The Canadian Guitar Forum banner

1 - 20 of 754 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,490 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As I just reached a milestone in my personal path toward fitness and health, I thought I'd see if anyone else has a testimonial or story to share.

Here's mine.

In early 2010, I visited my doctor. After checking my blood pressure (she checked it twice because the numbers were sort of shocking) I was promptly prescribed drugs and told it would be for life.

There was no discussion about root cause, none, zero.

I decided to see how much I could accomplish with diet and exercise.

I don't really know where I maxed out in terms of weight. You don't weigh yourself a lot when you're big.

I'm sure I eclipsed 240 lbs. A 38 inch waistline in work pants was almost impossible to keep closed.

This picture may be reasonably close but I have video of later shows where I look bigger.



So, on April 26, 2010 I started by getting on the treadmill in the hotel I was staying in near Atlanta, GA.

It was twenty minutes and I didn't even have proper shoes. I used dress shoes.

But, it was the beginning.

Over the following two years my interest and the intensity and frequency of my exercise grew steadily to the point where I go to a gym at least six days a week. I do cardio every day and have developed a schedule of strength training which I rotate.

I also made fundamental and continuous changes to my diet, going from what was not terribly far from heart attack grill territory to the point where I eat very little red meat and am steadily increasing the amount of plant based food I eat.

The results? It's a work in progress, but I dropped around 50 lbs, now wear 30 inch waste in jeans and need a belt.

Body fat is 12% or less.

More important than all that is this:

 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,368 Posts
Really inspiring Story man..truly is. i'm in a bit of the same situation. I have big back problems and now cholesterol as well, and doc wants me to drop 60 lbs, i'm right now around 265lbs at 6.3ft. thing is training is REALLY hard with a Bad Back. AND on top of that, i've become used to eating really shitty junk food, chips, chocolat, Coke, that sort of shit. Chocolat for me is a Drug now actually. I know loosing that weight would really actually help my back a LOT...AND stopping smoking as well..but i admit, i just can't find the strenght to even begin such a journey at my age.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,148 Posts
That's awesome milkman.

Congratulations!! It's much deserved.

I've never really been overweight so I can't really share any stories like that one.

The heaviest I've ever been was 163lbs and I'm 5'-6"

That was big for me, so I dieted for 3 months and got down to 143 lbs.

I'm now sitting at around 151 lbs. I'd like to lose 5 more pounds an quite honestly it's hard. Mad respect for those who can keep in shape.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,309 Posts
Really inspiring Story man..truly is. i'm in a bit of the same situation. I have big back problems and now cholesterol as well, and doc wants me to drop 60 lbs, i'm right now around 265lbs at 6.3ft. thing is training is REALLY hard with a Bad Back. AND on top of that, i've become used to eating really shitty junk food, chips, chocolat, Coke, that sort of shit. Chocolat for me is a Drug now actually. I know loosing that weight would really actually help my back a LOT...AND stopping smoking as well..but i admit, i just can't find the strenght to even begin such a journey at my age.
Al, part of the reason I started working out was because of my terrible neck and back problems. At my worst, I was almost a pack day, 215 pound flab monster with zero muscle mass (I mean it; weak and fat!). At 30 I quite smoking because I knew it would kill me. Shortly after that I started jogging and made it 1 km before stopping because I honestly thought I was going to puke. That humble beginning was almost 12 years ago. I now hit the gym 5 times a week, keep a handle on what I eat (but not crazy cautious) and am in decent shape for a guy who turns 42 in 2013. My back and neck problems are far from gone, but they are WAY better than they were.

We both became fathers late in life, and therefore we have all the reasons in the world to find the strength to stay in shape. Start with something that is really simple but really effective: do not eat anything after supper. Seriously, you will drop weight in a month without doing anything else. If you stick to that, add to it by finding three times a week you can walk somewhere instead of driving. Once you start to see results, you will become inspired to take it to another level.

I will skip the lecture on smoking, but know this. Of any group out there, the group that is most likely to stick to a new exercise program is ex-smokers. If you have the will power to knock the killer weed, you have the will power to do anything.

TG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,148 Posts
Seem like a lot of us are/were overweight.

I guess in the flip side I started my adult life at 112 pounds going into post secondary school.

Yes, that's not a typo. 112 lb. most women weigh more than that. That's when I started working out. After my first year I was up to 135lbs and feeling fantastic.

TG is absolutely right. You may not think you have reasons to be in shape now, but you will more than likely have a reason in the future.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,490 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies guys.

i turn 52 in December. I can safely say I am in better shape now than at any time in my adult life.

Some of that is pure luck. It isn't lost on me how different my climb would be if I had a chronic back or leg injury.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,928 Posts
I can't tell you any story of overcoming anything like that. It is pretty enlightening to me that someone can see the 'value' of their life and take the steps necessary to improve it (your story Milkman).

My life and my relationship with fitness has been odd. My best friends in elementary school were identical twins. Their parents even called them 'twin'. Anyway, they were great athletes and I was always trying to keep up with them so I went from slow to fast pretty quickly. They were training with the high school basketball team when they were in grade 5. they were short but everyone could see their talent and I suppose they wanted to nurture it early. I learned a lot competing with them. We (the twins and I) took on the entire class in soccer daily in that era - we never lost.

I asked for weights when I was ten and I got 10 pound dumbells for Christmas. I used them a lot. I moved away and no longer had my twin friends to team up with but I had my interest in sports and a drive to excel. At 13 I got the full dumbell/barbell set and a bench followed. In small town Nova Scotia, a lot of the 'popular kids' were getting people to go into the liquor store for them on Friday nights - Friday was a workout night for me so, I never did that.

When I was 15 I could play football with the 17 & 18 year olds and be the most outstanding player on the field. I scored 18 goals in a floor hockey game one time...that was heavy duty like everyone else was in slow motion. At 17 years old I lifted 140 pounds over my head on a barbell with one hand. It was a pretty wild and intense party trick. I started with about 70 pounds and moved up. I got to the point that I could just pull on the bar a bit without even taking it off of the ground and be able to tell if I needed to move my grip placement at all because on a 6 ft bar, a qurter of an inch can make a wild difference in balance.

When I was in my 20s I lived with a dietician for a while and she was reading this book 'Diet For A New America'. It was all about not eating any animal products. I got into it in a big way. Hard core vegan for 3 or 4 years and experiencing unreal health/vitality/well-being. I avoided animal products for years on a regular basis after that but since not for any religious reason, I could eat whatever was being served or choose anything on the menu so to speak.

I had gone through periods when exercise had taken a back seat but I could only get so far away from it and I would gravitate back toward it...the sense of well-being, the clarity of thought and the depth of sleep that exercise seemed to facilitate was always a major stabilizing factor for me and stress always seemed to be something that would bring me back to it.

Anyway, about 4 years ago (age 41) I was on midnight shifts and working out steady as a maintenance thing but mentally exhausted from the midnight shifts. I chose to do the P90X routine (not the diet or anything - just the exercise routines) so that I didn't have to think about working out - I just had to follow someone (the people on the dvds). I didn't have a chin-up bar for the first couple of weeks so I just did lat pulldowns on a machine when it was chin-up time. I was reading quite a bit about chin-ups when I started that routine and much of what I read said that there was such a difference between lat pulldowns and chinning. I could lat pulldown heavy weights but I could only do 2 chin-ups.

After I finished P90X I was doing 25 chin-ups while weighing 210 pounds.

6 months after finishing that routine, I went letter carrying doing 18km and 3500 stairs per day. It screwed my knees and legs and I was like a hospital patient after every day. I actually put on weight doing that job because I would just lay around after finishing my day. On weekends I would just lay around too. It sucked. I did that for 14 months and it did permanent damage to my body during that time.

I can't run, but I might try if I can get about 10 pounds off. My knees would love me for that as I work on concrete floors and I have for about 25 years. I have knee pain every day and I have a miniscus issue that sometimes causes an area below/beside my kneecap to puff up and hurts like hell. I can't do 25 chin-ups now but if I drop about 15 pounds I will likely be able to do 17 or 18.

So, I don't have a long way to go to get back into shape that I will be happy with and I am going to try to drop 10 pounds before Christmas that will get me on the right track. I do need to get my fluid trainer back from my cousin now that the winter is almost upon us. If I can drop the 10 by Christmas, I will try going to a ball field and run on grass if we get a nice winter like last year. Even though I don't seem far off from where I want to be with fitness, I think that my injuries will cause this to be one of my biggest challenges.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,202 Posts
Well done Milkman et al!

No inspiring story here, though I did drop five pounds (out of 215) a couple of years ago and kept it off - made a huge difference just losing that little bit. I have arthritis in my hip, but it has been much better even carrying around five fewer pounds.

I'm pretty active, so no gym for me, but for those of you with bad backs, knees, hips, etc., look into swimming - very low impact with high calorie burn.

It's also worth noting that improving your fitness will improve your health more than losing weight will, and exercising also combats depression, ADD, and other ailments - which dieting won't. In fact, exercising will often result in slight weight gain in the initial stages as you build muscle mass. (You should also be aware that exercise will increase your appetite - resist. And snack on fruits and veggies - getting good nutrition reduces your appetite.)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,490 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I've been so lucky. My case seems to be one of almost optimum results. Everything has gone right. Some examples:


I had no chronic injuries.

I was not pressured into change, but rather was inspired to do so.

I have the resources to exercise in a fantastic facility.

I am naturally inclined to sweat heavily during physical activity.

I adapt to change more easily than some.

Really, losing the weight was not difficult. I dropped the 50 plus pounds within about seven months and have remained stable at 185 lbs (plus or minus 5 lbs) for more than two years now.


My current challenge is to continue adding more plant based foods to my diet. I have an aversion to leafy vegetables (have never eaten a salad in my life).

I intend to transition into a better diet with the use of a juicer. I've tried drinks with all kinds of green stuff in them and the little bit of apple or kiwi helped immensely.

I continue reshaping my body, converting fat to muscle.

In fact, in about an hour, I'll pick up one of my daughters and head to the gym. Today will be twenty-five minutes of hill climbing on an elliptical, followed by a series of lifting activities (arms today), then about a half hour of abdominal stuff (inclined sit ups, crunches, leg raises), a steam, shave and shower.

What a great way to start the day. Honestly, although people will tell you this, you can't really appreciate how much better you feel the rest of the day. You really do get a high.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,389 Posts
I am watching this thread.
I stopped smoking cigarettes about 6 months ago. I was 220 lbs at the time and I am 6' 3". At the time I thought I could stand to lose about 20 lbs. Now I have put on about 10 more from munching instead of smoking. I totally messed up my knee about 5 1/2 years ago, so cardio/jogging/bouncing around, etc. is not on the menu unless I learn to walk on my hands. The wife and I (well, her mostly) are starting to be more aware of what we put in our mouths, she has lost a few pounds and I, 2 so far. We are watching our carbs (which also lowers the calories too), eating less processed foods, and more green things. We have cut way down on white foods (potatoes, rice, sugar) and have gone more toward whole grains, etc. (I am still a sucker for a potato chip....PC brand loads of jalapeno popper). I am hoping to get down to an even 200 lbs. I have no time line, as long as the weight keeps going in the same direction, I am happy with that. The thing that is really hard is finding something to do that burns calories and keeps me off the knee at the same time. My range in walking distance is not that great, and now with the snow, it is even harder. Big changes now that I am 51.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,490 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I am watching this thread.
I stopped smoking cigarettes about 6 months ago. I was 220 lbs at the time and I am 6' 3". At the time I thought I could stand to lose about 20 lbs. Now I have put on about 10 more from munching instead of smoking. I totally messed up my knee about 5 1/2 years ago, so cardio/jogging/bouncing around, etc. is not on the menu unless I learn to walk on my hands. The wife and I (well, her mostly) are starting to be more aware of what we put in our mouths, she has lost a few pounds and I, 2 so far. We are watching our carbs (which also lowers the calories too), eating less processed foods, and more green things. We have cut way down on white foods (potatoes, rice, sugar) and have gone more toward whole grains, etc. (I am still a sucker for a potato chip....PC brand loads of jalapeno popper). I am hoping to get down to an even 200 lbs. I have no time line, as long as the weight keeps going in the same direction, I am happy with that. The thing that is really hard is finding something to do that burns calories and keeps me off the knee at the same time. My range in walking distance is not that great, and now with the snow, it is even harder. Big changes now that I am 51.
Hey Jim,


I'm 51 also. The key is diet.

I believe you have to get that under control first.

With chronic leg injuries, low impact cardio is best. Elliptical machines are much more gentle than running or cycling.

I can't know how your injury feels but I do know that when I pull a muscle or some other admittedly minor injury, a light cardio work out speeds my healing by a noticeable margin.

I think it's also important to focus on continuous improvement (positive trend) as opposed to setting short term targets and goals.

Be better than you were yesterday or maybe last month.

That's how I wrapped my mind around it.

Best of luck!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,135 Posts
Great advice Milkman!

I'm only 5'8" and reached my heaviest in 2008 with 213lbs. I started 2012 with 203lbs and the will to get back in shape and change some bad habits that I developed over the past 10 years or so.

I'm 41yo and have been around the 152-155lbs over the past several months. With diet and exercise changes that have now become habits, so I don't see/feel them as sacrifices any longer.

I have found that a vegetarian diet (with fish, eggs, and cheese as part of the protein base) works well for my system. My resting heart rate is generally below 50 with a very healthy blood pressure. I also sleep better, snoring is gone.

I agree that the key is diet. If the commitment is there, the results and benefits will be there as well. Cheers!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,490 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
It's not surprising, but another fundamental difference I feel is the confidence that comes with knowing you've accomplished something that changes the way the world sees and reacts to you.

Any job is better with confidence. A job where you have to make presentations and negotiate multi million dollar contracts is even more "confidence based" than some.

I feel much better emotionally.

It's very much a case of a positive spiral. It feeds on itself if that makes sense.

Good luck to everyone who tries. Better to try and fail than to do nothing.

If you fail, fine. Try again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,389 Posts
Maybe we should have a fat old guitar player club. Mutual support group thing....lol.
Was just out shoveling a bit of snow, I did not run out of breath. At least I can work my upper body enough to get a sweat up. The knee is not happy with the whole thing though. Uneven ground and a bit of twisting and it tells me that. I have been trying for 5 years to get its endurance and strength up, but it is not to be. I got what I got and have to learn to work around the parameters I have. Been thinking of some Tai Chi, but for now, I am thinking of walking back and forth on the driveway, behind the snow thrower.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,490 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Maybe we should have a fat old guitar player club. Mutual support group thing....lol.
Was just out shoveling a bit of snow, I did not run out of breath. At least I can work my upper body enough to get a sweat up. The knee is not happy with the whole thing though. Uneven ground and a bit of twisting and it tells me that. I have been trying for 5 years to get its endurance and strength up, but it is not to be. I got what I got and have to learn to work around the parameters I have. Been thinking of some Tai Chi, but for now, I am thinking of walking back and forth on the driveway, behind the snow thrower.
Ah yes, the venerable FOGP club. I could be a founding member LOL.

Tai Chi or Yoga might be very helpful.

Actually, I was looking around at the gym this morning, considering how I would work out if I had problems with my legs or back.

There are several machines designed for such people, some of which even have wheelchair accessability.

One in particular is like a hand bicycle. I checked it out and you can definitely get your cardio on that sucker with zero impact to your legs.

Having said that, I still maintain that some light exercise is one of the best way to improve the situation with the bad knee.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,573 Posts
Same as with a bad back. My doc refused to prescribe painkillers or send me for any sort of xray or imaging, despite the fact that I could barely walk and certainly couldn't flex or lift anything. Had me read a book, that I have misplaced at the moment, but anyways written by a back doc who prescribed stretching and other movement based exercise, not especially taxing cardio but great for flexibility. It won't work for everyone, as he freely admits in the book, but the success rate is very high. I had a chiro move some things in place (CRACK in the lower back) and got some immediate relief from that, then did a few weeks of the book's regimen in front of the TV in the evenings. Good as new. Problem sporadically reappears, particularly when I drive a lot (like, 8-12 hours for multiple days) but I can make the problem go away in a week or 2 by doing the stretching and mobility stuff.

I'll see if I can find the book and relay the title & author.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,303 Posts
I'll see if I can find the book and relay the title & author.
I'm wondering if it is "The Back Doctor" by Hamilton Hall, M.D..
He is a Canadian orthopaedic surgeon and his books have been very popular through time.

Cheers

Dave
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,490 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Same as with a bad back. My doc refused to prescribe painkillers or send me for any sort of xray or imaging, despite the fact that I could barely walk and certainly couldn't flex or lift anything. Had me read a book, that I have misplaced at the moment, but anyways written by a back doc who prescribed stretching and other movement based exercise, not especially taxing cardio but great for flexibility. It won't work for everyone, as he freely admits in the book, but the success rate is very high. I had a chiro move some things in place (CRACK in the lower back) and got some immediate relief from that, then did a few weeks of the book's regimen in front of the TV in the evenings. Good as new. Problem sporadically reappears, particularly when I drive a lot (like, 8-12 hours for multiple days) but I can make the problem go away in a week or 2 by doing the stretching and mobility stuff.

I'll see if I can find the book and relay the title & author.
Why does everyone have a better doctor than me? Mine reaches for the prescription pad right away, no matter what.

Stretching and light cardio is remarkably effective for me, but as I have said, my problems tend to be mildly pulled muscles and DOMs from lifting.

But, when I walk in to the gym sore in that way, it always feels somewhat better after my cardio work out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,928 Posts
Why does everyone have a better doctor than me? Mine reaches for the prescription pad right away, no matter what.

Stretching and light cardio is remarkably effective for me, but as I have said, my problems tend to be mildly pulled muscles and DOMs from lifting.

But, when I walk in to the gym sore in that way, it always feels somewhat better after my cardio work out.
This might make you feel better: my doctor doesn't seem to know anything. He once prescibed a nasal spray for this crazy dizziness I was experiencing but I also told him in the same visit that I was having severe nosebleeds and the spray is known to cause nosebleeds.
 
1 - 20 of 754 Posts
Top