I started on Nov 25, 2008: 285 lbs
Nov, 08: First Step, got Divorced:
Lost 10 lbs - 275 lbs
Jan, 09: Job tells me I have to be in at 9 am or will be fired.
Gained 10 lbs - back at 285
Mar, 09: Haven't really been in by 9am, hand in my resignation as part of the earlier agreement.
Lost 10 lbs - 275
Apr, 09: Job agrees that I can come in when I'm well-rested. Lost 10 lbs - 265
Aug, 09: Burning Man
Lost 15 lbs - 250
Sep, 09 - Jan '10: Start seriously cutting refined fructose
Lost 10 lbs - 240
Jun, 10 - The 30 people they hired to rewrite my code are finally done, I get fired. Lost 5 lbs - 235
This is the point at which I really start losing weight as I'm sleeping much more naturally
Jun, 10 - Mar, 11 - Sleeping completely naturally and start cooking all my meals
Lose 15 lbs - 220
Mar, 11 - Startup Bus - Having a blast helps!
Lost 10 lbs - 210
Jun - Jul, 11 - Spend two months in SF, eating mainly homemade veg tacos (walking more)
Lost 10 lbs - 200
Jul - Aug, 11 - Get back from SF, get an office downtown, start trying to get in by 9am.
Gain 10 lbs - 210
Aug, 11 - Now - Give up on 9am, walking more, eating a little more veg
Lost 20 lbs - 190
Pretty much everything that's led to weight loss for me has been all about enjoying life and cutting stress. Small improvements to diet and exercise as well but I don't go to the gym or stick to any sort of diet plan.
Dietary carbohydrate (other than fructose) is directly metabolized by cells as glycogen. Two tissue types (brain and red blood cell) prefer glycogen, red blood cells require it. Your body can store about 200g of glycogen split between the liver (~100g) and skeletal muscle. Liver reserves can fuel any body function, muscle stores fuel just that muscle. Excess carbs are converted (by the liver) into fats, and stored as same via the insulin/glucagon endocrine balance. Look up the Krebs Cycle for more information.
Dietary fats serve as long-term, low-rate fuel for skeletal muscle and organs (other than the brain and red blood cells), and is either metabolized directly or stored as adipose tissue.
Dietary protein isn't metabolized directly. It's used for structural processes as its component amino acids, some of which can be synthesized by the body, but some (essential amino acids) cannot be, others are rate-limited to a degree that dietary supplementation is occasionally recommended. Protein (dietary or from body tissues) can be converted to glycogen through a process called gluconeogenesis. This occurs both in low-carb diets and during starvation.
Not only does skimping on sleep raises your calorie consumption, but it seems that tired people show increased preference for fats.
While it is true that the same amount of calories lead pretty much to the same storage of fat, this fact is irrelevant.
I think that the question that we should ask ourselves is why we eat more calories than necessary, and the answer is not necessary a psychological one, or one that needs to invoke the nebulous concept of willpower.
Intake of sugar (most pronounced with rapid absorption of sugars) leads to high blood sugar concentration, which will need to lead to an insulin response to counteract it. The secretion of insulin will make you end up with a lower blood sugar as before the meal, which will lead to a higher appetite.
Isocalorically, fat will not lead to such a pronounced curve, so you can extend the times between meals. There is no physiological need to eat food every few hours, as you might have been told.
Sugary foodstuffs are also typically binge-foods, like ice-cream, cookies, milkshakes, soda, crisps, fries, or pizza. (I am aware that some of this foodstuffs also contain fats, but my argument is that stuffs high in fat, but low in carbohydrates aren't typical binge-foods).
Additionally, most consumed carbohydrates are empty calories that are, opposed to fats, not necessary.
Low-Fat diets have no positive effects on cardiovascular mortality, so there is no reason not to eat a moderate fat, very low sugar diet, and decrease the physiological effects of overeating.
What I mean is, I would personally be OK with myself if I were 285lbs.
Ok, this comment isn't really coming across very well. What I'm saying is, at worst, being fat would only shave ~20 years off my life expectancy. Since I don't want to live until I'm 70 anyway, I'd personally be happy with a ~50 year total life expectancy.
I don't care what other people think of me.
I don't need to run, ever.
If I'm hungry, I eat. Thus I enjoy life.
So I just don't understand why fat people have this desire to be skinny. Does it really just come down to... well, wanting people to think of you as attractive? (Caring what other people think of you.)
I'm asking an honest question here, so I hope people won't skewer me for it. But since it's an interesting question, I'll eat the inevitable karma loss.
- Self image issues. You tell yourself you don't care, but come the fuck on, of course you do.
- It's not comfortable, at all. When you are lounging on the couch you can literally hear yourself wheezing each breath in. Not in the "ohgodimgonnadie" wheezing, but it's far from comfortable.
- It holds you back from doing things you normally would want to do. I wanted to walk around the city and explore more, but it meant being severely out of breath constantly and sweating profusely. Neither are pleasant.
I'm still a tad heavier than I'd like to be, but I feel a million times better than I did at my heaviest.
I'm 46 and I'm in pretty good shape. Second baby on the way. There is more to life than computers and I really really really urge you to review this comment annually to see how you feel about it. 50 will hit you a lot faster than you think it will.
To a child that's 5 a year seems like an eternity, 50 year old people are old and 10 times older than you. In your teenage years you can see the end of the new year from newyears eve, 50 year old people are still old but they don't seem nearly as old as when you were 5. By the time you're 40 you can touch the end of the new year from newyears eve, and you find that it is hard to tell the healthy 50 year olds from the unhealthy 35 year olds. 50 is an age that is only 25% away from the time you've already spent.
When you become 46, 50 is literally just around the corner.
Approximately twice annually I have to wear black for a day to say farewell to someone that lived with your attitude. Believe me when I say that they would have happily re-wound to the time when they made the same bad decisions that you are making today in order to tack another 20 or 40 years on to their lives. I know an awful lot of people and those that live healthy seem by far happier than those that are barely able to carry their bodies around.
Typically they seem to have fewer psychological issues and they spend much less time in hospitals and with doctors or $ on medication.
If I die at 50 that would be a pretty big disappointment. There is so much that I still want to do and see, on top of that I hope to be around for a long time for my children.
Think this over please. Eating when hungry when it increases your weight just leads to being hungry earlier.
That's a runaway system and eventually something will have to give (in order of probability: diabetes, hear trouble, kidney trouble, liver trouble). The obese 30 somethings have a similar quality of life to the healthy 70+ people that I know, and sometimes their quality of life is worse. Much worse.
I've been reading your comments on HN for a long long time now and I've never found one where I disagreed so strongly with what you wrote, and I really hope that it is not just the gap between our ages speaking here but something where my perspective on life from my current vantage point can help you in avoiding what could very well be the mistake of your life.
2) Quality of life is worse when you're overweight. Some things that are easy for most people are hard for you; some things that are hard for most people are impossible for you.
3) There's a social stigma.
4) I agree that enjoying a shorter life is better than not enjoying a longer life, but it's not completely black and white. If eating whatever you felt like took a year off your life and didn't affect you physically, I'm sure many people would consider that trade-off worthwhile. But if it's 10-20 years off your life, it starts sounding more like a fool's bargain. Also, if you really eat whatever you want, you probably won't be feeling great physically day to day (food comas, occasionally nauseous, less energetic, etc).
However, that's in part because I trained myself to want what's good for me. I used to like sweet stuff, until I realised (back when I was a teenager) that there was a direct correlation between me walking into McDonald's and having a soft drink, and having some new spots on my face 6-12 hours later. At that point, I basically taught myself not to like overly sweet stuff. That teaching has lasted ever since - I rarely eat desserts and that sort of stuff - even though I no longer get spots.
You can train yourself to like healthy foods - salads, freshly cooked good meat, vegetables, etc. It's hard to get obese eating healthily. I've never heard of an obese person who eats healthy food all day long. Generally they eat pizza, crisps, chips, chinese take-aways, and all sorts of other nasty processed foods.
I am afraid 50 isn't enough, time wastes too fast.
PS: I once made this snarky comment at my office water cooler If someone guaranteed I will drop dead at 50 without any health issues, I would take it any day over living with pills and dieting...and then a man in his 50s with a pace maker walked by to fill water. I felt incredibly stupid to generalize life for every one else.
To me being fat is fundamentally an issue of body chemistry and being fat to me says that chemistry is out of wack. Too much cortisol, insulin levels spiking out of control, your body putting trigylcerides in your blood because it can't put the sugar anywhere else.
My opinion on obesity in north america is that it's largely the product of metabolic syndrome rather than 'wanting to eat too much'. Don't get me wrong I love eating, especially meat, but ask yourself this, what if you could eat what you "wanted", eat great tasting food (foie gras, etc, etc), AND not be fat?
What if your being fat was a product of how much fructose you consumed and the amount of stress in your life?
Is setting your alarm clock worth putting on an extra 20 lbs?
Is having an asshole boss worth 15?
Is drinking soda worth an extra 10?
Is having a nagging wife worth 30?
If you're really enjoying the fructose and the stress keep on going, it's absolutely no skin off my back.
Come down to VHS, lots of hackers from Vancouver!
Tomorrow is costume night! (making, not wearing)
Don't ever assume you'll never need to run. Running is a natural reaction to discovering the building you’re in is on fire, for example.
Ask any squatter about buying jeans ... at your own risk.
I bought a suit recently - the coat (jacket) fit perfectly, but they had to take like 10 cm off the waist of the pants, so I had to come back in 4 hours ... tells you a bit about what they expect an average person to be.
I did not see that comment as "that's why you should not get fit".
Unfortunately I seem to have developed this habit just as fashion trends are toward ever skinnier designs -- jeans, shirts, slacks, etc. I haven't quite gone to full bespoke clothing, but I'm considering it.
Casual wear -- shorts and t-shirt -- still works well.
The other tendency I've noticed is that my body temperature is running warmer. I'll see people bundled in coats and scarves while I'm in shorts/t.
And no, I'm definitely not arguing against getting fit.
You're elevating your metabolism for up to 38 hours post-exercise (though the major effect is within the first 10 hours).
Adding muscle mass also increases metabolic activity, though it's a fairly small effect absent exercise and post-exercise responses, about 6-12 cal/lb/day, not the 50 cal that was being publicised for some time.
Still, a fair point.
I love life - and I live pretty much every day. There are loads of things I have to do, but every day I take some time to do some stuff I want, and it's great.
Do you really not care if you die at fifty? When you're 45, will you still say the same? What about when you're 49?
Would you be content to be told you have a year to live? Have you done everything you want to do?
I deeply respect the judgement, wisdom, and mental strength that comes to a person only by experiencing four dozen years. The person who mentored me in my first professional programming capacity was almost 50, and I learned so very much from him.
That said, it is a unique personal decision: I have decided (when I was 21) that I personally only "plan" on living until 50. It seems the safest course. Maybe it's playing it safe. I have more thoughts, but I don't wish to accidentally offend anyone; they're merely my own.
Self-indulgence can be pretty short sighted. If you want something, do you always buy it? Do you ever save money? Do you ever clean your house? Have you ever learned something that was hard/not-enjoyable because you knew eventually you'd more satisfied?
Your body is convincing you that you need to eat because historically, humans were well-served over-eating when given the opportunity. Now, if you self-indulge, you'll get fat. You'll feel less healthy. You'll die earlier. Many people will look down on you. You'll leave behind a widow, children, and friends who wished you'd lived longer. You'll annoy people on planes. If you're ever single, you'll likely stay that way for longer periods of time. You'll have a harder time getting jobs. You'll eventually pay more in health insurance.
And, sure-- vanity, too. It's funny that someone who's racked up ~6000 karma on a site like HN is actually positioning himself as somehow above vanity.
I'm not sure I can help you any with this question. I used to be 245 and I'm female. If the OP is male/taller than me, that may be comparable. Like the OP, I worked on getting my life back and that had the unintended consequence of also leading to significant weight loss. (I had zero goal to "lose weight" and was fine with how I looked.) I can't tell you how much weight I have lost because I haven't weighed myself in over 5 years.
I kind of think that excess weight is not The Problem per se but perhaps a proxy? I mean, I got myself healthier and that's why I lost weight. I think a lot of very heavy people don't know how to live right and that's a) the real reason they are miserable and b) also, coincidentally, the cause of their excess weight. Maybe they don't know how to clearly distinguish the two things and perhaps think "all would be right with the world if only I could lose the weight" when it might be more accurate to say it runs the other direction (ie if all were right in their world, they would probably also lose the weight).
I actually have mixed feelings about losing the weight. I like my body more because it no longer tortures me (I stopped having chronic pain about 2.5 weeks ago) but I'm not entirely comfortable with total strangers taking so much notice of me these days.
Also, for the last four years, most of the time my hair is so short that I joke I look like a new recruit/jarhead. The result has been at least one woman has cut her hair shorter, inspired by me. At least one other woman has talked about considering cutting her hair shorter because she likes my hair so much. Granted, I am a tad overdue for a haircut at the moment, so my curls are showing. This has very likely made my problems worse in recent weeks (in terms of turning heads/ garnering attention). Nor will I be dying it red as hair dye causes me to break out in hives. Frankly, I'm not sure it would help.
See if your thinking's changed about it by then.
Health issues typically kick in just after 30 ..
Another example; you're driving on a one car road and suddenly end up in a jam, you check what it is ; someone is standing still and talking to someone. No honking, people shut their engine and go talk to each other.
This way of life makes you realize what kind of crazy stuff we are doing 'up north'; like every second matters. It does, but not for work. For work, really very little matters. Your clients can wait for a bit. That site that 'must go live tomorrow' really doesn't have to go live tomorrow in almost all cases. If you live 3 months/year in Spain, you'll be well rested and viewing the world more for what's important which are things like rest, your family (however configured), your friends, eating and making quality food, hobbies, and telling people to fuck off for trying to stress you out.
No amount money is worth wrecking your health over and in some cultures they know that; we seem to have forgotten.
The further South you go in Europe, the stronger this effect gets.
Articles like that are not capable of conveying the differences between Spain, Portugal, Italy, Romania and Greece and the more Northern parts of Europe but after traveling through most of those this summer I've seen the other side of that medal and the price of the 'laid back' Southern attitude is one that has become very visible to me.
I used to be NL only and this was very stressful; we have very large (for EU) clients which were pushing through projects at great speed and everyone was stressed. It made a lot of my colleagues and me physically ill. We used to work hard. In NL that's no longer the idea; it's a national 'thing' now that people (even big company CEOs) want to spend more time with their families and so work a lot less hours per week and still the economy grows. But that's something else (don't know why that is). The thing is that I always wondered why there was so much pressure behind every project, because, usually, after delivering the technical part, there is a lot of other work to be done which takes them months or years to complete after which the entire project usually gets binned because it's not relevant anymore.
Southern Spain teaches you that you can just tell those clients to stuff it; we deliver when we deliver and if that's not ok, then that's a shame, go elsewhere. Of course it's said in slightly different tone and SCRUM is used a lot but it works. Clients want quality, not speed. Speed is almost never relevant. Actually I have, in my 25 year software career encountered exactly 2 times it was time critical. Out of over a 1000 projects I managed or built. And 1 of those 2 times the client actually messed up the launch, not us. I never thought about this (stupid me) until I spent significant time in Spain; that made me see that there is always enough time for anything. Being in a hurry is just some lame excuse for not having a solid plan. If it just is done fast enough, the profits will come, right?
I have too many examples for this; few years ago we built a Facebook app for about $100k which HAD TO BE DONE in 3 weeks. Of course that's not possible, but he, we are up for a challenge and the specs were ok. So we slept in the office, worked ourselves crazy and finished it. This was 2006 or something, the app STILL is not launched.
Southern Spain taught me; if you are in a hurry, your plan sucks. But I'm making more money than I ever made doing projects the stressed way and so i'm contributing to the economy and making (many) jobs.
I did some contract work and usually the speed with which I could deliver the solution was a key element in getting the contract. Making sure I charged a stiff premium for the work gave me the opportunity to get some 'down time' after completing a job and that helped me in staying balanced.
As long as you are swimming in work you are probably too cheap.
Funny thing is how many people do not (want) to understand this. I now enforce this and we're still swimming in work with about 35% profit, which is excellent for consultancy work. I'm fine with that :)
You're still too cheap! Trust me on that, give it a shot and raise your prices until you get 'no' about 1/3rd to 1/2 the time you write proposals or until you have more than 20% unbooked time, whichever arrives first.
The net result is that I'm able to be productive 100% of the time that I actually am working, and I can work more than I could otherwise, if so needed.
If you have the luxury to set your schedule, listen to your body, do what it asks, and you'll find yourself operating much more smoothly than you're used to.
For a more rational book, try Robb Wolf's "The Paleo Solution", which also has an extensive chapter on sleep and cortisol management.
Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health - Gary Taubes
The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet - Robb Wolf
Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health - William Davis
The Great Cholesterol Con - Anthony Colpo
Fat and Cholesterol are Good for You - Uffe Ravnskov
I've seen colleagues who are constantly on the verge of falling asleep and the common thread has always been that they are fat.
3+1 guide to productivity: Exercise, Eating Right, Sleeping Enough, and, as a bonus, no long commutes.
And I think it's also under-diagnosed because of that correlation.
I "have a friend" who is of normal weight, and who also doesn't snore and is young (2 other anti-correlates.) This friend struggled his entire life with sleep issues and blamed it on laziness. It wasn't until it was affecting his career that he had a sleep study - and it turns out he stops breathing 60 times an hour. (That doesn't make for especially restorative sleep.)
If you have sleep issues despite making an effort to have good sleep hygiene etc. - talk to your doctor!
(It's also the reason why the med is comfortable with nudity and the Anglosphere isn't)
Protestant ascetic work ethic: no pleasure is allowed. first toil then the grave.
The med is Catholic, and so far more comfortable with resting.
Actually, no. You feel sapped in the afternoon because you need a 15-20 minute nap. That's normal. Take the nap and you'll feel energized for the rest of the day.
Turns out it was a thyroid problem combined with myxodema (water retention on the face). My GP diagnosed it after blood tests. Now I'm on life long medication and I have yearly blood tests -but the fat-face has gone, and I feel normal. Also, I get all my prescriptions free. (I'm in the UK.)
In my experience this has a lot more to do with carbs-heavy lunches than caffeine.
Tiredness and productivity seem like very subjective things, hard to measure. Don't get me wrong, there's some good points there, that aren't hard to believe. But i'd love to know how i can measure this kind of well being stuff so i can better myself.
* as the saying goes, "what gets measured is what gets improved"
For example, if the object on the screen is a blue circle, press the right side shift; if it's a red square press left side. Reaction time is used as the indicator.
But these are only proxies for what is, after all, a largely subjective experience. You will necessarily need to rely on measuring inputs (hours of sleep, caffeine consumed, exercise length and intensity) and using subjective measures for outputs (a bit slow, tired, very tired, exhausted).
I think the key here is not to fill the "space" with directionless Internet/Twitter/Hacker News perusing. Easier said than done.
It's a TED talk about a woman claiming that sleep is the secret to success. (I only sorta/kinda agree with her but it's still an interesting point of view to consider)
drinking a lot of water is super important as his mentions, but, try to drink 1-2 liters before when you wake, before anything else goes down your throat and you will noticed a drastic change in your body.
* When I say regularly, I mean I went every other day for 6 months without missing a workout. I made it a high priority. After 6 months of that, I felt so guilty if I missed a workout that I've more or less continued that schedule for the last 5.5 years.
I'm there right now. Until I get my 30 minutes of workout in the morning, I just feel wrong. I can't really explain it, but it's enough to get me working out even when I had been partying until 5am, slept for 3 hours, have a hangover and feel like I'll die if I even try getting out of bed.
When we were discussing gym choice for my wife, my suggestion was "the one right across from your office, walking distance makes all the difference".
Check out this book about Willpower and the role of glucose.
If it took you 18+ years to feel negative effects of not having breakfast, I would probably check any other changes that happened recently first.
As a counter argument, here's a couple of links on why you should not eat breakfast, but feel free to disagree.