Starting Monday I'm cutting out junk foods, fried foods, sugar, juices and alcohol. Exercising 4-5 days a week (even if just cardio) and eating clean (high protein meats & non-dairy foods, tons of green veggies, etc).
No more excuses. Going to South Beach recently showed me that, as a man of a certain age, I gotta stop playing around and falling back on old habits or else I'll end up like so many of my family members that I saw up in Detroit this past week.
Men don't usually talk about this as much as women, but I believe most of my "issues" (self esteem, dating, health, mild sleep apnea) stem from my weight gain. Unless you're a gym rat, men are not supposed to talk about dieting or body image.
There may be a slight exception for gay men, but you usually only see this talk happen amongst "thick" gay men or the big guys resting between overweight and obese. "Average" dad bod 40+ guys like me usually just accept that they had their time back in the day and gradually ease into becoming gay Laurence Fishburnes. Nothing wrong with that (they still look great) but its just not what I'm used to...
Standing at 6' 2" tall, right now I fluctuate between 205 and 210 lbs. This isn't "bad" per se (especially not compared to many Black men living in the midwest and south) but it's not what I'm used to...I've always been the tall, lanky, skinny dude my whole life. Looking at photos of myself from even just a few years ago I can see the difference. Nowadays I avoid taking photos as much as possible. This slowing of my metabolism and mid-section expansion is throwing off a lot of stuff in my own head. So time to make a change.
My goal (if you want to call it that) is to just get back to the point where I feel and look good about myself. That doesn't mean six-pack abs or IG pics on the beach, just liking what I see in the mirror and my clothes fitting me right again. The body weight is less important, to be honest. If I still end up over 200 lbs yet more of that is muscle vs fat, I'm cool with that.
The working out part is pretty simple, the hard part is just going to the gym...once I get there, it's no problem for me to hit the cardio and sets of reps with the weights/machines. Also I have tons of free weights and barbells at home. So I have no excuses in that department.
My main issue is eating right, especially when away from home. So many high calorie foods are delicious. It's super easy to grab fast food or bread-heavy sandwiches when I'm hungry and running errands or at work.
Also I have a fully stocked home bar so its nothing for me to make a cocktail (or three) while binge watching a series or movies at night after work... This isn't good for my waistline nor my overall health. So that has to stop. This will be a lot easier than it sounds. Most of my drinking comes out of boredom, the rest out of just being in social situations where everyone else is drinking too.
It'll be a long process, but I'm saying all this to say I'm committed and I'm letting the Squad hold me accountable on this. There will be cheat days and occasional social events where I might indulge, but far from the current frequency.
One motivator is this book I copped on Amazon, Healthy Meal Prep. They have tons of recipes specifically designed for making breakfast/lunch/dinner meal prep portions for a week.
If any of you have any advice or want to make this a group challenge, let me know.
Best Posts in Thread: No More Excuses...Time for me to work on my 2019 Body
I'll also add that Wine is the devil...A couple years ago when I was working from home a lot, it was nothing for me to crack open a bottle during a late working lunch and slowly kill the whole bottle by the evening before bed. Doing this multiple times a week without gym activity added tons of pounds. I don't know how so many White women get away with day drinking wine everyday yet still being somewhat lean.
Even though I always (half) joke about your Karen Carpenter propensities (I’m 6’3” and would kill to be 210 again; your idea of fat is criminal and stereotypically gay lol), I’m going to join you on this summer challenge, Nick. We’ll compare notes October 1.
Now, I think folk in the U.S. are hella fat, especially in my neck of the woods. While fat shaming is totally wrong, otoh people have gotten WAY TOO comfortable with medical obesity under the guise of “being comfortable with who I am.” We went from a skinny health conscious president to a piece of draft dodging Rob Ford shit that brags that scarfing down Big Macs are some kind of fucking machismo. Black, Latina, and white women seem to be especially comfortable with “letting it all hang out” on the streets with multiple blob layers stuffed into skin tight stretch clothes looking like (as a black Marine gunny from Louisiana once put it to me) a bunch of hogs trapped in a burlap sack fighting over a milk dud.
The only good thing about looking at grossly fat people being comfortable with themselves is it made me get out of my own complacency and start doing public exercise activities again. If 400 lb Becky and Bertha can proudly suntan at South Beach, what’s my moderately overweight excuse?When I was in Miami last month, I had a friend take a “before” pic. I knew I was moving to a place where I literally only had to leave the apartment, go down the elevator and the brand new gym room and outdoor pool was right there. That kind of ease is “beyond excuses”. So, back to cardio every morning like when I was in the military. Also weights because I’m just a naturally big tall dude. 210 is unrealistic at my age but looking like Shaq and Barkley on TBS is inexcusable as well.
- I still use the “body type” thing as a general guide though I know it’s not entirely scientific. We generally fit into one of these categories, so plan your activities according to your somatype.
Generally. I was No. 6 below, in my 20s and 30s. Now that I’m older it’s a constant struggle between 4 and 5, so I have to be very conscious of food /activity. This is the diet and exercise equivalent of our earlier “staying in your lane” thread.
- You’re never too old. Sometimes we think you have to get that “Laurence Fishburne 50” pounds due to age. Not true. My elderly mother dropped a lot of weight after she started seeing a doctor she felt comfortable with, and she and Fishburne are both older than me. I think (have no proof) a lot people probably get big, not because they overeat but they eat exactly at 40 or 50 how they did at 20 or 30. Bodies change, diets must change.
- Diet. Everyone that’s an adult pretty much knows what’s right for their body. No one diet is right for everyone but everyone has a right diet for themselves as individuals. By right diet, I mean that which helps you maintain good weight and health and can be empirically verified as “right” by your doc through blood panels for A1C, cholesterol etc. I am pretty much a paleo body: dead animals, leafy greens and fruit. Dairy, sugar, beans, potatoes, and all grains are my devils. I had a coworker who lived almost exclusively on grains but it was medically right for him, but would have made me 500 lbs. Choose what’s right for you, not what’s best selling at Barnes and Noble.
- Cooking. When you know your diet type, cook those meals ahead of time. Get the Costco/Sams Club memberships, buy bulk, stick it in the fridge. Save your money and waistline.
- Alcohol. Sorry, I got a gummint job and Orange Julius Caesar is president. I’m a need a drink until further notice! So, keeping balanced, I will have drinks only on Friday or Saturday nights like women on weight watchers weekend cheat desserts.
- Use apps. I use Lose It on my iphone. Not just calorie counting, but actively tracking your food makes you more conscious of your own eating, good or bad. The good apps will actually analyze your habits. Lose It told me I eat far less on days I drink coffee, for example, so I went back to drinking coffee on the regular.
So let’s see who’s serious this summer. On that note, I leave you with Nick’s dieting doppelgänger:
I applaud your decision to take care of yourself, eat healthy, and to get back in shape. I've a had a similar journey. I've been skinny most of my life. I got in shape when I was in my 20s while I was in the armed forces. At 5'10" I went from a scrawny 130lbs to a fit 165lbs and hovered between 165 - 170 depending on what I ate. After I got out of the military at 29 I got lazy, stopped working out. My weight dropped back down to 140lbs until I turned 36 then all of a sudden I started getting pudgy. My weight went from 140 to 176. I wasn't obese or anything but I didn't like the way I looked. That just didn't sit well with me. I became determined not to be one of those dudes who just let's themselves go after a certain age. I cut out soda, junk food, and alcohol. Started eating fruits and vegetables as well as lifting weights again eventually I got back in shape. At the age I am now, 41 I'm in better shape than when I was in my 20s. It's not too late it just takes discipline and determination. Once you start seeing results that helps motivate you to keep going. You really have to avoid sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup at all costs! HFCS is in almost every processed food and in most beverages. That's why I drink mostly water. You gotta get in the habit of reading labels to see what the ingredients are and how many grams of sugar it has per serving. For a man that is not overweight you're not supposed consume more than 37.5 g of sugar per day if you're trying to loose weight you gotta consume less.
I support you and your efforts. Staying motivated is the challenge though I know that you can do it especially when you want it bad enough. Also, nutrition and what's going into your vessel is equally as important. 8 glasses of water, no processed foods and fried meats, fresh greens and fruits and exercisers least an hour 5x a week. You got this, bro. It took a year for me to lose 75 lbs (yes, that weight crept on over time and when it became a concern I decided to do something about it) and have successfully kept it off now for 3 months. Again, you have this. If I get 10 + daps I'll post a pic to quench any thrist. Jaja.
Part of my lack of confidence in some areas is because I'm heavier than I'd like to be. As an endomorph, I have to sweat to drop weight. However currently I have prioritized weight lifting over Cardio. I literally would need Two A Days to drop weight but I have trouble finding the time at the moment.
Working studying commuting all take so much time Out of my day. But I definitely can find pockets of time where I can get that extra workouts in.
I could plan better as far as getting my clothes ironed for the week ahead of time. That's one area I know I could work on for better time management.
Meal prep is meh for me because I get bored easily eating the same things. After 2 days I'm good. I do make more than I eat and just freeze it for later
Carbs are a weakness but I'm 3 months Oreo free. Chips I'll eat on occasion.
Alcohol is a non issue as that's not a vice. If you give me a plate of pasta or a Tom Collins (hey it's my drink of choice sue me hoe ) I'm taking the pasta.
@Nick Delmacy great post. I'm probably an inch taller than you and I'm at 208lbs now. For the last 5 years or so, i've maintained my weight at 185-190 so i definitely feel the 18 pounds. I've lost 7lbs already. The funny thing is, when i was younger, my weight would fluctuate dramatically from 265lbs upon high school graduation to 165lbs when i graduated college. Both were extremes and I never wanna get back to those. The problem is i've found it harder to lose weight now than I did 10 years ago. I'm a runner so i can run 3 miles a day with no problem but i fractured a toe over a week ago and haven't been able to do that. I know a lot of people live by meal prepping and I can see how that works. I encourage anyone to give it a try. My weakness is sweets. What i did was not buy any to stock at my place. NONE. I haven't really missed it. Every once and a while I get a weakness but there is nothing here to snack on so the urge goes away. It's all mental.
Even though I still get complimented on my shape while dressed, I know that i've gained weight, definitely in the mid-section area. The narrow waist is gone. LOL My goal is to get back to 195. Once i start back doing what i love, jogging, I know the weight will come off. So my suggestions, for anyone who cares, are:
1. Refrain from stocking unhealthy things in your home if possible. This includes, junk food, alcohol, soft drinks, etc.
2. Find fun activities, OUTSIDE OF THE GYM, that you enjoy and that burn calories. I jog the neighborhood, different paths,
play tennis and racquetball. All are good workouts but they don't feel like workouts because i'm not in the GYM.
3. Try and exercise on your lunch break to avoid over eating and lounging. My company's campus has a nice track with
a pond and it's really peaceful and allows me to get in a good jog or walk, while at work, in case i'm busy after work.
4. Find people who are fun to jog, run, workout with to make it fun and social. It's good to have someone to push you
and hold you accountable for missing workouts. Trust me, it's embarrassing when my jogging partner calls me twice
because i'm trying to skip out on a run.
These things have really helped me maintain my weight, until recently, but once i'm fully healthy again, i'm back on it.
I have seen how much I don't consume fruits and veggies enough. I have to reduce my refined sugar, fried food and unnecessary carbohydrate intake over the course of the rest of 2018. I'm down for the challenge!!! @Nick Delmacy
Liver damage, gout and cardiovascular issues are also problematic alcohol related illnesses to consider that aren't as noticeable and can be "silent killers."
All of this!! Wine is my very real problem. I have gained nearly 50 pounds from 22 to 32 years old. I am 6'0" and when I started my military service I was 130 pounds. I was skinny. I bulked up because of the military exercise regimen. I plateaued at 150. Really solid nice looking body. Over the past decade and several jobs where I was not particularly active, I hover between 180 and 190.
I recently started a fitness program and started sitting less at work and drinking more water. I totally eliminated soda and sweet tea (my kryptonite). I started to develop some health issues, primarily acid reflux and heartburn. The doctor told me it was diet and weight. Now, I am working slowly but deliberately to restore some balance. The problem is I love wine. I am a wino. I know its a problem don't judge me.
You are right though about men not talking about weight I think it is important particularly in the black men category because we are dying young by ignoring how weight affects our health outcomes.