One of the occupational hazards with working at a desk all day is that you tend to neglect exercise, eat junk food and end up putting on weight and having your body in bad shape.
For me, this has translated into putting on about 33lbs (about 15kg) since getting married and not being able to do most of the things that I used to be able to do.
Yes, I could probably have signed up for a continuity plan for colon cleansers and acai shakes, but the plan for me seemed to be opting for a lifestyle change.
All the money in the world isn’t going to help you if you’re not able (or around) to enjoy it.
Especially with 2 young kids, aged 2 and 5, I am hoping to be here for a long time to see them grow up, attend their sports games and performances, see them graduate and get married one day.
I enrolled in a hospital-managed weight loss program which started about a month ago.
It has a lot of fancy stuff like getting a MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and a MRS (magnetic resonance spectrometry), and a battery of other tests to establish my baseline health before the start of my program.
The results are that my BMI (body mass index is 29 — anything over 27.5 is considered overweight). At about 1.78m (about 5’10”) I weighed about 92kg (202lbs). With a 39″ waist you’d think that most of the fat would be around my abdomen/stomach. But instead the MRI scan showed large deposits in the love handle around to the left and right of my lower back. The fat deposits look like it was a couple of cm thick. Around my abdomen, the fat looks like it’s about 1cm thick.
But that’s not the worst of it. I’m at an increased risk of heart disease and being overweight means my insulin levels and ability to process sugar are lower than usual – which could lead to an onset of diabetes. None of this is particularly fun.
If you’re not like – not particularly happy with where you are now, or heading to where you want to be – then taking a comprehensive medical will give you pointers on what your next direction will be.
On the plus side, my metabolic rate appears to be higher than normal, at about 1780 calories/day. The average 20-something has a metabolic rate of about 1400 calories/day, so some of the stuff I’d discovered when I was younger, that I was able to lose weight pretty easily and put on muscle mass pretty easily, seems like they would work in my favor in achieving my goal.
The regimen that I’ll be starting involves changes to my diet and getting on a regular series of exercise.
For now the diet changes involve cutting down on fried food (mainly because most food prepared in restaurants are fried in palm oil, which is high in saturated fat and trans fat), fatty food (like pork belly), and reducing my food portion sizes. Over the years I’d kinda become the de facto “food finisher” for the family when we went out. So finishing up the food was having a long term negative impact on my health.
Having worked on medical stories for a Singapore newspaper and reading about people who have heart attacks and strokes and ending up paralyzed or even worse, suffering from “locked-in syndrome” (where you’re aware of what’s happening around you, but you’re not able to talk or move your body – I’m becoming more aware of my own mortality.
Whether you’re an affiliate, a product creator or service provider, all the money in the world isn’t going to help you if you’re in poor health and not able to enjoy it.
So back to the diet – besides cutting down on unhealthy food, reducing my food portion sizes, the other major thing is taking meal replacements. The meals are rated at about 600 calories each and consist of (from what I can tell), a type of carbohydrate similar to milk powder, and a whey protein powder, which lessens your hunger pangs. By replacing two of my meals each day with these meal replacements, it reduces the overall calorie intake and theoretically should result in a net loss of weight (unless you decide to finish off a pint of ice-cream cos you’re hungry…..).
For the most part I’ve been good and followed the diet, and have lost about 2kg (4.5lbs) since starting this past Monday.
I’ll be tracking my weight loss in this Google doc spreadsheet.
The exercise sessions will start up next week with a personal trainer – they’re three times a week, of about 2 hours each session. So I expect the pounds to fall off.
I don’t expect that it’ll be as intense as going on a p90x program, although I’ll probably be at 80% of my heart rate, so that should ‘burn the fat’.
The plan is to see this program through and come out it healthier and even more ready to take on the world. And you’ll get to read periodic updates here.
Post your comments or questions below.