Thursday, February 25, 2010

High School, College and Diabetes

Today's weight: 272.8 lbs, 111 lbs. lost total, 32.8 to go!

If overeating and imbalance were the downfall of my health as a younger kid, just about every other bad eating habit I picked up in my high school and college years.  If I had to give a chronology, I'd say high school was where I started eating poorly and snacking between meals, and when I got to college, that's when I started eating at all the wrong times and overeating bad foods all at the same time.

Eating on my own the majority of the time, alongside other adolescents who similarly knew little about nutrition but perhaps had a cooperating metabolism, pizza and fries were my lunch nearly every day in my high school's cafeteria, sporadically supplementing my pizza with a salad covered in Ranch dressing.

I've never been really drawn to sweets or soda, but that's the only area which didn't give me trouble.  In addition to essentially devoting that one meal per day to empty carbohydrates almost exclusively, I developed a pretty terrible habit of between-meal snacking, mostly things like saturated fats and simple carbs---breads, cheeses, salt-filled foods.

By my junior year of high school, I had reached 6'5" tall, but I had also grown to a full 328 lbs.  I often felt fatigued and hungry, and though I was not what you might call a "couch potato," and in fact was relatively active (though not exercising consistently), I felt lethargic and weak.  In subsequent doctor visits, I was diagnosed with symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes.  With the help of my family, I was able to slow down the symptoms, and actually slow down the weight gain by changing my diet.

However, while the changes I made were certainly helpful, maintaining my weight for several years before getting to college, what I still lacked was a concrete understanding of how food affected my body, so in a sense I was still flying blind.

After a year and a half of college, eating what my classmates were eating, late-night pizza often and overeating in the cafeteria, I reached my low point, weighing in at 383 lbs. during my sophomore year.  I had gotten to a point where it was clear to me that continuing to live this way would mean my life was getting shorter and shorter every day.

Next post:  The Breaking Point


  1. Congrats Dan. Can you tell me how much if any cardio and weight room work you have done?

  2. Thanks for the comment! After I finish my last background post, I'm going to start posting about my lifestyle changes, and I'll go into detail about the things that I've done, and explain what has shown the most results, and what hasn't...

    That being said, I'll give you the short answer now...I do both, a very simple routine of cardio and weight lifting.

    It's about half-and-half, you need 20-30 minutes of cardio each time you work out to burn fat, the longer you can go, at a medium intensity, the more fat you'll burn, but 20-30 mins. is a great place to start.

    I alternate muscle groups in the weight room, I do use machines almost exclusively at this weight training is something I'll be documenting on the go, as it's something I'm learning more and more about. But what I do now is alternating days of muscle groups (chest/arms/back, legs, abs) about 150 reps total spread across five or so different machines each time (30 reps per exercise)...that puts me in about a 45-60 minute workout.

    More details to come, please ask any other questions you have, keep reading! It really encourages me to have feedback, I'm doing this specifically to help people learn what I wish I would have learned 10 years ago when I was in my early teens!

  3. You just detailed my HS/college life perfectly! I just recently started to really become aware of the number of calories I was eating per day. I have this apprehension about going to the "gym" so the last two weeks I've just cut the food, beer mostly and ready feel less "bloated". We're at about the same weight now, so you'll be a source of inspiration for me!

    By the way, GO BLUE!


  4. Oh man, Chris, your progress already sounds great, but trust me, that's just the tip of the can feel more and more AMAZING! Congrats on what you've already done, the discipline is the biggest part of the battle, keep it up!

    Keep me updated on your progress, and keep reading! Hopefully what I share after this resounds with you too...a lot of us are just so undereducated on food and how it affects us, half the battle is just figuring that out! If you have questions, ask away!

    GO BLUE!