7 Jan 2010

I Lost Weight

I lost weight! A lot of weight!
I lost 28 kgs (61 lbs / 4 st 5.7 lbs)
I started seriously on the 22nd of September, so roughly  3+ months.

Here are some Before pictures

Before 134kgs

Before 134kgs

And here are some After pictures



How it started

It all started when I met my mother on august the 26th. I had put on weight gradually and I didn’t really notice because we didn’t have a scale in our home (probably on purpose). My mom noted on my weight and told me to go on her scale to see what my situation is. It was very bad. I weighed 134kgs and it’s the most I have ever weighed in my life. 6 months earlier I was 128kgs, so not a huge difference. I think a number of microwave and McDonalds meals took it over the top.

I got very depressed after knowing my new weight because I knew very strongly that there was very little I could do about it after trying at least 10 different diets over the years and watching the weight come back with extra at the end of it.

Then I was reminded that there were 2 occasions when I did lose weight for a certain time:

  1. It was when I did a 2 month physically-intensive course. The food they served there was terrible and I was too depressed at the time to eat anything. So I believe I got to 106kgs.
  2. The second time was a period when I finished studying and was looking for work in a foreign country. Looking back on it now, I was highly optimistic. So while I was looking for work, I was still enrolled and could use the university gym. Every weekday I went to the gym for 3 hours without fail. After I found a job, I stopped going to the gym, but I left there weighing 118kgs.

So as you can see, I have never been thin during my life. Even at the ages of 16-17 I weight 95kgs. But I did have 2 references, although not very positive ones to losing weight. One is be depressed and don’t eat and the other is work out 3 hours a day for a month and a half to lose 5-8kgs maximum.

Getting Serious and Finding Answers

At this time I was looking for answers and I started doing some research. Part of my research recommended I get a proper scale that not only measures weight, but fat percentage and other things as well. I bought an expensive Tanita scale that could tell me weight, fat, visceral, bone weight, calories needed per day, muscle weight and body water.

It also has a calculation that guesses your body type to a certain age. The healthier you are the lower the age (hopefully less then your actual age) and the unhealthier, the higher the age. It told me my age was that of a 50 year old man. Considering that the average age for men to die is 70-78, this to me meant that I have 20+ more years to live. I took this news rather alarmingly and decided to take action.

The Diet

The diet that I ended up choosing was the pH miracle. Funnily enough, I had heard its principles already at the end of 2006, tried them for a while and then decided it couldn’t be done. One of the principle there of food combining, which says that you shouldn’t eat carbohydrates and protein together as the stomach can only secrete juices to break one of those types. Those juices are acid for protein and alkaline for carbohydrates. If you mix those 2 types of stomach juices, then they cancel each other out. This causes the body to try to make more of those juices and you feeling tired after eating a meal.

At the time, I tried it and it did work quite well at raising my energy levels, but I found it almost impossible to find places to eat that kept to this rule.

This time, I bought the book for the diet and took it very seriously. I found it very useful to get all the information from the book, specifically the science behind it. To me, it made a lot of sense, but I did try some of what the book was talking about and verified that it had positive effects on my body.

The diet itself is very basically: a strict raw vegetable eating diet followed by green drinks and supplements. To me, moving to this diet seemed impossible. Luckily, the book did offer a path to move to this extreme vegan diet and after seeing results, it was easier to persuade myself to do it full time.

The thing I liked a lot about this diet is that it comes from a healing background. A lot of the examples and testimonials in the book are about people who were severally sick and physically tired all the time and they managed to quite literally, turn their life around. The book itself talks a lot about cleansing and getting rid of acid build ups in your body. I didn’t really think about doing a cleanse prior to that book, but I was aware that it was good for you.

I purchased the green drink that the owner of the book sells to start the diet. This didn’t really bother me because a) I used to drink wheatgrass juice when I went to the gym every day and b) I did research on this green drink which showed me it was very good (although being the most expensive). I started eating much more green vegetables during my meals. Then I went to the cleansing part, which I never really did completely. What I was supposed to do was be on a green drink and green vegetable juice diet for 3-10 days. This type of cleanse is recommended through many other diets. What I did was eat a white grapefruit for breakfast, huge salad (and I mean really huge) for lunch and for dinner I did take the green vegetable juice. The thing is that this half-cleanse was quite easy for me to maintain, so I continued doing it for about 3 weeks.

The weight really started to come off quickly. I used to lose between 300-600 grams a day and I didn't really feel hungry. I was asked how it would be possible to loose so much weight and they showed me a calculation about how many calories I would have to burn (at the time I wasn’t really exercising). I told them that burning fat is not the only way to get rid of fat from your body. In the book, it says that the fat in your body is there because your body is too acidic. Your body uses the fat to cover the arteries to protect it from acid and prevent holes in those arteries (which will kill you). Once your body is less acidic, your body doesn't really need the extra fat.

During the diet, I was very worried that once I stop the diet, I would gain all the weight back. I took 2-3 periods off the diet, in total 6 weeks off to eat half regularly and still sticking to the principles of the diet. On the whole, I would not lose any weight this way (I did manage to lose 1 kg after a 3 week period), but I would not gain it either. Convinced that the diet does work long term, I continued with it.

The Physical Exercise

At the middle of September, my wonderful wife managed to find for me a cross trainer for our house. This was particularly amazing, for a couple of reasons:
  1. I was registered to a gym (an expensive one) and always thought how much time and money I could save with a cross trainer and a bit of weights.
  2. It is extremely difficult to find any gym equipment that is over the 120kg weight restriction. This one was 140kg.
  3. Even though at the time, we weren’t in a position to buy an expensive cross-trainer, my wife found one at a decent price and we decided that it would be a good investment.

Once I had the cross-trainer, I was able to start exercising again which helped a lot to lose weight. I go by the “slow-burn” methodology, which states that you shouldn’t over do it. If at any time your vision is not very clear of focused and you can’t hold a conversation without breathing heavily, then you need to slow down. This made it rather easy to keep exercising every day; it wasn’t painful and from a fat burning point-of-view, yielded the best results.

The Mental Exercise

While exercising, I listen to personal-development CDs and sometimes things from the teaching company to keep me motivated and make good use of my time. The motivation was a huge huge help to stay on this diet and probably one of the corner stones of my weight loss.

The main CDs I listen to is:
  1. Anthony Robbins - Get the Edge CD - Hour of Power. (15, 30, 45 or 60 minute routines)
  2. Joe Vitale - The Awakening Course - Clearning Technique (17 mins)

These audio CDs do the following for me:
  1. Get a good feeling of gratitude
  2. Plan goals and envision myself already achieving them. Again, I will get a good feeling from it.
  3. Go over the things that happened to me recently which were special or magic moments.
  4. Lastly, from the Joe Vitale CD, I go over situations that upset me in my life and practice "letting them go" and not feeling upset about them any more. I do it slightly different then recommended on the CD but at the end I feel very calm and happy.

Its important to note that I don't have a support system outside of my immediate family. I don't have a fitness instructor (or a gym membership) to push me and motivate me. Its very important that I motivate myself even on those days when I just don't want to exercise.
The exercise makes me feel very happy. So happy, that I look forward to the next time I will exercise and the results I can expect if I complete it.

Also, its much more interesting exercising your brain and your body at the same time. If I exercise without anything to listen to, I keep looking at the watch to see how long it will take to finish. 

Other motivations was watching The Biggest Loser US. I was already half way on my diet when I started watching this. The things I learnt from it most is what the human mind and body are capable of doing. The other thing I learned from Jillian Michaels is that even if it hurts, it's not the end of the world and you can keep going on for 5 more minutes, 10, 15 and even 30 more minutes after you think you cant.

Weight Loss Recordings

DateKgsFat %VisceralBone Mass(kgs)BMR(kcal)Muscle Mass(kgs)Water %

Final Words

When I started the diet, I had a goal for 106kg like the last time I was quite thin (but this time without being depressed and starved to achieve it). At some stage, I decided that the goal should have a deadline and I decided that it would be the 11/12/09. I missed the deadline by a month or so, but I am very happy with the results.

My next goal will be 86kgs, but I plan to take it a bit slower then I did this time. Just maintain my diet. Maybe even relax for a bit and then go back to taking it seriously.

I started with over 134kgs and now I am 106kgs. I lost 13.3% fat. My visceral is now on 12, which puts me out of "high risk". I am much more healthier and energetic then I was before. I plan on living a long and happy life with my lovely wife which was my main motivation to start this process.

My new years resolution this year is.... buy some new clothes.

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