No Longer Obese !!! (Officially)

No Longer Obese !!! (Officially)

45Kg and 58 weeks after surgery … I am finally No Longer Obese !!!
(and I have not been down to this weight for more than 30 years)…

According to my BMI, I am officially not Obese any more … but I am still Overweight (which I guess still makes me a Fat Bastard).

About Body Mass Index (BMI)

Body Mass Index (BMI) is the most common (and simplest) way of measuring whether or not your are overweight. But in recent years, more researchers argue that it’s not the most accurate way to measure body weight. For years, scientists have said that BMI can’t distinguish between fat and muscle, which tends to be heavier and can tip more toned individuals into overweight status, even if their fat levels are low.

BMI also doesn’t take into account different types of fat, each of which can have different metabolic effects on health. BMI cannot take into consideration, for example, where the body holds fat. Belly fat, which is known as visceral fat, is more harmful than fat that is simply sitting under the skin.

Your BMI is determined by a relatively simple calculation using your height and weight. The formula is BMI = kg/ m2 – where kg is your weight in kilograms and m2 is your height in metres squared.

So my BMI is currently 88.4/1.72 2  = 29.88 – which allows me to just scrape out of the Obese range (over 30) and into the overweight range (25-30)… A BMI of 25.0 or more is overweight, while the “healthy” range is 18.5 to 24.9 …so my “healthy” range is 55-74Kg (apparently)

So Why BMI ?

BMI is still the preferred way to measure weight and evaluate obesity primarily because it is a relatively easy measurement for doctors to take during an office visit. Taking a person’s height and weight and plugging it into an equation produces a number that informs doctors about whether their patients are at high, low or no risk when it comes to weight-related health problems.

Using the BMI measure alone, an athlete such as the 19yr old up and coming Broncos powerhouse prop – Payne Haas – would be considered Obese (119Kg, 194cm = a BMI of 31)

There are better ways to measure body fat … that provide more useful readings on how likely a person’s weight will contribute to chronic health problems. CT scans and MRIs can provide a clearer glimpse at the body’s make-up by separating out fat from muscle, for example. But these are expensive and involved compared to stepping on a scale. 

So without a viable way to change how we measure body fat, for now, BMI is still probably the best option.

Time to Join a New Gym ??

Time to Join a New Gym ??

I am thinking of joining a new gym… Not instead of my current gym (12Rnd Fitness – which I LOVE)… but as well as.

I look forward to going to the gym so much (Endorphins are a wonderful thing), that sometimes at night, I am tempted to go to bed early, just so I can go to sleep, wake up, and go to the gym again… I am actually considering joining a 24×7 gym so I can sneak in some quick after dinner/late night workouts 🙂

OK.. I admit… it may be a little obsessive…

Endorphins – the Happy Hormone

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain and also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine (apparently)….

After 20 to 30 minutes of hard aerobic exercise, endorphins are released and will result in a mood and energy boost for two to three hours, and a mild buzz for up to 24 hours.

“Traditional” Gyms

It’s been many years since I have been to a “regular” gym (I used to be an aerobics junkie in my early 20s)… but the thought of rows of treadmills and spin bikes, and dozens of scary exercise machines with dubious (possibly torture related) purposes simply does not appeal any more…

These days 24×7 gyms seem to be popping up all over the place. These are largely “exercise machine” based, and convenient in terms of locality and time of day for workouts, but rely a lot on your own commitment, and tend to lack supervision and guidance from trainers.

A 24×7 Gym may be useful for me as an extra to my 12Rnd membership – to help focus on exercising particular body parts, and also at times of the day when my 12Rnd gym is closed…. although I can’t see myself going anywhere near a treadmill.

12Rnd Fitness

12Rnd Fitness is very different from the traditional Gym model… It doesn’t depend on a bunch of exercise machines, but is based around more traditional boxer training strategies, and exercise “stations” with a never ending variety of exercises that change daily (with a trainer always on hand to fix/improve technique and push you harder).

You can start a 12Rnds session anytime you like, and exercise your way through 12 different “rounds” or stations, of 3 minutes each ( each with 2 or more excises ) – with 30 second recovery/changeover time in between… A bit like a cross between Rocky and F45 I suppose.

At the moment I am currently averaging 5 or 6 sessions a week, but have (during challenges… see below) managed 8 or 9 sessions a week.

6 Week Challenges

Every few months 12Rnds run a “6 week challenge” which is a way to increase motivation and push yourself a bit harder for a short period… They liken their challenges to getting “fight ready” and they follow a pretty defined structure involving different types of food and exercise at different stages of the challenge.

I have participated, with various levels of commitment in 2 challenges so far – but am looking forward to getting “serious” about the next one starting in October.

MyZone

I have very recently started using a Myzone Heart rate monitor (I was given one for my last birthday). It is great to get proof that those times when I “think” I am working hard… that I usually am… and although it is early days yet (the Myzone monitor apparently takes a while to calibrate maximum heart rate), I was very surprised (shocked actually) to discover that I am consistently in the top few of the exercise leaderboard.

So … Time to Join New Gym ? … maybe… but maybe not…

49 Weeks – Feeling Fantastic

49 Weeks – Feeling Fantastic

Its been a little over 3 months since my last post… but how many times can you say “things are going great” ??

I’ve continued to lose weight and are now just over 90Kg…. That’s a total weight loss of 40Kg or nearly 1/3rd of my original body weight 🙂

Gym Junkie

I’ve continued going to the Gym… and am loving it…. In fact, for a while there I got a little obsessive and was going 8 or 9 times a week, but have scaled that back to just 5 or 6 … which I’ve found is actually more effective and efficient – my gym sessions are now longer and more powerful and my body is recovering better between sessions.

Since joining the gym – 7 months ago – I have lost an additional 10Kg in weight, which is pretty significant given that my muscle mass has also substantially increased.

Blood Results

I did a regular follow up with my nutritionist today… and all my blood tests are fantastic… except for Iron which is a bit low. This is completely normal (and expected) after a Gastric Bypass and I will continue to take Iron supplements (Maltofer) daily along with my multivitamins, although I can now stop taking Calcium supplements.

I am still not taking ANY diabetes (49 weeks since surgery), and my average blood sugar reading (HbA1c as per stats below) is continuing to drop.

Blood Sugar (HbA1c)

HbA1c is a blood test that is used to help diagnose and monitor people with diabetes. It is also sometimes called a haemoglobin A1c, glycated haemoglobin or glycosylated haemoglobin.  It shows the average level blood sugar levels over the past 2 to 3 months.

Target Weight ?

I can expect to continue losing weight for another 6 months or so… although the rate of weight loss will slow down.

I have already lost more than I had hoped for, but at 90Kg and 172cm… my BMI (31) still puts me at borderline Obese…. I am now hoping to lose another 5 or 10kg – with a provisional target weight between 80-85Kg… This would still mean I was considered Overweight…. but at 172cm, the suggested “healthy” weight is considered to be between 54 and 72 Kg… which to me seems absurdly “skinny”.

So far, even though the quantity of food I eat has significantly reduced (I just can’t physically eat anywhere near what I used to), I have to admit that I’ve not been particularly careful about the types of food I eat.

I have decided that once I get below 90Kg (which should be any week now) I will make a conscious effort to make smarter choices about the types of food I eat and this should help me get closer to that 80Kg target 🙂

Muscle is Denser than Fat … Apparently …

Muscle is Denser than Fat … Apparently …

As per my last post (Still Losing Weight & Getting Fit)… I started back at the Gym after reaching my 100 Kg Milestone… Without thinking too much about it, I had anticipated that this would give my weight loss a bit of a boost… I was WRONG !!!

In fact, rather than losing weight (I had pretty much consistently lost 1Kg per week since surgery), I actually started to put it on… and 2 weeks after joining the gym I was up by 1.5Kg…

Muscle vs Fat

I remember people saying “Muscle Weighs more than Fat“, so thought I’d do some research.

Of course 1Kg of Muscle weights exactly the same as 1Kg of fat… but Muscle is actually denser than fat, which means muscle occupies less space (volume) compared to fat.

Muscle has a leaner appearance due to its high density whereas fat occupies more space (volume) in the body. Two people could weight the same but could look very different depending on their body composition – a person with high body-fat percentage versus a person with high lean muscle percentage will probably be in two different sizes of clothes and health risk.

Muscles are made of long fibers tightly woven together. Fat, on the other hand, is composed of different sized droplets and some are more full than others. These droplets stick to each other but leave some empty space in between.

In the image above, one kg of muscle takes up less space than one kg of fat. This is why you might notice a slimmer waistline but no drastic change on the scale as you begin a new workout or meal plan regime – your body is burning light fat, but building heavier muscles.

Weight Loss Graph

Here is my weight loss graph since surgery… for the 1st 4 weeks at the gym (3 or 4 times a week – moderate intensity), I still had a net gain in weight of approx 1.5kgs… however, since then, my body seems to have figured out what’s going on, and my weight is (again) on a downwards path… In the last couple of weeks I have increased number of gym visits and intensity and seen a 3kg drop in just 2 weeks 🙂

Note: Even though I wasn’t actually losing “weight” during the 1st 4 weeks of gym, there was a noticeable change in body shape and toning.

5 Months after Surgery – Still Losing Weight & Getting Fit

5 Months after Surgery – Still Losing Weight & Getting Fit

5 Months now since my Gastric Bypass Operation and I have reached another Milestone.

I am finally down to 100Kg …
Losing now more than 30Kg

I have not been down to this weight since 2003 – more than 15 years ago !!!!

Time to hit the Gym….

I have been increasing daily exercise for a while… mostly walking… but I promised myself that once I had reached 100Kg I would join a gym and start building up my exercise regime.

I decided that I’d like to focus on boxing type exercises… but had visited a couple of local boxing gyms and they were pretty hard core… I was not that interested in actually hitting anyone (or getting hit for that matter), but I did like the types of exercises involved.

I wanted to primarily do some upper body toning and body core workouts… and thought that boxing/skipping exercises would be a good start.

12 Rounds Fitness

I checked around and discovered that my sister had (for months) been going to a gym called 12 Rounds Fitness. This is based around circuit training, with 12 different “stations” setup, each with 2 different exercises.

You arrive at whatever time you like, start at an available station of your choice, and spend 3 minutes exercise at each station, before moving onto the next. The types of exercises at each station change daily, and you are able to push it as hard as you like, or “tweak” the exercises to cater for specific exercise targets (or injuries).

I found that during the first session a pre-existing back injury flared up again, so I have been able to focus on low impact and upper body exercises… and my back seems to be improving…

Interestingly, despite (or perhaps because of) significantly increasing my exercise program (and as far as I am aware not changing my food intake much), instead of losing additional weight, in the 2 weeks since I started I have actually gained 1.2 Kg.

Blood Sugar & Diabetes

I also recently re-visited my endocrinologist – hopefully for the very last time… The previous visit my hbA1c reading (which measures the average blood sugar over a three month period) was just a smidgen above 6.0 (6.1 actually)… and I was hoping that this time it would be below 6.0 and in the “normal” range… However, it was back up to 6.4 – despite the fact that I had lost another 6Kg 🙁 …

So it seems that diabetes is still lurking around, so I still need to keep a close eye on it…

I suspect that despite eating much less than I used to (I reckon it is about 1/3rd) I am being less careful about the types of things I am eating. Although I am eating significantly less Carbs, I need to focus a bit better on less sugary foods (i.e. cut out soft drink and Fruit drinks, which I now realise I had started having more of)…

3 Months after Surgery – All Systems Go!!

3 Months after Surgery – All Systems Go!!

3 months since my Gastric Bypass Surgery and all system go !!!

I have just had my 3 month follow up with the Dietitian and Surgeon and 
have now lost almost 15Kg since surgery 3 months ago – which is apparently a little more than the surgeon expected. 🙂

ALL my blood results are looking fantastic (better than hoped in fact).. with Protein, Vitamins and Blood Sugar levels all doing very well. I am still off all Diabetes and Hypertension medications, and have even stopped precautionary meds for Gastric Reflux… so the only medications  I am taking are Vitamin and Calcium supplements 🙂

Must Eat Breakfast….

I have fallen into the (bad) habit of not eating breakfast (I rarely feel like eating at all until after midday), but the Dietitian suggested that I start trying to eat a small serving of Muesli/Yogurt for breakfast… and I did have some Bircher Muesli today… which was Yum !!

Weight Loss Plateau ??

I was a little concerned that my weight loss seems to be slowing down, however both the Dietitian and Surgeon assured me that I will continue to lose weight for the next 9-12 months, and that plateauing is normal at 3 months.

After about 12-18 months I can expect my weight loss to slow down and eventually stop… and then (which is normal) I am likely to put on another 10%.. so if I get down to 80Kg , then I can expect to put on another 8Kgs before it stabilises….