My name is Tom, and like yourself I’m a bigger guy (6’4″) who simply loves running. Last year was a tough one and I’ve used the pain (divorce, death in family, friends not being friends anymore – happening all at once) to do all the things you’re mentioning in your blog. I’ve excluded all the things that were not in line with who I have envisioned myself to be, and I’m all into creating the best version of me.
So I’m laser-sharp-focused, my goals and vision are clear and everyday I’m moving forward at an incredible pace. During bad times I gain a bit of weight and since I’m starting to run again, I would be in awe if you can help me a bit with nutrition advices, because I would also like to speed up the results in that area.
I’m currently sitting with 248lbs (lost 11lbs in two months) but I know I can do better. My diet consists mostly of healthy fats, little bit of protein and vegetables with low glycemic index (mostly green leaf vegetables). Sugar is my only vice and from time to time I will eat something sweet just to satisfy my sweet tooth cravings. High fat diet makes sense to me, but I’d like to hear what would you recommend to speed up the fat loss.
Thank you for the motivation and for the light you are spreading,
Love and chi, Tom
Let me tell you this, and you might not “feel” what i’m saying, but when you look back in retrospect, it’ll become apparent: Isolation is a gift.
I’ll start with the “mind” part of my response. This is going to be a very long-winded response, and it probably won’t seem like it’s answering your question, but i’ll get there.
Truly, we have to get everyone else’s voice out of our head. We have to get away from all negative energy. We act in accordance with the laws that govern how the mind works and one of those laws state that we will behave in-line with the people we surround ourselves with. And if your relationships went South so-to-speak, it’s probably because they weren’t the right ones for you. I commend you on “using” it to motivate you.
We only ever have two choices in how we deal with our past experiences and either way, your past will “always” affect your current and future actions and behaviors.
Choice one is to try and ignore your past and your pain. When you do this, its like a weed growing in your mind, that will grow and grow and subtly take over who you are – at a subconscious level. It will cause you to act and behave in a certain way that is counter to the way you “logically” want to act. It will cause you to “eat sugar” and do things to try and get a neurologic-high, when you feel low. It’s like music always playing in the background, and the more you ignore it, the louder it gets and the more invasive it becomes – negatively. It is degenerative.
Choice two is to acknowledge everything you’ve been through. Catalog it in your mind. Write it down on paper to let your mind know you aren’t ignoring it. Go into it and try to find what the issues are. Be very truthful and real about this. Try to figure out the reasons behind your relationships having the outcome they do. Try to find your “pattern”. Your pattern has been there for a very long time. It’s who you are. Part of your pattern is based on your genetics. Your genetics create a scope or if you can imagine a coloring book, your genetics are the perimeter or outline of the picture. It represents who you are and the boundaries of what you’re capable of. The rest of who you are is based on how you color the object in. Its up to you which colors you use or if you color a section at all.
Choice two is about “using” your past and your pain. Converting whatever feelings you have about your past experiences into “FUEL”. The biggest caveat to this is that you MUST have a purpose or a vision – you must have a destination. Otherwise you’ll have all this energy and no place to go. Like a ship out at sea, traveling in circles over and over again with no destination. You’ll burn yourself out. But with purpose and an eternal tank of fuel, you’ll be able to move mountains. The cure for the pain is in the pain.
Choice one is – your pain controls you. Choice two is – you acknowledge your pain and use it to get what you really want out of life.
If you can look at your past this way, not as a failure or a bunch of losses, but as the tuition you had to pay to get where you’re at now (and appreciate where you are at now), that change of perspective will be immensely empowering.
Now the “diet” part of my response:
Let yourself have some sugar. Know that life is about crests and troughs, high-points and low-points. Know that losing is inevitable, but it isn’t about the loss or even how many times you lose, it’s about your ability to get back up as quickly as possibly. Become efficient at re-stabilizing yourself. When this happens, you no longer succumb to one step forward and two steps back. You start taking two steps forward and maybe one step back. You make progress. But you have to give yourself a break. Don’t judge yourself in a good vs evil paradigm. We are who you are. We don’t need to make excuses to anyone. We are all fallible and we will all make mistakes often.
What works for you and your body doesn’t have as much to do with your size as it does your hormonal make-up and aspects of your physiology. Example: I could tell you that nuts are the best way to diet and you should eat nothing but nuts but if you’re allergic to nuts – you’re dead after the first nut. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because you physically look like someone, the laws that govern your body are the same. You have to experiment to see what works for you. Try different kinds of diets and see what keeps your “mental and emotion” state the most stable, while still giving consistent energy levels.
In the end, diet is about physically feeling good, having continuous energy all day long, hedging against inflammation and keeping as consistent an emotional-state as possible. That’s what you’re aiming for over and above any effect it will have on you physically. The physical effect will happen automatically. i.e. When you’re happy and feel good and have tons of energy, your body will reflect this and change automatically.
I personally like a no-caffeine (no stimulants), “no-added-sugar”, anti-inflammation (google it), vegan, high-vegetable, moderate fat, no artificial sweeteners diet. Very important: I will “cycle” this on and off with a lean meats diet from week to week or month to month. I also highly recommend fasting (water only) for at least 24 hours once a week. Fasting helps reset my mind. It really helps if I ate a bunch of sugar or ate poorly because my emotions got the best of me. It cleans out my body and re-focuses my mind. It allows me to recalibrate.
One of the best remarks I ever heard was out on a trail in the middle of nowhere during a 100k ultramarathon. I was in extreme pain, feeling alone and didn’t think I could go any further. Another runner came by me in the dead of the night. We talked. I told him how I was feeling. He turned to me and said: “Make friends with your pain and you will never be alone.” It changed my entire world. I finished the race.
Lastly, what burns fat the best for bigger guys?
Ironman training. Cross-Training. Brick workouts (Bike then run in the same session. Swim then bike. Swim then run.) This will burn fat more efficiently than any other kind of training. And the bigger you are, the laws of physics kick in (f=ma), i.e. the more profound the effect.
Hope this helps.
Disclaimer: I always change the personal information and redact certain identifying information for anyone who messages me. I post these conversations to help others who have similar problems and who may benefit from the discussion. If nothing else, people in similar situations will know that they are not alone. My responses are my opinion only. I am giving my opinion because I was asked to.