 years so that's not really my motivation. When I realized that at 334 lbs. I probably wasnt going to live longer than 60 or 70 at the most and at the age of 35 I was half done and was probably looking forward to the last half being full of health problems and disabilities, that was where I found my motivation. But thanks anyway! icon_smile.gif

    beneful1: Thanks! Sorry, but I think you mom is only half right. Lots of people out there want it bad enough, but the conventional wisdom teaches us to "eat less, move more" which is bullshit. Eat less, your metabolism slows. Eat less but still eat alot of carbs at the wrong times, and you lose lean body mass and get fatter. Its about wanting it bad enough yes, but its also about doing your research without preconceptions, experimenting and measuring results. I'm sure that in 10 or 20 years we will treat the very obese with therapies that address tissue regulation, until then the epidemic will rage on, and it will be a horrible tragedy with people working their hearts out only to plateau and regain.

    commoncoll: Thanks! It isnt a diet. I'm changing my life but only within the limits of who I already am. The truth is our basic personality doesnt really change all that much over the years, so all the things I'm doing are not really revolutions, unlike the things I've attempted before. They are all small tweaks with small effects that add up over time. The changes are also either permanent or I don't bother doing them. It doesnt matter if they might work, if I wont sustain it for a lifetime, theres no point in even trying them.

    Crucializer: Thanks and good luck to you too! What was your starting weight? When did you start? and what's your plan?
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    Aug 18, 2010 1:10 AM GMT
    I agree on what you said on the third clip you posted. I used to be over weight and I held myself back from being the person I wanted to be and now I have lost all the weight and I find that I am still holding myself back.

    Btw congrats. I like the way your loosing weight and how you seem to know exactly what your doing.
  • Jerebear

    Posts: 329

    Aug 19, 2010 1:22 PM GMT
    SMHG: Thanks! I don't know exactly what my plan is because its constantly evolving, but the underlying principles wont change. If you are holding yourself back, push yourself out of your comfort zone the same way you pushed yourself out of your phsycial comfort zone to lose weight.
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    Aug 28, 2010 11:48 PM GMT
  • Jerebear

    Posts: 329

    Sep 19, 2010 4:39 PM GMT
    I made new progress pics for my vlog and thought I should update this post. Since the last time I did them, I went down in shirt sizes to a large. Its slow progress, but my skin is keeping up, I'm happy that things seem to be going in or changing shape rather than simply deflating down. To skip over the rambly bits go to the 6:30 mark.

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    Sep 19, 2010 7:15 PM GMT
    Great progress, there's a definite new you from then to now
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 19, 2010 7:20 PM GMT
    Awesome. Good job, body. Threads like this make coming to RJ worthwhile :-)
  • Jerebear

    Posts: 329

    Nov 21, 2010 9:08 PM GMT
    Just updating this thread with another progress pics video. I'm now 266.7 lbs., which is down 67.3 lbs. from when I started on Jan.1st, and 35.7% bodyfat (I don't know what I was when I started, but my first DXA scan was in April and at that time I was 40.2%).

    I've done two more changes since the last time I updated this. Change 11 was setting a minimum daily protein intake of 170g (I've got a little over 170 lbs. of fat-free mass). I'll play with this level as required to maintain my lean mass. Since bringing this change in 4 weeks ago I have successfully done so.

    The other change was a skin care regime for two problems: loose skin and keratosis pilaris. KP is a benign but ugly skin problem that affects alot of caucasian people, and it looks like little red dots at the hair follicles and is sometimes rough and bumpy. I've had good success at dealing with both.

    For loose skin, its just a matter of losing weight slowly and making sure that as much as that weight is actual fat by concentrating on fat percentage rather than absolute weight. Additionally, I help it by exfoliating once or twice a week with exfoliating gloves (none of that wimpy microdermabrasion lotion) and using a moisterizer with 10% ammonium lactate.

    For KP, I use an anti-acne wash with 2% salicylic acid, which takes the bumps down and makes the little red dots even smaller, and then I use Lacome's flash bronzer to make them look like brown freckles.

    Anyway, here's the latest vid. Sliding over to the 4:10 mark skips the babbling and gets you to the nitty gritty.

    and if you want to see the vid I did on skin care showing the products I use watch this one

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 21, 2010 9:25 PM GMT
    good luck man, i find what you're doing amazing and inspiring!
  • Jerebear

    Posts: 329

    Nov 23, 2010 2:20 AM GMT
    Thank you DancNFightR, thats very kind of you to say!
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    Nov 23, 2010 2:23 AM GMT
    Awesome job man, you're not only making a change for the better but you're adding years to your life, keep it up and kudos!
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    Nov 23, 2010 2:27 AM GMT
    Congratulations man, your progress and dedication are truly remarkable.
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    Dec 16, 2010 5:39 PM GMT
    Great job! Keep up the good work. I think you have the right idea. Weight loss is not a "One size fits all" deal. I have lost 45lbs. so far, and have about 30 more to go to get to my target weight.
    I tried the low fat dieting and would loose a few lbs in a couple of weeks, but one slip up and they would be back. It was very discouraging. Now I'm doing the low carb thing and it is working great for me. If I slip up it's no big deal, just start up again with hardly no weight gain. Over Thanksgiving I ate stuffing, potatoes,rolls,pumpkin pie, then just went back on the diet and the gained weight was gone by Monday.
    I think you'r right about the sustainability of low carb diets. I am just using it to loose the weight, after I get to my target weight I will modify it (still no processed food,flour,sugar) and use the principals of the Fiber 35 diet.
    Basicly it's eat high fiber foods and suppliments to get 35 grams of fiber a day. The basic thinking is that if you get the 35 g of fiber your really not going to be hungry and if you do cheat a little you will be full after one piece of pizza instead of half of the pizza.
    Thanks for posting your ongoing story and pictures, inspirational for guys looking to inprove their health.
  • Jerebear

    Posts: 329

    Dec 20, 2010 2:23 AM GMT
    Thanks suitmeup icon_smile.gif

    The low-carb or ketogenic strategy is something that I consider to be within my overall hormone regulation approach to fat loss, and actually I consider that to be the only valid approach for those of us who are chronically fat (or genetically predisposed to being fat, if you will). Not that calories dont count, they do, but they are not a cause, they are an effect.

    An example of this is puberty. Its a process that changes our bodies and its a response to various hormones telling our various tissues various things, but we also need a calorie surplus in order to make those changes happen, and so we are hungrier and eat more during those years. But I dont know anyone who tries to affect puberty by arbitrarily eating more.

    Its like when people tell me that low-carb eating makes you less hungry but its still all about calories-in-calories-out, I'm like yeah, you've just made my point even though you are missing the point. Being less hungry is the body's way of achieving the calorie deficit that is necessitated by the hormone changes.

    If I simply restrict calories I will lose fat, and lean body mass, and in addition to that, the homeostatic response of my body will be to slow my metabolism. The result will be that I will weigh less, be just as fat and at some point I will plateau.
  • xher

    Posts: 168

    Dec 21, 2010 10:14 PM GMT

    you have a really good looking face imo icon_biggrin.gif
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    Dec 21, 2010 10:19 PM GMT
    I'm cheering for u so hard man icon_biggrin.gif keep it up, its amazing the hard work you are doing