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  1. #1
    Registered User BJoe's Avatar
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    I'm back, fatter than before.........help!

    OK, I had been on here about a decade ago and was trying to lose weight/get stronger, but didn't have much luck on the weight loss side of the equasion, then had money and health issues (both mine and Mom on the latter) that caused me to walk away and managed to gain weight, even while I was still working retail. Ended up with a job change mid 2016 that has been better pay, better insurance, better hours, all while closer to home, which even though it's a desk job, has helped my health and Mom has stabilized, plus my Sister just had a little girl (first grandkid for both grandparents and first Niece for myself and my BiL's Sister!) The gym I had been a member of closed a couple years after I canceled that membership and found another local gym that is run by then local park district and just a few minutes from work and not much farther from home that isn't far off from what I was paying at the last gym.

    Now that the good is over, time for the bad.........
    My weight has gone between 440-500lbs at times last few years, usually settling around 490-495lbs when I go to the Dr's offices........
    I do have an edema issue with my legs and swelling in my knees, with my right leg now being far worse than the left and having a wound in 2017 that required medical attention and have had to take water pills and potassium for that, Metformin for blood sugar issues, and Metropropol Succinate (a beta blocker) since my blood pressure seems to keep going up and Lisinopril seemed to cause me enough issue that put me in the hospital for a few days earlier this year for a nuclear stress test, which went better than was expected for somebody my size.

    I do not like the blood pressure meds (either one, in all honesty) period, would like to get away from the blood sugar pills as well, not sure how much can be done on the water pill and potassium going into the future. I also need to cut the fat, but know that it would result in loose skin, so I definitely need to build muscle, especially upper body so I don't look deflated, that said, I already at least no longer feel like a beached whale if I have to lay down on on a bench, but sitting on one I'm already starting to look partially deflated after only a couple weeks, lol! My Sister (the one who's the new Mama) was apparently more shaken up by that unexpected hospital stay than I was and bought me a Fitbit for Christmas, which will be helpful for any cardio related activities, although I'm expecting it to get into the way the rest of the time, especially if I'm wrenching on something.

    Does anybody have any suggestions on getting stronger, losing fat, and if that FitBit will be worth using while doing so?
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  2. #2
    Determined One shadow_flare's Avatar
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    A lot to process, but I can say this. Taking little steps at a time. You can't just gunho right into everything. Take fat loss at little bits at a time. I would recommend just being lightly more active. I started off by walking regularly every day. First 10k steps a day, then 15k and now 20k a day assuming the weather ain't bad. Once you get to a point where you can move more you can do more cardio activities like biking or running. If you're going to eat somewhere literally walk there. This helps me the most. I stopped driving to where I need to go for food. Last year I peaked at 270+ lbs. Heaviest I have ever been. By June of this year I was at the 250 mark. Started running in May. Lost 2-3 lbs every week until I hit 205lbs and now it is a tad slower because of the rainy season and less activity outside. I'm at 196/198 average right now.

    I lost some weight and got to a manageable spot where I started controlling my diet. Wasn't drastic or anything, I just started tracking my food, seeing my daily average calories, then started cutting back. I cut out my trigger food (pizza), and reduced my calories slightly. Doing a massive cut will not do. I looked into what was average for my height and kept my calorie intake to that point. I started lifting weights again in June, and it has been working well for me so far. Overall it is a slow process, but taking small steps works the best.

    At your weight you're going to have loose skin. There is no getting around it. I would defiantly work with your doctor on your goals. I met with mine when I started last year and just had regular checkups.
    Just keep on going.
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  3. #3
    Registered User BJoe's Avatar
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    Thank's Shadow_Flare, I have to start easy on steps, between being out of retail for a few years and the edema (fluid) in my legs, walking can be difficult for now. For some reason I have found that wandering through stores does tend to be easier than trying to walk down the street or on the track at this gym I joined and usually will try and do that on days off while on work days and days I don't get the chance to go some place more entertaining to walk, I'll use the gym track. I know this will be a "one day at a time" thing, especially now that I'm middle aged!
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    Determined One shadow_flare's Avatar
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    Oh I know how you feel. I have plantar fasciitis in both feet caused by my weight. Edema is no joke. I know a coworker who suffers from it and is reduced to walking around with a cane now. Even if you're not walking, try to get your total movement up in general, even while sitting. With time it will definitely become a lot easier. But you have the right idea what you should do.

    Also, don't be afraid to start lifting weights. Even at your weight it actually will help. Again, do talk to your doctor about what you are doing. There is also a good youtuber you should look up. Obese to Beast. He is a very good source for inspiration and information.
    Just keep on going.
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  5. #5
    Registered User BJoe's Avatar
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    Oh, I have already! I tend to prefer lifting over cardio by a wide margin and find it relaxes me. Don't know if I'll ever be able to do the 1200lbs+ leg presses I once was again, but I was able to shrug 80lb dumbbells last Tuesday and have been able to do 45 or 50lb dumbbell rows as well to get started back into things. I need to check out any plans that are out there and see what might work to bring me back to, or past where I had been when I stopped going in 2013.
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  6. #6
    Registered User BJoe's Avatar
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    Ended up with a bunch of cardio today, took my Dad's minivan to the dealer for him while he was caring for Mom then ran over to a mall to do a year old product exchange for him. They did swap the products, but I parked on the wrong side of that mall and as busy as it was, I just hooved it there and back.
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  7. #7
    Registered User BJoe's Avatar
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    Didn't spend much time in the gym during holiday, but definately did tonight after work. Using my fitbit (Gift from my concerned kid Sister), i ended up doing 45 minutes of cardio (walking) and another 57 minutes lifting!
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  8. #8
    Registered User Runway37's Avatar
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    How are you doing on food? Do you have a calorie goal each day and a way to count calories? You can't outrun a bad diet. Good amount of protein, vegetables, very light on the starches.
    Waiting for motivation is the death of discipline.
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  9. #9
    Registered User BJoe's Avatar
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    Diet is usually pretty bad, I do tend to go more for protein and never been one for vegetables, starches, I'm trying to remember on those, I don't eat fries like I once did (now, mainly if we go to one of the Portillos), and Im not much of a potato person......bread on the other hand, I can easily go overboard there and I do like rice!
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  10. #10
    Registered User Gneejack's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BJoe View Post
    Diet is usually pretty bad, I do tend to go more for protein and never been one for vegetables, starches, I'm trying to remember on those, I don't eat fries like I once did (now, mainly if we go to one of the Portillos), and Im not much of a potato person......bread on the other hand, I can easily go overboard there and I do like rice!
    It looks like you’re on the right track as far as being more active, but that’s only part of the equation. The larger and more important factor is nutrition. Start tracking everything you eat and drink (including sauces, dressings, condiments, creamers) to make certain you’re in a caloric deficit. Eyeballing and estimating WILL NOT WORK. At least until you’ve been at it a good long while and it becomes second nature. Good luck on your fitness goals in this new year, your health is your most valuable asset.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Runway37's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BJoe View Post
    Diet is usually pretty bad, I do tend to go more for protein and never been one for vegetables, starches, I'm trying to remember on those, I don't eat fries like I once did (now, mainly if we go to one of the Portillos), and Im not much of a potato person......bread on the other hand, I can easily go overboard there and I do like rice!
    So proper diet will help you make huge strides. And the thing about changing diet is that it sucks for the first couple weeks, but after building a habit, it gets much easier. For me I had to realize that I needed to fall out of lust with certain types of foods. Is 30 min of indulgent pleasure at Portillo's really worth your health? Isn't there more to life that makes you happy? That thought process helps me.

    As far as veggies, it really does involve finding things you like. There are a lot I don't like. Cooked carrots, cauliflower, cooked spinach, raw kale. But over time I've found things I do like, one simple fix was I don't like things steamed or boiled, so I roast or grill my veggies with a well measured amount of olive oil. Roast brussel sprouts, sometimes with a well portioned amount of maple are amazing. I found I hate cooked spinach, but a raw spinach salad is great. And for kale it's switched. Raw is super bitter, but cooked in a frying pan with a little water and a diced sweet onion tastes great. Cauliflower isn't great, but I can get these green giant riced cauliflower in cheese sauce frozen packages and they are 80 calories each. Fantastic, a serving of vegetables in about a minute, not my favorite but I don't dislike them.

    The key take away for vegetables I found is I grew up hating them partially because I hated the way my parents prepared them. They just have different tastes than me. Once I figured out what I liked, vegetables became a much better part of the meal.

    Bread is an issue. I love bread too. But I found I could only have a little bit and meet my calorie goals. And a little bit just isn't worth it. So I've pretty much eliminated it from my diet. A little bit just made me want more. I don't particularly miss it now. Nothing that a good lean steak can't satiate anyways.

    And last specific item there is the rice. White rice is missing a lot. People who are putting in beastly workouts and need lots of calories may turn to rice, but you and I are going for a deficit. I've traded a lot of the rice I might eat for quinoa. Similar calories per serving, but the nutrition is much more vegetable like. A much more fibrous carb vs rice having starchy carbs. Good fats, and a great amount of digestible protein. If you do have to have rice, brown is the way to go though. I just prefer the quinoa. Add a light garlic aioli and it's just damn delicious.

    Light garlic aioli
    1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
    1 clove garlic
    1 teaspoon lemon juice
    3 ⁄4 teaspoon dried dill
    1 ⁄4 teaspoon Celtic salt
    1 ⁄8 teaspoon ground black pepper


    And measure that ****. I have a few measuring cups so there is always one clean, not just one. The OXO good grips scale is a well rated and reliable scale. And make sure you have measuring spoons. Olive oil is great for you and you should use it. But it is very high calorie, so you want to use the right amount. You can but a set of five tablespoons on amazon for 9 dollars and always have one ready.

    You fix your diet and I bet you will see some real changes quickly. So suck it up for the two weeks or so it takes to get used to things and you'll come out the other side better.
    Waiting for motivation is the death of discipline.
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  12. #12
    Registered User bondid's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BJoe View Post
    Diet is usually pretty bad, I do tend to go more for protein and never been one for vegetables, starches, I'm trying to remember on those, I don't eat fries like I once did (now, mainly if we go to one of the Portillos), and Im not much of a potato person......bread on the other hand, I can easily go overboard there and I do like rice!
    Dont sleep on cauliflower rice...a little minced garlic, salt, and pepper...so good! You can eat as much of that stuff as you want!
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  13. #13
    Registered User BJoe's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, I don't eat breakfast much and need to get some of those meal replacement shakes again for that, but for lunch I've been going to a local "deli" restaurant and would usually get the meatball sub or chicken parm sandwich (both with and without fries), but think I'm going to still with just their grilled chicken breasts for now. Dinner is usually the wild card since I live with my parents and help care for Mom, sometimes Dad gets a chance to cook and it could be chicken, some sort of pork or beef, occasionally sausage and biscuits with bacon and eggs, or just potato soup when it isn't some sort of fast food like Portillos (beef or chicken sandwiches there with fries or chicken noodle soup for a side), Culvers (I try to stick with chicken there), Buona Beef (same items as Portillos). I am trying to cut back on caffine intake, which is usually non sweet iced tea or non diet pop (Coke or Dr. Pepper, occasionally A&W or Culvers Root Beer), rest of the time I drink water, sometimes over 120oz on my days off. I don't drink or use anything that isn't prescribed drug wise and have joked that the only alcohol I buy goes into the tank of my flex fuel car and only things I smoke are the front tires on car ir the electronics in my R/C cars......both of which I try not to do as well, but can't always be helped......especially in my daily on E85.......that little V-6 does love it's booze😅
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  14. #14
    Common sense/moderation. gbullock32's Avatar
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    A lot here to break down, but start small and be consistent; you need to change everything you have been doing for years and sticking to slow change will help you keep at it. More whole foods, vegetables, lean meats, ect; start tracking calories, you could easily lose weight even at 2500 calories for quite some time, and if you make smart food choices you should have no problem feeling full with that.

    Exercise might not be much at first, walking, light lifting, ect as you begin, and then over time more intense sessions as you lose the weight. You have a lot to lose, and loose skin will be a thing you deal with, no way around that; expect this to take a couple years to get down in weight, it will be fast at first then slow as you get leaner.
    Short cuts to success are often paved with lies.
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    Registered User Runway37's Avatar
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    Calories that you drink have a habit of sneaking up on you. 12 oz of soda at 140-160 calories is a lot to cut out of your diet and they don't really satiate anyways. Switch to drinking only no calorie drinks and you may see some real changes there too.
    Waiting for motivation is the death of discipline.
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    Harsh Truth Distributor xsquid99's Avatar
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    Regular (non diet) soda, meatball/beef/chicken parm subs, fries, etc are all things that should NOT be part of your diet right now.
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    Regular (non diet) soda, meatball/beef/chicken parm subs, fries, etc are all things that should NOT be part of your diet right now.
    I am working on minimizing all of those, the sandwiches will be the easy part now that I know I can get grilled chicken without a bun where I normally go for lunch and Portillo's fries are about the only ones I like any more and even substituted those for their chicken noodle soup quite w bit.

    Pop on the otherhand, I had pulled that off for 6 months or so at one time, but fell from that wagon pretty hard😶
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    Harsh Truth Distributor xsquid99's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BJoe View Post
    Pop on the otherhand, I had pulled that off for 6 months or so at one time, but fell from that wagon pretty hard
    It would take like 20 minutes running on a treadmill to burn off the calories in a single can of soda, is that really worth it to you?
    All it takes is consistency, effort, proper nutrition, good programming, and TIME.
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  19. #19
    Common sense/moderation. gbullock32's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BJoe View Post
    I am working on minimizing all of those, the sandwiches will be the easy part now that I know I can get grilled chicken without a bun where I normally go for lunch and Portillo's fries are about the only ones I like any more and even substituted those for their chicken noodle soup quite w bit.

    Pop on the otherhand, I had pulled that off for 6 months or so at one time, but fell from that wagon pretty hard
    In the end it comes down to your own choices and priorities. What do you want more? Soda and fries, or you health?

    Either you decide to make the changes or you don't.
    Short cuts to success are often paved with lies.
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  20. #20
    Registered User Runway37's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BJoe View Post
    I am working on minimizing all of those, the sandwiches will be the easy part now that I know I can get grilled chicken without a bun where I normally go for lunch and Portillo's fries are about the only ones I like any more and even substituted those for their chicken noodle soup quite w bit.

    Pop on the otherhand, I had pulled that off for 6 months or so at one time, but fell from that wagon pretty hard
    Minimize is not the word to be using there. Eradicating is what we're looking for. Making a health change requires some real honesty, you will try to BS yourself about how much you eat, but you can't BS the scale. If you keep things like soda and empty carbs in your diet, all you're doing is gaining weight slightly slower.

    As a side note, did you ever wonder why food at restaurants taste so good? Better than at home? There is butter and grease everywhere. Those restaurant vegetables are often drowning in it. Steaks glisten because the butter just got done melting. Butter isn't evil, but it is high calorie. And it's very difficult to count how many calories are on your plate at a restaurant. Something to think about in regards to that grilled chicken.
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    Originally Posted by Runway37 View Post
    As a side note, did you ever wonder why food at restaurants taste so good? Better than at home? There is butter and grease everywhere. Those restaurant vegetables are often drowning in it. Steaks glisten because the butter just got done melting. Butter isn't evil, but it is high calorie. And it's very difficult to count how many calories are on your plate at a restaurant. Something to think about in regards to that grilled chicken.
    ^^^^ Truth. That restaurant menu sandwich that says "600 calories" is more like 1000 calories by the time it actually hits your plate.
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    ^^^^ Truth. That restaurant menu sandwich that says "600 calories" is more like 1000 calories by the time it actually hits your plate.
    ^ Double truth!

    OP unless you prepare your own food step by step it's all a mystery plate. Yes eating out is convenient. Who doesn't like going out to eat? However taking the easy road, especially where you're at right now will not yield results.

    How about setting a short term goal of just two weeks like another poster mentioned. Sort of a detox. Then assess from there. Most people start to have a change in their taste buds and the healthier choices start tasting better.

    If you really hit a moment of absolute weakness put the training wheels back on and snack on some skinny pop popcorn to get you to your next planned meal. Stuff taste like almost nothing but it is the lesser of the evils.
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    I've started cutting out bread as much as possible (none since Sunday), mainly had chicken (only breaded once, mostly grilled in olive oil and had provolone on today's), no fries since the weekend either and even then those had been cut back on considerably compared to a year ago. Since I work in a call center now, is there a good snack vs usual vending machine fare that would be recommended and be kept at my cube', preferably something that won't need to be refrigerated?
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    Originally Posted by BJoe View Post
    I've started cutting out bread as much as possible (none since Sunday), mainly had chicken (only breaded once, mostly grilled in olive oil and had provolone on today's), no fries since the weekend either and even then those had been cut back on considerably compared to a year ago. Since I work in a call center now, is there a good snack vs usual vending machine fare that would be recommended and be kept at my cube', preferably something that won't need to be refrigerated?
    Fruit, but I would recommend against snacking too much.
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    Originally Posted by BJoe View Post
    I've started cutting out bread as much as possible (none since Sunday), mainly had chicken (only breaded once, mostly grilled in olive oil and had provolone on today's), no fries since the weekend either and even then those had been cut back on considerably compared to a year ago. Since I work in a call center now, is there a good snack vs usual vending machine fare that would be recommended and be kept at my cube', preferably something that won't need to be refrigerated?
    Sometimes snacking just serves to keep me hungry. The answer to what you can snack on depends on how it fits your calorie goal for the day. If you set up a plan on something like myfitnesspal or loseit, it will come up with a calorie deficit you should be following based on how much weight you can safely lose per week. It might say that your goal for the day is 2000 calories, with a set amount of carbs limit, fat, sodium limit, sugar limits, protein minimums, and fat. So if you had 500 calories for breakfast, 700 for lunch, then ask yourself how many calories do you need left for dinner? That's how much you can have for snacks.

    So now you know how many calories you can have for snacks. The next step is to make sure it's not going to bust your other goals. So something that doesn't have too much sugar, starchy carbs, or salt. Consider eating something with fiber, good fats, protein and the like. These foods will keep you satisfied longer.
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    And what about your daily regime? Quantity of meals? Didn't they change?
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    Meals (well lunch and dinner, I don't eat breakfast) have improved considerably I had been hitting the gym for cardio and weights every other day until this week and was going to try all 5 weekdays this week and chickened out on Wednesday, but went Monday, Tuesday, yesterday, and unless something happens beyween now and 6pm when I leave my desk job, I'm going tonight too. I build model cars and tend to look for stuff at Hobby Lobby, Michael's, even bought some tools for that and my R/C stuff at a Harbor Freight last weekend, which I usually would use for cardio, but with the weather I'm not going to be doing that or attending tomorrows builders club meeting. Probably just be working on models when I don't have to worry about clearing snow. I do need to get batteries charged for my R/C trail rigs and get those out when the weather is decent enough too.
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    Originally Posted by BJoe View Post
    Meals (well lunch and dinner, I don't eat breakfast) have improved considerably I had been hitting the gym for cardio and weights every other day until this week and was going to try all 5 weekdays this week and chickened out on Wednesday, but went Monday, Tuesday, yesterday, and unless something happens beyween now and 6pm when I leave my desk job, I'm going tonight too. I build model cars and tend to look for stuff at Hobby Lobby, Michael's, even bought some tools for that and my R/C stuff at a Harbor Freight last weekend, which I usually would use for cardio, but with the weather I'm not going to be doing that or attending tomorrows builders club meeting. Probably just be working on models when I don't have to worry about clearing snow. I do need to get batteries charged for my R/C trail rigs and get those out when the weather is decent enough too.
    Sorry I'm confused, not really sure what your model and R/C car hobby has to do with this fat loss forum? Thats not cardio.
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    Originally Posted by xsquid99 View Post
    Sorry I'm confused, not really sure what your model and R/C car hobby has to do with this fat loss forum? Thats not cardio.
    Exercise, Usually taking the trail trucks out involves walking just getting them from the car to where I'm running them, then following them around while running them. The first pic below is a place I liked to run that would typically be about 1/4 mile walk each way from the parking lot to the area I would run at, then following the truck(s) around.

    Here's one of the places I liked to go to when it isn't under water, lots of walking and scale rock crawling here!

    Very peaceful there too.

    Here's another spot I liked, just not near as much walking. Went out with a good friend and former coworker that night, the XJ is mine and the red and white truck is his.


    Model wise, not much other than hitting stores and collector shows (which combines men older than most of us here are that smell worse than week old gym clothes in a hall of some sort) to see what they have that I may or may not want or "need". There is sanding and sawing, , but that's not really different than sitting at this laptop typing this post. That's some of why I joined a gym again, someplace I can go and exercise that isn't hidden exercise and going to push me further than just wandering around stores looking for hobby stuff on my day off would. I did request the last Friday of the Chicago Auto Show off again, last year that alone was 15k steps and nearly 9.75 miles.
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    I'd recommend some type of bike with a comfortable seat, like a recumbent or a fan bike such as an airdyne that would provide a gentle but consistent cardio that you can operate seated without putting much strain on your joints, you can put it in front of a TV and blow an hour or two on it a couple days/nights a week during down time when you would otherwise be vegetative, it might actually go long way towards improving your bodyweight, circulation, insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, and your aerobic capacity over time if you are consistent with using it. Just don't increase calories to compensate as it will increase your appetite. Tracking your daily calorie input (as in what do you eat, and how much of it, each day) will help a lot to make sure your diet is consistent.
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