Help needed on health issues - Jemsite
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post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-28-2006, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
 
Joel Lyndgohrd's Avatar
 
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Help needed on health issues

So here is the situation that I am in.

About a year ago I quit my job as a gravedigger and started as a truckdriver instead. My problem is that after I started driving trucks I have gained LOTS of weight. I currently weigh 260lbs (118kg) and I am only 6feet (183cm) long. Not only that, I have gone up from smoking 1 pack of cigarettes a day to almost 3 packs a day.

Being a truckdriver I rarely have time to eat anything healthy, it's usually a hotdog or a burger at some gasstation.

I also work very long days, I rarely have a workday that is less than 16h. Sometimes I get away with only working 10h but it happens very rarely. More often than not I work over 16h a day.

This means that when I come home at night I am so tired that I do not have the energy to work out. To tell the truth, I don't have the energy to do much of anything.

The only reason that I keep this job is it pays pretty good (well, it has to since I work so much).

My problem is that I know that I really must try to get back into shape. Or at least loose some weight and try to stop smoking. Anybody got any ideas on what I should do?

I also have alot of other problems in my life at the moment, but i'll try not to get into those right now. Some of you know what I am talking about...

Thanks,
Joel

P.S.
I'm going away for 3-4 days right now so I won't be able to reply to any comments right now.
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post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-28-2006, 01:41 PM
 
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Re: Help needed on health issues

I'm about 6'2" and used to be on the wrong side of 300lbs until I did something about it. In two years I lost almost 100lbs and 10" off my waist and basically the most important thing is to discipline oneself and learn to compromise.

If you're like me, what you eat is based on what food you have access to. Therefore, you need to make healthier foods available to you. A good start would be to pack your lunches and dinners yourself so you're not depending on fast food on the road. Anyone will tell you that you have to eat more fruits and vegetables and just healthier stuff in general- shopping for yourself lets you make that decision. When you make your own choices, you can develop better habits.

When you eat better and are well-rested, your body can regulate your weight better, but you also need to exercise to raise your metabolism and strengthen your heart and lungs (3 packs a day takes its toll). Here's another issue of accessibility- you work 16hr days and it would be crazy to expect you to log in a good 30 minutes at the gym a few times a week with that schedule. I don't know if it's financial constraints that forces you to work so much, but something's got to give. Smoking so much and working so much will break your body down and if that stands, you could develop health problems that would prevent you from being able to work at all, which is more financially crippling than reducing the # of hours in your work week. I don't know what your situation is, but is there any "wiggle-room" that make any sort of compromises?

It takes a lot of initiative to take the steps necessary to lose weight and get healthy. I was always fat and it affected my health, how people treated me, and ultimately how I treated myself. Whenever I had to face even the smallest compromise in bettering my health, I would always think about how s**tty it feels being fat and how s**tty other people treat me and realize that any hardship I'd go through would be a helluva lot more appealing that letting things stand as they were. You said that you gained a lot of weight recently, so maybe remembering how you were before will serve as an incentive to try to get back there. It's not easy, so good luck.
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post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-28-2006, 02:40 PM
 
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Re: Help needed on health issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demiurge
I'm about 6'2" and used to be on the wrong side of 300lbs until I did something about it. In two years I lost almost 100lbs and 10" off my waist and basically the most important thing is to discipline oneself and learn to compromise.

If you're like me, what you eat is based on what food you have access to. Therefore, you need to make healthier foods available to you. A good start would be to pack your lunches and dinners yourself so you're not depending on fast food on the road. Anyone will tell you that you have to eat more fruits and vegetables and just healthier stuff in general- shopping for yourself lets you make that decision. When you make your own choices, you can develop better habits.

When you eat better and are well-rested, your body can regulate your weight better, but you also need to exercise to raise your metabolism and strengthen your heart and lungs (3 packs a day takes its toll). Here's another issue of accessibility- you work 16hr days and it would be crazy to expect you to log in a good 30 minutes at the gym a few times a week with that schedule. I don't know if it's financial constraints that forces you to work so much, but something's got to give. Smoking so much and working so much will break your body down and if that stands, you could develop health problems that would prevent you from being able to work at all, which is more financially crippling than reducing the # of hours in your work week. I don't know what your situation is, but is there any "wiggle-room" that make any sort of compromises?

It takes a lot of initiative to take the steps necessary to lose weight and get healthy. I was always fat and it affected my health, how people treated me, and ultimately how I treated myself. Whenever I had to face even the smallest compromise in bettering my health, I would always think about how s**tty it feels being fat and how s**tty other people treat me and realize that any hardship I'd go through would be a helluva lot more appealing that letting things stand as they were. You said that you gained a lot of weight recently, so maybe remembering how you were before will serve as an incentive to try to get back there. It's not easy, so good luck.
Well said.
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post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-28-2006, 08:25 PM
 
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Re: Help needed on health issues

No magic bullet. Warning: some science stuff ahead!!!

If you want to get in shape...diet and workout.

Diet: Average man w/ average activity needs no more than 2500 Cal/day. Someone who is sitting all the time is less than average......See where this is going?? First thing to do is change your diet so that you reduce the incoming Cal. But also change WHAT the diet is.

Have to reduce the heavy carbs except for the meals that directly proceed a workout (without a carbo load you may not be able to get through) and then you want complex carbs instead of simple ones (pastas/bread instead of choc. cake). Here is how this works..Your body wants to run on glucose. If it is around that is what all the tissues use. The only organ that HAS to use it is your brain. If it is in short supply in the blood, then the body starts freeing up the fatty acids from the fat storage (for men located in that part of your body hiding your belt buckle). Changing your diet away from simple or complex sugars (carbs) means the body not only needs to liberate the fat storage but because Fat production is increased by more carbs in the blood, you make less. This is the basis of the Atkins diet and if followed in moderation and by not eating fatty meats (ie eating lean chicken etc) will help turn you around fairly quickly.

Exercise: Activity does several things. 1) it increases the rate at which you use the energy by increasing the requiremnts for both fat and glucose (duh right) while you exercise, 2) if done correctly will increase the rate at which you use energy sitting on you butt, 3) makes you "feel" better because of release of "reward" neurotransmitters.

With increased activity you use up the availible energy containing substances in your blood and muscles. This means you have to liberate more from your fat cells to make up for the loss. However, it is how you exercise the matters. You need to occomplish 2 things: 1) use up the glycogen in your muscles so they send the signal out that they need more energy and 2) you have to do it the right way so that you use the right fuel.

You muscle stores its energy in glycogen and keeps it in the muscle. There is also glycogen in your liver. In short term needs, these are used for energy. Only after using these up do you convert to other methods of getting energy (ie braking down fat). On average this takes 20 min. So the first 20 min you are exercising does NOTHING to help reduce fat. It may help in other respects as far as inshape etc but that is it. The conversion between glycogen use and converting to useing fatty acids is what runners refer to as a "second wind."

The second thing is that the last step in using carbs as energy (ie fat, sugar) is converting oxygen to water. THere are two types of metabolism one uses oxygen the other doesn't. To liberate the fat, you need the one that uses oxygen. If you work out to the point that you are completely out of breath, then you do not have oxygen availible and you get nowhere. Instead, you need to workout where you raise you heart rate and keep it there (for most people 120-140 beats per min) but not so high that you do move into anaerobic metabolism. Generally, at this rate you can hold a limited conversation and is a good indication if you are not going to hard.

Puting this together, you need an aerobic workout (120-140) for 30-40 min at least 3x/per week. This will increase your needs and force your body to unload the fat. THis will also increase your base metabolic rate while sitting around after an extend time. This effect is increased by 20-30 min additional training where you lift weights. WHY? because resting muscle has a base tone that it maintains. Increase the amount of muscle and you increase the amount of energy required to keep all your muscles at that base tone.

With exercise you also have increased release of chemicals in your reward centers of you brain. This effect is increased by increased base metabolism. THis is why people who suffer from depression are benefited by exercise. It also explains why those who are less active are often depressed.

Other benefits include better heart function (the heart gets better at using less oxygen, increases its contraction efficiency and decreases how many times it needs to beat a min), less chance of Diabetes (adult onset is almost competely due to Insulin tolerance secondary to too much blood glucose), decreased cardiovascular Dz (from reduced fats in the blood) and increased general health (fat acts as a proinflammatory substance in the body and increases free radicals).

Smoking: Stopping this will also help a bunch overall but will hurt a little at first for your wieght loss because it is a slight surpresses you eating a little. However, doing both will greatly decrease your risk for about everything. As a matter of fact without smoking, lung cancer would almost not exist. The lowest association is 75% for the top 6 types.

Disclaimer: If you think you may have heart problems etc you should see a Dr. before doing the exercises as I had described.

To other Med/Biochem types that read this: I have over simplified this for general public discussion. To do so I have jumped over or combinded some ideas so if you see something you think is wrong it is likely due to that (although I could have made a detail error also..)

Hope that helps (My info comes from my training as an MD/PhD ....about 1 year from being done...Yea!!)

Last edited by jimmi; 01-28-2006 at 09:16 PM.
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post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-29-2006, 02:26 PM
 
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Re: Help needed on health issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demiurge
I'm about 6'2" and used to be on the wrong side of 300lbs until I did something about it. In two years I lost almost 100lbs and 10" off my waist and basically the most important thing is to discipline oneself and learn to compromise.
I'm just under 6'3" and just under 300, but if I lost 10" off my waist I would probably be dead. 6" would be ideal, but I'd be happy if I could lose 4"

Digging graves is work, and keeps you busy so it makes sense about putting on weight and smoking more as well. My advice is to just quit smoking (I know it's hard - I haven't done it yet!) and try to eat good and exercise. It's hard to eat good when all you can afford is stuff on the Mcdonald's dollar menu though!
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post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-30-2006, 09:14 AM
 
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Re: Help needed on health issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by red5
I'm just under 6'3" and just under 300, but if I lost 10" off my waist I would probably be dead. 6" would be ideal, but I'd be happy if I could lose 4"
Yeah, weight hangs differently on different people. People always would tell me that I was just a "big guy" anyway, but after the weight loss, it turned out I had a smaller frame than I thought. Then again, I could probably use some weight-lifting in my daily routine... I never thought I'd need to GAIN weight. lol
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post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-30-2006, 09:40 AM
 
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Re: Help needed on health issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmi
No magic bullet. Warning: some science stuff ahead!!!

If you want to get in shape...diet and workout.

Diet: Average man w/ average activity needs no more than 2500 Cal/day. Someone who is sitting all the time is less than average......See where this is going?? First thing to do is change your diet so that you reduce the incoming Cal. But also change WHAT the diet is.

Have to reduce the heavy carbs except for the meals that directly proceed a workout (without a carbo load you may not be able to get through) and then you want complex carbs instead of simple ones (pastas/bread instead of choc. cake). Here is how this works..Your body wants to run on glucose. If it is around that is what all the tissues use. The only organ that HAS to use it is your brain. If it is in short supply in the blood, then the body starts freeing up the fatty acids from the fat storage (for men located in that part of your body hiding your belt buckle). Changing your diet away from simple or complex sugars (carbs) means the body not only needs to liberate the fat storage but because Fat production is increased by more carbs in the blood, you make less. This is the basis of the Atkins diet and if followed in moderation and by not eating fatty meats (ie eating lean chicken etc) will help turn you around fairly quickly.

Exercise: Activity does several things. 1) it increases the rate at which you use the energy by increasing the requiremnts for both fat and glucose (duh right) while you exercise, 2) if done correctly will increase the rate at which you use energy sitting on you butt, 3) makes you "feel" better because of release of "reward" neurotransmitters.

With increased activity you use up the availible energy containing substances in your blood and muscles. This means you have to liberate more from your fat cells to make up for the loss. However, it is how you exercise the matters. You need to occomplish 2 things: 1) use up the glycogen in your muscles so they send the signal out that they need more energy and 2) you have to do it the right way so that you use the right fuel.

You muscle stores its energy in glycogen and keeps it in the muscle. There is also glycogen in your liver. In short term needs, these are used for energy. Only after using these up do you convert to other methods of getting energy (ie braking down fat). On average this takes 20 min. So the first 20 min you are exercising does NOTHING to help reduce fat. It may help in other respects as far as inshape etc but that is it. The conversion between glycogen use and converting to useing fatty acids is what runners refer to as a "second wind."

The second thing is that the last step in using carbs as energy (ie fat, sugar) is converting oxygen to water. THere are two types of metabolism one uses oxygen the other doesn't. To liberate the fat, you need the one that uses oxygen. If you work out to the point that you are completely out of breath, then you do not have oxygen availible and you get nowhere. Instead, you need to workout where you raise you heart rate and keep it there (for most people 120-140 beats per min) but not so high that you do move into anaerobic metabolism. Generally, at this rate you can hold a limited conversation and is a good indication if you are not going to hard.

Puting this together, you need an aerobic workout (120-140) for 30-40 min at least 3x/per week. This will increase your needs and force your body to unload the fat. THis will also increase your base metabolic rate while sitting around after an extend time. This effect is increased by 20-30 min additional training where you lift weights. WHY? because resting muscle has a base tone that it maintains. Increase the amount of muscle and you increase the amount of energy required to keep all your muscles at that base tone.

With exercise you also have increased release of chemicals in your reward centers of you brain. This effect is increased by increased base metabolism. THis is why people who suffer from depression are benefited by exercise. It also explains why those who are less active are often depressed.

Other benefits include better heart function (the heart gets better at using less oxygen, increases its contraction efficiency and decreases how many times it needs to beat a min), less chance of Diabetes (adult onset is almost competely due to Insulin tolerance secondary to too much blood glucose), decreased cardiovascular Dz (from reduced fats in the blood) and increased general health (fat acts as a proinflammatory substance in the body and increases free radicals).

Smoking: Stopping this will also help a bunch overall but will hurt a little at first for your wieght loss because it is a slight surpresses you eating a little. However, doing both will greatly decrease your risk for about everything. As a matter of fact without smoking, lung cancer would almost not exist. The lowest association is 75% for the top 6 types.

Disclaimer: If you think you may have heart problems etc you should see a Dr. before doing the exercises as I had described.

To other Med/Biochem types that read this: I have over simplified this for general public discussion. To do so I have jumped over or combinded some ideas so if you see something you think is wrong it is likely due to that (although I could have made a detail error also..)

Hope that helps (My info comes from my training as an MD/PhD ....about 1 year from being done...Yea!!)
Wow - now that's what I call an in-depth explanation
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post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-30-2006, 11:06 AM
 
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Re: Help needed on health issues

You know what guys, I really love you! I could always ask you about anything and there's always at least one person who will tell me the most important things. So thank you for being here

anyway, I could advice buying Men's Health magazine. They actually write the same stuff in circle but that won't be important if you haven't read them already. It always motivates me to work. And they do provide some good exercise/diet plans.
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post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-30-2006, 09:22 PM
 
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Re: Help needed on health issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Demiurge
Yeah, weight hangs differently on different people. People always would tell me that I was just a "big guy" anyway, but after the weight loss, it turned out I had a smaller frame than I thought. Then again, I could probably use some weight-lifting in my daily routine... I never thought I'd need to GAIN weight. lol
I'd kill to be in your boat man. Eat pizza everyday until you gain the appropriate weight

I could still lose 100 pounds though, just not the 10" :/
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post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-30-2006, 09:25 PM
 
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Re: Help needed on health issues

The grave digging would have worked so much of the food off, and and help keep you fit, get another job, i know its not that easy, but hey, dunno, just keep rocking
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post #11 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-30-2006, 09:31 PM
 
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Re: Help needed on health issues

there was a studie on this on cnn not to long ago.
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post #12 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Help needed on health issues

Thanks guys for the replys. I never thought that I would get a answer from a MD/PhD (or at least one who studies it). And Demiurge, looks like you know a little bit about what I'm talking about. Thanks for the great advice, from here on I'll pack my own luch at home (just need to get myself one of those mobile refrigerators).

Like I said I've been away for a few days so I haven't been able to answer.

Quitting smoking was something that I thought that I would never want to do. I even think that I've posted on jemsite on how much I like to smoke and would never quit. But during the last year everything has changed. Every morning when I get up I can hardly breath and I get tired almost instatly.

But if I really put my mind to it I have to be able to quit, right? Tomorrow I'll quit, ok? I'll let you guys know how it goes...

I need to start a new life basically. And that is what I'll try to do. Right now, I'm going out for a walk, that's a good start I hope.
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post #13 of 55 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 10:57 PM
 
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Re: Help needed on health issues

Oh good luck dude. I couldn't drive quitting - I get so roadraged and lose sense of where my car is quite easily! :<
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post #14 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-01-2006, 07:57 AM
 
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Re: Help needed on health issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Lyndgohrd
But if I really put my mind to it I have to be able to quit, right? Tomorrow I'll quit, ok? I'll let you guys know how it goes...

I need to start a new life basically. And that is what I'll try to do. Right now, I'm going out for a walk, that's a good start I hope.
You're going cold turkey on the cigarettes? Best of luck to you - if there is a will, there is a way!

I'll chip in - first off, you've taken the most important step: deciding to stop smoking. The next steps would be to accomodate oneself to physical excercise and to change your dinner-habits. Now, I know you've got a very busy working schedule, but if you can find any advice that'd fit into your daily routine, try to go for it.
As far as excercise goes - if you can find yourself some time where you're not totally exhausted: go for a jog. That's the best form of general excercise I know. It's tiring, yet revitalising at the same time, and as soon as you get into it, it's even contemplative.
The trick to start excercising is to be consistent. Make a deal with yourself that you'll go jogging 3 times a week (and I do mean a proper run, atleast 2km). Start out doing it in your own pace - and don't be deterred if you think your stamina is bad. When I started jogging this summer, I felt a difference already after two weeks. If you're consistent, you'll be flabbergasted of how fast you'll shape up. And as time goes on, you become addicted to it (I kid you not) as it becomes a part of your daily routine, and also as it becomes a source of meditation (like I said before. Jogging gives you time to think).
As far as food goes: GO COLD TURKEY ON THE SUGAR AS WELL. And start eating selleri - apart from the great taste, it contains negative energy. Negative energy is when it takes more energy to chew and process the food than the food itself contains. If you absolutely want something to go with it, dip it in yoghurt. I eat it regularly at home for the sake of taste.

Anyway, the hardest part is getting started - after that, it's a cakewalk.
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post #15 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-01-2006, 08:31 PM
 
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Re: Help needed on health issues

Remember that no job pays enough that it is worth taking years off your life. The important part is that you realize you need to change to be healthy. I quit smoking (a few years ago), and the one thing i noticed was that the people who pulled it off never saw themselves as smoking forever, and the ones who didn't "never thought about it." (I'm sure there is a thesis somewhere here...) Best of luck to you! And congrats to jimmi on almost being finished!
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