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Ski-fit for fatties

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Heading says it all, really.

For most of my adult life I've been fit, wiry, and if I'm being honest, somewhat scrawny.
I've spent years mountain biking, scrambling and doing triathlons, alongside (wo)manhandling large animals for a living. I was fit without trying.

Fast forward to five years ago.
A difficult pregnancy, a bout of sepsis followed by liver and kidney failure, and a broken foot crushed in an RTA, followed by a disabled child who spent a lot of his first couple of years on hospital, and I am no longer the woman I was (or more accurately, I'm twice the woman I was Shocked )

Ski-ing the last few years with the adrenalin seeking teenager, and I've discovered how broken I actually am.
Any tips for getting back, before I turn into an armchair ski-er who starts looking for the first Refugio at 10am?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
It sounds like you have a lot of demands on your time. I wouldn't worry about ski-specific fitness, and instead find something you enjoy doing (so you will want to keep doing it) and fits in with your schedule. Your previous regime sounds like you just had a lot of activity in your daily life, which is a great way to do it, but this can be hard with all the other things you have going on unless it's part of your work, and you have to then prioritise time to devote to your activity rather than it just happening by default.

If you enjoyed mountain biking, and have a (patient?) adrenalin-seeking teenager, could those two be combined?

Are there any friendly running groups local to you? E.g. something like parkrun.

What about starting triathlons again?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Tazz2bme, have a google for BBC workout Wednesdays, there's a couple of videos you can do at home, with minimal equipment,. Some by Rowan Cheshire, freestyle skier, and skicross Olympian Emily Sarsfield.
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Hi There.

I'm sorry to hear about all your troubles.

The fact you know what it takes to get, and then retain a decent level of fitness is a big help, as you know what it takes and are prepared to stick at it......The thing to be wary of though, is not to push too hard to start with.

Ideally, you should, if possible, find a good Personal Trainer. Tell them your goals and be guided by them.

Are you prepared to join, or have access to a Leisure facility? - If so, gentle low impact exercise like swimming, cycling, rowing, walking and cross-training (on a Cross-trainer); Plus gentle mixture of weight training/squats/lunges etc; Plus stretching; Plus Core work; Plus balance training.

If you are training at home - then it's cycling and walking. For resistance, you can get those rubber bands.

Start off with doing around 30 - 45 minutes, doing a mixture of the above - and work up from there.

How to go about this will depend very much on your current health and fitness level. Getting medical advice is always advisable.

FWIW. I went through this, but without having to deal with the weight issue. I had a disc problem that stopped me getting to the gym/skiing for 3 years, culminating in major back surgery. After the surgery, I couldn't walk for more than a couple of hundred meters and wasn't allowed to lift anything heavier than a pair of socks for a few weeks.

When I was allowed to start getting fit, it was a slow and painful process - starting with building up how far I could walk, to finally getting to a gym. My procedure was in 2013 - and I am now doing 2 Hr sessions every other day.

The secret is starting in the first place and then being consistent with the workouts - and going at a level that gets you fit, without causing further injury.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Tazz2bme, I would suggest lots of walking including some uphill, step aerobics, swimming and aquafit for starters. Plus using something like myfitness pal to monitor calorie intake.

If you don't like the idea of counting calories every day you could try the 5:2 diet or similar.

When you go skiing I would suggest staying somewhere with a jacuzzi and/or pool as I find that helps to recharge aging muscles after a days skiing.

When you go skiing if you are not at full fitness stick to reds and blues and calculate the order of skiing them based on snow conditions. Ie. if you are skiing at Easter stay high up until the end of the afternoon so you will only have to ski the heavy slushy home run once. If skiing at Christmas/New year later in the day ski the quieter runs which will get less polished so you won't have to tire yourself out digging your edges in so much. If you feel the need to ski a black with your teen ski it at lunchtime when it is quiet and the snow is soft but not too bashed up.

I would also suggest buying your own carving skis and keeping them waxed, whilst not waxing your teens skis too much Toofy Grin

Finally carry a tube of ibuleve in your pocket!
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...and diet is an important consideration. Are you able to process sugars in the way that you did when you were more active?

Michael Mosely might be worth a read.
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Thanks everyone.

Quote:

If you enjoyed mountain biking, and have a (patient?) adrenalin-seeking teenager, could those two be combined?

@kieranm patient teenager? what is this rare breed? Mine is 17 and trains about 3-4 hours a day. Ive created a monster through years of dragging him with me on various activities, and now I have no hope Mad

@old fartbag consistency is probably my biggest issue; I work long and variable hours and have 2 toddlers one of whom has quite high needs. Meh, I do know that I need to stop making excuses or looking for the 'magic fix' and just get off my back bottom wink

Quote:

I would also suggest buying your own carving skis and keeping them waxed, whilst not waxing your teens skis too much
@snowymum, I like your thinking Laughing Laughing Laughing

I think my main issue is time.
Currently, it's limited. I cycle to work (about 8 miles each way), but other than that I struggle to find time to do a great deal.
I try to walk or cycle everywhere to remain active.

Addressing diet is a big issue, as I work nights. My shifts are quite long and breaks don't always happen. I often eat whatever is there in order to get over the slump... Not sure how easy this is to address as I always eat better in my recovery week.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Tazz2bme wrote:
Addressing diet is a big issue, as I work nights. My shifts are quite long and breaks don't always happen. I often eat whatever is there in order to get over the slump... Not sure how easy this is to address as I always eat better in my recovery week.


Ding ding ding, we have a winner. If you're cycling 16 miles a day then you're probably burning plenty of calories but loading them up. I had good success losing weight with a calorie counting app (mynetdiary) even with a fairly sedantry lifestyle, certainly not close to what you're doing. I liked it as it made me think more about how I was getting my nutrition and to avoid empty calories of stuff like crisps, which aren't very filling but chock full of bad things.
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@Tazz2bme, When you cycle to work, do you really push it? Get your heart rate right up? I commute by bike to work too and I can breeze along without expending any more energy than climbing the stairs; so sometimes when I realise that I've been cycling well within myself, I throw in an unnecessary hill so that it actually is physical exercise (then regret it half way up). There's some science somewhere about sustaining a high heart rate to burn more calories - I can't remember the details but it's not that long.

Diet-wise I'd guess it's a case of making sure that whatever is there is not a highly processed carb based snack. As said above, if you could do triathlons, you can do this.
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Try intermittent fasting - Michael Mosely is a good place to start, or only eating between a set period (Midday to 8pm).
Outside of that, try only drinking tea, herbal or normal (no sugar obvs!)

Fitness wise, if the cycling isn't working, have you thought of taking a bus and finding a gym close to work and do some weight lifting instead?

"Junk Miles" a phrase I'd overheard talking about miles run for little return led to changing fitness plan to a more weight lifting focus, weight doesn't really go, but you do slim down.

Have a look at this bloke's "Bend ze kneez" specific leg blasters
http://youtube.com/v/1YM3OC4-Z1o
original link here, but US site no likey EU GDPR, so you'll need a VPN
https://www.backcountry.com/explore/train-eccentric-leg-strength-for-alpine-skiing
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Quote:

When you cycle to work, do you really push it? Get your heart rate right up?

Sometimes. Maybe less than I should. It depends what time I'm travelling as the cycle route is full of shouty dog walkers :/
It's uphill on the way there, yet I get there quicker than I get home. I simply can't do any more than coast home after 15 hours on my feet. Sometimes I can barely get my cleats on at the end of the night...
On the last night of the week, I often go home over the mountain and get some trails in.


Quote:

Outside of that, try only drinking tea, herbal or normal (no sugar obvs!)

what? no wine Laughing

It's becoming clear that fitness and exercise are less of. an issue than diet.
Clearly I need a new career. Is it too late Laughing Laughing
ski holidays
 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
The biggest problem is fitting something new into a well established or packed routine. Making some time somewhere is key.
One advantage of fasting or missing a meal a day is it gives you an extra half hour.

Yeah... catering packs of tea are my friend! Very Happy

The morale value of red wine outweighs the downsides and it is more slimming than white!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Quote:

The biggest problem is fitting something new into a well established or packed routine. Making some time somewhere is key.
One advantage of fasting or missing a meal a day is it gives you an extra half hour.

Easy enough on my recovery week, but during my working week I am only home for about 7 hours between shifts. I shower, feed the baby, sleep and leave for work. I eat what I can on shift, so if it's frantic that is whatever is lying around...
Fasting not easy as I'm breastfeeding.

Here's to buckets of red wine Very Happy
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Simples, swap to 2000 calories of red wine a day...
@3 bottles.. Shocked

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21349230

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2018/jul/02/truth-about-breastfeeding-weight-loss-myth-serena-williams
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Personal trainers, gyms etc all cost tons of money, and there's really no need for them at all (but absolutely lovely if you have the money of course). I had none, but I had a similar problem to the OP.

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/couch-to-5k-week-by-week/?tabname=couch-to-5k

Completely free. I was 105kg in May 2018. Did this programme, sorted out my diet and did a subsequent 10k progression (easy) and lost 25kg by November, and needless to say got pretty fit. It’s not difficult. I'm 60 by the way, and it absolutely transformed my skiing. Downside? Completely new wardrobe needed.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Another +1 for the 5:2. I started it after reading a post on here from Ray Zorro and this got my weight under control, and stayed under control despite periods of non-weight baring and other injuries over the years which were the main reasons for being overweight in the first place (coupled with a couple of pregnancies and general life of a working Mum). 5:2 is very easy to fit around a hectic life I have found.

Yes fitness also needs to be addressed but it won’t (in my personal experience) address the weight issue and also (again my personal experience) more likely to cause yourself injuries from the exercise while overweight (in my case charging round a hockey pitch).
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Tazz2bme wrote:
... Addressing diet is a big issue, as I work nights. My shifts are quite long and breaks don't always happen. I often eat whatever is there in order to get over the slump... Not sure how easy this is to address as I always eat better in my recovery week.


The problems of maintaining a healthy diet on night shifts has been in the media quite a bit recently and I feel for you.
I know that my own self-control is at it's lowest when I am tired and I'm then much more prone to snacking on anything to hand.

I can't help but think that you would do better by a dual targeting of both reducing your intake as well as upping the exercise.
When I was training for the London marathon this year it helped me to visualise each 2kg in weight that I didn't want to be carrying as the equivalent 2Litre bottles of coke. It helped me to put it in context - no way would I want to run carrying 3 or 4 big bottles of coke!

Could you somehow gain control over what you eat by taking in healthier food to work - only eat what you bring in yourself and make it fruit for snacks, soup in a thermos and/or salads for meals?

The 5:2 diet really helped me. I recognise that it doesn't suit everyone, but the best lesson I learned from doing it was that hunger passes and it gave me the self control to not feed it every time that I got a twinge.
Good luck!!
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@Tazz2bme, sounds like you're already active (not just the cycling but dealing with kids!) and don't really have the time to up the amount of exercise you do (given your crazy work schedule) so I'd definitely look at the diet and what simple options there are. Try counting calories just for one average day at work and seeing what kind of total you're at, if it's like mine then it could be eye opening Embarassed

Personally I'd opt for slight changes in intake rather than something like 5:2, but then I couldn't get through the working day feeling as hungry as I do without eating. If you are going to do more exercise then the people I know who have lost lots of weight usually do so by taking up running...personally I'd rather be fat than have to deal with the drudgery of jogging, but to each their own.
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@SnoodlesMcFlude, appreciate everybody is different for me the trick I found for making 5:2 work was not eating anything until the evening, and having coffees as normal but with a bit less milk. When I tried to spread the 500cals through the day having breakfast, lunch and dinner i felt really hungry but if I don’t start eating I don’t feel that hungry.
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@NickyJ, lucky you, I can't make it to midday without having something. Suffer brain fade and find myself even more distracted than usual.
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NickyJ wrote:
@SnoodlesMcFlude, appreciate everybody is different for me the trick I found for making 5:2 work was not eating anything until the evening, and having coffees as normal but with a bit less milk. When I tried to spread the 500cals through the day having breakfast, lunch and dinner i felt really hungry but if I don’t start eating I don’t feel that hungry.


Ditto - once tried a month of 5:2 doing 600kcal with almonds, 3 tiny cups that awakened the appetite but didn't satisfy in quantity.
Going all in by not eating on fast days seemed easier.
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SnoodlesMcFlude wrote:
@NickyJ, lucky you, I can't make it to midday without having something. Suffer brain fade and find myself even more distracted than usual.


This is me if I have breakfast and then have a late lunch.... yet no breakfast and I I’m fine. Very bizarre! Trip is to find what works for ourselves though, took me a long time to do that.
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Where time is at a premium - check out HIIT

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01cywtq

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17177251

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-37249021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p046hdms

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5292239/Get-shape-just-30-minutes-exercise-week.html
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And quite obviously drop the alcohol. It's probably that alone which is keeping me below my daily limit rather than blowing it with three or four glasses each night.
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NickyJ wrote:
if I don’t start eating I don’t feel that hungry.


Same here. I have been doing a combination of 16:8 intermittent fast, and One Meal a Day. If I am skipping a day, and eating "normally", I find that I am hungrier and more often. If I am not eating, getting through to 6pm is relatively easy.
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Loads of good advice in here, so thought I’d add what has worked for me recently.
I’m in a job that works days and nights, frequently swapping between the two, so I understand your frustration there. I’d gained a fair bit of weight too, up to ~110kg at my heaviest, about 106kg when I started my current thing. This morning I’m 86.6kg, so it’s effective.

The three things I changed were;

1) Crossfit. Works for me, not everyone’s cup of tea. Builds both muscle and endurance. More muscle=more calories burned in day-to-day activities. When I say muscle I’m not talking bodybuilder stuff, just swapping what was fat for something a bit more solid! I know lots of women are concerned that lifting weights will make them look like steroid-filled beefcakes; from what I see in my community that absolutely isn’t the case (unless they want it to be!). I’m trying to stay lean, not get massive, and this is working.
The 1-hour classes and community keep me going, as I know people there and enjoy working out with them. Absolutely non-judgemental at any Crossfit thing I‘ve been to, all very welcoming. Definitely a cross section of abilities in every session. Thorough recommend.

2) The Keto diet has worked wonders for me. Combined with a bit of intermittent fasting and Crossfit I’ve dropped ~20kg since July. Look at Diet Doctor’s website. Alternatively The Natural Edge has some pretty good advice too; both have solid backgrounds for their advice.

3) Get a proper tracker. I use Carb Manager app and a little Garmin wristband (a vivosport). Knowing rather than guessing (making excuses?) has kept me honest. I am more data driven, so it works for me.

The cycling to work is a brilliant opportunity though, and 16 miles a day will soon add up.

Those are just my thoughts and what’s worked for me. I’m back at the size I was when I finished the most physically active period in my life (10 years ago, and 2 years of being absolutely thrashed). A good friend is doing the same, he’s down 16kg.

If any of this is of use to you, or if you’ve got any questions I’d be more than happy to answer them.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I'll join in. Previously a 70kg racing cyclist. Got fed up with that and did nothing for 3 years, got to about 108kg!

Now about a month into zero alcohol, couch to 5K and eating nothing but home prepped sensible food. 103kg this morning so around a kilo a week, and feel a lot better. If I can get into the 80's for ski trip in March then all will be good. Once the running gets longer ( very soon) then that will help, I used to run 30 years ago, so am used to the sensation, and of course cycle training got me conditioned very well aerobically.

I'm tracking everything as well. Probably join a gym for the last 2 months before skiing, but happy just doing enough to keep me interested and not get disheartened at the moment.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
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Tazz2bme wrote:
Quote:

When you cycle to work, do you really push it? Get your heart rate right up?

Sometimes. Maybe less than I should. It depends what time I'm travelling as the cycle route is full of shouty dog walkers :/
It's uphill on the way there, yet I get there quicker than I get home. I simply can't do any more than coast home after 15 hours on my feet. Sometimes I can barely get my cleats on at the end of the night...
On the last night of the week, I often go home over the mountain and get some trails in.

It's becoming clear that fitness and exercise are less of. an issue than diet.
Clearly I need a new career. Is it too late Laughing Laughing


I dont know obviously, but I'd confidently guess that you have a very efficient cycling style and rarely get out of breath on your commute. The trick, and I've been practicing this myself recently so I'm aware it's not that simple, is to cycle very inefficiently. When your route goes uphill, get out of the saddle and hammer it, then coast past some shouty dogs while your heart rate is still up, rinse and repeat. Get a hrm and see how much time each trip you can spend with your hr over 125 bpm.

Likewise at work, sprint up the stairs, don't take the lift. Even if you don't need to go upstairs.

Once upona time I worked in hotels and spent a 12 hour shift on my feet except for 30mins at lunch. I found it utterly fatiguing such that I struggled to finish a pint after a shift, but I doubt I burnt much in the way of stored fat. So I totally sympathise that your work makes weight loss difficult, but I don't think you will see the results that will make it feel worthwhile without figuring out ways of burning the calories when you're on shift.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I hesitate to offer "advice" here as I had not much weight issue. But, I have some experience in eating WELL.

You already know what you eat and what you SHOULD eat. Bridging that gap will likely make a difference.

You said you're limited on what you can get your hands on for meals at work. That to me sounds like a perfect opportunity to make your own meal IN ADVANCE. During your off days, in addition to cooking for the day, prepare foods you can heat up at work quickly. That way, you can control what you eat at work.

Eating well can have a lot of positive to moods too. You may even feel more energetic before any weight change actually happens.
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@abc, has something here. I am convinced that often you feel hungry because your body needs something extra (iron, vitamin or whatever). So you can end up eating far more calories than it needs to make sure he right nutrients are eaten.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Often I found it was water. I wasn't hungry I was thirsty.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Eat under 1400 calories a day for 365 days.

Eat only "oxygen" foods, like broccoli.

Eat zero junkfood.

Drink 1 pint of clean water every 2 hours.

Never drink water at the same time as food (dilutes stomach acid).

Walk 10 miles a day.

Lift medium weights.

Sleep 8 hours.

Get a bloodtest.

Check vitamin, mineral and iron levels.
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I’ve done most of the diets mentioned already, 5:2, Keto etc and what works for me is just tracking using MyFitnessPal. Use an online calculator to work out your tdee ( cals needed to survive each day) minus 10% and set your macros at 40% protein, 30% carbs and fat and mix the cycling up ( as your body is used to doing this) with some strength training or hiit sessions. Eat as cleanly as possible.
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Whitegold wrote:


Drink 1 pint of clean water every 2 hours.


No!
Drinking to much water can do serious damage to your organs as it flushes out minerals we need including salt balance.
2 litres a day is just a guide.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Tweaked achilles slightly when on the third 25 minute run so have been back on the turbo trainer for the last week and a half. Shal do turbo for a few more weeks to make sure the leg is ok, ( feels fine now and can do all the suggested stretches with no pain) Weight loss continues at 1kg per week , with the cycling I can do 5 or 6 sessions a week and know I can recover fine, will add some running again in another few weeks, then lunges, squats etc for a couple of months before our ski trip.
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@Tazz2bme, hope that you are seeing some results? Not much to add apart from I find tracking/writing all consumption down helps to keep me from going overboard. Also homemade veggie soups in a flask for work? Nothing fancy, pea soup is nice and sweet - I know hidden sugar - but it can help with the cravings. Well done for trying with everything you have on your plate.
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Exercise for toning building muscle.
Food for weight. Consider a high fat diet. Breast milk contains a lot of fat. Just choose good fats. Olive oil on salad. Cheese is handy in a packed lunch. As is Houmous with carrot stix. Butter. Cream. Just don't use vegetable oils and spreads. They are created in chemical factories
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Slightly different take on the OP and yes we should all be fit and healthy but life’s not always like that. Just coz you’re not fighting fit doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a bloody good ski holiday. Remember it’s not boot camp, you don’t have to do first lift last lift, you can stop for regular breaks with the most beautiful views on the planet in great company and just take it all in!
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Now down to 93kg, so 15 kg gone, just cycling now, have stuck to just sensible foods, Mrs endo has put a bowl of celebrations out, and last year I'd have eaten the lot, haven't had a single one. I might even get to cut the tags off the ski pants I bought 3 years ago but could not get into.

Leg blasters start tomorrow, got 9 weeks on those before we go away, and hopefully get under 85 kg by then. Amazing the motivation of 2 ski trips. I know I need a goal to stick to things, and not being a whale on snow is a decent one.
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I know a lot of posters are recommending intermittent fasting diets like the 5:2 or eating only between certain hours. However I would caution against them. They are not for everyone. Not because they don’t work for weight loss - they do. However they can stress out already stressed adrenals and trigger or flare ups that could be avoided by a different approach.
People with autoimmune disease, or a genetic predisposition to AI disease, should not do IF diets without significant support for their adrenals. People with metabolic disorders are also likely to already have stressed adrenals.
If you are already overweight, parenting teens and toddlers AND coping with a child with higher needs AND work night shifts I would also hazard a guess that your adrenals are already stressed. Therefore AVOID IF diets for now.
Add the possibility of being pre insulin resistant and a better approach might be to go low carb, eat regular meals and continue with the cycling.

I have been recommended the Michael Mosely 8 week blood sugar diet. Online ive seen it have a great impact on weight and sense of well-being (via various health FB groups). In real life a relative, plus a couple
Of friends, all with late onset diabetes, have done it and are maintaining on it. I’ve never seen any of them so slim. They each followed the diet for the initial 8 weeks, then continued low carb. 2 years later they are all
Really slim and happy. It is a diet they can do in real life.
Another friend and her parents have done the dukan diet. They all look amazing and have lost a substantial amount of weight. She is a mother and a nurse on shift work and has dropped 3 dress sizes and maintained for ages now. Again a diet for real life albeit takes a bit of prep. She says she gets up 30 mins earlier to prep a lunchbox for work and ensure she starts the day off with the right breakfast.

I shall make a start on the Michael Mosely 8 week blood sugar diet this week! Am looking forward to the challenge.

Best of luck to you.
ski holidays



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