T Nation

Fat Ass

Ok guys, here is my pathetic situation. I’m 20 years old and 425lbs of pure fat. To be honest I’ve always been lazy and I eat everything in sight. My idea of exercise is watching tv and eating. This is no joke, I need some serious help here, a recent visit to my doc has changed my outlook. He told me that if I dont get in shape I will die. Now, I may be lazy and ignorant, but I guarantee you dieing is the last thing I want. I have a lot of support and a guy is willing to help me with my diet, the problem is he is lacking in training knowledge. So we need ideas for what I should start out doing, he’s thinking some machines and treadmill type exercises for now. Any suggestions are more than welcomed. Please guys help me, I really want to change my life.

Neanderthal - congrats on taking the first big step to a healthier lifestyle. As far as a training program, at 425lbs, my opinion is just to get moving. It’s that simple. There are plenty of programs all through T-mag which you must do a search for and read on your own, but those are still down the road for you to try. If you make simple dietary changes to start with (such as cutting out the sugars and white flour type foods) and begin a simple walking program (20 min/day?) I’m sure you are going to start to see some results quickly. As your body gets used to this, you build up the intensity of the work you do. Eventually you can start trying some of the programs listed on T-mag but you have a ways to go before getting into that. You’ve gotta walk before you can run (I guess in your case it’s literally and figuratively). Best of luck, keep us posted. CR.

Ok I would check out the Frequently asked question section and look for soem begineer programs. I would start with a begineer type program. I’d use free weights not machines.Free weights will give you better results. I’d foucs on lifts that work alot of muscle groups like bench press,squat,deadlift.
Also I think running on the treadmill is probally a good idea for someone who is your weight.I think running outside is even better but running on the treadmill is good too.

I would like to commend you on taking the initiative to change your lifestyle. It’s good that you have alot of support near you, now you’ll receive the support of this forum.

Please read the FAQ. Read any of the nutrition articles by John Berardi. Also read, "Dawg School: Basic Training for Beginners", it can be found here: www.testosterone.net/html/ body_130dawg.html (eliminate space at "/" and "body").

Also remember, that your change is not limited to adding a weight training routine. But that little things can help. Turn off the TV and spend time focusing on what you want to accomplish (especially helpful at those times when you'll feel like "giving up"; go for walks; just keep that TV off and DO anything else.

I believe the treadmill work would be good in this case. I would not leave out free weights from your routine. I think alot of people generally assume that machines are safer than free weights, when that's not necessarilly true. There are a few guys here on the forum that have lost alot of weight - I'll betcha they'll provide you with info on what they did. I can provide you the mental "kick in the ass". I hope this helps!

Just wondering what your friend’s qualifications are for designing your diet?
At 425 this nothing to fool around with.
As far as training you would be better off getting a good personal trainer.
But to start, you shouldn’t be on the treadmill at your current weight. Stick to a low impact type of aerobic exercise like the stationary bike or elliptical machine. As far as weights, you definitely need to be using them and machines will be fine for now.

No offense, but you sure don’t sound like you want it all that badly. Find something that inspires you to improve your physique and your health, and use it to light a fire under your ass. The previous issues section is a good place to start.

First, you can do it. I have friends that were obese since they were 5 years old, and at 18 they decided to do something about it. Now they are 27 and still in great shape.

Whatever you do, don't neglect weight lifting. You'll end up looking pathetic if you lose weight only doing aerobics.

I would suggest 3 times a week of weights, and 3 times a week cardio. After you lose a lot of fat, and improve your physical condition, stop doing cardio and do high intensity interval training.

For details, check t-mag :-)

i would say a doc’s approval would be more important for training applications than diet at this stage. any kind of interval work, weightlifting included, can cause accute jumps in blood pressure. diet wise i am partial to the anabolic diet as it really is tricky to overeat on it.

I think everyone’s overlooking the obvious: The Fat Fast diet. It was designed to help obese people lose a LOT of weight quickly (especially for sugery and the like). It’s in the previous issues, so check it out.

Here’s the thing about the Fat Fast, it works great for quick fat loss, but the drop out rate is very high. Even for an experienced dieter this diet is very hard to stick with. If you put someone who has never really stuck to a diet before on the Fat Fast, then chances are they will drop out. Of course, if they don’t then the results would be nothing short of phenomenal.
But for a first time dieter it would be better to reduce calories, but not cut out any one macronutrient totally.

Neanderthal, of all the people that I have worked with in your situation, the ones that successfully lost the weight and kept it off did so by changing their lifestyle. For all of them it took at least a year to fully adapt to the new style, but not a year to lose a good amount of weight. The good news is that you are young. Start now and, believe me, your progess will be noticable within 2-3 months (do not wait until you are 30 that is for sure!). The first life-style change my clients adopted is consistent energy expenditure, i.e. they began walking at a good pace on varied terrain- outside. Take your time and build up to 5 miles a day which you should be able to cover in an hour and a half or better. The second life-style change is to eat a consistent amount of food spread out through the day consisting of good foods- veggies, meats, cheeses, veggies, some fruits, fish, veggies–you see a pattern. Your metabolism will respond and you will begin to lose weight over a few months. What about lifting weights? Well, if you get your walking up to 5 mile a day in three weeks, you will have lifted tons. After 60-90 days of walking, regardless of the weight loss, begin a basic training program of your choice (pick from t-mag, 5x5 is a good place to start) and the subsequent increase in your matabolism, not to mention how lifting makes you feel, will further your gains (or losses rather). Start walking, in a year from now you will look and feel totally different and you can then sit down and catch all the reruns you have missed, that is, if you actually miss tv.

Wouldn’t walking 1/2 hour 2x per day be effective enough for someone this large?

Thanks for the help guys, i really appreciate it. Were going to start me out with some of the walking that was suggested and basically clean up my diet with healthy foods, then start restricting calories. And then build from there. Again thank you for your help.

If you want to do this right, you really need to get your hormone levels checked. If we assume your doctor is smart enough to check you for diabetes, you still should know your testosterone levels (free and total) and your total estrogens and especially estradiol. While you’re at it, check cortisol levels. If your hormonal environment is screwed up, you’ll have trouble succeeding at any form of diet or exercise. I know from experience.

I would prefer to see someone of your weight doing a no-impact exercise as opposed to walking. Walking, while low-impact, can still damage the joints of someone who weighs as much and is as deconditioned as you are.

baby steps man, baby steps !!.. you’ve ate and lived like shit for 20 years… you can’t expect yourself to change overnight. start with a little and gradually work up… you can and will suceed… just believe it and it will happen.

I used to be 5’2, 220, and all lard. For someone in your situation I think water aerobics would be best to start. For the first diatary changes eliminate sugar, refined grains, and hydrogenated fats and add a multivitamin and fish oil.

Congratulations! Realizing that you need a change is half the battle. Go to a doctor and see what he recommends that you don’t do. As for cardio, find a gym that has an indoor track and try light to brisk walk first to try and ease your heart into exercise. In my find I think that the Fat Fast diet might be a good way for you to lose a lot of weight in relatively short period of time. Best of luck to you.

Water aerobics is a good suggestion. Not only will it elevate the heart rate with very low impact, but water is 12 times the resistence of air and will help to prepare your joints for lifting later. Do start walking however. Start by walking to the mailbox one day, street corner the next(training day), then around the block, then twice- I know you are not an invalid, but this will help to condition your joints from over use (and condition your mind for success with little goals). Also, maybe once a week climb a couple flights of stairs. The stairmaster was supposedly created by a guy who was over 300lbs and climbed a little of the Effiel Tower every day until he could do the whole thing. Get moving and do move each training day!

You’ve gotten a lot of good responses. Just a few things I would like to add.

First of all, get rid of the TV if you can. Brainstorm as to what your interests and goals are, and then head to the local libraries and bookstores for books related to what you came up with. Watching a lot of TV kills brain cells, and more importantly people are more suspceptible to purposeless eating and binges when they watch a lot of TV. Reading books requires more focus, thought, and concentration. So the potential positive benefits as it relates to both the mental and the physical are great, especially for someone in your situation.

Secondly, in the past when I did more jogging and sprinting I noticed I had knee pain less frequently when I was doing most of it on grass or a rubberized gym surface rather than asphalt. If you go the long distance walking route, I would suggest finding a large grassy field or park to do most of your walking. And if you’re gonna be doing it by yourself, get a good walkman, and plenty of tunes you like or some books on tape. Little things like that could make a huge difference in whether you stay motivated. Good luck.