Fitness Success Story - Chris From VA

Fitness Success Story For Chris From VA

Height70.5 inches
Progress DocumentationProgress Diary 1
Progress Diary 2
Primary GoalImproving Health
Contest CategoryCash prize category
Date01/12/2014 (MM/DD/YYYY)12/01/2014 (MM/DD/YYYY)
Weight257 lbs195 lbs
Accomplishment:Struggling with FAT gain and declining health for 20+ years, 50 year old man loses 65 pounds in 10 months, improving fitness level and blood profile through nutrition and exercise!
Full Story:Hello! My name is Chris, a 50 year old male, and I have banished at least 65 lbs of FAT since 9 January 2014! I likely gained some muscle in the process, too! I had just bumped up to size 40 pants in November 2013, and weighed 250 lbs going into the holiday season. After the New Year, I found myself struggling to climb the 2 flights of stairs to my office. I stepped on the scales and found I weighed a whooping 262 lbs!

I had been athletic in my teens and even throughout college, but only worked out sporadically and never really did much cardio other than jogging a mile or 2 here and there. I graduated college in 1989 with a size 31 waist and weighed 165 lbs, thanks in part to a financially induced calorie restriction for 4 years! I started working as a sales engineer and living on an expense account, and I shot up to 175 lbs within a month. I married 3 years later at 190 lbs, and pressed up to 212 lbs a year after that (my wife loved to feed me). 2 kids, a desk job and almost 20 years later, I hit my 262 lb all time high... and decided it was time to change. During that post marriage time period, my blood work was consistently bad, and my blood pressure increased gradually to an average of 135/85 as my body fat percentage rose

15 years ago, a personal trainer friend had provided me meal plan and a workout plan. I lost 30 lbs in 2 months, working out and following his meal plan, before I tired of eating canned tuna fish every day. I thought, "My body responds great to exercise" and figured the workouts were taking the weight off anyway. I went back to eating out for lunch and hitting the vending machines and drinking sodas. I immediately hit a plateau around 220 lbs, and after 4 weeks of hitting it harder in the gym with no WEIGHT LOSS results, I said, "What's the use?" ... and gave up. I continued my poor eating habits and the weight came right back on as quickly as it had dropped off. 7 years ago, I saw P90X infomercials and thought maybe that would help. I got it and started the slow "lose the fat" DVD's first. I contemplated the meal plan, and even engineered a grocery list based on the P90X meals, only to find it seemed extremely expensive, so I just ate what I wanted. It was more like P14X for me... I was done in 2 weeks! I felt stronger, but lost no weight.

Finally, In January of 2014, determined to get healthy, I pulled out the workout plan and a meal plan from 15 years earlier. I thought, "I don't know why it worked, but it worked, so I will start with that to get the ball rolling, then figure it out later". My employer has numerous FREE fitness facilities near my home and office, and so I picked January 9, 2014 and began my journey to better health. My plan was simple: 2-3 days in the gym a week; 1 set of 20 reps for each body part worked. 3 differexercisesised per body part, or 60 reps per body part. 2-3 body parts per day, so 120-180 reps per day; finish with 30 minutes of cardio, followed by stretching (to deal with L5/S1 sciatic nerve pain in the right leg).

The holiday 12 lbs were gone in the first three weeks! This motivated me to press on and start my research. I stumbled across the FREE Scooby' and immediately began to understand why my "plan" was working. The meal plan from 15 years ago put me in a calorie deficit! It wasn't the exercise causing the weight loss; it was the reduced calories! I was eating plenty and never hungry, but the foods I ate were not calorie dense, thus the deficit! I wanted to understand more, so I bought the Scooby recommended eBook, "Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle" by Tom Venutto ($15). I began to understand "It's all about the calories"...or more correctly, all about the nutrition! I searched for a calorie counting app and went with's FREE CalorieCounter app, and downloaded it to my tablet. I used the app stand-alone, without registering as a FS member. At first I just focused on the calories, but as time passed Tom's book began to help me make better food choices (less processed, less cooked in oil, and the like). I used that knowledge to tweak my meal plan, giving me more variety, and ultimately healthy meals... no more tuna fish overload! I eventually settled in on a plan that would help me build more fat burning muscle. I estimated I had about 155 lbs of lean body mass, so I planned for 150 grams of protein a day. when I came up short n protein grams after dinner, I would drink a protein smoothie at night, usually mixed with frozen banana and creamy peanut butter, to make up the difference. I believe the peanut butter helps slow the digestion of the ON 100% Performance Whey Isolate and feed my muscle repair all night long This was the only supplement I used

Regarding exercise, i started by walking 1/2 mile around my building 2 times a day. I parked in the back 40 when i went shopping and always walked as fast as possible. Instead of sitting in my truck burning time waiting for my daughters practice to end, i would walk the parking lot... Sometimes 10 minutes, sometimes an hour... All building toward a calorie deficit. Like picking up pennies, I realized all those little cals add up. In the gym, I struggled with getting my heart rate up to the Cardio level the machine prescribed (148 for me). I started with 5 minutes of cardio on the elliptical machine the first day and thought my heart would explode! I added 3 minutes each day, as I had done 15 years earlier, until I reached 30 minutes. I listened to my body and not my pride, and kept my heart rate at 110-120 for a couple of months and gradually increased to the prescribed level AS MY BODY ALLOWED. I ultimately began incorporating HIIT based on Tom V's advice for burning more cals in less time.

Regarding diets, I had previously tried Atkins, and did well for 2 months, until I cheated one day with some french fries... which lead to glucose increase, insulin spikes, glucose drops and more carb cravings. I went back and got a basket of fries and washed it down with a soda. Fell off the wagon, then the wheels fell off, and the wagon fell on me! Now, I am not afraid of carbs anymore; I consistently eat 45% of my calories from carbs. Yet, I am never hungry. I never have oatmeal cookie cravings (or any cravings), and I feel like I am eating a ton of food. I did hit 3 plateaus during that first 9 months, but each time I find solid sdvice from ScoobysWorkshop or Tom V., and broke through every time!

Regarding my blood work and overall health:

In 1991 my total cholesterol was 192 at 185 lbs; in 1993 when I hit 212 lbs, my total cholesterol was 302; in 2001, at 240 lbs, it was 307, and my HDL was only 33, while LDL was 243. My triglycerides were around 350. In 2008, at 240 lbs, after some minor weight loss, I ended up in hospital with heart attack symptoms... turned out be reflux induced esophagus ulcer, but cholesterol was still high at 297. I Went into denial and stopped checking after that... so in January when I weighed my heaviest at 262 lbs, I can only assume my numbers were higher than ever! After 8 months of clean eating, no medications, and moderate exercise resulting in 63+ lb fat loss, I had a physical with a full blood workup yielding the following results:

Total 237 (from estimated 307+)... 23% decrease

LDL 157 (from 243+)... 36% decrease

HDL 57 (from 33-)... 72% increase!

TRI 113 (from 350)... 78% decrease!

I suspect my total cholesterol will continue to drop as I continue to flush the crap out of my system with the good stuff I am putting into the system!

Today: My BP is 100/67 with no meds; heart rate is 56 BPM at rest; I can do 30 minute or more of High Intensity Interval Training with no problem; I have moved 8 notches on my belt (I had to add the last 4); I have not had a headache since the 3 day sugar withdrawal headache from stopping soda... that's almost 12 months without a headache, when I used to get

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