T Nation

I'm Such A Loser!

After struggling for quite some time with my eating, I’m finally starting to make some measurable progress w/r/t my body composition. The highest weight I had reached was a disgusting 292 pounds, a weight that was not serving any of my ambitions whatsoever.

As a professional firefighter/EMT and someone who loves the martial arts, this was getting to be very limiting. I have always loved to lift, but at some point I stopped being a “big guy”, and crossed over into “fat guy”.

So, on May 1st I was talked into competing in a Biggest Loser style of weight loss contest that the township I work for was doing. At first I was hesitant, but was eventually talked into it with two of the other firemen on my department. We were definitely a hefty crew, weighing in at a combined weight of 910 lbs!

I started this adventure at 287.5 lbs and managed, in two months, to trim down to 260 lbs. This was enough to make me the “biggest loser” with a weight loss of 27.5 lbs. Our team had won the team portion as well by losing a combined weight of 70.5 lbs. I’m wearing clothes that I haven’t worn in quite a while, I’m a better firefighter, I’m definitely sparring better, and feeling better all around.

It’s crazy, the psychological games that go hand in hand with weight management. Once I wrapped my head around portion control, it wasn’t all that hard. I’m going to go get my bodyfat tested so that I’ll have a better yardstick than just my weight and intend to get my bodyfat below 20%.

I’m planning on ramping up my lifting with a focus on total body lifting sessions and still making it to the dojo to train 3-4 days a week. I think as long as I can stay motivated and in the right state of mind, I’ll keep progressing. Getting below 250 lbs would certainly put me at a weight I haven’t seen since around '94.

For the first time ever, I truly believe that I’ll get where I want to go, which is a BF level lower than 15%.

Any advice from some of the FFB’s?

[quote]bigflamer wrote:
It’s crazy, the psychological games that go hand in hand with weight management. Once I wrapped my head around portion control, it wasn’t all that hard. I’m going to go get my bodyfat tested so that I’ll have a better yardstick than just my weight and intend to get my bodyfat below 20%.
[/quote]

This is a bad idea. For most its demoralizing. Most people have a much higher number than they think.

Unless you are needing to compete at a given weight class and thus have to know how much non-lean mass you’re carrying around, or you are dieting at extreme levels and thus are at the risk of losing a substantial amount of muscle mass; there is about zero reason to know your bodyfat.

Yes, people like numbers, etc., etc. But you still sound like you have other things to worry about before monitoring your bodyfat percentage.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
bigflamer wrote:
It’s crazy, the psychological games that go hand in hand with weight management. Once I wrapped my head around portion control, it wasn’t all that hard. I’m going to go get my bodyfat tested so that I’ll have a better yardstick than just my weight and intend to get my bodyfat below 20%.

This is a bad idea. For most its demoralizing. Most people have a much higher number than they think.

Unless you are needing to compete at a given weight class and thus have to know how much non-lean mass you’re carrying around, or you are dieting at extreme levels and thus are at the risk of losing a substantial amount of muscle mass; there is about zero reason to know your bodyfat.

Yes, people like numbers, etc., etc. But you still sound like you have other things to worry about before monitoring your bodyfat percentage.[/quote]

So, do you think I should focus on weight? I can say from my own personal experience that if I don’t have some sort of a goal, then I tend to wander off of the path.

I considered lifting for strength again and following more of a Westside routine like I did a while ago instead of the TBT. My thoughts were that I could train hard and use my strength a measurable goals. I would also throw in cardio in the form of jumping rope, stationary bike, treadmill walks.

Thoughts?

[quote]bigflamer wrote:
CaliforniaLaw wrote:
bigflamer wrote:
It’s crazy, the psychological games that go hand in hand with weight management. Once I wrapped my head around portion control, it wasn’t all that hard. I’m going to go get my bodyfat tested so that I’ll have a better yardstick than just my weight and intend to get my bodyfat below 20%.

This is a bad idea. For most its demoralizing. Most people have a much higher number than they think.

Unless you are needing to compete at a given weight class and thus have to know how much non-lean mass you’re carrying around, or you are dieting at extreme levels and thus are at the risk of losing a substantial amount of muscle mass; there is about zero reason to know your bodyfat.

Yes, people like numbers, etc., etc. But you still sound like you have other things to worry about before monitoring your bodyfat percentage.

So, do you think I should focus on weight? I can say from my own personal experience that if I don’t have some sort of a goal, then I tend to wander off of the path.

I considered lifting for strength again and following more of a Westside routine like I did a while ago instead of the TBT. My thoughts were that I could train hard and use my strength a measurable goals. I would also throw in cardio in the form of jumping rope, stationary bike, treadmill walks.

Thoughts?

[/quote]

I’m not a FFB, but I agree with CLaw on this. The way I read your posts it seems your goals are strength (as stated) and a healthier, more active life style.

If I am on the right path, then find markers that relate to your goals. As you mentioned, strength is easy, it’s improvements in the weight lifted. For health, I’d say that rather than body fat % get some blood work done, and have your blood pressure checked.

Whatever is out of line, find out a way to improve it (diet/training). If you want a simple measurement, I’d say keep track of your waist line rather than bf%. Although this makes the assumption you carry the weight around your waist.

just my 2 cents.

By the way, congratulations on the accomplishments so far!

[quote]bigflamer wrote:
CaliforniaLaw wrote:
bigflamer wrote:
It’s crazy, the psychological games that go hand in hand with weight management. Once I wrapped my head around portion control, it wasn’t all that hard. I’m going to go get my bodyfat tested so that I’ll have a better yardstick than just my weight and intend to get my bodyfat below 20%.

This is a bad idea. For most its demoralizing. Most people have a much higher number than they think.

Unless you are needing to compete at a given weight class and thus have to know how much non-lean mass you’re carrying around, or you are dieting at extreme levels and thus are at the risk of losing a substantial amount of muscle mass; there is about zero reason to know your bodyfat.

Yes, people like numbers, etc., etc. But you still sound like you have other things to worry about before monitoring your bodyfat percentage.

So, do you think I should focus on weight? I can say from my own personal experience that if I don’t have some sort of a goal, then I tend to wander off of the path.

I considered lifting for strength again and following more of a Westside routine like I did a while ago instead of the TBT. My thoughts were that I could train hard and use my strength a measurable goals. I would also throw in cardio in the form of jumping rope, stationary bike, treadmill walks.

Thoughts?

[/quote]

I’m with C-Law on this one. bodyfat % as a measurement is practically meaningless. What you actually want is to look good and be, dare I say it, “functional”. What will you know that the mirror and daily activities aren’t telling you now by having a comp test done?

Even with the scale I would suggest not weighing yourself more often than every few days. It can become a distraction and normal daily fluctuations can have you making decisions based on faulty data. The mirror and the pinch test are your best friends.

Weight training is a positively capital idea and will allow you to drop the fat and not just weight. The absolutely worst way to go about this is to starve yourself. You may want to check the mammoth “my experience on the anabolic diet” thread.

BTW, which township?

I agree don’t get your body fat tested. My ironman scale gives mine, its so random I stopped looking at it. It turns into a distracting number. Focus on what makes you happy.

Also Shugart has a FFB handbook written here. http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=696934

[quote]Kliplemet wrote:
1000 kcal cardio sessions are the key, takes about 65 minutes a pop.[/quote]

You’re recommending that he burn 1 million calories in a cardio session?

First off, congrats. You did well and should be proud of your achievement.

my two cents:
IF you put yourself in the right frame of mind then weighing yourself daily can help a lot. BUT if you’re expecting the weight to fall everyday, it’ll be a bad idea.

I used to weigh myself daily, write the number down, then at the end of the week I would add up the numbers and divide by 7. This was the number I looked at over the weeks and months to see if I was doing well. You should expect your weight to fluctuate, bug gradually decrease.

Again, congrats and good luck.

[quote]eeu743 wrote:
Kliplemet wrote:
1000 kcal cardio sessions are the key, takes about 65 minutes a pop.

You’re recommending that he burn 1 million calories in a cardio session?[/quote]

kcal is the true measurement. When people say cal what they really mean is kcal. People just say cal to shorten it up. Because of the laziness it leads people to believe that cal is the real measurement. A cal in actuality is 1 / 1000 of what you know as a cal. So the true measurement being kcal.

I would agree that getting your body fat measured is not the best way to go. The scales can be misleading because they can’t tell you what’s fat and what’s muscle, even the fancy ones are said to be inaccurate.

How you look is the best measure of progress. Get a camera and take a photo of yourself once every two weeks, same camera, same room, same lighting. If you hit a rut and get depressed, having a record of all that you’ve accomplished will be a great motivator.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
bigflamer wrote:
CaliforniaLaw wrote:
bigflamer wrote:
It’s crazy, the psychological games that go hand in hand with weight management. Once I wrapped my head around portion control, it wasn’t all that hard. I’m going to go get my bodyfat tested so that I’ll have a better yardstick than just my weight and intend to get my bodyfat below 20%.

This is a bad idea. For most its demoralizing. Most people have a much higher number than they think.

Unless you are needing to compete at a given weight class and thus have to know how much non-lean mass you’re carrying around, or you are dieting at extreme levels and thus are at the risk of losing a substantial amount of muscle mass; there is about zero reason to know your bodyfat.

Yes, people like numbers, etc., etc. But you still sound like you have other things to worry about before monitoring your bodyfat percentage.

So, do you think I should focus on weight? I can say from my own personal experience that if I don’t have some sort of a goal, then I tend to wander off of the path.

I considered lifting for strength again and following more of a Westside routine like I did a while ago instead of the TBT. My thoughts were that I could train hard and use my strength a measurable goals. I would also throw in cardio in the form of jumping rope, stationary bike, treadmill walks.

Thoughts?

I’m with C-Law on this one. bodyfat % as a measurement is practically meaningless. What you actually want is to look good and be, dare I say it, “functional”. What will you know that the mirror and daily activities aren’t telling you now by having a comp test done?

Even with the scale I would suggest not weighing yourself more often than every few days. It can become a distraction and normal daily fluctuations can have you making decisions based on faulty data. The mirror and the pinch test are your best friends.

Weight training is a positively capital idea and will allow you to drop the fat and not just weight. The absolutely worst way to go about this is to starve yourself. You may want to check the mammoth “my experience on the anabolic diet” thread.

BTW, which township?[/quote]

Thanks, I think I’m gonna take everyones advice and skip the BF% reading. And in all honesty, I already know that I still have a bunch of fat to burn first.

And I’m working for Plainfield Township Fire Dept. in west michigan. Where you at?

[quote]Ruggerlife wrote:
bigflamer wrote:
CaliforniaLaw wrote:
bigflamer wrote:
It’s crazy, the psychological games that go hand in hand with weight management. Once I wrapped my head around portion control, it wasn’t all that hard. I’m going to go get my bodyfat tested so that I’ll have a better yardstick than just my weight and intend to get my bodyfat below 20%.

This is a bad idea. For most its demoralizing. Most people have a much higher number than they think.

Unless you are needing to compete at a given weight class and thus have to know how much non-lean mass you’re carrying around, or you are dieting at extreme levels and thus are at the risk of losing a substantial amount of muscle mass; there is about zero reason to know your bodyfat.

Yes, people like numbers, etc., etc. But you still sound like you have other things to worry about before monitoring your bodyfat percentage.

So, do you think I should focus on weight? I can say from my own personal experience that if I don’t have some sort of a goal, then I tend to wander off of the path.

I considered lifting for strength again and following more of a Westside routine like I did a while ago instead of the TBT. My thoughts were that I could train hard and use my strength a measurable goals. I would also throw in cardio in the form of jumping rope, stationary bike, treadmill walks.

Thoughts?

I’m not a FFB, but I agree with CLaw on this. The way I read your posts it seems your goals are strength (as stated) and a healthier, more active life style.

If I am on the right path, then find markers that relate to your goals. As you mentioned, strength is easy, it’s improvements in the weight lifted. For health, I’d say that rather than body fat % get some blood work done, and have your blood pressure checked.

Whatever is out of line, find out a way to improve it (diet/training). If you want a simple measurement, I’d say keep track of your waist line rather than bf%. Although this makes the assumption you carry the weight around your waist.

just my 2 cents.

By the way, congratulations on the accomplishments so far![/quote]

Thanks. What I think I’ll do is take the progress photos along with a few measurements. These should give me a decent yardstick to go by I think.

[quote]Gambit_Lost wrote:
First off, congrats. You did well and should be proud of your achievement.

my two cents:
IF you put yourself in the right frame of mind then weighing yourself daily can help a lot. BUT if you’re expecting the weight to fall everyday, it’ll be a bad idea.

I used to weigh myself daily, write the number down, then at the end of the week I would add up the numbers and divide by 7. This was the number I looked at over the weeks and months to see if I was doing well. You should expect your weight to fluctuate, bug gradually decrease.

Again, congrats and good luck.
[/quote]

I usually weigh myself every morning when I wake up. It’s good to have that perspective I think before I get my morning chow :-]

I think I’ll post pics when I get below 250 lbs.

[quote]bigflamer wrote:
<<< Where you at?

[/quote]

Redford Township, 2 blocks from the Detroit city line. In other words, other side of the state.

Congrats on the weight loss.
Another good point is that you should able to get the dept to buy you a new set of turnout gear since the old set is probably getting kind of big.

[quote]firestanggt wrote:
Congrats on the weight loss.
Another good point is that you should able to get the dept to buy you a new set of turnout gear since the old set is probably getting kind of big.[/quote]

Haha! Yea, we have a guy on the dept, that had to have a COUPLE of new uniform sets due to weight gain, so, they’d have a hard time not fitting me with a new uniform set being that I managed to lose weight.

Plus, I’m on a technical rescue team, and I can tell ya, I sure as hell fit better in those tiny fucking pipes :-]

[quote]DanErickson wrote:
eeu743 wrote:
Kliplemet wrote:
1000 kcal cardio sessions are the key, takes about 65 minutes a pop.

You’re recommending that he burn 1 million calories in a cardio session?

kcal is the true measurement. When people say cal what they really mean is kcal. People just say cal to shorten it up. Because of the laziness it leads people to believe that cal is the real measurement. A cal in actuality is 1 / 1000 of what you know as a cal. So the true measurement being kcal.[/quote]

I probably should have done more research.