So is this like ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead’?

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Over the last few weeks, I have had a number of people say to me, “Hey, is this like Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead?”  For those of you who don’t know, Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (and its sequel) document the journey of Joe Cross as he uses juicing as a catalyst to create a healthier life, inspiring others to follow his lead.  I admire Joe Cross’ journey with juicing to make his life better; I found it to be a powerful example of commitment and weight loss.  Many people found Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead inspiring and I think it is worth a watch:

The short answer to the question is no, not really.  I have set a goal to achieve, healthy and fit enough to complete an Olympic distance triathlon in 3 years time.  While the FAT Project will document my journey to health and fitness,  I have not landed on one path to achieve my goals.  I am beginning my journey in a medically supervised program using a slow and steady approach to make lasting changes.  I will take 3 years to cement lifestyle changes that I can maintain – not bad considering it took me over 30 years to build the habits that led me to put on the weight that I carry.  I am open to trying different things, maybe juicing or meal replacements, and I look forward to figuring out what works best for me.  We are all individuals so it makes sense to me that we each need to find our own way.

At my first clinic visit with the Dr. we talked about how the process of losing weight will be about 80% diet and 20% exercise, and that there are many unique factors that make up my personal situation.  I will be working with the clinic to identify what those are for me – perhaps hormonal challenges, my thyroid, sleeping issues or depression.

Another factor that I will address so that I am never obese again is to delve into the emotional issues that I carry around.  How did I get to 420 pounds?  What keeps me obese?  My father was here for Canadian Thanksgiving last week and he graciously consented to letting us film him answering the question, “Dad, why am I fat?  My dad and I had an amazing conversation for nearly 40 minutes.  I am grateful for the conversation and I think it will contribute to my long-term healing.  My partners at RoadWest Pictures and I look forward to sharing the footage with you soon.

 

Documenting Your Food

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On the two medically supervised diets I have been on previously there was a lot of focus on a food log.  Recording everything I ate or drink with guidelines provided  the by the doctor.  This work well, but it was a bit onerous.  Then Apps came along like MyFitnessPal that have made the entering of what you consume easier.

This is now my 7th day of the FAT Project and I have Instagrammed everything I have eaten:

Capture

It has been one of the greatest experiences I have ever had on a diet. Firstly, I make sure my food looks pretty good before I eat it – which enhances the whole eating experience. Second, it slows the process down for eating so I can’t just dive in, including helping me rethink choices because I just can’t shove it in my mouth.  Lastly, the whole preparation of it feels like a challenge, one that is honouring my body for what it is, with quality food that I deserve to eat.  Now this is just the first week, so we will re-assess this about a month in to see if I still feel this way.

I have had a few people ask me how they could get involved in the FAT Project for themselves.  My first suggestion os to publish everything you and drink. Try instagram, it is super easy and it is the right medium for this kind of thing.  @thefatproject will promise to follow you so at least you have some accountability to me.

I also need to give out huge thank yous to all the new followers on all the platforms, we started at nothing a week ago. We are at:

Facebook 118 Likes
Instagram 28 Followers
Twitter 25 Followers

 

What is this FAT Project? Time to give some details...

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I thought it was time to give an outline of what is going to happen over the next few years.  At the start of the Project I weighed in at 417 pounds (measured at the medical clinic) and my goal is to become fit and healthy.  I haven’t set a target but BMI suggests that is should be around 185.  To get there I have decided to train for an Olympic triathlon at the end of 3 years (2018).  My target weight loss is 1 pound a week, a pace that I feel is reasonable.

The FAT Project Goals are:

  • to document in rigorous and honest detail the journey of a 400lb+ man to better fitness and health;
  • to inspire others on a journey to better fitness -> that ‘better’ is truly attainable; and
  • to reduce the stigma of being fat, reclaim the word and debunk myths about fat people.

Aspects of the Project:

  • I am undertaking a medically supervised approach. I have partnered with a local medical clinic and plan on capturing some meetings and interviews on film.  I will be seeing a dietician, nutritionist and a doctor, with an option of exercise and physical support.
  • The FAT Project is partnered with RoadWest Pictures, a local film production company to capture the high-quality moments and opportunities that occur during the project.
  • I am working with WildPR, to promote and engage the media for project support.
  • Seeking opportunities to partner with trainers to get physically ready for the next 3 years.
  • My wife will be doing most of the menu planning and cooking.  She will post our weekly menus and may share recipes at the #fatkitchen.
  • Many friends and colleagues have offered support on different aspects of the project, I will be taking them up on opportunities for exercise, activity and fun.

My own tasks:

  • I will Eat well to promote health and weight loss.
  • I will begin exercising more frequently and train in preparation for the triathlon in 2018.
  • I will work with the doctor to find the best medically advised path to health.
  • I will photograph everything I eat until the Project is over and share the photos on Instagram, 3-6 times a day.
  • I will share videos of my progress.
  • I will share Facebook and Twitter posts highlighting special aspects of the Project on a regular basis.
  • I will update www.fatproject.ca also known as www.fat.community on a regular basis.
  • I will share my experience through speaking engagements and interviews about the Project.

It has begun, I am four day in…including Canadian Thanksgiving. I am feeling good, things are feeling easy right now as they have during previous weight loss experiences.  I look forward to the journey.

417.5 lb is where I am now… Your guide to a cool summer street look

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So where do I want to end up?  The answer is that I really don’t know.  I have never been a ‘normal’ size as an adult or really even as a child.  I have no idea what my ideal weight is.  The BMI scale suggests I should weigh 185 pounds, and this seems low to me.

My goal is to be healthy and fit, fit enough to run an Olympic distance triathlon (ie. Food Addict to Triathlete).  For fun, here is a 2 second video of me on a kayak this summer at about 420 lbs.