Disclaimer: The truth about us is... the authors are not medical professionals (we don't even play doctors on TV). They are merely experienced guys who have done some living and some research for their own reasons, and are passing on some hard-earned practical observations and advice. If it sounds odd, do some more research elsewhere. Come back and tell us what you find. If it sounds too good to be true, well it probably is.
We think a lot of good stuff comes out of orthodox medical research and methods, but we don't always think that medical/pharmaceutical is the best approach to every little glitch and complaint. We have a soft spot for chiropractors, especially preventive chiropractic, physiotherapists, real massage therapists, and some herbalists. We think acupuncture is mostly placebo, and we think homeopathy is absolute, distilled essence of bunk.
We are not sure what to think about Ayurveda, but only reading about it, not using it so far. We are smart and well read (that's not bragging - you're smart too, or you wouldn't be reading this, right?) and we appreciate good science ahead of good anecdotes.
But we'll go where our curiosity and interests take us... with a skeptical eye. You are invited along. Be wary. But take thoughtful action. You aren't getting any younger.
One of our number is late-fifties (this said "mid-fifties" just a few years ago, dammit), about six feet tall (1.83 meters) and around Christmas 2008 he scared himself (more than usual) by climbing on the scale and watching it zoom to 246 pounds - divide by 14-ish to get "stone" if you are Brit; divide by 2.2 to get kilograms, if you are anybody but American. Regardless of the measuring system, that was a horrifying number.
He didn't make any tacky New Years resolutions, but he did, finally start doing something about the flab. He lost a few pounds, but it was a bit aimless. To bolster his will-power, he invited some competition. A gang at the office had had a "weight-loss challenge" the previous Fall, and so he invited the losers and any other /s/u/c/k/e/r/s/ ... er... takers to try again.
They agreed on a target of 7-percent of weigh-in body-weight, to be verified three months after the start. Everybody would bring 100 dollars to the weigh-out, and anybody who had failed to hit his number would toss the hundred into the pot, to be divided among the winners.
You-know-who started the challenge at 240.6 pounds with a 3-month weigh-out target of 223. About halfway through the three months, our hero realized that he wasn't likely to succeed. He really didn't want to watch somebody else gloating over his hundred bucks. So, in desperation, he resurrected something he hadn't touched in many years - his copies of the Atkins (low-carb) diet books.
To make a long story longer, about 5 weeks later he made his number with a few pounds to spare, with a reading of 219. Shortly after, he took a week off (can you say "pig-out"?) to coincide with his wife's birthday - you HAVE to eat cake on your wife's birthday, especially if you're the one making the cake (chocolate, with chocolate-mint icing between the layers, and fluffy white (mint-infused) boiled frosting all over the exterior. We also had a few carb-alicious meals out, and various other sins-of-the-bakery during that week.
Having gained back 5 pounds, your correspondent went back on the low-carb wagon and has since seen 212, aiming for "somewhere below 200".
The remaining loss will be a little slower, because he's not forbidding himself to exercise - another challenge member had screwed himself by working-out vigorously during the challenge, only to discover that he was in vastly better shape at the end of the challenge, but... muscle weighed more than fat and he failed to achieve his number. That's the disadvantage of a purely weight-based numerical challenge.
Now that the challenge is over, anybody who's still working at losing fat can afford to let some muscle appear - which it does, almost without effort on a low-carb diet.
Further reports will follow.
Your reporter is already feeling better, sleeping better, running better (well, jogging/shuffling), and deciding which of his several-years old not-so-fat clothes can be resumed (and which are hopelessly dated). His blood pressure is down, and his triglyceride numbers are better. Woohoo!
Another twenty pounds or so, and he'll be ready to rejoin his favorite sport, that he drifted away from a decade ago (having gotten too fat) - skydiving. Yep, he'll be one of the old duffers at the dropzone, but hey.... better a weekend duffer skydiver than not a skydiver at all. He probably won't resume instructing, though. Too much like work. Besides, being ten years out of practice, he'll be the one needing refreshing and coaching.
Well, all his life, he's had a tremendous overbite. He never paid it much attention (too poor as a child, relatively unconcerned later on). But a few years ago, the dentist announced that he was about to lose all his lower front teeth, because his overbite had worn their fronts off (right down to the dentin). YOW! No wonder the "Sensodyne for sensitive teeth" wasn't working any more.
So, he's undertaken a multi-year program of orthodontics, jaw surgery, implants, etc., all in aid of having a decent set of choppers into his later middle age and elder years. It's slated to cost as much as a mid-sized family sedan. Most of it is not covered by insurance, so out-of-pocket. YOW!
[UPDATE: As of 2012, that's been "over" for a while. It worked (still wearing retainers every night), but all the plastic bits (fillings) and ceramic bits (crowns), etc. were colo[u]red to fit in with his remaining real teeth, which were colo[u]red by years and years of green tea and dark chocolate... so now he can't whiten his lovely straight choppers, since whitening doesn't work on plastic and ceramic very well. You lose some, and you lose some - at least they work.]
He's been to the North Pole (with the military, so he rode most of the way in a Hercules C-130 transport and then the last few hundred miles in a helicopter and didn't have to slog it like those civilian adventurer types). Somewhere he's got a photo from the northern end of Ellesmere Island, of an arctic fox looking up fearlessly from between our guy's boots, while stealing an egg. That'd be the same fox that later stole a rasher of bacon from the camp fry-pan... sorry, no photos of that, we were laughing too hard at Pierre (the buddy who drew the short straw for breakfast duty) running after the fox [and our bacon] screaming bloody murder in two languages, and brandishing the empty fry-pan. But we digress...
Back to the bio of this website guy who was a computer tech, years ago, and then a technical writer for the past couple of decades. He's had lots of practice researching technical topics and writing them up for general consumption. This site gives him a chance to loosen up a bit. OK, it's actually years and years of pent-up snark coming out. Deal with it.
We don't know each other well enough to get into religion, yet. Politics, well... he's never met a politician or bureaucrat who could run his life better than he can run it himself, and he'd like them to stop trying. Yes, yes... small-L libertarian. Satisfied? It was probably a result of rebound from the overly authoritarian and arbitrary military life.
The other guy is still working on his bio... so he says... (probably just shy). So we can tell you that he's the more organized and disciplined, and also slimmer (so far), and much faster on a bicycle, but too chicken-shit to try skydiving (guess who wrote that part). More later.
Before you go, PLEASE be aware that by using this site you agree to our Terms and Conditions. If you think that even our Terms and Conditions haven't escaped our off-the-wall perspective and our warped sense of humo[u]r, then risk everything and click the link. You know you want to.
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Some links that we like:
We still don't get any money from any of these, but we like them anyway.
How to Boost Your Immune System
Simple, natural methods that can help you stay well and healthy
Sitting all day is killing you! Kangaroo Adjustable Height Workstations
For people with desk jobs - a workstation that lets you easily place your computer, keyboard, display(s) and "stuff" at sitting or standing height or anywhere in between.
Used and recommended by Men's Health Tips - we've had one since 2010, and we bought another one for the wife. Does what it says, no hype.
Keep your head from blowing up!Holistrol herbal hypertension remedy
Used and recommended by Men's Health Tips - we've used it since 2009. Another product that does what it says it will.
Beat yourself up... in a good wayThera Cane
Used and recommended by Men's Health Tips - we've had one for years. We use it.
Free your feet
to be the feet
your feet were
meant to be!
Used and recommended by Men's Health Tips - we've got several pair.
Relax with a classic book
This has nothing to do with MHT; we just think Project Gutenberg is a great idea.