When you realise that diets are not the answer, a more radical approach is needed. This is the story of one man, who takes that radical approach, and documents every step of the way..
24th July, 2007. I am 40 Years old, and feeling like 60!
When I was younger, I was very fit. I cycled a lot at University, and went jogging. After leaving university and getting a job, I would go to the gym, to stay fit.
Things changed about 7 – 8 years ago, when I started a job that meant getting up at 6am, and not getting home until after 9pm. That was too much, and about 5 years ago, I started my own business. This meant working from home, and sitting in front of a computer for 10-15 hours a day. Exercise was a thing of the past, and the stresses and strains of the day meant an unhealthy diet, and too much alcohol. A beer or two, or a glass of wine in the evening, turned into a daily ritual, and often ran late into the night. The poor diet, lack of exercise, and too much drink had a dramatic effect on my body.
In my early thirties, I was around 90 Kg (198 lb), and at 6 ft tall (183cm), I was very fit. I was going to the gym 4 or 5 times a week and training with weights. I also walked a lot every day.
Fast forward to July 2007. In July, I took stock of my situation. I was 40 years old, and still 6 ft tall ;o), but my weight had ballooned to 115 Kg (253 lb). I had frequent muscular pains, high blood pressure, possibly pre-diabetic, and my joints were frequently sore.
For about a year, I had had chronic backpain. That disappeared after following the advice in a book I bought called “Your Body's Many Cries For Water” by Dr. F. Batmanghelidj. All the aches and pains made me feel more like a 60 year old, and as a dad of a three year old, I owed it to my family to try to reverse this process.
Over the last few years, I have tried diets. I am sure we all have. However, diets are not the answer here.
Diets never work in the long run. Restricting calories to lose weight does help burn fat, but it also burns muscle, and when that happens, our metabolism slows down. This is a starvation response triggered by the constantly low calories. Our bodies think that we are starving, and that food is not readily available, so it slows down, and reduces the amount of calories we need to stay alive. What this means to a dieter is that we often plateau in our weight loss. These plateaus can demoralise us, as it is now very difficult to shift a few more pounds, and we give up.
On returning to our old ways, things are different. We now have less lean mass (muscle), and a slower metabolism. The same amount of food we used to eat to maintain our weight, is now more than out bodies need, and we start increasing in weight, which eventually leads to another diet. This yo-yo effect is well known to 95% of dieters.
The truth is, diets in themselves won't work long term.
There is only ONE answer to losing weight and keeping it off. That is a total change of lifestyle. What I am not going to do this time is “go on another diet”.
This section of the website tells the story of my journey though my own total body and lifestyle makeover.