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Summer 2017 – 52 Day Challenge starts Wednesday

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The Summer 52 Day Challenge starts this Wednesday, May 31st. The Sign-up Thread has been posted. The FAQs have been updated. The Sign-up Thread for the Weight Loss sub-challenge has been posted. Time to get on board.

I’ve been doing these Challenges for what seems like forever. I actually started in the Summer of 2008. Five Challenges a year for Nine years. Why?

I have lost weight – lots of weight – multiple times. I have never been able to keep it off.

I have started an exercise program multiple times. I have never been able to stick with it.

This is the first time that I have kept the weight OFF!

I have ONE – set of clothing that fits – no matter what the season. I no longer have multiple sizes tucked away in the back of the closet. The last group of over-sized clothing was pulled out of a storage bin under my bed and is being given to a charity fund raiser. The good part – I found a sweater that still had the tags on it — that finally fits. Too bad it is summer.

It is really nice to be able to reach into the closet and have it fit. No guessing – no hoping – it just fits.

This is the first time I have stuck with going to the gym. No – I am not able to lift up small VWs – but I can do multiple sets of chin-ups and pull-ups without using an assisted pull-up machine. I am recouping the strength in my legs after having both hips replaced over the last three years.

It is now 10 years of eating Very Low Carb and exercising 6 days/week. 

I can’t argue with the results – and I can let you know – that much of my success has come from participating in the 52 Day Challenges.

It’s your turn! See you at the Starting Line.

Unintended Consequences – Part Two

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I’ve written multiple posts about the positive changes from Weight Loss. So many – just hard to count. But – what if any – unintended consequences occurred?

Probably the one that none of us like – but acknowledge as a risk: Excess Skin. I’ve read multiple claims about reducing the risk by doing – this of that. Mostly – just BS.

For me – picture a balloon that has been blown up once too many times. It never regains its shape. It is all stretched out. Yep that’s me. The problem – for me at least – is that the excess skin around my middle hangs onto a load of fat. My pants should be a size 34 or less – not 36. Nothing that a Surgeon’s knife wouldn’t fix. Probably lose another 20 pounds.

I mentioned that to my PC Physician – boy did he go off on me. Something about a 40+ year marriage – what the hell did I need to do that for? He’s been our Doc for a long time.

No – I am not the only one. If you look at the clothing that the men wear at the end of the Biggest Loser – it is designed to hide that problem. Doesn’t take much to spot it.

When I started working with a top-notch personal trainer. He did a skin pinch measurement of my body fat. I told him it would not be accurate. 10% all over my body – 30% around my middle. Ah well.

Just call me Muffin Top. I wear it as a badge of courage.

The 2016 Winter 52 Day Challenge Starts January 6th

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The Sign-Up post is up.  The Weight Loss Challenge Sign-Up post is up. The Tracking Spread Sheets for for the Winter Challenge and the Full 2016 year are attached to the updated FAQs.

Although many of us are still in holiday mode, the Challenge is coming together and we know we need it.

Winter finally arrived in the Northeast.  Woke up to Snow/Sleet/freezing rain yesterday.  Too dangerous to drive to the gym, rolled over and went to sleep.

This morning, I dug out all my Winter wool pants.  It has been a solid 6-8 months since I wore them.  Hallelujah – they fit.  

It is a joy to be able to rotate my seasonal clothing and have them actually fit.  So many years of not being able to get into last year’s cloths.  Year after year – the weight just kept going up.  Now – pretty much steady.

No – my weight does not stay at one number day in and day out. After all – I am human and this holiday season has been rough.  Still – a couple of pounds up and down is different than a couple of dozen pounds up – up – up and away.

The 52DC is my steady weight secret. It keeps me focused – not only on my fitness but on my eating. And ……. that is why I already signed up.

See you at the Starting Line on Wednesday January 6th.

Obesity and Weight Loss

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The Diet Industry is based on a hope and a prayer that if you follow their lead – otherwise known as their Product – you will not merely lose weight but keep it off forever.  A new you will emerge from beneath the layers of fat.  They sell the Sizzle and we buy into it like moths to a flame.

Obesity is defined as a BMI over 30 or over. Here are the categories:

  • BMI Categories:
  • Underweight = <18.5
  • Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
  • Overweight = 25–29.9
  • Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater.

I will be the example.  I’m 5″11 and weigh between 175 and 180.  No one would consider me overweight – especially since I exercise and have more muscle than flab.  Still at 178 I am just barely in the normal weight zone and at 179 I am overweight.  When I was 260 my BMI was 36.3 and I was Obese until I got below 215.

With the above in mind, the question boils down to:  Are even the best of the best Diet Companies – such as Weight Watchers – selling us reality or a dream.

This depressing Article – says they are just selling a Dream.  I apparently am one of only 210 men who were obese and where able to return to a normal body weight.  Not only that – there is better than a 50% chance of regaining the weight over the next 5 years.  I’m on year 7.

The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Conclusions: Our findings indicate that current nonsurgical obesity treatment strategies are failing to achieve sustained weight loss for the majority of obese patients. For patients with a BMI of 30 or greater kilograms per meters squared, maintaining weight loss was rare and the probability of achieving normal weight was extremely low.

Maybe if we knew what was the actual cause of Obesity, we could design a way of controlling the situation.  Then again – that would undermine the Food Industry.

Excuse me – There is a Pint of Ben & Jerry’s waiting for me.

Exercise and Weight Loss – Are they Really Connected?

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I have no – that is right NO – recent study to report.  We know that in Pop Culture – Exercise and weight loss are inextricably linked.  You can’t have one without the other.  What follows is a personal experience.  You draw your own conclusion.

During the entire year of 2014, I was hampered by an ever increasing amount of pain and limitation in my right hip.  I knew it needed to be surgically fixed – I just did not want to do it.  I asked my Doctor to just keep me going.  Various meds helped but did little to allow me to exercise completely.  One by one, I eliminated various exercises or reduced the weights.

What follows is an relatively accurate tracking of my weight – you see – I record my weight almost every morning at the same time.

January 1, 2014, after a New Year’s eve party indulgence, I weighed in at 184.  By the the 10th I was back down to 180.5 – nice.

During November of 2014, leading up to my surgery on December 17th, I tightened up my diet.  During this same time, my ability to exercise strenuously was decreasing.  On the morning of December 17th – my surgery day, I weighted 174.  In part because of the limitations imposed by the impending surgery.

December 16th was the last day I exercised.  Post surgery – my weight went up to 180.9 and down to 176.4.  New Years morning 2015, I weighed 178.3 and on January 4th – 175.9.  Felt good – I was able to keep my weight below 180. 

Then the proverbial shit hit the fan.  That night, I fell.  Smashed the entire hip replacement at about 6pm the night of January 4th.  EMTs – to the local hospital.  Pain beyond pain.  Pain meds – almost ineffective. The next day – shipped down to hospital in the City and on the 6th had Revision Surgery.   

I was in that hospital until Saturday January 10th, when I was transferred to a Rehabilitation Hospital.  I was there until released on Wednesday January 28th.  During this entire period of time, I had no control over my food.  Most of the hospital food was Carbs along with a lot of sweets and candy brought by well wishers.  My only exercise was rehabing my right leg.  

I could not put any weight on my right leg until February 28th.  The Physical Therapist came to the house.  I utilized a walker and had a lot of help.  My activity level was next to zero.

On January 29th,  the day after I came home, I weighed 178.1.  I was thrilled.  By February 28th, I weighed 168.5 – the lowest weight I’ve been in an untold number of years.  On that day, the Surgeon said: “Stop using the walker and start putting weight on your right leg.”

Since March 1, 2015 – it has been a long climb back.  I started with Physical Therapy 3 times a week. On March 12th, I went back to the gym,  I weighed 170.1 that morning.  90 pounds less than I weighed on March 12, 2007 – the day I first went back to the gym and started dieting.  On March 18th the 52DC started – and I was BACK.

BTW – the prosthetic built into my leg – my new ball joint – weighs about 2 pounds.  

The amount of strength lost was amazing – beyond anything I could imagine.  I was unable to do most exercises and the weights – lower than the day I first started exercising 8 years earlier.  I was shocked.

Since then – it has been a long climb back.  I was discharged from Physical Therapy on May 1st.  At that time I weighed 172.  Since then – 6 days a week – at the gym working hard on regaining my strength.

And here’s the rub – I’ve regained about 70% of my lost strength.  The Price Paid – this morning i weighed 178.  I still weigh below 180 and factoring in the 2 pound prosthetic – even better.

I have not taken any measurements – except for the way my clothing fits.  My pants got tighter and my shirts got roomier while my weight went down.  While my weight has gone back up – my pants have gotten looser and my shirts have gotten tighter. 

I don’t know if this is an excuse or reality – but the conclusion I’ve drawn – my weight loss was overwhelmingly muscle loss.  My weight gain – has been a regaining of muscle mass.

What does this prove – I’ve got no idea – but maybe – just maybe – exercise has nothing to do with weight loss – and those that lecture us on getting our sorry overweight arses into the gym – are all wrong.

Summer 2015 – 52 Day Challenge Goals

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The Summer 52DC started this past Wednesday, June 3rd.  Finally nailed down my Goals:

  • Clean Eats: 96/104
  • Resistance Training: 20
  • Cardio Training: 20
  • Personal Goal 1: Push-ups 2,600
  • PG2: Chin-ups 260
  • PG3: Weight Loss 8.7

The Clean Eating is easy – just continue following a Very Low Carb lifestyle.

Resistance Training – still sharpening the pencil – close – will post that soon.

Cardio – for now – 20 minutes on the Treadmill – topping out at 4 mph – fast walk – followed by exercises specifically designed to strengthen my right leg.

Push-ups and Chin-ups – The more you do – the more you can do.

Weight Loss – this is a tough one.  I need to reign in my intake on all fronts.  Tighter control over crabs, reduce protein and fat intake.  Back to weight loss mode.

All workouts – RTs and CTs – are preceded by a warm up which includes crunches on a Swiss ball, planks and pelvic raises along with some stretches.

More to follow.