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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeJan 15th 2014
     (11250.1)
    Moving this over from the New Year's thread because it turned in to a pretty active topic.

    You know what? I've noticed that there's a lot of people here who are looking to get in to shape or at least just maintain fitness.

    And you know, fitocracy, myfitnesspal...all of those things are great, but in terms of actual communication with people (for support, motivation etc.) I don't find I get that from those services.

    So let's think of this thread as one of those places, yes? Yes.

    Dump everything you feel comfortable with here. Your goals, updates, frustrations...all of it. Consider this as your reporting station. And at the same time, offer tips and encouragement.
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      CommentAuthorVornaskotti
    • CommentTimeJan 15th 2014 edited
     (11250.2)
    I'm tired of being a little plump, since it's a concrete hindrance to all the active stuff I do. There have been half-hearted attempts to do something about it in the past years, but the main problem has been that life's been so fucked otherwise that too much food & beer's been a solace. So, fuckery of life finally smoothed out (with a hammer!), got a good start in weight loss last year and continuing the project this year after a bit of a end-of-year rebound.

    So, started on January 1st at 81.5kg, now down to 79.5kg, which of course is partly due to shitting out the Christmas excesses, but some genuine lard loss too. The aim is to hit 72kg at June. My tools are essentially staying within 1500kcal while trying to eat a balanced diet of veggies and underwater animals (fuck the carb voodoo for me), while getting back to the lifestyle of regular exercise. I go bouldering 2-3 days per week, use the stairs at work (to floor 6 and back several times a day). At work I have a standing desk and I don't think that I've sat down during a work day apart from meetings/lunch break more than once or twice per month. So I'll keep doing that. For the kcal bookkeeping I use a Finnish service that has a pretty good database of the foodstuffs here, but I've been lusting after some gadgetry for a couple of years, such as a Fitbit or something similar. Not really sure if I personally need them, but hey, toys! It's a great motivation to have an active sports person as a girlfriend right now, there's a good amount of peer support going there - and we're both into self-measurement, statistics and all that, so it's fun too :)

    What else... On the sports front, I'm currently able to do four out of five 5C grade boulder routes with some confidence, and the aim is to do that with 6As in the end of the year.

    Oh, a couple of years back I found this a good read: Fitness for Geeks: Real Science, Great Nutrition, and Good Health
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      CommentAuthorrazrangel
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2014
     (11250.3)
    Via the New Year's thread @oldhat sent me to MyFitnessPal. I signed up, input my eats from the day & my exercise and got "If every day were like today... You'd weigh 206.3 lbs in 5 weeks" and very nearly started crying. It's been a trying day.

    200 is actually my goal for the year; and there is no way that I can actually keep up what I did today. I don't think I can hit the gym that hard every single day, for starters. But I am keeping to my goal despite shit that makes me feel cranky and stubborn. Cool.

    The hardest part is my poverty. My gym membership was a gift, but it's due to run out at the end of February. I have a hard time with food. When you're poor it's far, FAR easier to get a hamburger than a salad. When you're running around working really hard so you can earn peanuts poor, you don't really have the time (let alone the resources) to have healthy food, so again fast/junk food makes up a lot of the diet. At home my mom buys the food. Suffice to say my life long weight issues weren't because I started on my bad habits all by myself. The "Only the rich can afford to be thin" line is pretty old - Depression Era, actually, but people keep rediscovering it. But when you have few means, you have to keep body and soul together somehow, even if it's with crappy food.

    But, I could cut out a lot of snacks. A lot of sugary coffee drinks have to go. And cutting down on meat in general would probably be wise.
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      CommentAuthorVornaskotti
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2014 edited
     (11250.4)
    @razrangel: "When you're poor it's far, FAR easier to get a hamburger than a salad. When you're running around working really hard so you can earn peanuts poor, you don't really have the time (let alone the resources) to have healthy food, so again fast/junk food makes up a lot of the diet."

    Hit a nail on the head there. After the debts I didn't have too much disposable income last year and when I started trying to lose the paunch last spring, I was again surprised about how fucking hard it is to try and eat healthy when you don't have the option to choose - or the energy to think about it! Thinking about money makes thinking about food that much harder - and I still had it easy compared to some people I know :/ That said, it is possible, but it takes a bit of planning and rethinking things. Any way I/we can help, just shoot.
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      CommentAuthorFauxhammer
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2014
     (11250.5)
    Definitely into this thread. I went from 275 to 225 last year by moderating carbs, but last year's events caused me to balloon back up. So I know what to do to get back into it--break nine months worth of bad habits.

    I do want to put on a little muscle, though. The gym is fiscally unfeasible right now, so I was thinking of kettlebell exercises and maybe fighting a heavy bag.
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      CommentAuthorbrittanica
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2014
     (11250.6)
    I'm somewhat aimless right now as to how I'd like to reach my goal of under 200lbs (at about 250 right now). That's hurt me before in past attempts, but I think maaaybe if I can set small goals and assignments, I might get somewhere.

    -Soda's probably the worst thing I have going for me. I sure wish I liked coffee, then it wouldn't be so rough cutting out soda completely. I'd honestly be happy to get down to one 20oz bottle a day at this point (I usually have a bottle, plus whatever else is available. Sometimes 2 bottles). So I'm gonna work toward that.
    -I "borrowed" the DDPYoga system from the internet to try out. I'd been interested in it for a while, but after seeing how DDP himself took Jake "the Snake" Roberts and Scott Hall (2 wrestlers who very literally destroyed themselves w/ drugs and alcohol and bad decisions) under his wing, worked w/ them and seriously helped them? I felt I owed it to the guy to try it out. Buuut, it's 80 bucks for the whole set of dvds. I'll try out this "lended copy" for a couple months, and if I think I'm gonna stick w/ it, I'll pay the money.
    -I absolutely need to start cooking at home. Been dragging my feet for a while on this. I just lost the excuse of "the kitchen is too small". moving in to a slightly bigger apartment, but getting the general meal plan going hasn't happened yet.

    Re: poverty and health- I got paranoid very early in life that there was a conspiracy to make healthy food and such unobtainable to the poor, to keep them sedated w/ junk food and unable to rise from their position. I was also a weird kid. Sucks, though, is that there's probably a kernel of truth in there somewhere. And the "advice" certain people like to give out? "Grow your own food! (in the few hours a day you're not at work, assuming you only work one job)" "Beans are cheap and healthy! (so build your ENTIRE menu around them everyday and try not to get bored)" "Use government assistance!" (and enjoy the judgmental stares you'll be getting from people like us)" Ugh.
    Sorry, I get worked up about food politics.
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      CommentAuthorFauxhammer
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2014
     (11250.7)
    DDP? As in Diamond Dallas Page? Has a yoga workout?
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2014
     (11250.8)
    Hm. I mean. I've been starved for money a lot, but I can't say I've had this problem, since I live next to two discount grocery stores. One a chain with regular coupon goings-on, the other an asian food market where the veggies, fruit, and other healthy things are RIDICULOUSLY cheap (really, I've walked out of there with two full bags for less than $5 once). Also I live near a bunch of sri lankan bakeries/catering companies that have a storefront, where you could get a really kick-ass meal for about $3. But I think that has so much to do with the area that I live in. I totally get not having the time. Back when I was working in an office downtown and working 14 hour shifts, it was easy to just go downstairs and grab a slice.

    Would it help on here if some nice, healthy recipes were put up, keeping price and time range completely in mind?
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      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2014 edited
     (11250.9)
    The whole idea about being thin being expensive might have been around for a long time, but it's more prevalent and problematic now than ever before. There is a real issue with Big Food companies doing their best to push cheaply produced muck that is stuffed with sugar, fat and sodium to create an addictive and seriously unhealthy combination. Their lobbies are powerful, and they get their systems of production subsidised while natural family farms are pushed out of the running.

    You can save a LOT of money by making your own soups from scratch and buying dried beans rather than tinned/canned beans and rehydrating them yourself. Making your own bread, making your own pasta, etc etc etc. However, this takes time. Time a lot of people who need to save money don't have because they're working a bunch of jobs that don't pay enough to sustain them. (there was the McDonald's "living wage" calculation that surfaced a few months back that included a second job alongside a full time job at McD)

    What I find, though, is that by cutting the meat from most of my home cooked meals, I can save a LOT of money and it makes it easier to balance the diet. I also buy whole chickens, take the various cuts from them and then make stock off the carcass. If you plan your days right, you can spend an hour or two making a HUGE batch of soup that you can put in the fridge or freezer and have seven days of dinners right there. You can get some fresh produce, some feta, beans, cous cous and some chicken or tuna and make yourself a nice, hearty cous-cous salad that you can keep in the fridge for a good four-five days. It might not sound terribly exciting to have the same meal several days in a row, but you spend a lot less time and money cooking that way and you can bring the tupperware containers and some utensils with you when you leave the house.

    If you have an issue with chocolates or other sweets, don't buy them to keep in the house. If you have iron willpower, I'm sure you can keep them around, but most of us can't have the option available if we want to avoid eating them. Buy fruit and veg and nuts aplenty, and bring a banana and some nuts with you when you go out and might need a snack along the way. One Snickers bar holds almost 300 kcals (depending on the size of the bar, duh) which is about the same as an orange, an apple and two bananas put together. These kinds of equations make the choice really simple for me. The fruit might be more expensive right now, but in the long run, they enable you to become a healthier individual and your medical bills will probably be all the lower for it.

    EDIT: In response to Razrangel's comment in the New Year thread, I think it's useful to have the facility within this thread to just go "RAGE VENTING TIME" and have a bit of a blow-out about how hard this shit is without necessarily wanting more hints and tips. Because it IS hard, even if we know what we should be doing or what works and what doesn't. Losing weight/ getting fit is "simple" but it damn sure isn't EASY. I'm aiming to gain muscle mass, which is DAMN hard for me, even though I know what I'm supposed to be doing and I know I need to be patient. It's just so fucking difficult when you keep going and going and you plateau and you lose hope that you'll ever reach your goals and you fall of the wagon, making it even more difficult, etc etc etc. So I definitely see the sense in being able to just go "ARAARARARARAAAAGHLAH SO HARRRRRRD!!" Because that's how it feels to me as well most of the time.
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2014 edited
     (11250.10)
    As a book suggestion, Poorcraft really helped me a lot in terms of general cheap living. It's actually the one that taught me to buy a whole chicken and goes in to all the stuff you can do with it.

  1.  (11250.11)
    @Brittanica: Soda! I realised last time I was trying to do this that coke was probably making up about half my calorie intake some days (I may be exaggerating, I'm not even sure), but always had the problem that aspartame drinks taste like total shit. By pure chance I bought some weird own-brand newsagent diet appleade called "Heritage Apple Soda" and, amazingly, it tastes pretty OK. Ok, there's a decent chance that solution's totally restricted to my tastebud-adaptation, but if you see some cheap nasty-looking diet apple soda crap, maybe give it a chance?
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      CommentAuthordiello
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2014
     (11250.12)
    @oldhat - aaah! I keep forgetting about Poorcraft! I've loved what I've seen so far, though.

    Copied/pasted from the Resolution thread, I've added a "how to drink more water" post to my LiveJournal (yes, I still use LJ). Drinking more water (for me, at least) is hard as fuck to do (it literally takes me 3 hours to drink a pint glass). And drinking WAY more water is a key to weight loss (and rocking the healthiness).
  2.  (11250.13)
    @diello - Just a nitpick, the suggestion to wear specifically eight reminders suggests you're buying into the "eight glasses of water a day" thing, which is apparently false.
  3.  (11250.14)
    I've struggled with exercise for many years. l used to be pretty fit, as a teenager I walked everywhere, often up to 12 miles a day and when I was 21 I weighed about 100lb, which was way, way too thin. Years of drinking and then lethargy caused by anti depressants got me up to about 190, which was horrible...

    I'd been managing to hover around 150, until about 2004, but sodding Ken Livingstone made the buses really good, and I stopped walking to the office, which was a killer...

    I'm only 5ft 7 and really don't like carrying the extra weight. I'm currently at 174, I want to get down to 140, which is going to take a while, getting rid of 15lb has taken over a year.

    Am trying to stick to 1500kcals a day, I find that citalopram makes it really really hard to shift any weight at all, but I've got myself walking again, plus I've started running, using the nhs Couch to 5k podcasts, which, cheesy music notwithstanding, are really good, the aim being to get you running 5k three times a week in 9 weeks from being mega unfit. Tricky bit is fitting the runs in with the insane travelling I have to do, and I've not been able to get out since monday, but I'm feeling way better in just two weeks so I really want to keep it going.

    @magnulus, yeah, the prevalence of rubbish in the way of food really bothers me too, it's hard with little time to prepare stuff. I want to make decent lunches, but if I do that in the one sodding hour I get in the evening, something else has to give. It's also damn hard to avoid eating tonnes of sugar although I'm getting far better at it.
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      CommentAuthorbrittanica
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2014
     (11250.15)
    @Faux: Yeah, that DDP. The program existed before he became attached to it, as Yoga for Real Guys. I think the story goes that he tried it out for some reason or another, liked it so much he wanted to give his input and put his name on it in an effort to sell more copies. It's a lot of basic yoga, but w/ resistance work and some cardio (I think) mixed in. I read in the program guide that the videos include ways to make each part easier (which is perfect for super-duper-out-of-shape me) and harder, I like that.

    @oldhat: I'm always grateful for good recipes. Especially easy ones. It's still way too likely for me to get home from 8 hours of working w/ food and washing dishes to totally not want to continue that kind of activity at home. Also, way jealous of cheap and good groceries options that close. There are decent ethnic shops around, and there are a few discount grocers like Aldi... but they all seem to be on the other side of town from me.

    @mag: the couscous salad thing actually sounds really good... I actually have some quinoa (from the clearance rack at work, score) in the cupboard already, which would probably work just as well. And I've been meaning to figure out what the fuck to do w/ that stuff. It's not terribly good on its own.
  4.  (11250.16)
    Regarding diet:

    The thing about changing your diet is that your taste buds will acclimate. But they do so slowly. If you try to suddenly jump from a very high sugar and high fat diet to a low sugar and low fat diet, the food is going to feel like fucking cardboard. You WILL acclimate, but it will take time. Cutting out soda is probably the first step. That is high fructose corn syrup, so it's SUPER sugar, and it's going to blow your tastebuds out and raise the midline of taste to an insane level.

    I've always ALWAYS been a crazy sweettooth person. Crunchy sweets have always been my downfall. But over the past 2 or 3 years, having really tried to work on my diet, I've slowly ended up finding most standard desert foods WAY too sweet for me.

    Another really good tip is to figure out how to make a salad that you enjoy. And again, this might start off with lots and lots of doodads and accoutrements to make it something palatable to you. It could be mostly chicken and other stuff on top of a bit of greens. But then, let the greens slowly grow.

    ALSO, the BEST tip for eating well while poor: splurge on fancy flavorings. Spend the money for that delicious cheese, that awesome dressing, that delicous sauce. Getting quality enhancements makes the discount canned greenbeans taste like gourmet. It will last you for more than a month, and will make all your foods a joy to eat. Personally, I buy things like sesame oil, blue cheese, sunflower seeds and walnuts (all of these are excellent in salads), weird stuff from China Town, etc etc.
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      CommentAuthorVornaskotti
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2014 edited
     (11250.17)
    @Rachæl Tyrell: "I've always ALWAYS been a crazy sweettooth person."

    Yeeap, when I was a kid I got caught repeatedly eating syrup and sugar with a spoon, and when I grew up, I didn't need to care about getting caught anymore :) But you're right, trying to go cold turkey can be pretty hard, and as Magnulus said, one shouldn't have sweet stuffs at home because there will be that "oh fuck this life sucks come chocolate here here here" day. But as you said, you can do wonders with salads to make them taste awesome - use some cheese, make a nice salad dressing (doesn't need to be expensive - just oil, mustard, some spices, shake well) etc. Last night's dinner was a salad with a bit of cheese, cottage cheese, hummus and such (about 2€ per person), and even after sports it was damn good and fulfilling. If I'd switched right from burger dinners to that, would've been a different story, but having gotten used to that, it works. I stopped putting margarine or butter on my sandwiches ages ago, and at first it felt a bit dry, but now a bread with butter/margarine feels often vaguely disgusting. There are also desserts that taste awesome but won't kill the calorie count. Low fat curd, fruit bits and some vanillin sugar tastes absolutely sinful and shouldn't cost an arm and a leg. Fruit smoothies ditto.

    (As for cutting costs, well - it's definitely not for everybody but there's of course dumpster diving. That's how we've gotten more fruit in the last half a year than we have the time to eat, literally. >.> And not half-spoiled crap either, but stuff like a huge net bag of oranges with one that has a small soft patch in it, etc. Obviously YMMV and wildly at that, depending on the country/area/legislation etc...)
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      CommentAuthorMagnulus
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2014
     (11250.18)
    For dressings, I actually haven't used an oil-based one in years and years. Soy sauce, vinegar (balsamic, white whine, cider, etc), mustard and even just straight up fresh lemon juice work WONDERS on a salad to give you some flavour and moisture. But yeah, make your own vinaigrettes, they keep for ages and take very little time to make. Pop things into a container, close the lid and shake. Pretty much it!

    I used to be exactly the same as Vorn on this. I would regularly go into the cupboard and get spoonfuls of syrup and brown sugar. My favourite toast "recipe" was to cut slices of bread that were exactly so thick I could just about fit them down the quite thick toaster mouth. Once toasted, I would get ungodly amounts of butter on it while it was still hot and the butter would melt. Why? To make the HEAP of sugar stick to it, of course! And I mean LITERALLY a heap. I would just pour sugar on top of the bread, let it sit for a few seconds, then tip the sugar that didn't stick back into the sugar bowl. I'm sure my parents were happy about that one...

    Here's the thing about me that I've only recently realised: Absolutes are the fucking BEST for me. No "Let's cut down on..." bullshit. I never manage them. At about twenty-five, I knew something had to be done. Me and my wife (then girlfriend) decided "right. Let's do a full year of NO SUGAR." and it worked perfectly! We did still eat processed foods, which means we probably still got more sugar in us that was healthy, but no sweets, no sugared sodas, etc etc. At the end of that year, I found my tastes had changed almost completely. I was much less of a sweet tooth and it wasn't because I was "holding back". It was because I now preferred apples and bananas, etc etc.

    If you're like ME, it's surprisingly a LOT easier to just say NO than "Maybe later" or "Maybe a little bit". I finally quit smoking completely in 2011 when I was like "my insurance is up by HOW much just because I've had a single cigarette?!" and I just started going NO. Not "maybe this once" as I had done before and which kept me on a cycle of "nothing - at parties - if I'm offered - asking for one in all social situations - buying a pack - nothing - etc" I haven't had a fag since november 2011, and I don't miss it one bit now.

    I also decided in august of last year to take a year off alcohol. Only once in a while do I think "this food would go really well with a nice red wine or a craft beer" and even more rarely, I think "God, I wish I could get drunk right now..." I just don't feel like drinking most of the times I would normally have one just because others are. I can go out on the town and drink water or near-beers (even if I get stuck with Beck's Blue, which at least looks like beer even if it's terrible, so I avoid being questioned about not drinking)

    You will acclimatise your taste buds a lot quicker if you cut it completely for a month or two. Suddenly, you'll realise how sweet milk actually is, for example...

    Anyway, yeah.
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      CommentAuthordiello
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2014 edited
     (11250.19)
    @Ben - True, you don't NEED to drink 8, it's just a number to shoot for. It depends on your level of activity. My average water consumption is about 6oz A DAY. Probably not too healthy. But overshooting it by wearing the 8 reminders on your wrist will help you to remember to drink at least a little more.
  5.  (11250.20)
    @Magnulus: "Here's the thing about me that I've only recently realised: Absolutes are the fucking BEST for me."

    ^5 to that, though - that's how my brain works too, personally. Doing stuff at 10 or not at all. In the beginning of the year I've taken perverse joy of being hungry and actually feeling woozy a lot of the time - the only place where it's less than nice is on a bouldering wall :) Rebooted the year with a "no-drop January", ie. January without any alcohol, which is sort of common here after the excesses of the dark autumn and Christmas holidays, but toying with the idea of continuing it until I've reached the weight limit.