Path To Weight Loss: Matt’s Story and CR-Related Soreness

Stories like this just make me feel good, especially now. This guy went from 500 lbs to 240 lbs.

I was 34 and had always struggled with my weight, but for 15 years, I had allowed it to get out of control. I ate as if it were my hobby. I was unable to do the simplest physical activity…I couldn’t walk to my car from my apartment or office without being out of breath, and my knees ached from even that small journey. Lying in bed, I could feel my heart pounding. I awoke several times each night struggling to breathe. Still, I was in denial. I knew I was obese, but I never considered what I was doing to myself. Loved ones offered concern and suggestions, but I saw them as just “getting on my case.”… By the second week of July 2006 — just nine months — I had lost 200 pounds! I was now hiking the hills and canyons, as well as playing ice hockey. I was able to discontinue my blood pressure medication. Throughout, I never felt that I was depriving myself. I viewed it as a chance to rediscover the real me.

Awesome. This is the kind of story I like to read, not just on product advertisements and Billy Banks books (no disrespect to Mr. Banks), but in sources like CNN.

It’s funny, but one of the things he says there, that “Loved ones offered concern and suggestions, but I saw them as just ‘getting on my case'”, is something I think every overweight person has gone through. The only time I’ve really found it annoying, though, was when someone who I didn’t really know, or I just recently met would start telling me things like “You know, you should really change your diet and stop eating so many hamburgers,” without knowing the first thing about me. Usually these people were naturally skinny and unable to get to my size even if they tried, and they almost always came off as being judgmental about people who weren’t like them.

…jackasses…

Anyway, as of this morning I’m at ~287 lbs, so I’ve lost about 2lbs this week. Hurray! I also see Mr. Renato this weekend. Time for another butt kicking session.

As I mentioned in the first post of this series, my caloric intake has been between 900 and 1300 per day, mostly proteins and vegetables, with almost no bread or starches, and few fats from things like cheese. (Nuts and egg yolks still make an appearance here and there.) I talked to Mr. Renato and he’s rather impressed I’ve been able to keep that up. This, however, wasn’t the only thing I talked to him about. With the good comes the bad:

Recently, every time I have gone exercising I’ve always ended up sore. Really sore. I mean, sure, it’s normal to be a bit sore for a day or two after a good workout — in fact, I love that feeling. What I’m talking about here is soreness that lasts for half a week, even when the workouts are simple things like walking a couple of miles or playing Dance Dance Revolution.

I told him about some information I’d recently read which stated that one of the side effects of a CR lifestyle was a slowed healing process, and Mr. Renato agreed that this is what’s happening. He went on to explain that I’m now living on about half the calories I used to eat, and that this makes for a rather dramatic change since my body isn’t used to not having a ton (no pun intended) of spare nutrients (“Oh noes! We’re at NORMAL human levels! The horror!”). As such, my the body takes longer to heal itself after injury. This is also why my joints are not just getting sore, but staying sore longer.

He said I’ll probably be feeling this way for a month or two, while my body gets used to the change in lifestyle. After that I should be back to normal. In the mean time, he suggested that I should avoid going too hard on myself at the gym (or the dance mat). My jaw dropped: I never ever ever thought I’d hear those words from him. Next he’ll be telling me to eat more ice cream.

If you have any thoughts about any of this — losing weight, being overweight, calorie restriction (and by extension super-longevity), or exercise — chime in. I’d love to hear from others who are also overcoming weight issues, have overcome those issues, and from people living a CR lifestyle.

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