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Thread: The Biggest Quad Loser?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Zeus's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    Sydney, Australia

    The Biggest Quad Loser?

    After my SCI at age 7 (C5/C6 complete quad) one thing has been true of my life - I have constantly struggled with my weight. I used to play rugby and soccer for my school on top of my normal energetic 7-year-old self. Unfortunately post-SCI I continued to eat like an able-bodied and it showed.

    Fast forward to my 20s and the result of my growth, my weight and two large operations to correct my scoliosis was quite severe sleep apnea. It went undiagnosed for years and this only exacerbated my weight as I ate to fight off my dwindling energy and my body's metabolism got slower and slower.

    In July of 2004 I had a sleep study which revealed the severity of my sleep apnea. 129 apneas an hour! I was told I was on the verge of respiratory collapse. I had a CPAP machine within a month and my life has never been the same. At this time my weight had peaked at a whopping 118 kgs (260 lbs). To give you some perspective I am 175 cms (5 ft 9 in) tall and have very little muscle bulk below the nipple line.

    In the first 3 months, without even trying, I lost 6 kgs (13 lbs). I stupidly expected this to continue, but of course it didn't. Around Christmas 2004 I made a decision - I'm sick of being a fat man. I find loving my body as a complete quad hard enough. As an overweight complete quad I truly loathed my body which is a large part of why I never used to 'put myself out there'.

    Here was the plan.

    For starters I would target around 1000 calories per day. When my mother joined a weight-loss program they put her on a 1200 calorie program - and she's able-bodied! To achieve a caloric intake of 1000 I only eat twice a day.

    At breakfast I eat either: a large bowl of bran/wheat cereal with low-fat milk; or a low-fat fruit yoghurt (this is great if you have a sweet tooth). Then I have a combined lunch/dinner at around 4 or 5 pm. This is a big meal! I eat pretty much anything but I avoid high-carb food-stuffs like bread, pasta, rice and potato. For example, I will have a huge plate of vegetables with a lean steak or a massive Greek salad with a large grilled chicken breast fillet. In recent months I'm discovering a love for fish (you gotta try swordfish and flounder!) and legumes. Baked beans, lentil soup and chick-pea salad - it's like I'm back in a Greek village circa WWII! If I'm out and want a fast-food meal I HIGHLY recommend Subway or similar.

    If I must snack I prefer nuts or a piece of fruit. Nobody's perfect, so there will be days you eat cake, chocolate, etc. But I really try to stick to the goal of 1000 calories a day. The one thing I've totally removed from my life is soda (soft drinks). The little bit of soda I do have is all diet - I'm talking an average of a can a month. I now drink water and tea with low-fat milk and artificial sweetner.

    On the exercise front I bought wrist-weights which you are supposed to use for aerobics. I started with 0.5 kg (1 lb) weights, moved up to 1 kg (2 lbs) weights and am now on 1.5 kg (3 lbs) weights. I just basically do bicep-curls for 1-2 hours every night while watching TV. Even a C5 complete quad can feel their heartbeat surge doing this. I've also started raising my wrists above my head. This is really difficult for me so I only do 5 sets of 15 reps per night. I hope to get an Uppertone later this year to focus on building some muscle.

    The results so far? In 18 months or so I've lost 35 kgs (77 lbs) - I now weigh 83 kgs (183 lbs). I hope to get down to 68 kgs (150 lbs) by Christmas 2006, and then I'll re-assess if I need to lose any more weight. Here are some before and after photos so you can all see the difference. Unfortunately I don't have any photos from my heaviest weight. I was already down to 105 kgs (231 lbs) in the before shots!

    If any others SCIs have great weight-loss stories, please share. All I can say is that if you're C5 or below and REALLY want to lose weight it is possible - if a little slow. I'm sure it's possible for higher cervical injuries too, although exercising would obviously be more of a challenge.

    WARNING: These pictures were taken au naturele for maximum effect. Even though they're tasteful, you probably don't want to open these in a library (thanks jayday9 for the heads-up!).

    Last edited by Zeus; 04-21-2006 at 08:48 PM. Reason: Forgot to add a warning!
    Have you ever seen a human heart? It looks like a fist wrapped in blood! Larry in 'Closer', a play by Partick Marber

  2. #2
    rock on spanos..........

    i have this thing i do , not a diet, but a a summer tone/cut cycle.
    im a snacker, i luv junk. i like to snack in the evenings., so what i do is beginning in february i dont snack at all sunday through thursday. nothing but water after dinner. i indulge on friday and saturday.

    along w/ that i increase my cardio from my normal 45 minute pre workout and 10 minutes post workout to 65/20. 6 days a week.
    by doing this im cutting roughly 2000k cals per week. this is good to drop a quick 10-15 pds

    i continue this until october. then then i bulk again until feb.

    what im doing is bulking in the winter cutting in the summer. i dont do it for weight loss per say but more for bulking muscle in the winter months. but it would work for straight weight loss as well.

    the key is cutting the sat fats and sugars and the additional cardio. rep
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  3. #3
    OK.......I wasn't quite ready for those pictures Chris. Your box is showing

    Well done though. I know where the weight has gone though. On my belly. I'm starting a healthy eating and exercise regime as soon as I move house next month and won't be commuting three hours a day 3/4 days a week.

    I was back in the best shape of my life just before my accident after years of booze and doritos abuse so I know how to get there foodwise. I grew to love Greek salads, pan-fried tuna steaks etc to fill myself up.
    C5/6 incomplete

    "I assume you all have guns and crack....."

  4. #4
    Way to go chris you look great. anty
    For every minute you're angry you lose a second of happiness

  5. #5
    Dude, you should have warned us!! What I want to know is who took the photos?

    Other than my smartass comments about you being a pornstar, that's pretty good going mate. I havent weighed myself since my sci but I think if anything I'm uderweight except for the quadgut; but I'm working on that and buffing up what I can - got some wee guns going on.
    Phil C6
    "If you can't explain it to me in less than 10 seconds, it's probably not worth knowing anyway..." - Calvin

  6. #6
    Chris! great going! WOW... truly unexpected, but shit, got balls!
    ummm... btw... the black box is coverin them boys up *hummppff*

    Keep us updated on progress. This is surely one of the best posts thus far on capturing in real and descriptive way how one has made changes. Very informative! (without the self-aggrandizing of many other like topics)

  7. #7
    I have always said that we all were obligated to leave our dignity at the hospital, haha. Congratulations. What I do is cut all salt and oil in the preparation of my foods. It tastes like crap at first, but then you get used to it. I lost a lot of weight in the hospital and gained it back, but seems to have stabilized. A month ago I began swimming about 250 yards per day, three or four times a week.
    T6 complete (or so I think), SCI since September 21, 2003

  8. #8
    does anyone feel hungry? i do not think i can after my SCI
    food is meant for nutrition not gratification.
    its not easy, but the idea is to have an ideal lifestyle not ideal weight.
    Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened

  9. #9
    swimming is great!
    i encourage all of you to eat well and exercise
    congrats chris from christopher
    i surfed and swam and dove much of Australia in '02
    Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened

  10. #10
    Way to go man, keep it up....A warning would've been nice though ....I'm just glad I was in my room and not in some public cyber cafe on campus...LOL...

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