Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Battle of the Bulge, Progress Report

When we started this run, exactly six months ago Sunday, I was 425lbs. In fact, my peak was somewhat higher(I think 440), but my scale wasn't accurate enough to measure at the time (I've since acquired one that can measure up to 480).

Before my weight gain began, I was 265-285lbs, and under 15% bodyfat. I worked out regularly, ran, lifted weights, cycled, played football, and hiked.

I looked and felt great.

Two bad knee injuries later, I did none of those things; but I kept eating like I was. In six months I'd gained 60lbs, and then I stabilized. Then over a few years I went up and down, once back down to 295, once all the way up to 385, but generally somewhere around 365. Then I hurt my knees again, and started gaining again, until finally I looked at myself and said "what the hell is wrong with you".

Then, I didn't look so great, and I didn't feel so great.

On Septermber 11th 2006 I made a comitment. I would reduce my caloric intake to between 2600-2800 calories per day, and gradually increase my excercise; to reach my goal of being back down to 285lbs and under 15% bodyfat by my birthday after this one, April 27th 2008.

As of Sunday, I've gone from 425lbs, to 350lbs. Six months into my 18 month timeline, and I'm more than halfway to my goal. I've lost 75lbs from the start of my diet, and 90lbs from my peak weight.

Here's a couple pics of me from the last six years just to show you the difference (I dont have any of the pics before 2001 scanned, and I didn't have a digicam then).

This is me in Ireland, in 2001 or early 2002 (I don't remember); where I weighed somewhere between 325 and 345:

This one is November 2003. In early 2003 I managed to get down to 295, but here I was back up to about 325:

Here's one of me in New Hampshire, in 2004, at about 345:

You might note my appearance hasn't changed that much with varying weight... except for this one, where I'm probably at 440, and you can REALLY see the weight:

And this one, about a month into my diet, where I'd lost about 25lbs:

vs this one, about 25lbs heavier than today, at 375:

The funny thing is, I'm not much smaller today; or rather, I'm quite a bit smaller all over, except in the gut. I'm fitting into my shirts better, and the extra fat is gone off my thighs, arms, most of it off my chest, and some off my neck and face.

The problem is the gut. Oh I've still got a ways to go off the inner thighs, the chest, and under the arms etc... but it's mostly the gut.

As the weight has come off, my gut has gotten... loose, I guess would be the word, and descended, which has made my pants fit WORSE actually. I can get itno smaller waist sizes, but they're LESS comfortable than before.

This isn't a case for situps, I do tons of crunches already. The fat is over the muscle not under. Ask anyone who knows me personally, I've got ridiculously strong abs. Even at my weight I have no problem with 50 crunches, and a grown man can punch me in the stomach without having the muscle give... it's just that damn fat.

This is the problem with men and weightloss in general. The gut is the fat storage mechanism for famine; and it's the last place it hides, the last place it comes off. Worse, the more fit the rest of me gets, the more that gut will get slack, and droopy, and stick out. Sucks don't it. Actually, I got so big, I may need skin reduction. I don't think it's that bad, but it may be.

Ah well, it is what it is.

The other problem I've had, is that it's been a real sickly winter for me. Not sure why (other than having a 3 and a 5 year old), but I've meneaged to get every bug that's come around at least twice,; ADN I managed to fall down in the bathroom and hurt myself rather badly... comgin down to it, I have barely worked out at all since november. Every time I try and get started back again, I either get hurt, or get sick again. I've had two bloody sinus infections in two months fer chrissakes.

Anyway, when THIS damn sinus infection clears up, it's back on the bike and the machine again, and keep the pace goin. I want to do a lot more muscle toning and calorie burning. I don't exactly need a lot more muscle mass, but I'd like to get back some of what I lost over the past few years as well. Not all of it (I was a pretty beefy boy at 285 before), but enough that I feel strong again.

'course what I think of as strong, and what other people think of as strong seem to be two different things, since it seems that whenever somebody around here wants something heavy lifted, or bent, or busted, or opened, I'm the guy they think of ;-)

Anyway, thats where it's at. 75lbs in six months, and still not enough excercise; but I'm doing pretty good otherwise.