Why writing this ?
I wanted to write about healthy stuff since a long time. But I always struggled: how should I write it ? what would be the content ? should I write using a scientific approach or can I make some jokes ? I tried to write it several times but failed to complete the project.
Since I arrived in the USA in 2012, several friends or colleagues asked me how I lost my weight and stay active. As usual, I give advice by e-mail or during discussion. But I figured out that I ended up by writing the same e-mail all the time and it would make sense to have these informations summarizes in a document that everybody can read.
Then, the type of document and the form of distribution seems to be simple and straightforward: I did not request any money to send some advices by e-mail or when I discussed with people and I am pleased to discuss whenever people comes to me. So, it does not make any sense to try to make money out of this effort. A creative common license would be the best: people can read my advice and I can just protect what I wrote.
Finally, I think this is the best time to write it. It makes 5 years that I started to change the way I used to live, including diet or exercise patterns and more than 3 years that my weight is stable and does not change significantly. I feel I reached a point where I know how to keep this healthy way of life and have sufficient background and feedback about the different methods and approaches for the different aspects. Nutrition, exercise, health and medical care are fascinating domains but unfortunately, there are a lot of dogma and this is difficult to make our own opinion.
This writing does not aim at giving the best way to live healthy and be in shape. It is more a feedback about somebody that decided to change his way of life, did it and maintain it over the years. No revolution, no secret. Just an analysis of scientific data, published existing facts and a little of common sense.
Format & License
This writing is published under the Creative Commons License. You can distribute it, share it, print it. But you cannot make money out of it. The main purpose is to allow a free distribution to all potential interested parties. For those who ask why I am doing this, the answer is pretty basic: we all have to learn from others and have to teach to others. I learned a lot while reading scientific articles, understanding our metabolism/the different diets and I had warm welcomes from many fitness club and runner communities. So, this is just a way to be thankful to this community and just a fair return of what I got. Also, I think it can be worth and useful to share the lessons learned and a feedback. If at least one reader can get some good information out of this, it means the effort would be useful ! So, hope you will enjoy it !
About the author
The initial author considered to change its diet some years ago when he was 25 years old. At that time, he was obese (130Kg – 286 pounds – for 1m90 – 6.3 feet) and have a heart rate of 100 at rest. He decided to change his life style and started by the diet: doing sport was impossible because he was not used to that and it would put too much stress on the bones and joints. But he walked. He walked, walked and walked. Working in Paris at that time, he dropped his public transportation card and walked in the city to get everywhere. Then, just by walking and changing the diet (almost no sugar, mostly protein-based diet, etc.) he lost dropped 40 Kg (89 pounds) in about 6 months. This was obviously way too much and the body was really tired of this loss and have difficulty to recover (flat skin, etc.). In addition, loosing so much weight require to eat few – very few and that sometimes create issues and we do not feel ok (headaches, etc.).
Next step is to exercise. He started running a little bit. As for everybody, it started with a small run, 2k or 3k and after 10 minutes, thought it sounds like a marathon. But he kept going and train more and after 3 months, was able to run 10K during his training runs. He continues and run every two days while maintaining the diet and so, lost again a significant amount of weight. He also vary the exercise and start exercising (with other activities such as swimming, weight lifting, etc.) one hour per day while maintaining diet restrictions. It creates more issues, including heart troubles (the heart rate becoming irregular, etc.) and still some headaches. Also, exercising became an obsession so that it had a higher priority than social events. It was an addiction and weight loss has to continue, no matter what.
After 18 months (1 year and a half), his weight was 59 Kg (130 pounds) still for 1m90 (almost 6.3 feet). It was way too little and makes the body looks like a skeleton. So, the big was then to regain some weight and avoid fat. But as exercise was an addiction, the goal was to gain weight while exercising.
So, it was a way to discover how to feed the body not only with a quantitative approach (number of calories you take by eating and spend by exercising) but rather with a qualitative approach (what type of exercise will help you to build muscles and what type of food will help you to grow your muscles). Years after years, it was better but because the exercise consumes a lot, it is difficult to take a significant amount of weight quickly. Also, the body was no longer used to process fatty meals which create sometimes issues (stomach haches, etc.). After some year, the weight get better and stayed almost around 75 Kg (almost 165 pounds).
Exercise is still a daily habit but no longer a real obsession. This is here to maintain the overall stamina and health. Also, by joigning a club, running also became a social activity for sharing dinner and having parties with other folks. It was also an opportunity to see people being better at running and not so picky about their diet. Also, skipping a day is no longer a big deal and will not lead to a crisis and social events are more important that hitting the gym. However, maintaining both healthy eating and exercise is really important and has a huge impact on all aspects of a life, including work and social relation.