Is there such a thing as an Ideal Weight?

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
1,662
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#1
Yes, I'm back on the wagon again and working hard at getting my fat ass into shape.
A few years ago I was at 136Kg/300lbs, a year ago I got down to 108Kg/238lbs. My wife was very sick, I was working both of our jobs and taking care of her, yes I've got lots of excuses. A couple of weeks ago I was 127Kg/280lbs and today I'm 124Kg/273lbs, so I'm moving in the right direction. I use a website and app called My Fitness Pal and I log everything I eat. I'm mostly off of wheat, and I'm trying to move a lot more. I can't cycle at the moment as I hurt my back and while its healing I cannot stand to ride the bike, so I'm walking.
I want to get into good shape, healthy be able to do most things I want to do, I'm not interested in slabbing on a bunch of muscle, I did that in my 20's and I have no need to do it now. I want to be lean and healthy, hows that? I don't think I want to be super racing cyclist lean, that may very well be a bridge too far.

OK enough background?

My question is what should I weigh? I'm a 49 year old guy, I'm 180cm\6' tall, is there an ideal weight for me?

When I came to Japan 23+ years ago I was at 84 Kg, I was not exactly lean and I was carrying more upper body muscle, can we say bench press. I think I should be able to hit 80Kg/175lbs or there about. My problem is that my wife and a few other friends that I talk to do NOT think it's possible,they tell me that I should be happy with just getting near 100Kg/220lbs, that I'm not as young as I once was etc.

Is this an impossible long term goal?

What would you all say is a good weight for a 49 year old guy who is lets say an active cyclist, not someone in training or racing trim, but someone who can do long days in the saddle and handle some good climbs?

I'm expecting this to take two or three years, no fast fix for me. I am hoping to be below 100Kg/220lbs by January 1st 2014

I thank you all in advance for your input.
Cheers!
 

j-sworks

Maximum Pace
Feb 5, 2012
1,199
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68
Tokyo
#2
Well your approaching it well and with the best long term goals in my opinion.

Moreover age is just a number to me, I know many guys 20 years older than me that are stronger and faster than me, and I'm stronger, leaner, and in better shape than I was in my 20's (34 next month). So what I'm trying to say is DON'T listen to the nay sayer's, just because they have resigned that's they're problem, not yours.

Academically speaking yes there is a preset weight that your body will automatically reset to, biologically and psychologically, if it is provided the correct diet and exercise, but I digress, the real question for me has always been "what am I happy with?" I mean let's face it I am the most important person ;). Seriously though its your body, your health, and your self esteem perhaps that are impacted.

You can easily google what is the ideal weight for your age, height etc, but I say choose a goal and move towards it, if you feel good then keep going until your pleased, and then maintain it.

Your clearly headed in the right direction - so keep on truckin!
 
May 22, 2007
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Kawasaki
halffastcycling.com
#3
I'm glad you're heading in the right direction, Stu. I don't know the answer to your question.

I have a more important question that you need to ask yourself, having just dealt with it myself:

How can you change your relationship with food completely and permanently so that you never again use eating too much of the wrong things as a coping mechanism when there is a crisis. (It doesn't solve the crisis, does it? It makes you ill and thus the crisis worsens.)​
My problem is that my wife and a few other friends that I talk to do NOT think it's possible, they tell me that I should be happy with just getting near 100Kg/220lbs, that I'm not as young as I once was etc.
I say that's their problem. No need for it to be yours.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,681
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Japan
#4
Stu: if you have given up wheat, does that mean you have given up beer? And other yeasty treats?
I gave up milk products after something you wrote on these boards two or three years ago and I definitely feel better for it, allergies way down.
Probably you need to work out at the moment in a regular day how much energy you expend. Plenty of resources to do that. And then it is just mind over matter to calculate your daily kcal deficit to achieve which ever results you want. I would suggest next that you cut out all liquid calories if you haven't already done so. 80% of your weight loss will come from dietary changes not exercise changes, the best exercise is active work and walking so you are definitely on course.
Getting busy; probably code for stress, so what were you putting in your mouth during that stressful period? Look at that and you'll get more ideas of where to make changes, notice changes, not cuts. Going cold turkey can just lead to bigger rebounds.
To answer your question about perfect weight I guess its at the confluence of personal happiness and health. Both are subjective but you're smart enough to know when you get there.
Oh and get a training buddy with a similar goal, even if not geographically close having the emotional sounding board and motivation will help a ton. I'll join with you if you like, maybe get to chat on Skype on of these days. HFM might be another recruit. The rest of these skinny whimps can go blow away in the next equinoxal wind for all they know about being "big".
Cheers man.
Hope your wife is doing okay!
 

StuInTokyo

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Dec 3, 2010
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#5
Thanks guys!

Mike, you are correct, my biggest problem is when I'm stressed out I stuff my face, and while I know it does not help I still do it, that is my personal demon. The best way I have found to fight this demon is to have healthy snacks on hand all the time, I have carrots, bell peppers, apples etc cut up and ready to eat with me at work. As you know I work at a liquor shop, and there are boxes and boxes of junk food that we sell here than I can just grab a bag and consume, so the temptation is there, but if I have some other good tasty healthy choices, at the very least I have that choice, then it is just up to me to make it. One thing that I don't do is eat in restaurants a lot, this is a good thing as it is very easy to over eat at a restaurant. Also I don't drink beer much at all, have not for a long time, my drink of choice, when I do drink is single malt, or vintage port to go with a good cigar, but I might consume alcohol 10 times a year, yeah really isn't that amazing when you consider where I work :eek: :D I'm not counting tastings, as we do that a lot, but you don't drink the wine there.
I have a friend on MFP, she lost 81Kg/179lbs, and she says the biggest thing by far is the diet part, and her biggest recommendation is that you have your entire day planned out on what you are going to eat. She works in an office, so she packs a lunch, and her morning and afternoon snacks too. She knows when she heads out the door exactly what she will eat for lunch and she even has dinner planned, I guess it is the old "You got to have a plan" deal. If your choices are pre-made, it makes it that much more difficult to make the wrong choice.

I've been using an app with my iPhone called Moves, it is kind of a glorified pedometer, and it works fairly well, but I've also ordered a FitBit One, a lot of people who have lost a LOT of weight on MFP say it was a big help and motivator in staying on track. I has feed back, it shows your target calories for the day as you go along, if you are mostly not moving the calories will go down, if you are active they go up. I know that losing fat comes down to basic math, calories in to calories out, that is the real bottom line. Yes some foods are better than others, but as the Twinkie Diet shows it really is all math in the end, so having a real handle on how many calories you actually burn each day I think, is important. When I was in high school I had a buddy that ate twice as much as me, and he ate junk, sweets and candy bars, if I sat beside him I seemed to gain weight, but this guy, no way, he was just a ball of energy and could not gain a pound to save his life. I once saw him eat two large pizzas in one sitting on a bet, no one else I knew, including myself could have finished just one, he inhaled two, but he never gained weight. When he hit forty, he got really fat in about two years and had to completely change his eating habits.

Well I've rambled on enough, more work to do.
Cheers!
 

snoogly

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Oct 14, 2007
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Machida, Tokyo
#6
I think there are 'invisible' barriers to break through on your way down - and they are the weights that were relatively stable for long periods in the past.

When I came to Japan I was 69kg, then I learned how to cook and it krept up to 76. It was stable at 76 for years, until I got married, ..... then it steadily rose to a horrible high (considering my height) of 84.5. That's when I got into cycling, (oh, I divorced around the same time ...) and it quickly went down to 76, but then no matter what I did, it hovered between 77.5 and 78.5 for a few years. I recently buggered my back, and after a few weeks of a very restrictive diet my weight refused to drop below 77. Somehow my body refused to break through the weight it had been happy to be at for several years. But a few days ago I slipped below 77 for the first time since I had pneumonia 6 years ago!

That's a very unscientific summary of my experience, but I do believe that (like the stock exchange) our bodies have invisible levels of 'support' at certain weights, which have to steadily beaten down ....
 

microcord

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Aug 28, 2012
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Tokyo
#7
A good thing about a meal (or anyway many kinds of meal) is that you can see it there on the plate in front of you. There it is. You can, if you wish, compare its volume to that of what you ate the day before. And you can consciously decide whether or not to have a second helping.

That's a contrast to snacks, when you're pouring yourself uncounted palmfuls of stuff. Your current snacks sound good, but I wonder whether the nature of your snacks might drift.

How about "For three meals a day, I'm going to eat carefully and a bit frugally, yet well. Between meals, nothing."

(A different matter, of course, during walks or long bike trips, once you get back to these.)

NB I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm just guessing.
 

joewein

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Oct 25, 2011
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#8
According to statistical averages in a study in the US, people with a BMI in the 20-24.9 range have the lowest mortality. For someone 180 cm tall as you, that BMI range corresponds to 65-80 kg of body weight. Below that range and especially above that range, mortality is higher.

I have never gained as much as weight as you have, but since getting my first car I didn't really become physically active again until I was over 50. I am now as light as I was in 1983, with a BMI right in the middle of the above range and feel great.

Don't let anybody tell you that you are too old to aim for the best health. You don't know what you're capable of until you've tried it :)
 
Dec 17, 2011
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kanazawa
#9
Stu, mate, I wish you the best.

As said on the recent HFM thread, it's a change of old habits. The magic day when you'll be able to say the diet is over will never come, so make the changes in a pace you're comfortable with. I'm glad to see that you're taking steps to at least identify your daily caloric needs, it's the first and a very important step in your endeavor.

Another thing that I think you struck gold is the part with the planning-ahead of your meals. Knowing that you have the full day scheduled and prepared ahead of time will actually save you a lot of stress and anxiety. Even if you don't always have the time to do it, you should definitely try to do so.

Finally, although I do not think that giving up completely on the carbs is the correct answer, greatly reducing them is. Substitute them for veggies, and tons of them. Cheers!
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#10
No point pussy footing around the matter. If you want to lose weight you are going to have to man up.

I can help you, but you need to do everything I tell you to do for a month. If you do what I say, you will lose 20kg easy.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
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#13
I'm off a couple kg from my early March high, but Stu, I don't envy your position at all. Good luck!

One tactic I'd suggest is only eating what you cook, but with your work/schedule that may not be possible.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
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#14
You could try regular exercise, as in up at 5am, 1 banana, hit the palace for 60 minutes. Banana or two after, a rice ball or two as the day progresses but don't overeat.

Do that everyday and in a few months you'll be thin. Takes willpower or a genuine love of riding.
 
Likes: OwenJames
Sep 2, 2009
5
0
0
#15
According to this chart, StuInTokyo you are well into the obese range.

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I would not even consider taking it slowly and setting yourself a goal of an easy couple of years to lose weight, especially as you are 49. You are not 'old', not saying that, but your risk of seriously bad diabetes, heart disease, heart attack etc., increases as you get older, and shoving obesity into the mix is going to send that risk sky high. You need to lose a lot, and you need to do it right now.

Have you had your blood work done recently to check for LDL, HbA1c%, Fasting Glucose, AST/ALT levels, etc? Also, what is your blood pressure like?

Looking at the chart, you need to lose around 63lbs/28kg to even get yourself into the 'safe' Overweight range.

The only way you are going to do this, is to have a stern word with yourself in the mirror, stop eating rubbish all day, and start kicking yourself into shape. Only way.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,681
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103
Japan
#16
I would not even consider taking it slowly and setting yourself a goal of an easy couple of years to lose weight, especially as you are 49.

The only way you are going to do this, is to have a stern word with yourself in the mirror, stop eating rubbish all day, and start kicking yourself into shape. Only way.
like I said "run like hell in the other direction Stu"

Jeez Owen, try typing with your other personality, you know the nice tactful one that engages in making friends not enemies. Honey versus pooh and all that.
 

microcord

Maximum Pace
Aug 28, 2012
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Tokyo
#17
(A) "I have carrots, bell peppers, apples etc cut up and ready to eat with me at work" doesn't sound to me like (B) "eating rubbish all day". Let's consider the man, not a caricature of the man. Also, it's salutary to skimread the list of hits one gets after googling the three words crash diet death.

Start quickly, be firm, but be sensible.
 
Oct 15, 2010
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#18
Might be worth a watch.
I sent some other stuff through FB. Good luck with it! I was 120kgs throughout high school and know what it is like to be caught in the vicious cycle that is eating too much.
 

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
1,662
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#19
Owen, thanks for the offer. I know I'm obese. On my scale it does the weight and the percentage of fat, it is 44% right now, sickening eh?

I had a complete check up in January, all of my blood work was good, they were surprised, and my blood pressure was also good, again the doctor was surprised, he checked it twice. I get a decent check up every three months, because of the skin cancer thing.

I know I've got to lose a lot, and I figure I can lose a lot fairly quickly, but to get to the 80Kg goal will not come quickly, that may take two years, (remember excess skin!) but to get to say 100 Kg, that should be doable this year.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#20
like I said "run like hell in the other direction Stu"

Jeez Owen, try typing with your other personality, you know the nice tactful one that engages in making friends not enemies. Honey versus pooh and all that.
"Thanks for being all cuddly and gentle with me, and giving me vague platitudes in place of firm instructions. I was able to lose all the weight I needed in record time, while still eating whatever I wanted"

Said nobody ever.

What exercise did you do yesterday, what did you eat, and how much weight have you dropped this morning, Stu?
 
Likes: Tachikawa