Dear Body

To All Major Organs, Muscle Groups, and Systems,

It’s not all my fault. I am of course referencing the letter in which you wrote to me a little over a fortnight ago. I think it is entirely unfair to lump all of the bad diet choices, demands, and ramifications squarely on my lap. I believe there needs to be some spreading of the blame, namely; the hormone and thought producing Brain, his evil counterpart Eyes, and those perpetually lazy lumps around bones called the Major Muscle Groups.

Firstly, the mastermind behind this whole endeavour, the main cause behind our binges, and most certainly behind the lack of motivation towards exercise. In the letter you wrote to me, I was blamed for the increase in sweet consumption. I am going to start out by saying I am just the end user of a long line actions in the sweet consumption. To start, brain begins with thoughts of either self gratification and the need for a treat, or the need to eat our emotions. Either or, the consumption is triggered by both sides of the same coin, so no matter which side it lands, SWEETS! So as the poor organ that has to digest and make the treasure trove of sweets into some kind of absorbable and useful goop, I simply ask to limit the intake to a more sensible amount.

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Eyes, you have the wonderful power to trigger saliva, trigger the release of hormones, and even get me excited for the delicious feed in front of us. I do, however, have to ask that you remember my size and portion appropriately. Now I understand when we are all hungry and when it comes time to suss out the fridge it is your job to ascertain what we have and if it is sufficient for us. But in that period of rummaging please remember that I cannot, in fact, eat three wraps, a large serve of pasta, left over taco meat, 750ml of Iced Coffee, and a chocolate, without feeling like an over inflated balloon on the verge of either expelling all of my contents or simply exploding. If isn’t comfortable for me, and could be uncomfortable for many other systems too.

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Now I am going to pick on the Major Muscle Groups, not because of their role in the overconsumption but because of the role they play in the burning of energy and the constant excuse generating pain you seem dead set on producing. Now, the burning of energy we realise isn’t entirely your prevue, Brain plays a large role in encouraging and spurring you on. However, when it comes to aches, pains, and other inconveniences you are nearly 100% to blame. I cannot sit at a chair without my feet being flat on the floor, otherwise sharp pain running up my shins, standing still for longer then 5 minutes causes back pain, and merely sleeping tends to either cause agony in my shoulder, numbness in my hand, or neck spasms. It would seem that I cannot perform even the simplest of tasks without pain. In order for us to burn energy we need to be able to work harder and get rid of some of these extra layers of fat.

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I propose then that we stop blaming one another and start working together. We need to stop smashing sweets, need to stop filling me up so much, and we need to get off Arse and work out at some point in our lives. I’m not suggesting anything radical, just a couple of changes to extend the life expectancy of us all. Well that’s just my two cents anyway.

Maintain the Rage

The Stomach of Luke Sondergeld

Weight Loss

For those of you who haven’t seen my post on Facebook this week, I am Fat. I would love to sugar coat it, but I am afraid I would eat that too. I am sick of being fat. I am sick of being short of breath when I bend over. I am sick of sweating profusely at the slightest effort. But most of all, my chances of being taken away from my children prematurely is becoming too high.

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My weight has always been an issue for as long as I can remember. I have never been what could be called a small lad. Whether due to inactivity, genes, diet or otherwise I always carried a little extra. In the past 10 years I have had varying degrees of success and failure with my weight. January 2008 I was 149kg. It was the heaviest I had ever been. I was disgusted in myself but had no real incentive to change. That is until I decided to join the Navy. I knew that I would have to lose 50kg in 12 months for them to accept my application. I began to restrict my intake, but not in any meaningful way, just halving everything I used to eat. I also added at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. It wasn’t anything fancy, just step up on a homemade step and weights using the heaviest thing I could find around the home. It worked, some how, I lost enough to join, I was still around 100kg, but it was the lowest I had been in a while. During my first six months of being in the Navy I lost more weight and hovered 2-3 kilos either side of 95kg. I found pretty quickly that if I continued to eat reasonably sensibly I could maintain 95kg reasonably easily.

The photos above are all of me at or around 95 kg. Unfortunately due to surgical procedures, recoveries, and depression my weight didn’t always stay at 95kg. I can think of 5 different occasions since 2009 that my weight has gone from 95kg to 120kg+ and back again. Sometimes it took a change in diet to bring back the weight, other times I lost the weight because of the intensity of work, but I have found recently that it is harder to accomplish. Randomly and without direction, changing my diet was not the answer, finding time to exercise, and the persuasion, was difficult. So this time I employed the help of a dietician. I have seen their methods through work, and I knew that my diet was going to be the hardest thing to sort out. So after a snappy referral from my GP I was underway.

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The only thing I was apprehensive about talking to the dietician about was the concept of Lite, Diet, or other similar labels. Whenever I see these labels I just think “Chemical S**tstorm”. I was concerned that they would just force the idea of diet and lite products. I was relieved when the dietician did not go down this path. We had a discussion about my current eating habits, like and dislikes, allergies, and goals. The dietician formulated a plan that began with a daily limit of 7000Kj, which is too restrictive when you think the recommended Australian intake is 8700Kj. We then divided the daily amount into three meals of 1900Kj and two snacks of 600Kj, for those astute mathematicians out there yes that does only equate to 6900Kj. We then discussed foods for different times of day, thankfully the dietician didn’t eliminate any foods, just suggested either alternatives or self control. So with a plan under my belt and a new app to help guide me, Easy Diet Diary, I went home and started to come up with menu items for various parts of the day that were easy, healthy, and suited the Kilojoule restriction. I am still working out the best way to stay full after a meal. Some meals easily last the 4-5 hours between meals, others don’t seem to make it half way to where you could sensibly have a snack. The other hurdle to overcome is work. Though I get meal breaks they aren’t necessarily at the same time, and with shifts like Night Duty where there is an almost 12 hour gap between meals there needs to be a substantial meal leading into, and a decent snack in the middle. It will take time to perfect but I am confident I can get it to work for me.

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From my meeting with the dietician I did get a body scan. This calculates your weight, your muscle mass, bone weight, and fat weight. It is to be taken with a grain of salt though as it is a fancy scale with some BioElectrical Impedance sensors on them. But it gives you a guide to work from, and shows the changes as you continue on the journey. Below is the print out from my scan. The long and short of below is I weighed 131.7kg, 47kg is Skeletal Muscles, and 49.4kg is just hard up Fat. Of that fat I am carrying a lot of Visceral Fat, more than twice what is recommended. Visceral Fat is the deep abdominal fat that covers your organs. It is tricky to reduce and can be dangerous if there is too much of it. I need to reduce my overall fat amount, and I DEFINITELY need to reduce my visceral fat amount.

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And that brings us to where we are now, and the way forward. The plan is to continue on the 7000Kj restriction until my dietician tells me otherwise, weekly home weighs on Wednesday with an updated mug shot, and a new post every Wednesday with the Weight, Photos, updated scans, and Meals that worked and Meals that didn’t work through the week so that others who want to start their own Journey can. You can continue to follow the journey here at Maintain The Rage via the Weight Loss Category page, or following the Weight Loss Album on Facebook.

To get the ball rolling the picture above is my starting point. It doesn’t seem that bad from the photos but there is a lot of fat on there that could be gone. By publicly showing these images I hope to stay accountable and stay on track. I thank all of you in advance for your support in this venture. If anyone has a favourite or go to low Kilojoule meal, that doesn’t have seafood or walnuts in them, feel free to share them on any of the Weight Loss posts, or send them to me directly using the Connect page.

Maintain the Rage

Luke Sondergeld