Don't know where to start..

foo52 Posts: 1 Member
Hello all, I am new to the forums, but not new to MFP, I've flirted with the diary for some time but never have been committed. A little about myself, I am a 29 year old guy who's 6'6" and weighing roughly 480 pounds (hard to find scales so best guess). I work two full time jobs and go to grad school. So needless to say my stress levels are through the roof.

One of my job requires a tremendous amount of walking doing inspections so I am not completely sedentary, however like many posts I've read I am stuck in the vortex of being too tired to exercise and too overweight to not be so tired. I am hypertensive and have one of the worst cases of sleep apnea my doctor has ever seen, and pre-diabetic. I have (at least) 2 herniated disks in my lower back from my other job that requires a lot of lifting. I've also recently developed asthma and other breathing problems.

One of my main problems is portion control, I. Love. Food. and lots of it, especially meat, and was never a fan of greens or vegetables or fish growing up. I know I need to eat less and yet its constantly ordering the same large portioned food too only feel regret afterwards, its like I just subconsciously order large, or take a second (or third) portion. It's really starting to drive me crazy.

Back to the exercise, do my schedule, I do not have the time or money to commit to a gym. I work 12 hour shifts to come home to do school work, house work, and do try to spend some time with my wife, and don't usually get to bed until around midnight when I have to get up at 5:30. I am trying to block in some time to take a walk in the morning before work, however I am always exhausted and constantly hit the snooze button until I am screaming out the door to make it to work on time.

Seeing everything laid out in front of me, this time I know I have to change. Bottom line is I have to lose half of myself. I am a young man with a bright career ahead and most importantly having a family in the near future, that I really want to be around for. Surgery scares the hell out of me, despite the results I have seen of the people I know that have gotten it. I have identified what I need to work on, I just don't know how to go about it.

I would really appreciate some feedback and suggestions to help me get started, thanks.


  • Reading this makes me feel like you are stuck in a rut. Think if you could change just a few things, like find easy things to change first that might get you started.

    Find things you can remove from your life that are contributing to the stress. And I'm hoping other people who have been where you are now will be able to help.
  • Hi there! This may not be helpful, but just a word of encouragement--once you commit and get rolling, seeing the scale drop and your energy level go up will be FAR more rewarding than ordering that third steak. When you consider eating when you know you're full, think of the feeling you KNOW is coming! It's awful, right!? I don't think there's any quick trick to self control, but if you can teach yourself to:

    1. WAIT A FEW MINUTES! Once you've just scarfed down something delicious, you want more more more, even though your body doesn't need it and you're not hungry. So set a time for yourself, for instance 5 or 10 minutes...just sit and digest, relax for a few minutes, and then you'll be able to see if you're actually still hungry.
    2. Imagine the gross, guilty feeling you know you'll have BEFORE you give in and eat way too much.

    Good luck! Don't forget that you CAN do it if you set your mind to it. There's no cosmic puppet master pulling your strings and forcing you to eat things you shouldn't! It's a hard choice, but it's a choice you can make.
  • vinny76063
    vinny76063 Posts: 133 Member
    Your diet first off. When you order a large meal break it up into seperate meals and eat small portions every 3 hours or so and drink lots of water. And make sure the meal is healthy or try to work your way to healthy eating. My older brother was in same situation and i bugged him about his diet until he changed it, It took some time but now he's down 60 lbs and moving forward without my help
  • sweetpea03b
    sweetpea03b Posts: 1,124 Member
    Great news... food is 75% of weightloss. No joke. OK so you know the whole chicken and egg story right? Which came first? Well its kind of the same thing with food and hunger. You're hungry so you eat a lot but guess what.... you're hungry BECAUSE you eat a lot. Cut down on your portions.... no more protein than the palm of your hand... lots of veggies... and try cutting out the carb in your dinners to start. Just protein and veggies. Cut out little things like potatoe chips or candy or soda... just a few things at a time and you'll see a huge difference. When you're hungry because you're eating less than your body is used to... drink water... or eat veggies. If you don't like veggies... put them in a juicer and choke it down. Hide the veggies in something else like marinara sauce or meatloaf. I make a really good turkey meatloaf that I always hide squash and spinach in and you can barely taste the veggies!

    Drink a lot of water. I can't say that enough... it will help. Once your body gets used to not getting so much food.... you won't always be hungry. Your body is a great machine and it adapts as it needs to. As for working out.... you've got alot going on.... try getting a pedometer or a fitbit or a different tracker and just try to get to 10,000 steps. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. pace around the room while you read/study in the evening. Park farther away. The good news is... the heavier you are, small changes will make a big difference. Unfortunately as you get smaller you have to really crack down to lose weight but you've got a while before you'll have to worry about that. Good luck! One day at a time!
  • jfauci
    jfauci Posts: 531 Member
    Don't try and tackle everything all at once. Portions, veggies, exercise,'s too much all at once, expecially with 2 jobs and grad school. I agree with the suggestion that you need to focus on your diet. Eating smaller amounts every few hours will keep you fuller longer. I eat something every 3 hours or so. If I don't, I find that I am ravenous and will stuff my face with mindless calories until my brain has a chance to register that my belly is full.

    Also, make small goals for yourself. Try a "goal for the week" and if that is too much, a "goal for the day". Don't focus on the numbers on the scale, but the behaviors. A goal can be just logging EVERYTHING that goes into your mouth for a week. It can be a real eye-opener to see how many calories you are taking in. Or, replace one snack a day with filling veggies.

    Personally, I didn't do any meaningful exercise until after I learned to eat healthier and I had lost much of my weight. I couldn't focus on eating right and exercising at the same time (while working many too many hours and taking care of a family).

    My point is that you need to take this slow and work towards an overall healthier you. Good luck. You can do this!!
  • spectralmoon
    spectralmoon Posts: 1,230 Member
    Way to go to you, for joining the site, and welcome! Reading your intro, I want to suggest starting off semi-light and working into a schedule by getting a set of dumbbells (or even a kettlebell) to lift at home when you have some free time (i.e. computer time, TV time, etc.). There are NUMEROUS exercises that you can do with these that don't work only your arms, they don't take up a lot of space, they're easy to learn... these were one of my starting points, and I highly recommend them.

    The other thing I want to suggest is getting involved on the forum- chat it up, read the posts (whatever appeals to you), join some of the groups committed to weekly weight logging or weekly workout logging... you get the picture. The reason is that it'll help you involve both this site (and through it your future food plans and workout routines/reminders) into your life.

    It may sound like an eye-roll suggestion, but, well, I kind of mean it. Getting involved really helped my commitment to losing weight, because I was watching what others were doing as far as posting food plans, workout ideas, their weight loss progression, their "cheat meals", how they felt physically after a workout or just how their day went to hell in a hand basket unrelated to any of this site/goal. It keeps your mind coming back to their stories, your thoughts on what you've seen, and keeps you oriented to come back and focus on what you want for yourself, and how to get it.

    Hopefully none of that sounds like a preachy sales pitch. I'm just a member. :laugh: Feel free to add me as a friend if you want!
  • kingscrown
    kingscrown Posts: 615 Member
    Looking back now I wished I had MADE time to exercise. I know it seems impossible and not necessary. It's the key for me. So, don't discount it for lack of time. Keep thinking maybe you and the wife could do something together. Knowing what I know now I want to exercise with my husband until we can't exercise any more. We go on hikes. It's something we've learned to enjoy. Don't pooh pooh keep thinking about.

    For now how about cutting out any drink that has calories or artificial sweeteners. 2 years ago I cut out diet coke. Thought I'd do it for one month just as a jump start to my diet. What I found out is artificial sweeteners really drove me to eat a lot of simple carbs. Within 2 weeks I felt so much calmer. I don't drink any soda at all now. I did have minor withdrawals not just from ingesting it, but I had so many rituals in my life that included a nice icey glass of soda. It took nearly a year to learn to live without it in many different situations. I stuck it out and got so sick of just water. Started liking certain ice teas that I make. I occasionally will get carbonated water. AND I got use to water. It doesn't seem like a burden anymore just my every day drink.
  • QuirkyD
    QuirkyD Posts: 68 Member
    weight loss is 90% food. Weight lifting will keep you from getting saggy as you lose though, so you should try to fit that in, even just on the weekends. Start small. Scour this site when you can, you will hopefully learn a lot. There are lots of books to read too. Read Why we get fat and what to do about it by Gary Taubes. You will learn why you are so hungry and love food so much. It's all laid out. Dont give up! Starting is the first step, even if you don't know where you are stepping.
  • amgreenwell
    amgreenwell Posts: 1,268 Member
    I agree with the poster above me. It is all about portion control. Of course, exercising gets you results faster but if you start by adjusting your eating habits you'll see quick changes.
    Whenever you order a meal anywhere, ALWAYS cut it in half. Eat half while you are there and ask the waitress to box up the rest. You instantly save half the calories for the next day. Even better, avoid eating out at all costs. It is very hard to measure portions and get exact calories when you do not prepare your own food.
    It makes the day a lot easier to handle if you know what you are eating all day and log it in the morning. You can log exercise as well and then see how many extra calories you get to eat that day.
    Preparing your own food is key... you can weigh and measure and know for sure what you are eating. Logging is very important b/c it keeps tabs on everything you eat. Without it, how do you know how much you are eating?? Guessing is not an option.

    I wish you all the luck in the world and know that with determination and perserverance comes results and they are usually amazing!! I hope to see some before and after pics of you here in the next few months with LOADS of weight lost.
  • Mr_Knight
    Mr_Knight Posts: 9,532 Member
    Hello all, I am new to the forums, but not new to MFP, I've flirted with the diary for some time but never have been committed.

    That's the place to start. Forget goals and exercise - just start logging, completely and accurately. Without that, none of the rest will matter anyway.

    One step at a time...
  • What helped me was to make my meals more structured. Take 5 minutes each day to plan what you are eating the next day. Log it and get an overview of the calories you're going to eat the next day. Listen to your body and adjust when you eat and what you eat accordingly.

    Bring snacks, fruit and nuts in portion packs t work.

    Try making dinner yourself, it doesn't have to take long to grill some chicken strips or fish and veggies. Base yourself on the veggies you do like and then each week buy one new thing and try it out. If you don't like it, at least you've tried and move on to something else. I have a lot of things I don't eat.
  • Morgaath
    Morgaath Posts: 679 Member
    Like vinny said, and include a glass of water about 15 minute before you eat.
    One thing you got going for you is your size. Sounds silly, but because it takes a lot to keep a body your size working, your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) if you just sat at a desk all day is 3936 cals. ---
    This means you could eat 3400 cals a day, and still be at a 500 deficit, meaning you would lose about 1lb per week.
    Keep your average intake to 2900 cals a day, that is a 1000 cal deficit! That would be 2lbs per week gone.

    Suggestion looking at your food for the day: Cut out the Arizona Tea. It is nothing but 210 cals of sugar water, and it is 25% of your calories you ate for lunch.
    You say you like meat; For the same 210 cals as in that sugar water, you could have had 7oz of turkey breast, or 4oz of flank steak.
  • mojpal
    mojpal Posts: 44 Member
    I do agree with all previous posts. Some good advice there. However I knew most of the stuff for the last decade and still wasn't able to lose weight.

    I hope this time will be different. Because I discovered MPF a week ago and I'm loving it. I have great, very supportive friends and that makes a difference. I even started to exercise because of the great feeling when you report your work out and everybody compliments you. Now I don't want to ruin my food diary either with some junk I would put in my mouth just btw. The best advice I could give you is to start loging daily, talk to your friends and just read posts. Add me if you like.

    But I. Love. Food. Too. And lots of it. I used to binge and couldn't stop the cravings. What helped me was a slow carb diet by Tim Ferris. You can have big portions of meat and other protein sources, vegetables and legumes. You can never go hungry this way. First days are a bit hard with no white carbs, but it was very helpful addiction to carbs. The cravings were gone. Now I'm not doing it anymore, because I didn't lose much, but I think men were losing more (according to the forums). But it did help me with my unhealthy cravings. Maybe you try this for a start, as a pre-diabetic you can only benefit from limiting your carbs.

    Good luck!
  • nancybuss
    nancybuss Posts: 1,461 Member
    You are one busy guy! Yet, you're getting the same sleep I do. You're walking a lot, so yeah! I agree with others. Small steps on the food. Breaking it up more. Less soda (not totally cut yet) and more water.

    You CAN do this! I agree, think about how bad you will feel IF you do it.

    that one more snack, that one more meal, that one more whatever your most unhealthy thing is you love, is Not Worth Dying For.

    Good Luck!
    We ARE here to help!
  • Deedsie
    Deedsie Posts: 348 Member
    I would make a list of all the great changes that everyone is suggesting and start with the first one, do it until it is a habit and then move to the next:

    For example:

    1) If you bite it, write it down.
    2) Drink 8-12 glasses of water a day.
    3) Cut out sugar drinks.
    4) Refuse to have seconds or thirds or go large.
    5) Reduce your potions to the recommended limits.
    6) Add in exercise.

    The list can be whatever you want to accomplish but you should write it down and post it somewhere like your frig and as you accomplish each item, cross it off. Also take lots of pics. I know it may be hard now but that is one thing that I wish I had done more often. I didn't take pictures because I didn't like the way I looked but it is nice to see how far I have came.

    It will be very hard. It is hard to change your habits and it is especially hard to tell the present you no because for some reason it refuses to think of future you as you. Instead it is some other person that will have to deal with the bag of doritos or the family bag of PB m&ms. You will constantly have to remind yourself that what you do today affects who you are tomorrow. But we are here for you and a lot of us have fought and still are fighting these battles. You can do it if you want it badly enough.
  • twinketta
    twinketta Posts: 2,130 Member
    Try to think of yourself as a house room at a time.

    Just concentrate on one area, maybe if you are trying to think of every area of your life at one time it will get overwhelming.

    You could write up a plan?

    Life and the things going on can get on top of us, try to take a moment to make a plan.


    Not necessarily in that order, but, just trying to get things in control, the way you want things to be?
  • Just joined this site with 50lbs to lose and looking forward to chatting and sharing support with others. The weight has just crept on over the years and before you I'm facing a 50lb weight loss goal! Am a veggie and work away from home so tend to stay in hotels and fill up on carbs and snacks!
    Anyway, glad to be here and wondering if anyone else with similar to lose is also starting now. Would be great to share progress updates!
  • tibby531
    tibby531 Posts: 717 Member
    I would start (baby steps) by just tracking what you normally intake; be COMPLETELY honest with your diary. find out about how many calories you're consuming on an average daily basis. and then try to cut just 500 calories a day out. get the chicken sandwich instead of the burger, at first. like others said, once you see the good things happening, that will encourage you to keep at it. :)

    when I first started this "life changing adventure," I had to invest in some "starve water," as I call it. sobe lean machine. I would have a salad for dinner and then sip on the water until the hunger subsided. all it does is kick off the "hey, why don't you have another bite" thought in the back of your brain.

    you have to do what works for you, though. walk around the block once, when you can, etc. best of luck. remember, you're worth it! :)
  • I'm agreeing with everyone else. Small steps to get started and increase as you go. Logging everything in has made a difference for me. It takes some time and energy but it does help you to start realizing what you're doing to yourself when you order the "super size" of any meal. That wakes you up out of your mindless ordering.

    Also, any drink with sugar or artificial sweeteners in it that you may drink, you've got to start phasing it out. I'm not saying go "cold turkey" but perhaps drink equal amounts of water as your drink with a sweetener. You'll start getting used to water which is a good thing. A lot of the mindless eating for what is thought to be hunger is actually thirst. And water is what works best to rid the body of the thirst masking as hunger. Again that's from experience, as I've gone from 5 or 6 cans of diet soda (Coke Zero being my favorite) daily to 1 can daily (sometimes not even that much). I'm working on phasing it out completely but it is a habit and I'm not sure I want to get rid of that habit yet. I will get rid of it but I still enjoy the taste too much to want to get rid of it.

    I'd also start trying as many different veggies as you can. Get yourself used to them at least to the point of tolerating them. You'll be amazed at how much it'll help get you slim. You might even discover that you like some of them. If you can't tolerate them no matter what you do, then invest in a good juicer and drink them. It's better that you eat them in their original form because that does fill you up more but whatever is needed to get the good "content" (fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, etc) out of them and into your body.

    You can do it! Just take small steps.