The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

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The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby Plasmic-Turtle » Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:47 am UTC

Where it all begins:
Height: 1.66 m
Weight: 56 kg?
Calf Muscles: Fat and juicy
Arm Muscles: According to biology I DO have some, but I'll be buggered if I can see 'em...
Tummy: Squidgy!
Eating Habits: Appalling

This is probably a thread with a bit of a difference in that I think I have an eating disorder (have cycled between binge-eating and trying to starve myself for the last 3 yrs), and as such the aims are fitness, health, happiness, positive body image, better cooking skills.... but not necessarily weight loss or even being more toned. I'm kind of nervous around food (eg don't buy bread, cheese, muesli and don't bother cooking anymore) and really a tad screwed up! Had a bit of a wake-up call when I found myself freaking out about how huge my legs were, then thought about it rationally and realised that the REASON they're big is because I have large calf-muscles - which took me 10 years of dancing and quite a bit of tramping to build up! I should be proud of them as they represent hobbies and everything I love, and I should have more respect for what my body is capable of and allows me to do than to turn against it like that. Have made an appointment to see a uni counsellor who specialises in ED's later this month.

So cool advice if you have it would be:
- Healthy (even better if they're quick/easy!) vegetarian recipes (yup, am aware there's a thread with Vege recipes in Food-forum!)
- Ways of coping with stress
- Ways to avoid comfort-eating
- Fun ways to get fit! I have a Swiss Ball and a couple of 2 kg dumbells, but really don't enjoy gyms

...and I suppose we'll just see where things go? You know, it occurred to me I don't even really know what turtle's eat. Something is drastically wrong with the education system these days...
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby Jorpho » Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:52 am UTC

Plasmic-Turtle wrote:- Ways to avoid comfort-eating


Do you do your own grocery shopping? Stop buying comfort food. :) If it's not groceries, but regular snacking from the local convenience store or vending machine or something, then start keeping track of all your purchases and find something more important in which to invest the money.

(Does this work remotely at all for anyone else, or is it just me? Mayhap I should stop spouting about it if that is the case.)

If you feel you have to eat or drink something, just drink water instead.
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby Belial » Wed Apr 09, 2008 2:31 pm UTC

Developing another habit might be good for the whole comfort eating.

My first impulse is to suggest you start smoking, but that probably won't help your overall health...
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby Plasmic-Turtle » Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:36 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:
Plasmic-Turtle wrote:- Ways to avoid comfort-eating


Do you do your own grocery shopping? Stop buying comfort food. :) If it's not groceries, but regular snacking from the local convenience store or vending machine or something, then start keeping track of all your purchases and find something more important in which to invest the money.

(Does this work remotely at all for anyone else, or is it just me? Mayhap I should stop spouting about it if that is the case.)

If you feel you have to eat or drink something, just drink water instead.


Yup, do own grocery shopping! The issue with binge-eating is that comfort food could be almost ANYTHING - yoghurt, breakfast cereal, ordinary old bread, dates, nuts... I like the idea of coming up with something I'd really like to invest money in though... and the drinking thing's a good idea too, cheers for that! Might top up my herbal tea collection :)

Belial wrote:Developing another habit might be good for the whole comfort eating.

My first impulse is to suggest you start smoking, but that probably won't help your overall health...

Yeh, I really don't think I'd have too much trouble with developing another habit, though there's always the risk I may end up with multiple habits instead of one replacing the other... Then I'd just be a smoking caffeine-addicted alcoholic binge-eater... Overall health (and bank account balance) might plummet rather sharply!

On happy news, I think I can almost see slight definition in my arms at a particular angle if I kind of squint at them. Yay for all my work with the 2 kg dumbells!
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby Patrick Donnelly » Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:04 am UTC

Re: Plasmic-T
Getting a sandbag is a good place to start for exercise equipment. 2kg dumbbells and a Swiss ball won't do squat... Squats with a sandbag on the other hand, will do a lot.
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby Otis » Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:19 pm UTC

The reason I used to snack all day was because I was bored. Come up with something to occupy your time that will keep your mind and hands off the snacky snacks. Go outside and read a book, go for a walk or bike ride, pretty much do anything that gets you away from the kitchen.
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby Token » Sun Apr 27, 2008 2:27 am UTC

Sounds like you have a similar problem I did. Personally, I'm capable of eating pretty much anything I can get my hands on. This means that, in general, I eat very healthily - I just ate too much (and by "too much", I mean "too much to reasonably attempt to lose weight without significantly increasing the amount of exercise I do, which is already quite high"). As Otis says, part of the reason is likely to be boredom, but I found that while keeping myself occupied help stave off hunger, once it reached a certain level it was too distracting.

The key, I found, was to actively train my body to eat less. First off, I eliminated all non-meal eating. Don't do this by eating less - instead, insert small meals in between the standard ones in place of constant snacking. Make sure you never go more than a few hours without eating - I found I'd resort to snacking if I went too long. You'll be hungry, but if you're telling yourself "OK, I'm going to be eating at 3 o'clock", it gets easier to resist the urge to snack.

Eventually, I found that I was just less hungry in general. I think this is because if you don't constantly feed your body, it gets used to not being constantly fed, and stops complaining about it all the time. Seems pretty obvious, now. It got to the stage where I naturally cut down on how much I ate overall just because I didn't feel hungry and could get away with not eating. It helped that I had a motivating goal (to reach a particular weight bracket for rowing), so YMMV.

There's several tips I found helpful in not eating as much. First, never, EVER go grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Go after a decent-sized meal. If you aren't hungry, you'll probably buy what you need rather than what looks tasty at the time.

Secondly, eat slowly and drink plenty of water during meals. If it's reasonable to do so, eat the first half of a meal and wait a while before eating the rest. I've heard that there's a time delay between eating and feeling full, and while I can't support that with hard evidence, it did seem to help.

As far as drinking goes, water is good. Drink it. Soft drinks are bad. Alcohol is bad - if you have a bottle of wine that has nutritional information on the label, take a look. You may be shocked. Coffee is, I believe, good for the caffeine content when drunk in moderation - it has a short term effect of reducing appetite, and helps increase your metabolism and push you to do more exercise.

I don't think I can help with the other points - I'm an avid carnivore, I'm not particularly stressed and my chosen method of exercising is not even slightly fun, unless you're insane. Though it might be worth investing in a decent veggie recipe book - my sister has a couple (having abandoned the delights of bacon and suchlike years ago), and a lot of the stuff she cooks is pretty damn nice, in my opinion. I don't know what books, though, and she's not in a convenient country (or indeed continent) for me to ask. I'm guessing it would help to actually have soemthing physical to get ideas from, though - it's too easy to say you'll look something up on the internet and then not do it.
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby Otis » Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:40 am UTC

Token made a good point about cutting all non-meal eating. I took it one step further and cut all non-table eating. It's a lot easier to snack when you're reading, watching tv, or surfing the internet. If you have to stop what your doing in order to get a snack and eat it then you're(hopefully) much less likely to go through the trouble.
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby Plasmic-Turtle » Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:44 am UTC

Thanks heaps for your advice Token & Otis, looks awesome. I've bought lots of healthy food this week... frozen mixed veges, brussel sprouts, sweet potato, apples, bananas, natural yoghurt, dried fruit, nuts... and am planning on cutting out junk food, caffeine and alcohol as much as possible, mainly because I REALLY want to get some proper nutrients into my body and because I'm slightly concerned about the effect alcohol has been having on my moods lately (though I'm a little flummoxed about how to socialize without it! :-s But I know I talk FAR too much and say stupid crap when I'm intoxicated, so maybe it'd be better to be quiet, awkward and antisocial instead?) I've tried to separate them into distinct meals, with the dried fruit and nuts being snacks (inbetween meals allowed at particular times and not too much of them).

Went for a relatively long hike on Friday (good old Tongariro Crossing for anyone who knows it) but the muscle pain afterward wasn't nearly sufficient (tiny ache on tops of thighs) - so have decided to climb Mt Ngauruhoe next time I do it, as well! This gives me something to aim for, and a real reason to get up every morning and go for a run. Although I think my real problem will be the steep, unstable, scree-slope induced terror I tend to experience. I swear you couldn't stop yourself on that mountain if you tried, there's just no footing whatsoever. Am also attending a "Bodysense" course about learning to reconnect with your body and escape the dieting trap... it's quite good really, but I don't think it's going to be easy. I might try and get into the regional eating-disorder services if I can, but they're pretty booked-up I believe, and I'm not exactly on my death-bed yet so my chances are probably rather slim.

My plans have been a tad thwarted by getting quite a bad cold today though... I end up eating more than usual (though not proper binge-eating), needing more sleep, and not feeling nearly well enough to go for a run. By the way has anyone else heard the saying "Feed a cold, starve a fever", that my Mum always used to tell me? Does it mean cold as in the cold virus? Do you guys have any understanding of the biological reasons why this saying came about or makes sense?

And Patrick... dumb question... what's a sandbag in terms of gym equipment? I only know about the one's to pile up against river banks to try and protect your house from the flooding... Maybe I should just google that...
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby Patrick Donnelly » Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:36 am UTC

Plasmic-Turtle wrote:And Patrick... dumb question... what's a sandbag in terms of gym equipment? I only know about the one's to pile up against river banks to try and protect your house from the flooding... Maybe I should just google that...


Material needed:
- top-loading military duffel bag ($17 online, including shipping)
- bag of sand from Home Depot ($3 in the gardening section)
- duct tape

Directions: Put the sand in the duffel bag, then wrap tape tightly around the slack of the bag so the part with the sand is moderately firm, but don’t get rid of so much slack that it’s rock hard. If left outside, cover it nightly with a garbage bag to keep it from getting rained on and soaked. Once 50lbs of sand gets too easy, add some more; it’s cheap.


These gymnastics rings:
http://gymnasticbodies.com/catalog/prod ... obb337jul2
Are also a very good deal for the money.
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby Plasma Man » Thu May 29, 2008 5:08 pm UTC

Plasmic-Turtle wrote:By the way has anyone else heard the saying "Feed a cold, starve a fever", that my Mum always used to tell me? Does it mean cold as in the cold virus? Do you guys have any understanding of the biological reasons why this saying came about or makes sense?


Yep, I know this saying. I also know it's complete nonsense. Starving yourself when ill is a bad idea, especially when you have a fever, as your body is burning more energy to raise your temperature and take malicious microorganisms out of their comfort zone.

Anyway, my top tips are to make a shopping list and stick to it, so you don't buy things you don't need (and don't buy things that are bad for you but look tasty). Make sure you have fruit around - harder fruits like apples, pears etc. are pretty good for filling you up, but they're fairly healthy. Obviously if you prefer carrot sticks or whatever, go with that, but you get the idea.
And get cooking! Ready meals are generally not very good for you, cooking is relatively easy with the help of a recipe book and you can get one aimed at students or other beginner cooks. It also fills up time, so instead of sitting around watching TV and being tempted to snack for half an hour, use that time to get your food ready. You'll eat more interesting food, you'll have a better idea of what's in it, and it'll be better for you.
Please note that despite the lovely avatar Sungura gave me, I am not a medical doctor.

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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby Plasmic-Turtle » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:27 pm UTC

Two years later... and the turtle is back.

I no longer binge-eat. Or maybe I just don't feel guilty about it and class it as a 'binge' anymore, I'm not sure. But regardless, not obsessing about food to nigh on eating-disorder point is definitely a better place to be.

However, no longer worrying so much about my weight, combined with having a 6 foot 4 boyfriend for the past year who is a brilliant cook and makes super-yummy stuff, and serves me equal portions (which I sometimes might go back for even more of cause it's yum) compounded on top of the comfort-eating, extensive amounts of coffee and energy drinks and spending all day every day in front of a computer that comes with thesis hand-in dates approaching ever rapidly, means I'm at the highest weight I've ever been. And feeling a bit like shit.

I'd been planning on waiting til my hand in (end of March) to make the changes, due to lack of time and 'need' for caffeine but shit, I don't think the caffeine's even doing anything anymore. And my clothes aren't feeling so comfy anymore. So during April I'm going to join the tramping and/or orienteering club and get back into swimming, but food changes need to start now.

I'm posting here as somewhere to be held accountable, mostly. The goal for this week (16th - 23rd March) is to not consume ANY liquids other than water, besides being allowed 1 glass of orange juice and 1 of milk per day if I choose. No coffee, no energy drinks. Let's hope it makes a bit of a difference! I'll add my next goal on after that.
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby Jorpho » Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:36 am UTC

Well, it is good to hear that you are feeling better at least. Thesis writing messes with a lot of things - and then it ends, and you get on with life. (Or, failing that, you do a postdoc or something...)

But in particular I wanted to point out that if you want to resolve to do something about your current eating habits, whatever they are, in order to keep weight off, I reckon there are probably numerous other points you could potentially address before coffee becomes a concern. Unless you're dumping vast quantities of cream and sugar into it, it's not particularly high in calories.
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby Plasmic-Turtle » Tue Mar 15, 2011 9:55 am UTC

Yup, that's certainly true Jorpho - but at the moment, it's about all I can do.

I just don't have time to get out there and exercise until next month, and I think that exercise will be what really gets me feeling healthier and fitter, and hopefully helps me lose some weight along with it. I also tend to eat healthier when I'm exercising too. I found a place where you can take adult ballet classes with little to no previous experience - am really hoping to give that a go.

Cutting out coffee and other drinks like that is a start, something that's small and manageable and cutting out a few extra calories. Plus it's also largely energy drinks I'm worried about, I really shouldn't be touching them in the first place.
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby Nath » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:48 am UTC

Good work getting back on track. Cutting out sugary drinks is a great idea. But I'm with Jorpho on coffee -- by all means cut it out if it's interfering with your sleep, but in terms of weight loss, black coffee is completely negligible. Maybe a couple of calories per serving.

Also, if you currently drink more than a couple of cups a day, you're going to get some withdrawal effects if you quit too suddenly.
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby Ulc » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:07 pm UTC

Nath wrote:Also, if you currently drink more than a couple of cups a day, you're going to get some withdrawal effects if you quit too suddenly.


Don't underestimate these withdrawals!

I certainly wouldn't do it at the same time as any other big changes, it was unpleasant enough as it was, if I'd had to do it as the same time as cutting out soda, one of them would have failed. I would generally really recommend stepping down slowly from coffee anyway, it's possible to do it that way, and the withdrawal really isn't that pleasant.
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby Solt » Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:21 am UTC

A glass of orange juice has more calories than a can of soda. I would eat an orange or two instead.
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby TheNorm05 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:32 am UTC

My "nutritionist"(older brother) says to be careful with drinking coffee with sugar in it, because the sugar high hits you before the caffeine. When you come down from that you end up chasing the sugar high, and get another. This likely goes for other energy drinks as well. Sometimes when I need to stay awake, I'll eat something spicy for a change of pace. Just a thought.
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby caje » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:23 pm UTC

First, Are you sleeping 8-9 hours a night? If not sleep more. That will be the number one most important thing and will greatly affect your ability to stick with your changes and maximise the performance from your changes.

Taking out liquid calories is a great first step. OJ really is just sugar water with some vitams thrown in though.
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby OllieGarkey » Mon Mar 28, 2011 10:13 pm UTC

- Ways to avoid comfort-eating


I shifted my comfort eating habits. Now it's fruit, usually bananas or oranges. It's much healthier than other methods.

Though really, if I need comfort, I grill myself a nice steak.

Comfort eating isn't a problem if the food you're eating is healthy. A steak every now and again is full of vitamins and nutrition, and a lot of very good protein. Just monitor your cholesterol. So my suggestion is to shift your comfort foods towards foods that are healthy.

But then maybe my advice isn't the best to follow because I'm 1.8 meters tall and 100kg, and keep weight from going too high by mountain biking at least once a week.
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby Plasmic-Turtle » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:05 am UTC

Ugh balls, I am back. I guess I should feel proud that I'm back, but I mostly feel shame at how short my attention is for sticking to things. All your guys' advice was read, and was wonderful and was much appreciated, but then I like handed in my thesis and went to Mexico and shit, and haven't stuck to any goals of any sort.

SO I'm posting today mainly for accountability. I need to keep track of what I'm eating... I have joined a gym, I have a program, and they told me that I was 63 kg and 29% body-fat (using their magical scales) to begin with. Also took waist and arm etc measurements, but I can't remember these off-hand: they re-assess at the end of my 2 months (early March), so I'll be able to get a feel then for how I've gone.

Thing is, my weight today said 65 kg... :cry:

I know muscle weighs more than fat and all, but I'm not convinced I got that much muscle that quick, and I'm hoping to lose a decent portion of my fat here. Food diary it is then. From tomorrow.
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby fizzgig » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:17 am UTC

Don't forget that your weight will fluctuate a kilo or so during the course of a day, depending on when you last ate, how dehydrated you are etc. So it's possible that you were closer to your daily minimum the first time you were weighed, and closer to your max the second time.
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Re: The Turtle's waddle in a healthy direction...

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:46 am UTC

Food diary is important, but as someone in a somewhat similar boat, I have made the best gains by only SLIGHTLY cutting back on how MUCH I eat, editing what I DO eat (it is truly incredible how many carbs you can pack away without noticing), and exercising a lot more. I fit two 20-to-30 minute workouts into my day quite easily when it became apparent I'd generally just spend that time watching TV or refreshing Facebook. Or refreshing xkcd. Or doing all three at once. It's especially useful at night since a workout before bed, followed by a short, very hot shower means I collapse into bed and fall asleep faster than I EVER HAVE without medical assistance. Working out means I sleep more. Go figure! :D
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