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Old 25th Feb 2013, 17:12   #1
mansueto
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The weight loss thread

There have been many threads from members trying to lose weight and a lot of the save advice is passed from person to person. I figured having one new unified thread that everyone can share their goals, experiences and current situations in as well as resources would be very helpful to a group of people. I think a large part to losing weight is being motivated and having support, which this thread could help with.

My story goes like this: Back in September, 2011 I woke up one morning and basically fell out of bed, my entire body hurt. From September until January I had no clue what was wrong with me, I ended up dropping down to 200 pounds from 230 from not eating or anything. Turns out I have seronegative spondyloarthropathy arthritis, which mimics rheumatoid arthritis. For those 5 months I was barely moving, etc. Come mid January 2012, I visit my doctor (finally) and she does blood work, realizes a lot of my levels are out of whack and sends me to a specialist.

Specialist quickly diagnoses me and puts me on meds and I was on prednisone (a steroid) for a month. In that first month of going back on the meds I quickly got most of my movement back but still had the aches and pains of an old man. The steroids and meds really kick-started my appetite and I quickly put on 20-30 pounds. Now I'm just on the meds (steroids were only for the 1st month) and I started over-eating. Come December 2012, get my blood work back and I have a fatty liver, a combination of some of my meds and my drinking / eating were starting to take its toll on my body. This was the tip of the iceburg for me, I had been the heaviest I've ever been in my life (240) and some of my clothes just weren't fitting well.

In January I had told myself I would start getting into shape, and I just never got around to it, but about 4 weeks ago I was talking to a friend and he gave me some information and pointed me to a good book that simplified some weight loss methods and it finally motivated and kick started my diet / exercise goals. If anyone cares the book is called the 4 hour body, it basically outlines the bare minimum you would have to do to lose weight, which just said change your diet, have 1 cheat day and work out twice a week with kettlebell swings, though it has more sections for muscle gain and other things. It's more of a guide and has different focuses depending on which sections you want to learn / read about. It also has the "geek" sections where it actually goes into explaining the purposes of certain things.

So come 3 weeks ago, I decide to ask my mom to teach me to make eggs, healthy breakfast if you get the cholesterol free ones, good protein and if you cut up some veggies and more chicken, you replace bad calories with good ones, plus gain some protein which is very important for weight loss apparently. About a week ago I decided that dieting wasn't enough and went and bought me a kettlebell. The book advises doing kettlebell swings twice a week, starting with 20-30 swings each time until you can slowly move up, until you can complete 120. I decided that I'd do this every 2nd day, and do as many as I could instead of what they advised, along with pushups. I decided I'd also try to use my treadclimber every day for more cardio. The first week I didn't lose much from the diet, but the 2nd and 3rd week I've managed to lose 10 pounds. This has gotten me really excited. Some of the other things I've done aside from changing my diet are: avoiding carbs, not 100% but try to avoid them as much as possible, so if we have chicken burgers for dinner, I won't have a bun with it. Sugar really messes with your body too apparently, so I've stopped putting sugar / sweetener in my coffee and beverages. Fruit juices, pop and alcohol has also been cut out of my diet unless its a cheat day. For the sake of my liver though, I'm trying to avoid alcohol for good for now until my blood work gets back in line. Water is the best beverage for you.

Some of the things I've found:
30 minutes a day to walk / jog / run doesn't inhibit my schedule. It really doesn't take that much time if you put in a conscious effort.
Learning to cook healthy food is good for when I finally do move out, plus ladies like a man that can cook, am I right?
Letting family / friends know really helps, my parents have been very considerate and my mom has gone out of her way to buy me fresh vegetables and cut them up for me so when I want to snack, I have healthy choices. She's also very considerate in regards to cheat days, she knows apple pie is one of my favourites, so for last weeks cheat day she went and bought pie!
Positive reinforcement and support have also made this much easier.
Try and track things, weight goes up and down with weight loss and muscle gain so it isn't the best thing to track, things like body fat are easier to track but require special tools that may not be easily accessible for all. Other things that can easily be tracked are body measurements, such as stomach, hips, etc. You may have only lost 5 pounds, but you may have lost 2-3 total inches off your body, which is something that should be celebrated and seen as an accomplishment.
Set realistic goals, my ideal goal is to hit 170 pounds, but realistically, I am setting 20 pound increments at a time.

Closing remarks:
Staying optimistic and positive are the key to success.
The first week or two is the hardest when changing diets, some suggestions are taking pictures of what you are about to eat, it gives you a second to really stop, look and see what you're about to consume and it may make you think again about unhealthy choices.
Have support, they can help out / motivate you, as well as provide information. I'm friends with a lot of "gym rats" who have made a few suggestions on other ways to lose weight that will be beneficial for when I decide to join a gym.
Be proud to hit accomplishments but don't fool yourself into justifying unhealthy snacks. A lot of people try to balance junk and exercise, so if they went for a jog they may use that as a reason to justify eating chips or other junk. This is more self-control than anything though.

I hope this thread can grow and help a lot of people! For now, I wish everyone who is trying to lose weight the best of luck.
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Last edited by mansueto; 25th Feb 2013 at 17:19.
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 19:49   #2
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Whilst not overly impressive,
I wouldnt say i was overweight and i get a fair bit of excercise, but i found it easy to start eating too much junk food.

Ideally i should be 12 stone, but fopund myself hitting 14.5.

Having not felt to 100% fitness, i have managed to drop back down to 13, but having trouble loosing that last stone.

Good luck to everyone that is trying, i know it isnt always easy, so hopefully this will encourage others.

I found that using my pedometer worked well, as we are all gadget freaks, but now its old and not as much fun, its harder again.
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 20:14   #3
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Getting a bit down about my own weight, just tipped over the overweight area for my height.

Only problem is I carry it all in my beer belly and cheeks and I'm really starting to notice it now

My trouble is I can't see, to ditch the takeaways and bad fatty foods, I try but always end up giving in to strong craving and it feels like I'm on the slippery slope!

Good luck to anyone whose giving it a go, I sure am going to try hard this time, me and the mrs and gonna start exercising together for a bit of motivation.
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 20:14   #4
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After the usual winter slump I'm slowing getting back into being more active.

I live on a deer farm, so there is plenty to do here every single day anyway, but doing a PhD the last 5 years, I've spent more time sitting at the machine than before and became a bit lethargic.

I'm 29 now, 30 in August and I definitely need to shed about 6-8Kg I reckon. I'm currently at 94Kg and that bit of weight loss would be great.

Did my first dedicated bit of exercise today with an hours worth of heavy pick-axe work in the greenhouse (will see how my back likes that in the morning), followed by 20 minutes on the rowing machine and then some basic shoulder, back and arms weights sets afterwards.

Going to be sore tomorrow, but to be repeated on wednesday again
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 21:29   #5
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For anyone looking for some good advice on fitness, strength building, fat loss and general wellbeing look up a couple of guys on youtube by the names of Elliot Hulse and Omar Isuf. The knowledge of these 2 guys has been an enormous help to me in my mission to get in the best shape I can be in.

In around 8 months i've gone from being a fat mess of a man (by my standards) who struggled to bench 135lbs and literally couldn't squat with an empty bar to being sub 10% bodyfat and being able to bench 215lbs, squat 1.5x body-weight and deadlift 2x body-weight. Obviously a large part of that was effort and willpower on my part, but they provided a lot of the content that I used in the process.
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 00:18   #6
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I used the FitnessPal app and through a little calorie counting and eating a lot less in the evening lost over 2 stone in a year, down from over 15 to just under 13. The motivation for me was the fact that 42" trousers were starting to feel a bit tight. Now though, I can fit in old trousers that are 36" waist. My target is 12.5 stone but it's proving hard shifting the last few pounds. I don't exercise an awful lot, but take a brisk hours walk every evening with my dogs. I could do with being a lot fitter as heavy lifting and diy requiring strength makes the sweat pour out. Comes with being quite a laid back sort of person I guess.
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 02:44   #7
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Last year I went from 265lbs down to 218. Recently I got back up to 240lbs and have drawn the line. I'm down just a couple after seeing the scale. Now time to get refocused and drop the weight again....
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 02:51   #8
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Over the winter its normal for a lot of people to put on weight but I also feel that a lot of people reach their goals than go back to their old lifestyles, which causes them to put it back on. It's a full lifestyle change, it can't be something temporary. I also had the issue where my nicer jeans weren't fitting well.
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 03:35   #9
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I'll start this with a 'I know it's not to everyones liking'

But if you guys are looking at ways to lose weight, i specialize (amongst other things) in weight loss products and programs, working with you to hit your goals. If you'd like more information chat to me on FB or if you don't have it, PM me.

https://www.facebook.com/luke.wilkinson2
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 07:25   #10
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Reading through this thread certainly gave me some motivation, so I decided to post as well. I glad to see I'm not the only one who has a weight problem. My problem is that I don't know where I'm going wrong.

At the beginning of the year I weighed 125kg (275 pounds), and docters has put my target weight at 95kg (210 pounds). Starting this year, I eat way less, as well as better, and I now excercise every day by walking the dog (1.7km Monday to thursday, the rest 3.2km).

My problem is that I've only lost 5kg thus far (6 weeks of work), and though I'm not throwing in the towel, but this is discouraging. Any thoughts? Does it take a lot longer to really show the signs of weight lose?

I know you saying "use tape measure, not scale", but I feel thats more for finer weight lose. I'm trying to lose 65 pounds here.

Anyway, thanks to any and all for advise
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 07:49   #11
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I restarted Muay Thai training after a year and a half break. That was 3 months ago and I'm losing weight steadily and gaining a nice all-round muscle. It helps that my best mate is one of the trainers at the club but I love this type of exercise instead of the gym. I get bored and dispondent with gym after no-time due to previously getting all my exercise from football and other sports. If anyones interested, look below..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2jbynE9PkE

Obviously, I've cut alcohol down to a minimum and full-fat soda is a once a week deal but other than that I'm eating the same. I'd rather get my metabolism up and lose the weight a little slower, than change my diet dramatically.
I'm in it for the sustainability and long-term benefits.

Smoking is the only vice I have left and it's getting the chop bit-by-bit.
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 08:06   #12
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While I personally am one of the blessed few who have the inverse problem of not being able to put on weight, My other half is a bit OCD about weight loss in the last "few" months (read: 18 or so). This has led to me doing a LOT research on the subject, working through a LOT of options, and trying to be supportive. What follows are my findings, and should only be taken as such.

1) Beware of wonder meds/programmes. They're all 99% BS. Weight loss is one of the (if not THE) biggest money making regimes in the world. Second (IMHO) only to "Make money by doing nothing" schemes that we all know don't work. Edit: By that I don't mean to discredit any programme, but merely to state that I have yet to see a programme that works for everyone every time. Trust me, I have seen MANY, MANY Programmes, and while the principals are mostly sound (to my amateur knowledge), there's always a large chunk of "buy our stuff now and lose weight instantly" in there. No generics will fit perfectly.

2) Bin your scale. Seriously. Scales are the EFFING DEVIL. Now, I know that it's the most convenient way to measure progress, but it's frighteningly inaccurate, and can actually lie to you. Besides that (and this is the main factor IMHO), bin it because it will inevitably end up frustrating you endlessly. This WILL (100% guaranteed) lead to strain in your interpersonal relationships. Especially for those in relationships - bin it. Being constantly demotivated makes for strain that's really, really destructive. The last thing you want to do is demotivate the people motivating and supporting you.

3) Exercise regularly, and increase the exercise. Also: VARY the exercise. My experience is that most health advisors recommend ~40 minutes of cardio. By "cardio" they mean getting your heart rate to 70-80% of capacity and keeping it there. This is a level of fitness that needs a long time to build. There simply aren't many people that can do that. Working towards that level gives you a target that's attainable and measurable.

4) Accept that this is going to take LONG. A rule of thumb is: the quicker the loss, the quicker the re-gain. Even for overweight people, a kilo (~2pounds) a week is GOOD. Again, see #3, and realise that the closer you get to the target weight, the harder it's going to get, simply because you have less weight to strain your heart.

5) make sure you read up on balanced diets. Get (or borrow) a kitchen scale to get an idea of how much "150g of Protein" and "120g of carbs" actually is. Remember that while our intake requirements vary according to personal needs, the proportions are generally similar.

6) Weight loss is THEORETICALLY simple: Energy intake > Energy expenditure means you gain weight. Expenditure>Intake means you lose weight.
Of course the reality is MUCH more complex than that, but the lesson here is that you should be careful to NOT OUT-EAT your exercise.

7) It's not once-off. For fast gainers (as most overweight people are), losing weight is hard. Keeping it down is even harder. As such, learn to cook. Take-outs are bad, Pre-cooked meals suck, and Pizza is the devil (look at the calorie count in a slice of Pizza and have a cholesterol shock). Best learn to cook, as you're in for a lifestyle change. Read up on Glycaemic Index as well, since you want to eat low-GI foods.

8) BMI, Body fat % values, Calorie counts, etc. are 99% estimates. This is a harsh reality. The only way to ACCURATELY determine your body composition is by using a combination of multiple x-rays (at various "frequencies" - not sure of the technical term here) to determine densities of fat, muscle and bone tissue. Then they can use a submersion technique, calculate displacement, and then work out composition. Everything else is an estimate at best. Callipers measure at certain points only, and are susceptible to people not being 100% accurate every time.
Electrical impedance (where they stick sensors on you) is susceptible to dehydration and don't measure the whole body either.

Calorie counters on Gym equipment are estimates at very best. Caloric usage varies from person to person, based on weight, size, and how the specific body works. The only reliable way? Blood tests before and after.

In short: There's no sure fire way to measure progress. This sucks. Hard. This gets worse for women, since they often vary by up to 2 or 3 kilos during their period.
Unfortunately, there's currently no way to overcome this suckiness. You HAVE TO find a way to keep motivated.

9) Realise that the perfect body is probably unattainable. That's not meant to discourage, but rather to make peace with the fact that even on target weight, some thing will always be out of place. It's the same for skinny people (I, for example hat that I can't build proper arms or pecs, and that you can count my ribs). Love your body. It sounds like a cliché, but anything else is going to lead to more frustration and, in turn, to re-gaining the weight.

more to follow, I am sure.
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 09:44   #13
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Nice stuff BentAnat!

I thought I'd add some light-hearted-ness so here's a pic on the theme..

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Old 26th Feb 2013, 10:04   #14
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A disclaimer first of all: I'm a random guy on the internet, i'm not in any way an expert on the topic and this post is based entirely on my own experiences and some of you will not like it.

First of all separate your goals. Are you after fitness, weight loss or putting on muscle because these are all different and require you to do different things. If you want to do a combination of these things I would do them one at a time. After several attempts to loose weight and get fit by going to the gym which failed I just went for weight loss first and it worked for me far quicker and more consistently than anything else.

Secondly anyone who tries to sell you some kind of weight loss product is an idiot. Kick them in the balls/vagina and never listen to them ever again.

Exercise is good but trying to loose weight by upping your exercise with out changing your eating habits will take a long, long time. Simple fact here. You can eat 300 calories in a couple of minutes but it will take a lot of work in the gym to burn that off there fore it is easier to limit calorie intake.

I lost 20kgs over the space of 5-6 months last year and went from 95 to 75kgs by upping my activity levels and calorie counting. I used My Fitness Pal to count calories and a fitbit pedometer to track my activity levels. The fitbit is a great motivator to be more active. The majority of my extra activity has been from minor lifestyle changes, always taking the stairs instead of a lift, making sure I go for a short walk around the office every few hours, walking for short journeys instead of taking the car and always taking the long way and never taking a short cut. You would be amazed at how much of a difference this makes. With the fitbit if I had not reached by 10,000 step goal by the time I got home from work I would go far a walk in the evening to hit my goal regardless of the weather.

My fitness pal is a calorie counting database with an app for most smart phones. The database is handy as most store bought foods will have an entry all ready and if its not there you can add one for the other users to use so it is remarkably up to date and accurate. When you calorie count you will be amazed at how many calories things contain and if your serious about hitting your targets your behavior will change. For me the issue was portion control and once I could clearly see where the calories were coming from I became very strict about how much I ate. I'm a keen cook so the majority of what I eat I make myself so I now stick very closely to the recipe and all ingredients are precisely measured out. A positive side effect of this is my stomach has now shrunk and I can not physically eat the amount of food I could in the past.

My fitness pal also synchs with the fit bit and will adjust your calorie target accordingly. This is important as some days I would actually be under my calorie target once you adjusted for exercise levels and your then in danger of your body going into starvation mode. It was also great looking at your calorie levels and knowing you could reward yourself with a treat due to your increased activity.

Now I have hit my target I no longer religiously record everything I have been eating but it is still a conscious effort to follow recipes exactly and not let the old bad habit of poor portion control creep back in. I disagree with Bentant about scales. They are a tool and they are what you make of them. I was far more interested in my waist size than my actual weight but it was a handy tool for tracking progress. Now I have reached my target I am aiming to improve my cardio and endurance for mountain biking and increase my leg muscles. Trying to build muscle while loosing weight will never work.

Good luck to anyone reading this who wants to loose weight and remember to set a realistic and sustainable target.
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 10:29   #15
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 10:33   #16
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First of all separate your goals. Are you after fitness, weight loss or putting on muscle because these are all different and require you to do different things. If you want to do a combination of these things I would do them one at a time. After several attempts to loose weight and get fit by going to the gym which failed I just went for weight loss first and it worked for me far quicker and more consistently than anything else.
Forgot to add that. Losing weight and bulking up at the same time is not going to work well at all. It takes VERY specialised (and monitored) diets and exercise regimes to do that.
Also: Eating less and working out hard at the same time is rough. Pushing your body too hard can be counter-productive in that you can lose body mass, your body can go into "starvation mode" (i.e. holding on to any reserves it gets when it gets them), etc.

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I disagree with Bentant about scales. They are a tool and they are what you make of them. I was far more interested in my waist size than my actual weight but it was a handy tool for tracking progress.
Fair enough. My point was that for a lot of people, a scale is the ONLY measuring tool they have, and they get a bit obsessive about it.
The closer you get to your target weight, the less accurate a scale becomes in reflecting true change. By all means, use it, but for goodness's sake, please take it for what it is: One of a plethora of indicators. Not even almost an absolute one.
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 11:14   #17
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No carbs, water instead of squash and take the stairs.

Simples.

Scales matter to a point... if you're doing exercise, remember, you're not just losing weight but building muscle, and muscle weights more than fat does.. So you could be losing an awful lot more fat than the scales indicate, and not appear to be losing weight.
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 11:45   #18
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Was 18.6 stone last year and since I'm getting married in March I figured I could trim down a touch.
Got down to 17 stone 10 in a month and a bit and then had Christmas

Straight back up to 18.4

I'm currently sitting at 17.4 stone, my waist is down at least 2 belt notches (maybe an inch or 2).

All I've done is switched to eating breakfast (Either meusli or fried eggs on toast), eating packed lunches rather than going out to Tesco every day, eating slightly smaller portions for dinner and getting my arse back into training.
30 minutes on the pads, with some sparring, wrestling and ju-jitsu makes a hell of a difference as does some light weight training.
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 12:01   #19
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To all of you wanting to improve another tip is to go spinning.

My class is a 45 minute and it has really improved my cardio as well as my cycling technique.

I am currently a bit heavy because I have been eating too much for about a year now, however my cardio fitness and leg strength is best its ever been, which is frustrating as I know I just need to stop eating.

I have a tough mudder coming up in May so I need to be fit by then anyway.

So here it is:

Height: 6'

Current weight: 90kg

Long term goal weight: 77kg

Short term goal weight: 82kg


Short term goals:

- Snack less - especially late at night

- Include a piece of fruit/veg with each eat/snack (eat crisps, have a piece of celery etc)

- Stop finishing my GF's meals.

- Increase gym work - currently I am spinning, classing and Kickboxing, but I am not hitting the gym.

Will keep this up to date a little bit.
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 15:46   #20
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Right then, where to start...

I have always been on the larger side (I weighed in at 16 Stones when I was 17) and aside from a couple of brief periods of weight loss I have steadily gained. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in June 2008 although looking back on things, I had probably had it a lot longer than that.

Due to some complications arising from the diabetes I had to go and have some surgery but before I could undergo that, I had to get my weight and blood pressure down a bit (I was 21 and a half stone at that point) and I managed to lose about 2 stones over the following 6 months. I managed to keep this off for a while after that until I changed the medication I was on for my diabetes.

Once I started on gliclazide all the weight I had lost came back on plus a bit more and I ended up at 22.5 stones. I managed to lose a little after that and was sitting at just over 21.5 again. (going to switch to kg now as that is what I am currently using)

I started on a program through the NHS called Motivate which is run by part of the fitness team from Notts County Football Club which consists of half and half sessions of nutrition education and exercise and is mainly attended by men.

I started off at 138.1 kg (height is pretty much spot on 6') and the goal was to lose 5% (6.905kg) over a period of 12 weeks. Do that and I carry on for another 12 weeks with the sessions (lose a further 3% after that and I stay on for another 12 weeks). After 7 weeks I am now down to 132.7 so only another 1.5kg to go until I hit the 5% target with another 5 weeks left.

I also added in 4 more holes to my belt which I measured out to be exactly 1" apart, this way I could get some idea of inches lost and so far I have used up 3 of those holes.

I have also started using the myfitnesspal app on my phone to catalogue everything I eat and the exercise I get in order to keep a track on my calorie intake, I know that any method like this is not going to be perfect but it has helped no end. I am currently trying to get more walking done and am aiming for walking home from work twice a week, a distance of 3.3 miles which I manage in a few mins over an hour.

My aim is to get down to where I was doing Judo years ago which was 15.5 stones but I have a fair bit to go to get there. I am going to set myself 5% chunks for each step and see how that goes. I have no desire to lose everything in one go, I hate clothes shopping for one reason...
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