This changed my life... and it still is.

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This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by daveyeisley on Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:08 pm

I am going to share some very personal information in this post. I ask that anyone who reads past this sentence take this seriously, and please don't make fun of me about it.

My intent is to hopefully, possibly, share some information that may help someone change their life or turn it around like I am trying to do.

Two months ago, at the end of January, I was about 250 pounds. I am only a little over 5 foot 8 inches tall. That put me somewhere around 60 pounds overweight.

I have other medical issues that made being that overweight three times as dangerous. One of them is severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea (my airway would completely close while sleeping, preventing me from drawing breath and getting oxygen to my blood for 30 seconds or more, over 500 times in a typical 8 hour period of sleep). Another was a family history of high blood-pressure, high cholesterol, and heart attacks.

I was fatigued pretty much all the time, and even just trying to play wiffle-ball or badminton became a struggle after 10-15 minutes. I could still do it, but I knew it shouldn't be that tiring, or that hard to move around.

I could feel pressure in my palm and fingers whenever I tried to make a fist. I could literally feel the skin pulling too tight before my hand was even closed. My ankles were puffy, too. I knew something was very wrong with the blood running through my veins, and I was probably in heart-attack, stroke, or diabetes country... maybe even all three.

The problem was, I love to eat. I love meat. I love cheese. I love pasta. I love pizza. I love soda. I love McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, and Wendy's.

Worse still, I hate/loathe/despise exercising for the sake of exercising.

I went to visit my Dad, whom I hadn't seen in a few years. Even he at one point quietly whispered to me when we were out to eat, "you know you're too heavy, right?".

I knew he meant well. I wasn't mad. Just like every time I looked in the mirror and got depressed, my next thought was, "Why do I have to give up all the stuff I like, and make myself miserable in order to be healthy? Thats just not worth it to me. Fat and happy is preferable."

There was simply nothing for it. I flatly refused to toss my mental health down the drain and frustrate myself trying to "make do" with a boring, drab, unpleasant diet that lacked all the things that make eating one of the joys of my life, and then compound that with trying to fight my sedentary instincts to discipline myself with a regimented exercise program that would drain even more enjoyment out of my free time.

I have netflix. I steam videos on it quite often. Its wonderful. Odd as it is to say, Netflix actually had a part in helping me make some very positive life changes.

One day while browsing movies, I found one that was described as a response to the Super Size Me documentary (Super Size Me blamed many of America's health problems on fast food).

I was intrigued, and set aside a few hours to watch it. The movie was good enough that I paid full attention through the whole thing. At times it was campy, or used silly animations, but it got its point across. It gave a wealth of information. It explained how things work in your body, and how different foods affect your body.

It gave me hope. It showed that a person could eat meats and fats and still be healthy and lose weight. Sure there were some things I would miss (like pizza and pasta, or non-diet soda), but if burgers and bacon and cheese were still on the menu, I could handle switching to diet soda or sugar-free juice mixes.

I went online and did some research on diets after watching the movie. I mainly just wanted to know what foods were the best low-carb options.

I made a list of ones that I liked to eat or wouldn't mind eating, then I went to the store and bought them.

In the last two months, I just stuck to avoiding high-carb (including starches, potatoes, bread, and sugars - even fruit) foods. Several times in both months I have gone to McDonald's and eaten two double-cheeseburgers and a diet soda, or to Wendy's for a Triple Baconator (probably my second favorite burger of all-time, 3 layers of meat, 3 layers of cheese, and 3 layers of bacon, but I ask them to hold the mayo). I just don't go for the fries or the sugary soda.

Almost every morning now, I make myself two eggs and bacon and put them into a low-carb wrap/tortilla.

I do eat baby spinach salads a few times a week, too. I put a lot of blue cheese dressing on them, and I cut up deli turkey, genoa salami, and even pepperoni to throw in, too. Enough "fun" stuff that I can enjoy the salad, even though it isn't a burger Razz

I have lost 30 pounds. I weighed myself this morning and I was 218.7 pounds. At both my Aunt's birthday party, and this last weekend at Easter dinner, my whole family was telling me how much better I look. They even showed me a picture from Christmas 4 months ago, and I was like "Holy Sh--!".

I haven't started exercising at all, just paid more attention to what I am eating. The movie armed me with the information I needed. I did the rest, and it was pretty easy. I feel better. Lots better. I look better. I am excited for the weather warming up, because it means a chance to see how much easier some light sports will be. I am like a different person in many ways, all of them good.

The name of the movie is "Fat Head", by and starring Tom Naughton. He is one of my personal heroes now.

To learn more about Tom, the making of the movie, and the people and sources of information for the movie, check out his website/blog.

To watch the movie on Hulu, Click Here.
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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by Elhanan on Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:12 pm

I agree with the general message to take the Die out of Diet, and congrats!

I also have lost weight on a very common sense program and managed to keep it off for 12 years. Cut out mayo in exchange for mustard, no to few French fries and other higher fat sides (prefer baked taters anyway), watched portion sizes (no full pizza's), plate sizes (smaller plates make portions seem larger), hydrated myself (8oz of water an hour), stayed away from the scales, avoided eating before bedtime and snacking while watching the tube, and did some form of cardio-vascular a few times a week. Lost 80 lbs.

Now I have since gained it and a little more back due to injury, and a lack of motivation and excersize. But now I have the time, and while the self-motivation is still not there, I do not want my family to be forced to take further care of me since this stroke, and plan to try and drop back to a healthier size of me. I know what to do; just must summon the will to do it.
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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by RustyDios on Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:51 pm

Dave... I know exactly how you feel .. and from this I can see possibly why you and I get along so well ... I also have severe OSA, but it is mixed with Sleep Inertia AND Delayed Phase Sleep Disorder.. my "natural clock" is pretty much non-existent (and has been since I was about 6, ie As long as I can remember!).. every day feels like a constant battle just to get up, walk around, go to work, play with the kid and stay alert... admittedly playing computer games until 2-3am and doing shift-based work probably isn't helping but I too refuse to give up the things I like to "stay healthy".... I have (on doctors advice) made most of the "little-lifestyle" changes you describe above since sometime around mid-spring last year.. I have lost 3stone in total (okay the Christmas just gone I put 1/2 stone back on).. it feels great and exercising is becoming easier.. trust me it gets better ..... ..

I also had a very awkward time using a CPAP device, so I have a mandibular device to use at night (its like a gumshield that helps to extend your lower jaw, thus helping to keep your airway open) and take 200mg of Modafinil per night to combat the effect of Apnoea and Inertia (it's not a well known drug, suggest it to your doctor!)... for the most part my life is now considered "normal".. although it's still not "easy" ... .... ...

Also I have limited "take-out" nights to 1/wk but only if I've "earned it", hence I have to complete at least 80% of my planned exercise schedule (this still gives that chance to say "f*ck it, I don't want to exercise today, I'm exhausted already") and 1/mth (usually payday wknd) I have a "big blow out" if I've done 80% of my exercise for the month ...other then smaller plate sizes and water (plenty of water) instead of coke(soda), not much has really changed at all, .... .... the plan works well...

Another top tip .. feeling peckish ?.. Have a pint a water and go sit down for 15mins.. still peckish, have another 1/2 pint and wait 15 mins more ... it's a weird thing but the brain relates minor thirst symptoms with minor hunger symptoms so around 60% of you feeling hungry is actually you feeling thirsty, and a glass of water is alot less damaging for you then that 200g chocolate bar you were thinking of devouring ... ... ...


Keep at it my friend, the more weight you loose the better it gets .... ... I'm off to watch a video .. Smile
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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by daveyeisley on Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:38 pm

I can't stress enough... if you or anybody you know is having trouble dieting, losing weight, or getting "healthier"... watch the movie. The only thing you have to lose is 2 hours of your life, and the potential benefit is a better, healthier, happier you.

You've watched much worse movies than this, trust me.

Probably the most surprising and shocking part of the movie is how long we have all been lied to about healthy eating, and by whom.

The reason for the lies, well.... that makes perfect sense, really.
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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by Grey_Stooge on Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:37 pm

Well...One thing I have done is hiding all my regular plates. You know the serving size in resturants. I changed these plates to something smaller and eat in a completely different room then the food I was in the kitchen it has helped me. If I don't have a diet soda at least once a week I shake due to caffeine withdraws.

Dave I saw this video, just now and decided to do the same as you. But i will get some exercise. Why? I work with kids, and I am involved with my churches softball team. But I wish you luck and The Amethyst Dragon as well in this venture the thre of us can do it.
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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by daveyeisley on Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:04 pm

Hey if you watch the video and think it makes enough sense for you to try it out, let me know how you do with it.

Most importantly, if you find that what you learn helps you make a change in your life, be sure to tell others!!

There are tons of folks out there who are suffering and having health problems because what they have been conditioned to think about healthy eating by trusted entities (doctors, media, government) is completely and totally wrong, false, and detrimental.

If the movie helps you, pass it on.
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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by Grey_Stooge on Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:24 pm

It makes me want to...by pigs and cows, and have my own source of meat and milk.

What sites or resources did you look at to get your info dave? I am curious. Because I don't have a car and walk just about anywhere.
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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by daveyeisley on Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:30 pm

About.com has a phenomenal, great, awesome, rocking resource.

Laura Dolson has made some incredibly helpful posts Smile

Click Here to check it out!

I took special care reading the low-carb veggie list. Even some veggies have high sugar in them, and that means higher carbs.
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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by daveyeisley on Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:38 pm

An important part of putting the information from the movie to good use is to.... make use of that functioning brain you have.

Read the nutrition labels on everything you eat.... even the stuff you are pretty sure is good for ya. If you're anything like me, you may find some surprises... some of them unpleasant.

Another thing about reading carbohydrate information on food nutrition labels.... dont just look at the total grams of carbs. Look at where the carbs come from. If there is a total of 20 grams of carbs, but 10 of them come from dietary fiber... you can subtract the fiber carbs, because your body doesnt process them into sugar like normal carbs. Dietary fiber is good for you.

For example, on the low carb wraps I like, they have 18 grams of total carbs, which is more total carbs than a piece of white bread (white bread usually has around 13-15 grams of carbs).

While that by itself is still good because you only eat one wrap when you might use two pieces of bread, so the wrap is 18 total grams while two pieces of bread is almost 30 total grams, it gets even better.

The wraps I like have 11grams of dietary fiber. That means they actually only have 7 effective grams of carbs. Less than even a single piece of bread Smile
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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by daveyeisley on Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:53 pm

One thing I personally noticed that changed after the first few days of cutting carbs, and drinking only flavored water (sugar-free of course), was that I wasn't feeling the need to eat as much food, and I wasn't using the restroom as often, either. Like my body became more efficient at making use of more of what material I gave it, so it stopped asking for as much.

Carbs apparently have a tendency to make you hungry for more carbs. One important thing is to especially avoid high carbs for breakfast, fruit included.... even OJ.
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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by Grey_Stooge on Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:50 am

Thanks Dave...I am in the same boat as you I love food. Also, I am a former college football player who was at 265 at his heaviest playing weight. and due to knee surgery, blowing it out playing football I gained over 40 pounds.

When my doctor told me for my height I should be 179 I laughed at him. Because no matter how much weight I have lost I still have muscle available. If I can change my habits and get down to 200 I will consider it a success. starting May 1st Why? Because it will be better to calculate a month and see how far I came. How many punds I lost in a month. ans
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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by Grey_Stooge on Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:11 am

So the more dietary fiber the better the food is? I am reading it correctly.
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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:16 am

Hehe, when I was a cornerback and free safety I was running around at 160.... my oh my, how things have changed Razz

I will be satisfied when I get back to 190. I am hoping for a good weigh-in tomorrow morning, hopefully close to 215. After the first 20 pounds came off, the weight loss did slow down. And I find that if I "cheat" a little here and there, with too many snacks between meals - even low carb snacks, or a special treat of a high carb meal.... the impact on my weight is actually pretty immediate.

Its like the body's furnace gains momentum as it gets used to burning fat as the primary fuel, and as soon as you introduce more carbs it starts to shift back a tiny bit, loses momentum Razz

Don't get me wrong, don't totally cut out carbs, thats pretty much impossible, and might not even be good for you. From what I gather, staying in the ballpark of 100 grams per day or less is good. But you do want most of your calories from fats and some of them from proteins.

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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:17 am

Grey_Stooge wrote:So the more dietary fiber the better the food is? I am reading it correctly.

Meh, you don't have to go nuts looking for high-fiber foods. Just be aware that if a food has dietary fiber, you can subract it from the total carbs when you are deciding whether or not to eat it.
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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by Grey_Stooge on Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:21 am

I know it is near impossible to cut carbs completely.

Ok that is what I thought. so less grams of Sugar uner Carbs and more dietary Fiber grams got it!
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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:39 am

To make it as clear as possible, the more dietary fiber a food has, the less of the total carbs in that food actually "count".

Go grab a food nutritiion label. Maybe a loaf of bread you have in the kitchen. You will see the Carbohydrates per serving listed in bold type on one line. Below that line there will be non-bold lines for how many of those carbs are dietary fiber, and how many are sugar.

Take the dietary fiber amount, and subtract it from the total carbohydrates amount. The number you end up with is your net carbs that actually "count".

Here is a visual aid, a photo of the nutrition label on the low-carb wraps I eat:
(sorry for crappy resolution on my camera)

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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:41 am

So, with that information about dietary fiber in mind...

What is better (lower in carbs) -

A food with 20 total grams of carbs but 10 grams of deitary fiber, or a food with 7 total grams of carbs and zero dietary fiber?

In this case, all other things being equal, the second food would be better.
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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:45 am

Oh yeah... and to be very clear on this, you want fats, yes.... that would be your primary source of fuel... but stay away from Trans Fats.
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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by Elhanan on Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:51 am

daveyeisley wrote:Oh yeah... and to be very clear on this, you want fats, yes.... that would be your primary source of fuel... but stay away from Trans Fats.

Yeah, but it totally ruined French fries.... er... were I eating them, I mean. And I hate, loathe, and despise the notion that laws are made to enforce this type of choice. Food police are NOT the answer!

BTW, I lost a lot of that weight at Subway before there was a pichman named Jarod.


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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:59 pm

Elhanan wrote:Yeah, but it totally ruined French fries.... er... were I eating them, I mean.

Fries are only being cooked in Trans fat because food evangelists went after fast food chains for using animal fats to cook with. Eventually, the absolute nonsense Junk Science those attacks were based on will be acknowledged, and the food chains will go back to using animal fats. Then the fries will still be high in carbs, but wont be an almost guaranteed path to Heart Disease if eaten in moderation.
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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:05 pm

Another point is.... this is not all just solely about low-carb dieting to lose weight. That is a benefit, sure.

One main point is to demonstrate that carbs are not just fattening, they make us unhealthy, too. Too many carbs will spike blood sugar, lower metabolic rate, and over time cause insulin resistance (which is the precursor to type II diabetes - also known as adult-onset diabetes).

The other main point is that fats, other than Trans fats (artificial oils like corn oil and soy oil are bad fats), are good for you. Your body needs them to be healthy. Obviously, overeating is still bad, and will make you fat. Fat content in your food, however, is good, as long as you arent overeating.

I am no expert. The movie explains all of this much better than I can. Its a very educational and worthwhile time investment to watch it.


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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by The Amethyst Dragon on Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:38 pm

Sounds interesting. I'll have to watch that video sometime.

Nice to see others' stories of change.

Link to rambling post/response: here

Smile

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Re: This changed my life... and it still is.

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:45 pm

At the very least, if you struggle with cutting carbs, the best advice I could give you is to at least limit them to around 100 grams per day.

As the movie states at one point, the amount of sugar in the bloodstream when you have normal blood sugar levels is a little less than one teaspoon.

If you eat the USDA recommended amount of carbs per day (300 grams), that equals about a cup and a half of sugar. If you put that much sugar directly into your bloodstream it would kill you. Even spacing it out over a whole day is unhealthy.

100 grams of carbs per day will help keep your insulin level down, and that allows your body to actually get access to the energy stored in your fat cells.

If you have too many carbs, they are nearly instantly converted to sugar in your blood, and that causes the Pancreas to generate insulin to manage the extra sugar by forcing your body to burn as much as it can, and dumping the rest into your fat cells.

Normally, once the blood sugar levels go down, the insulin gets put in storage as well, and then your body gets access to the stored energy in the fat cells again. However, over time, with high blood sugar from high carb intake and hence high insulin levels , the fat cells become "greedy" and stop giving the body access to the stored energy.

You normal cells still need nourishment, so they start making you hungry again... even though you've got all those calories stored away... so you eat again, and your blood sugar goes back up, which prevents the insulin level from going down.... so your fat cells stay greedy, and your body dumps more and more calories into them.

Managing your calories will not help by itself. You need to manage the kinds of calories you take in. You need calories that wont crank your blood sugar up (non-carbs), so that your body gets fuel without needing to crank out more insulin. Once the insulin level goes down, your body can actually start getting to all the stored calories in the fat cells, and you don't get as hungry as often. Then you lose weight.
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