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2011-12-16 8:20 AM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...
RushTogether - 2011-12-15 4:17 PM

I'm 6'1"

325lbs.

 Reading these stories are very inspirational to me!  Thank you all!

 

My journey began 2 weeks ago.

I'll let you know in a year exactly how it turns out...



And you will get there. Don't give up no matter what - its worth the journey.


2011-12-16 8:57 PM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...

It is great to see many long-term cases of weight loss.

I grew up fairly active, played most sports in school, but wasn't a "jock".  Small school didn't emphasize sports the way some do.  Ran cross country, biked everywhere (until I got my first car).  Also we had a pool, so I spent a few summers in the water. 

male, 5'10", medium build.

At 25, I was 155 lbs, about what I weighed graduating high school as well.  At 45, I was about 200 lbs.  And it was very gradual, probably just a couple lbs per year.

Jan 2010, bit the bullet and joined a gym that had a pool, since plantar fasciitis prevented me from running.  I figured there was nothing better than swimming for low impact workouts.

Then got a calorie tracking app, and while I still had cheeseburgers and pizza, I'd make it up by swimming enough to keep the caloric balance in check.

Motivating factors; breaking 200, heartburn, high BP (145/95).

Then after about 30 lbs lost, the PF cleared up, so I could start running again, and started some spin classes.  Uh oh...

The thing that kept me going was progress, feeling better, and still eating what I want.

I really haven't yo-yo'd much, no more than 5 lbs up before correcting it.  I did plateau a bunch of times; then I realized to just keep it up, and eventually the weight would come back off.

I've kept if off by continuing to monitor calories in / out, and mixing activities up to keep from getting bored with it.

2011-12-16 11:37 PM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...
I once weighed 350lbs.

At the moment my life changed I saw a picture of myself.  At that moment I was on top of the world, having the time of my life.  When I looked at the picture I looked miserable, exhausted.  In that moment my eyes were opened and I decided to change things.

I started exercising everyday.  I joined a gym.  I joined a weight lose challange for dollars.  I joined weightwatchers and learned how to eat again.  I began to lose 2 pounds each week and over a year I went from 350 down to 180.  I became almost half the person I was.

After losing all the weight, I decided I needed another challange I began my journey to being an Ironman.  I'm more than half way there.  Weight is still an issue.  It always will be.  But as long as i'm eating to fuel a workout, my choices are going to be healthy choices.

I know who I am, and who I want to be.

Regards
2011-12-17 1:27 PM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...

I can remember the exact moment that I decided that I needed to make a change. I went to Mexico in June of '08 and can remember playing volleyball on the beach and after 10 minutes I was gassed. I couldn't even enjoy myself. Then I got home and saw this picture:

 

 

That was the final straw for me. the day I got back from that trip I was 5'5, 212. I lost 30 pounds over the next 4 months through diet only. Then things stagnated for me.

A year later I ran my first tri at 182. It was pretty much miserable. I was OK with getting passed on the bike by the 15 year old girl (who started 15 minutes after me) who's bike cost more than my car. I wasn't so much ok with getting passed, going uphill, by a guy on a homemade full suspension mountain bike that must have weighted 50 pounds with full knobby tires. When a half dozen people ask you if you are ok on the bike, that is not a good sign. The run was more of a death march. 47 minutes for 4 miles. I finished a .5/16/3 in 2:08.

After taking some time off I went back to a strict diet and got down to 160. I actually trained a little more consistently, I ran the same triathlon the next year. Other than leaving T1 with my wetsuit still on (yeah I was that guy), things went a whole lot better. 1:40

Things has definitely changed over the past 2 years:

I have slacked off over the past year and didnt run any races this year. I am back up about 10 pounds and want to get down to 150. I am planning on atually taking training serious this year. I am planning on running that same race again this year and want to get down to 1:30, which would be a strech goal for me. That would also put on the podium in each of the past 5 years. The part I struggle with is eating better while training. I like food and I like beer and when I'm working out hard I can mow down the house. I still have my fair share of demons to deal with but just like everyone else here, you just have to take things one day at a time.

2011-12-17 2:59 PM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...
uclamatt2007 - 2011-12-18 3:27 AM

I can remember the exact moment that I decided that I needed to make a change. I went to Mexico in June of '08 and can remember playing volleyball on the beach and after 10 minutes I was gassed. I couldn't even enjoy myself. Then I got home and saw this picture:

That was the final straw for me. the day I got back from that trip I was 5'5, 212. I lost 30 pounds over the next 4 months through diet only. Then things stagnated for me.

A year later I ran my first tri at 182. It was pretty much miserable. I was OK with getting passed on the bike by the 15 year old girl (who started 15 minutes after me) who's bike cost more than my car. I wasn't so much ok with getting passed, going uphill, by a guy on a homemade full suspension mountain bike that must have weighted 50 pounds with full knobby tires. When a half dozen people ask you if you are ok on the bike, that is not a good sign. The run was more of a death march. 47 minutes for 4 miles. I finished a .5/16/3 in 2:08.

After taking some time off I went back to a strict diet and got down to 160. I actually trained a little more consistently, I ran the same triathlon the next year. Other than leaving T1 with my wetsuit still on (yeah I was that guy), things went a whole lot better. 1:40

Things has definitely changed over the past 2 years:

I have slacked off over the past year and didnt run any races this year. I am back up about 10 pounds and want to get down to 150. I am planning on atually taking training serious this year. I am planning on running that same race again this year and want to get down to 1:30, which would be a strech goal for me. That would also put on the podium in each of the past 5 years. The part I struggle with is eating better while training. I like food and I like beer and when I'm working out hard I can mow down the house. I still have my fair share of demons to deal with but just like everyone else here, you just have to take things one day at a time.

What an awesome post, ucla "CB" matt.

These are actually the first photos I've ever seen of you and although I always suspected you were tres yummy, I now have proof!

2011-12-17 3:53 PM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...

edit



Edited by PhilipRay 2011-12-17 3:55 PM


2011-12-17 3:54 PM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...
PhilipRay - 2011-12-17 3:53 PM

Ive already posted my journey, now a couple pics....

1 year go, Im on the far right...

NOW  1 year later

 

2011-12-17 10:30 PM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...

I am amazed at the stories and how tri has motivated so many.

I was never really heavy...although I crept up to over 200 lbs for a while but tri has been the discipline that has helped me stay healthy and lean. I define myslef through my disciplines and tri is centre.

2011-12-18 12:28 AM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...

This is exactly why I'm on this WS....keep reminding myself of the 'real people' out there.

2 years ago, 257 pounds, holding my breath to tie shoes and "too fat" to play with my children on the floor.

Now...203, many sprints under my belt, and staring several 1/2's in my 2012 future.  Feel great, crave a great sweat, and a wife that was not interested at first, however, has joined the Tri Crazy in the process. 

As a result:  My cholestrol has dropped, my vitals are solids, my marriage is better, my fatherhood has improved, and I have yet another reason to wake up every morning.  

The "Tri" experience has saved my life. 

2011-12-18 10:34 AM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...

Awesome Job, everyone!

 

TriAya - 2011-12-15 9:18 AM

... how did you lose the weight? What do you feel were the factors that motivated you to start, and keep, getting fitter? Did you yo-yo? How have you kept it off (or not)?

Had a single yoyo... Which I blame largely on an injury and going back to school, which required me to go to school plus work 60 hours/week to feed my family.  Sure, it's still my fault for letting it get out of control.


A couple things things were motivating:  one - stumbling upon a broadcast of Kona whilst literally having my normal weekend binge on a whole bag of Oreos.  I became a runner that day.  1/10 of a mile's worth.

 

two - Years later the 75ish pounds came back and then some after the previously mention injury and school.  My clothes were tight and they don't sell  anything bigger at normal stores, so I had to go to a "big man's" store.  Realizing that any any shred of pretend self esteem I had left was gone when I walked in the door, I drove around a couple times before finally parking and walking in.  Humiliated, I couldn't even look the salesman in the eye when he asked if I needed help.  I walked a lap around the store and left without buying a thing.


Down 90+ pounds now, I'm in the best shape of my life.  Not only do I have to complete the Ironman I set as a goal long ago for myself, but I also find motivation in motivating others.  Instead of being the one slowing the group down..needing breaks and being left behind, being the one having an easy time while much younger friends struggle to keep up.  Yeah, I secretly love to see them struggle.

 

Changing my diet was a huge thing.  I still eat fast food on average more than once per day, but I've changed what I order.  When I first came back, I was still having issues from my injury at couldn't run, so I just did weight training...never loved it, but if working out was hard and uncomfortable, hating what I saw in the mirror was worse.  I've done, and continue to do a lot of leg strengthening so I CAN run...which I've built up incredibly slowly from 5 minutes twice/week to 20 miles/wk. 

Making working out a priority nay have been the biggest thing.  Working out after work is a given...everything else has to be squeezed in around that.  Sure, I've neglected some things like yard work and even sitting down to pay the bills, but damn, I look good.  Finding a girlfriend that likes to be active helps immenselym and making my hobbies active things like rock climbing and snowboarding and running instead of watching tv and eating junk. 



Edited by meatcookie 2011-12-18 10:46 AM
2011-12-18 1:18 PM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...
I was just average weight-and very active-as a child, then ballooned up to chubby/chucky when I hit puberty. After college, i got my first car, sat on my rear studying for national board exams and ballooned up even more. At 5'4" and at least 185lbs (I stopped weighing myself after that because it was too depressing), I was obese. My "aha" moment came when I went to the doctor for a check up and was diagnosed with high blood pressure for which the doc was going to prescribe 3 different meds. It seemed ridiculous to me to treat the symptoms (high blod pressure) while ignoring the source (obesity). I went home and came up with a plan to lose weight. First, I identified those things that I ate but didn't crave and wouldn't miss if I eliminated them. For me, that was meat. I haven't had meat (beef/pork/lamb/chicken/turkey, etc) in 35 years. I also bought a food scale and measuring cups so I could no longer tell myself I was eating 1/2 a cup of whatever, when it was really 2 cups: portion control. And I got active.

I went back to the doctor after 6 months and I had lost 45 pounds. My blood pressure was normal. I went on to lose more weight and currently weight between 112 and 115, depending on the day. I have yo-yo'd a bit but not horribly.

What keeps me on track? I never want to feel as bad about myself as I did when I was obese. I always tell myself that no food tastes as good as being thin feels.


2011-12-18 6:06 PM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...

"how did you lose the weight? "  diet (smaller portions, good/whole foods) and exercise.

What do you feel were the factors that motivated you to start, and keep, getting fitter?  I was sick (finally) of being fat.  I wasn't ready before but when I finally decided to do something I was ready.

Did you yo-yo? I yoyo around a weight for a while, settle in for a while and then drop again.  I yoyod around 78 to 80 kg for a while and from 75 to 78 to 80 and from 73 to 75 and now I'm yoyoing between 70 and 73.  At 73 I feel enormously fat.  I went from 90 to 80ish in 1 year, 80 to 75 another year and 75 to 70 this year.  I could swear I've been at it longer than 3 years though.    I might have spent 80 to 78 one year and 78 to 75 the next.  Not sure.

How have you kept it off (or not)?  So far.  I'd like to have been down to 67 by now, and had flirted with 69 but after the IM I forgot to slow down my eating.    I didn't gain during taper but I did after IM. 

2011-12-18 7:27 PM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...
rowotter - 2011-12-15 2:33 PM

I am 5'11.  I used to weigh about 270.  Now I weigh about 180.  It took me about 5 years to get to this point.  I'd say I'm still "trying" to lose weight, but now it's about 5-10 lbs a year.  I've been below 200 for about 2-3 years, and I've been 190 or less for about 2 years.

There were a number of factors that helped get the weight off and now keep it off.  I have a supportive wife who went through a similar process; she's kept 50lbs off for about 5 years.  That helped and continues to help as she has similar athletic and health goals.

Keeping a long-term perspective of what I wanted to achieve and how to achieve it has helped.  Losing 90lbs in a year or two would have been impossible for me.  90lbs over the course of 5 years is a lot different.  We have made small lifestyle changes over time that slowly add up. The big thing is "lifestyle change", not a diet.  Any change that one makes that is not sustainable will not help you 1, 5, or 10 years from now.

Eating and exercising the way we do now would have been unthinkable and impossible 5 years ago.  Now it's our reality and it's not difficult to maintain.

As for keeping it off, it's not that hard to do as the way we live is dramatically different.  It's not terribly conducive for gaining weight.  Furthermore, I live in a general state of fear and paranoia of getting fatter and slower; I know that these two thing are closely linked and it pays off (for me) to keep working on both.

x2.  The changes I made had to be changes I could live with the rest of my life.  I refuse to do the Paleo thing because i just know myself well enough that i could not maintain that the rest of my life.  i have to be able to indulge once and a while and honestly I refuse to deny myself something i really really want.  life is too damn short. 

2011-12-18 7:45 PM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...

jkb

I always tell myself that no food tastes as good as being thin feels.

^^ Brilliant

2011-12-19 8:07 PM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...

My wife said let's lose 10lbs. and it was on... I also had recently stepped on a scale at the doctors office and couldn't believe I was 255lbs.  Sitting behind a desk and a sedentary life creep up on you.  Honestly I'm athletic and had forgotten it... diet, exercise dropped the weight... lots of sweat and discipline. 

I eat relatively healthy although not as strict as when I was in weight loss mode.  Presently pretty solid at 175 and I can lean out to 170 or so come Tri season. 

2011-12-19 8:18 PM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...

TriAya - 2011-12-15 9:18 AM
how did you lose the weight?

I cut out fast food, soda, high fat foods, etc. and started eating more fruits and veggies and reduced my portion sizes.  In addition to changing my diet I started exercising.  I started with elliptical, weights, stationary bike, swimming and it progressed to triathlons.  I lost 75 lbs in about 6 months.

TriAya - 2011-12-15 9:18 AM
What do you feel were the factors that motivated you to start, and keep, getting fitter?

I found out my Dad's side of the family has a history of heart disease right after he had triple by-pass at 58.  I don't want that scare on my chest.

TriAya - 2011-12-15 9:18 AM
Did you yo-yo?

Not at all.

TriAya - 2011-12-15 9:18 AM
How have you kept it off (or not)?

For the most part yes.  I flucuate a few pounds depending on how much training I'm doing.



2011-12-20 9:43 AM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...
When I graduated HS I was 125lbs and husky.  I came out of the Army at 5'-6" 172lb and in great shape.  Out of college I was around 195lbs.  Work, kids, bad eating habits etc pushed me to 235 or so.  Last Feb I was in the hospital with my wife (thin, eats anything but had a heart issue) when I decided I'd be in the next bed if I didn't do something.  Started tracking my diet with Lose-it.com and it really opened my eyes to the amount of calories I was taking in.  Joined the Y and started running.  Eventually got into s/b/r and dropped down to 173lbs by the end of August.  Took some time off from training regularly and the holidays have me back up to 183.  Getting back into it more regularly and feeling great.  I don't think I'll ever get down to "normal" weight  (155lbs max from the chart) and be comfortable but 165 is doable.
2011-12-20 2:13 PM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...

A friend posted something on FB about a website calling her child being obese.  While on the website, I put in my height and weight.  I am obese.  That word made me sick to my stomach.  Graduated high school at 100 lbs.  Fast forward 16 years and I've nearly doubled in size.  The major 'ahh hah' moment was December 2nd.  Doc told me that my triglycerides were 300, HDL was in the low teens, BP was too high and sugars were wack (that's a medical term, right?)  He said to start slow, cut out all fried and sweet.  Just over weeks later, I've lost 7.5 lbs and feel much better.  I'm hoping the numbers on the bloodwork will be trending the right direction as well when we re-check everything in January.  I thought I started this a few years ago with some sprint tris and a marathon.  Evendently not, because I have still gained throughout the workouts.  I understand now that it is 90% done in the kitchen and 10% out on the trails.  I'm at the very beginning of this journey away from obesity, heard disease and diabetes.  However, I will maintain forward progress and live to a ripe old age.

2011-12-20 2:18 PM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...
crews - 2011-12-21 4:13 AM

A friend posted something on FB about a website calling her child being obese.  While on the website, I put in my height and weight.  I am obese.  That word made me sick to my stomach.  Graduated high school at 100 lbs.  Fast forward 16 years and I've nearly doubled in size.  The major 'ahh hah' moment was December 2nd.  Doc told me that my triglycerides were 300, HDL was in the low teens, BP was too high and sugars were wack (that's a medical term, right?)  He said to start slow, cut out all fried and sweet.  Just over weeks later, I've lost 7.5 lbs and feel much better.  I'm hoping the numbers on the bloodwork will be trending the right direction as well when we re-check everything in January.  I thought I started this a few years ago with some sprint tris and a marathon.  Evendently not, because I have still gained throughout the workouts.  I understand now that it is 90% done in the kitchen and 10% out on the trails.  I'm at the very beginning of this journey away from obesity, heard disease and diabetes.  However, I will maintain forward progress and live to a ripe old age.

Carla {{{MELON PRESS}}} you rock.

I've been there. I feel ya.

Super wise about the 90/10. It's a lot easier to cut 3500 calories than it is to burn them for a pound lost.

The working out will also really help the other health benchmarks you mentioned, though.

2011-12-20 3:52 PM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...
crews - 2011-12-20 12:13 PM

A friend posted something on FB about a website calling her child being obese.  While on the website, I put in my height and weight.  I am obese.  That word made me sick to my stomach.  Graduated high school at 100 lbs.  Fast forward 16 years and I've nearly doubled in size.  The major 'ahh hah' moment was December 2nd.  Doc told me that my triglycerides were 300, HDL was in the low teens, BP was too high and sugars were wack (that's a medical term, right?)  He said to start slow, cut out all fried and sweet.  Just over weeks later, I've lost 7.5 lbs and feel much better.  I'm hoping the numbers on the bloodwork will be trending the right direction as well when we re-check everything in January.  I thought I started this a few years ago with some sprint tris and a marathon.  Evendently not, because I have still gained throughout the workouts.  I understand now that it is 90% done in the kitchen and 10% out on the trails.  I'm at the very beginning of this journey away from obesity, heard disease and diabetes.  However, I will maintain forward progress and live to a ripe old age.

^^ Really can't be stressed enough, IMO.  Every so often here, someone posts an article or a study about the ways in which exercise can be found lacking as a path to long term weight control and the knives come out (not surprising, of course, since this is a site populated entirely by people...um...more than just a little interested in serious fitness training).  The reality is, though, that reforming one's nutrition has widely been found to be more efficacious in addressing obesity on a long term basis than exercise.  People can debate that, but one thing is beyond debate:  Exercise can be taken away from you by injury or other obstacles life might put up...a commitment to healthy, moderate, consumption can't be.

2011-12-20 11:40 PM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...

I'm still fat, but I'm working on it.  Started at 282 and hit a low of about 245. back up a bit this fall at about 255, but shooting for 225 for next race season.  when people ask I tell them i ran my a-- off.  I enjoy the biking, but it takes too long, i've always been a swimmer, but all it does is make my shoulders big.  an ex marine friend once told me running was the only way to loose weight and so far it works.  HM on the books for Feb and hopefully that will help with weight goal. only moderate diet change--still like desert when it's offered. 

 



2012-01-01 8:41 AM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...
Okay it's the new year, time to take stock.  I'm down 105 from my all-time high, another few to go, signed up for the Great Floridian, and gave up my much-loved IPAs as of midnight 01/01 in the chase for 140.6.  Happy new years to everyone, may your races all be good ones, and may you remain injury-free.
2012-01-01 2:22 PM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...

I was ready to turn 40 and realized that I had better make a change if I want to see 50.  At 290 pounds it was not likely and physical with Doc confirmed it.  Started Atkins in March of 2008 and added exercise in the fall of that year.  Got serious about exercise as a Resolutionist in 2009 and havent looked back.  Still follow a low-carb lifestyle and maintaining a weight at 175 with occassional bumps in the road.

I have found over the last couple of years that losing the weight is the easy part.  There are always goals and weight loss is a product of working your plan.  Now there are ups and downs, people look to me for advice and others look for me to fail.  If I had a dollar for everytime I have been told that low-carb does not work I could, well I could buy a new bike at least.  Point is, low carb is not for everyone and will not work in every case.  For me, it works perfectly.  Blood work is on point, BP is in normal ranges, no diabetes and I feel great. 

 

2012-01-01 3:36 PM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...

So I hesitated to post in this thread because I know what a negative attitude many people have about weight loss surgery and because I don't think my situation is remotely applicable to yours, but I decided to bite the bullet. 

How did you lose the weight? 

Weight loss surgery combined with a high protein, somewhat lower than a normal endurance athlete carb diet, training for triathlon, and logging all my food intake / exercise.

What do you feel were the factors that motivated you to start, and keep, getting fitter? 

To start:

Health and quality of life. I wanted to be around to see my kids have kids. My cholesterol and blood pressure had gone from excellent to fair. I was having more trouble moving around.

To keep:

Endurance events. Every time I meet a goal, I want to do something even crazier. My goals now are not the modest ones I started with and it's gone way beyond "lose some weight to live longer".

Did you yo-yo? 

No. I do go up 3-5 pounds in the winter and lose it in the Spring, but I don't consider that to be yo-yoing since we're talking about less than 10 pounds and most endurance athletes go through this even the ones without weight problems. (IOW, if Chris Lieto gains 5 pounds every winter, who am I to squawk about gaining 3? )

How have you kept it off (or not)?

I've kept most of it off. However, I recently had to stop training AT ALL due to a head injury and I put on quite a bit of weight the first month as I continued to eat like I was still training for a marathon.

I've stopped gaining now but my "winter weight gain" is 10 pounds this year, not 3-5.

Only time will tell if this weight gain will succumb to a few 50-100 mile bike rides, but I'm not ravenously hungry all the time like I was before my surgery so it seems pretty doable. Especially if I sign up for that 50 mile trail race and the Double Century I've got my eye on. Laughing

2012-01-01 3:43 PM
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Subject: RE: If you were obese and now are not ...
MacMadame - 2012-01-02 5:36 AM

So I hesitated to post in this thread because I know what a negative attitude many people have about weight loss surgery and because I don't think my situation is remotely applicable to yours, but I decided to bite the bullet. 

How did you lose the weight? 

Weight loss surgery combined with a high protein, somewhat lower than a normal endurance athlete carb diet, training for triathlon, and logging all my food intake / exercise.

What do you feel were the factors that motivated you to start, and keep, getting fitter? 

To start:

Health and quality of life. I wanted to be around to see my kids have kids. My cholesterol and blood pressure had gone from excellent to fair. I was having more trouble moving around.

To keep:

Endurance events. Every time I meet a goal, I want to do something even crazier. My goals now are not the modest ones I started with and it's gone way beyond "lose some weight to live longer".

Did you yo-yo? 

No. I do go up 3-5 pounds in the winter and lose it in the Spring, but I don't consider that to be yo-yoing since we're talking about less than 10 pounds and most endurance athletes go through this even the ones without weight problems. (IOW, if Chris Lieto gains 5 pounds every winter, who am I to squawk about gaining 3? )

How have you kept it off (or not)?

I've kept most of it off. However, I recently had to stop training AT ALL due to a head injury and I put on quite a bit of weight the first month as I continued to eat like I was still training for a marathon.

I've stopped gaining now but my "winter weight gain" is 10 pounds this year, not 3-5.

Only time will tell if this weight gain will succumb to a few 50-100 mile bike rides, but I'm not ravenously hungry all the time like I was before my surgery so it seems pretty doable. Especially if I sign up for that 50 mile trail race and the Double Century I've got my eye on. Laughing

I'm glad you posted. Several other regular posters on BT have had bariatric surgery. Congrats on your consistency and accomplishments!

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