I am a portly fellow, I’ll admit it. Or you may say pleasantly plumpy. Ok I am overweight. I guess it is something that affects some in the gaming community. I know there are people out there who also face this conundrum. There are groups out there, like Fit for Gen Con who are doing something about it…
I have talked about food in games before, but this is a different situation, the master of the Gordopletas© needs to loose weight. And I am not remotely thinking that the junk food I eat once night a week is responsible for my unhealthy eating habits. I need to exercise more, eat more responsibly. But in past experiences, and lets face it many of us have been there, I can pinpoint that I keep my diet for most of the week and then come game night I drink too much soda, eat too much chips and candy.
So I come to you dead reader, how do you do it? What tricks have worked for you? I plan on getting back on the healthy eating wagon and I’d sure like to plan ahead.
What I can recommend is replacing all those sugary and fatty snacks with fruits and vegetables. Carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, raw turnip cabbage with some yoghurt or quark based dip work great as snacks during gaming. What you can also do is just have a proper meal with your players and then ban snacks from the gaming table altogether.
Though appropriately the captcha for this post was “Cthulhu”, I assure you I’m not dead !
What did it for me was taking up sports. Once I’ve begun exercising in the morning and aikido twice a week, my weight has stabilized and is even going down slightly (though I expect all this to be ruined by the end of the year’s many feasts).
Unfortunately, I don’t think there are many tricks. It’s all about self-discipline and maintaining the lifestyle you want. You simply don’t drink the soda and eat the junk food.
Personally, I wouldn’t ban snacks/soda at the table, if that’s the expectation. It sort of comes off as forcing your choices on your group.
Having gone from pretty damn fit (Active Duty Marine Corps Infantry for 4 years) to pretty damn fat and now getting back into shape again, I can say it’s primarily a battle of making new habits and good choices.
I hear ya, and I agree with others that there are no ‘tricks’. I took myself down from 115 kgs (253 lbs) down to 95 (209), just by sheer dint of keeping at it constantly. There are three things to work on:
First is exercise. Building muscle burns fat, and the largest muscles are the legs. That means jogging is the best, I repeat the best thing for slimming down. Over 20 minutes a day – under 20 and you don’t get into the aerobic cycle and start burning fat for energy. Too big to jog? Swimming is your alternative, and you don’t have to be an Olympian, just butterfly around.
Second, watch what you eat. Drop all sodas if you’re serious, drink water. That is right, the huge amount of sugar in sodas is killer. Next, cut down or if you can out all chips, cookies, chocolate bars, etc. Substitute with celery or carrots if you need to. Also drop deep fried foods to twice a week, ice cream to once a week. Easy on jam, salt, sugar, ketchup, mustard, etc.
Third, watch how you eat. No food goes into your mouth if you’re drinking or the sun is down. No more second helpings.
The truth is, we all know what we need to do, the difficult thing is just buckling down and doing it. Find a good reason (love, health, self-esteem, whatever), then turn the exercise and diet change into a habit. Keep it up for three months and you’ll keep it up forever.
I put on a little weight working a desk job for 7 years. Not a lot, but I’m a skinny guy and I’m not accustomed to any fat. I made a decision to limit my meals. I don’t eat until I’m full, just until I don’t feel hungry. I have to eat slower, so my stomach can let my brain know when it’s full. It’s stabilized my weight. I then started a physically demanding job and lost a bit. I’m a little heavier than I was but my pants fit again.
Unfortunately, new research is finding that once you put on weight, your body wants to keep it. If it took you a diet of 3200 calories to gain weight and you then take it off on a diet of 2000 calories loose a ton of weight. But then going back to a 2800 calorie diet that a thinner person can maintain their weight at might still cause your weight to go up. You may need to keep a diet at a lower level, not 2000 calories but maybe 2600. That is unless you keep your metabolism up with regular exercise.
I highly recommend http://zentofitness.com/ for anybody at all who is giving consideration to diet and exercise, and their lifestyle generally. I have found it to be very useful and immensely practical and down-to-earth. Go check it out!
My wife and I have been doing weigh watchers and I have lost 25 pounts in four months. I have also been trying to go to the gym 2 or 3 times a week.
I have to disagree with Tedankhamen on a couple of points.
1. highly aerobic exercise such as jogging is good while you’re doing it, but lacks much benefit when you’re not. High-intensity workouts such as weight training and sprinting causes more systemic micro-damage that requires more energy to repair. A half-hour jog burns energy while you do it, a good full-body workout including squats and deadlifts will burn energy for a couple of days.
2. check out primal or paleo diets (I favor primal, see Mark’s Daily Apple). As best I can tell they are much better balanced than any other ‘weight loss’ diet I have ever found. Also, after the first 2-4 weeks I find they are self-regulating; when I’m eating a Primal diet I find that the stuff I shouldn’t be eating (grain, dairy, legumes are the three main groups you avoid) don’t appeal to me. I can look at a piece of cake and my brain and body go “dude, there’s nothing there, give me vegetables and meat and healthy fat”.
If you can, find a Crossfit gym. As a rule they’re incredibly supportive communities. I’ve seen cases where the first time someone successfully completes a particularly challenging movement (such as a muscleup) might find the entire place cheering him on.
Thanks for the comments everybody… I know it will be hard work, but I intend to see myself be in better shape by this time next year.
(That’s not me in the photo BTW!)
Good luck with it. Not to push Primal too hard, but you might find Frank’s story inspiring. It’s a not-uncommon result.