WHO: Jamie Cinq-Mars
CITY: Winnipeg, Man.
By The Numbers: 265 pounds at my heaviest, and currently 195, total weight loss 70 pounds
The Weight Gain: I was overweight as a kid, stayed that way until a massive growth spurt to a whopping 5’8”. I was about 190 to 195 (pounds) for as long as I can remember, but soon after that the weight piled on.
I don’t know how (aside from the obvious stuffing food into my pie hole) the weight began exactly or when, but I remember being 205, then 220 which was a longer period of time, then 240, again a longer stretch, and then over 260.
The Final Straw: I was one of those “healthy” obese people. Blessed with magical genetics I was healthy as a frickin' horse. Perfect blood pressure, no cholesterol issues, no aches and pains and played sports at the highest level that recreation can offer. I was agile and able to move. My doctor would tell me that I am doing well, that all my (tests) were good but that I should still lose weight. But where is the urgency when I am not feeling the effects? I never had the “ah-ha” moment, except to say, in 2007, I just knew I needed to make a change.
The decision came when I came across a guy named Paul. He had developed this “plan” that was NOT a diet and was about re-training our bodies to naturally help us eat properly and not over-consume. I thought that was something more like what I believed in and it just so happened that there was a four-night TV event featuring this guy's theories. I watched and took notes and thought this just might change my life.
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The Plan Of Attack: The 4 components of what I followed:
1. Eat when you are hungry (retraining to “hear” that signal to maintain metabolism)
2. Eat whatever you want (literally)
3. STOP when you are full (push that massive portion of food away)
4. Eat consciously (this requires ZERO distraction eating and chewing 30 times and putting the fork down in between)
Those four things changed my mental chemistry about food. I moved away from consumption to fuel and broke the rules about when to eat. Simply stopping the eating process when the body has had enough, which then led to cooking less to match new portion control.
The Food Element: I did not change what I was eating at the time, I ate less of it and stopped when I was full. I quickly found myself too hungry too often so I naturally shifted my eating to more healthy options to feel more full. I absolutely gave up nothing in terms of food, but changed fluids to include more water and no pop. Pop serves no purpose in the body AT ALL and that became a logical thing for me.
I also modified why I would eat foods. I am an ice-cream guy, but having ice cream just 'cause was a thing of the past, but I would have it at a family dinner or a birthday.
The Exercise Factor: I was a member of a gym already, and started going, because it was a private gym, men’s only (no women to make me feel insecure) and the men were average guys and not muscle heads. Gyms were intimidating to say the least, and still are actually.
I was very active in sports but didn’t "exercise." I lied to myself then that sports WAS exercise. It is NOT exercise, it is a sport. Exercise requires a sustained elevated heart rate for over a 20-minute period of time.
Currently I do work with a trainer and we are working on a heavier cardio plan, with weight days mixed in. I also play sports and during the summer I cycle and walk.
The Current Day-To-Day: Every day is a struggle and I am still a fat person in my mind. I have only been thinner for about four years. Food is an emotional thing for me and I battle it. I struggle because I know a number of people I have only met after the weight loss and they have no concept of me as a 265-pound man and don’t understand why I struggle. And those that have known me are quick with compliments but that isn't easy to take in either. It's a long road that very few can really grasp.
My advice? Stop lying to yourself. I CAN do it, You CAN exercise, you CAN go for that walk, you CAN stop eating foods that are destroying your body. Ignore all the people in your life that are not willing to support your health. Find someone, anyone, who will be your ally and talk with them daily, and become accountable for your actions. Write food journals and exercise journals. Lastly, think about who in your life would be devastated if something tragic happened to you because of your weight.
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