The Benny Project

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bennytheroach

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Oct 30, 2021
31
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This thread is going to be a bit of a journal, a place to seek advice and motivation, and to stretch my boundaries by putting myself out there for all to see. This OP will be updated periodically as things progress. I'll take all comments and suggestions on board, please bear in mind there's severe budget constraints, and medical issues to consider. I can take criticism and act on it.

baseline.jpg


Age: 58
Height: 188
Weight: 129.1
Body type: Fat campaigner
Qualifications in the industry: none
Current goal: 92kg, good all-round fitness and flexibility for age, able to run 4km nonstop - by end October 2022.

Current daily exercise regime: 1hr walk @10min/km, 10min light erg

Background:
80-85kg very fit early 20s; Maintained 100-105kg fit with PT late 30s; Ballooned out to 146kg before stabilising around 125kg with home gym;
Age 45 125kg down to 92kg and fit in 3 months with meal replacement shakes + home gym + classes
stopped playing sport age 51 weight steady around 102
divorce, eating sh*t, zero exercise, lockdowns gradually crept up to 134kg
had heart surgery in September
cgaf if lived or died
decided last week may as well live so fu** it lets do it
 

bennytheroach

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Oct 30, 2021
31
97
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Good health and general fitness is where I want to get to, have no pretense that I'll look like showdownhero unless I go well below my target of 92kg. That was my "happy weight" 13 years ago where I pretty much ate what I liked and training/sport output kept it there. Once I achieve it I may have further goals to get rid of the residual loose belly roll that'll still be there. I should be able to ditch the cpap machine by then too (chronic obstructive sleep apnea).

Until a fortnight ago, I ate sh*t and lots of it. Steady diet of pasta / noodles / pies / canned tuna on rice etc. I'd stock up on bags of chips and lollies and if I felt like a lolly I'd open a bag, eat most, feel guilty at how much I'd eaten and mechanically scoff the rest just to get rid of them. Every time I went to the kitchen to make a cup of tea or coffee I had to grab something out of the cupboard or fridge to eat, three or four times a day in addition to meals.

Breakfast was a full bowl of nutrigrain or equivalent, no milk, just eaten dry like a snack. Don't have milk in my hot drinks so I got out of the habit of buying it. About 11 I'd grab some lollies or half a dozen biscuits, and eat another couple while waiting for the jug to boil. Lunch was a pie or a couple of bread rolls with peanut butter + jam, or cheese + pickle, or cold meat. Afternoon snack was a tub of dip and a packet of rice crackers or most of a bag of tortilla strips, or a bag of chips. Dinner was a big bowl of pasta, another pie, or noodle bowl with an extra packet of noodles on top, or a microwave rice sachet with a couple of tins of tuna. Then I'd have another snack of lollies or biscuits about half an hour before bed.

fu** me that sounds disgusting even typing it in. Amazing I was only 134kg.

Two weeks ago I had a life-changing experience. If I'm going to live, I might as well actually live, and stop simply existing long enough to die.

Stumbled across Wim Hof and now do breathing exercises before going to sleep. I have been doing them before I get up in the morning, but find that I'm so relaxed I nod back off again.

Do necessary stuff and have my get-better pills before going on a 1-hour walk, 10 min per km which is a pace I can maintain with just a slight sheen of sweat and no light-headedness.
Drive home and get on the erg for a light 10-minute air rowing session at two thirds resistance. I'm concentrating on technique not effort, breathing is completely screwed because my gut gets in the way when my hips are closed on the catch. I may wind up modifying the machine to get a better posture.
Then I have a 5-minute cold shower, not straight cold but cold-ish to start and gradually turn it down. Get a good glow afterwards but I'm not there yet.

The breakfast which I've standardised on is 1 slice of multigrain toast, feta, a good layer of mushrooms and spinach and topped with one egg. 1 cup of tea. I'll have a few teaspoons of lite Greek yoghurt while its cooking.

Lunch is tending to be later and later, its almost getting to the 2 meals a day stage. It'll be a big bowl of salad with tomatoes, feta, onion, capsicum, a few teaspoons of hommus and a sprinkle of evo. If I haven't felt like eating by 5 or thereabouts I'll have a snack of some hommus and 1 row (not a packet!) of wholegrain rice crackers, then for dinner have the salad as described with a tin of tuna on top. Dinners have been mainly salad + protein like crispy skin salmon fillet or a palm-sized piece of steak. I'm not being a diet nazi, there's food in the freezer that I'll be using without guilt.

Apart from the tea with breakfast, no caffeine for the rest of the day. I'm going through 2-3 litres of water.

Since starting that regime a week ago, I'm feeling a lot better in myself. I can tell I've already lost weight and the walks are becoming easier. Soles of my feet and my shins get uncomfortable at times and my chest muscles let me know about it after a breathing session.

I know a PT but she moved away last year, I think it would be best to budget for some good external PT before hitting the gym and getting more PT to get the techniques right. Trouble is finding them if you don't have contacts. I'll hit her up on fb to see who she recommends.
 

bennytheroach

Rookie
Oct 30, 2021
31
97
AFL Club
Sydney
I also learned that my limit with the fasting is around 12pm - the other day I had some work to do before going out and didn't start walking until after 11. About 12:15 I started to crash and had to get some food in pronto. Recovered in 15 minutes and then cooked breakfast.
 

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bennytheroach

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Oct 30, 2021
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1h22 walk + 15 min erg today, and the cold shower was straight cold. :thumbsu:

Wondering what non-equipment exercises I can introduce to make a start on my core and upper body?
 

Teagueeee15

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Benny, with the walking that you do it might be worth investing in a fitness tracker watch or even just a smart phone app that tracks the number of steps that you do each day. It sounds small, but it becomes a good motivator and daily challenge for me to beat the number of steps that I did the previous day or at least beat my average for the previous 7 days.

With your diet, you don’t have to cut out all of the junk food in one go and if you do, it probably won’t be sustainable which might be where you came unstuck previously. If you buy hot chips every day, maybe instead of buying the large cup, switch to the medium cup and then after another fortnight, switch to the small cup. The same with the potato chips, instead of buying a 200g pack, buy a 100g pack for a fortnight and then you may switch to 80g rice cracker packets the next fortnight etc until you have weaned yourself off them. These incremental changes are what I do when I’m cutting and it’s been very successful in making sustainable changes to my diet.
 

k31th

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well done for putting yourself out there :thumbsu:

good luck with the journey... it's just one small step at a time over a long period of time :)
 

bennytheroach

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Oct 30, 2021
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With your diet, you don’t have to cut out all of the junk food in one go and if you do, it probably won’t be sustainable which might be where you came unstuck previously.

I totally agree. However, there was such an upheaval in my life that going cold turkey seems to have gone straight under the radar. I expected massive caffeine withdrawals going from 7-8 cups a day to one. Nope. Same with the junk food. There's a pack of licorice bullets left that I used to devour over the course of an hour. I just told myself that if I needed to, just have 5 bullets a day and don't feel guilty about it. So I did. There's still half a packet left and I haven't had any at all for a few days. The big pack of Family Assorted biscuits that was about three days worth is still sitting there with only a few eaten.

I have no idea where this sudden lack of craving and massive self discipline has come from, but it's a wave I'll keep riding.
 

bennytheroach

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Oct 30, 2021
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97
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10.2km today at 9:56/km. :thumbsu: Compared to the 3.5km that nearly killed me a week and a half ago... you fit buggers can get the full Benny experience by strapping on a couple of 25kg bags of cement and doing the same

Good seeing the improvements happening in real time. I'm actually kind of looking forward to the photo / weigh / measurements on 30 Nov. I'm not doing weekly weigh-ins as the last time I dropped a lot of weight natural fluctuations meant you could have a "good" week and obey all the rules and still put on 500g. Very demoralising. Screw the ups and downs, lets go for the long-term trends.
 

go you pups

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10.2km today at 9:56/km. :thumbsu: Compared to the 3.5km that nearly killed me a week and a half ago... you fit buggers can get the full Benny experience by strapping on a couple of 25kg bags of cement and doing the same

Good seeing the improvements happening in real time. I'm actually kind of looking forward to the photo / weigh / measurements on 30 Nov. I'm not doing weekly weigh-ins as the last time I dropped a lot of weight natural fluctuations meant you could have a "good" week and obey all the rules and still put on 500g. Very demoralising. Screw the ups and downs, lets go for the long-term trends.
Yeah some weeks you may be the same weight or slightly more, but the waist/hip measurements might be far better instead
 

raskolnikov

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10.2km today at 9:56/km. :thumbsu: Compared to the 3.5km that nearly killed me a week and a half ago... you fit buggers can get the full Benny experience by strapping on a couple of 25kg bags of cement and doing the same.

Sometimes at CrossFit we do workouts with weighted vests. Certainly makes it a lot more challenging.

Good luck on your fitness journey. You've got this!
 

raskolnikov

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Also, just as a hopefully encouraging anecdote, When I was 40 I was overweight and diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. 13 years later and I'm in the best shape of my life and competing in CrossFit Masters competitions at a state level. It's never too late to recapture your health. Well I guess there does come a point. But you're definitely not there yet. Good luck!
 

bennytheroach

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Oct 30, 2021
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Thanks Rask. 13.5km in 2h13m a couple of days ago, feet are starting to take the brunt so did an 8km recovery yesterday. Left little toe is curled sideways under the fourth toe and is basically one big blister, another big one under the ball of my right foot, and chewed out my heel. Nothing a dose of iodine won't fix.
 

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bennytheroach

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Oct 30, 2021
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Thanks Joker.

Goals after last Saturday's 15km: 3 hour walk, then a 20km walk

Today 18.5km in 3h03m. Under 10min/km pace the whole way. Was thinking "should I keep going for another ten minutes before turning around?" but I'm glad I stopped when I did, the last km was a bit wobbly. The big blister under my little toe went at the 2 hour mark, it's a bit of a mess, but it'll come right.

Once I knock off the 20km I don't think I'll have anything to prove to myself walking-wise and can concentrate on improving times.
 

bennytheroach

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Oct 30, 2021
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Busted it today. 20.85km in 3h26m, 9:53 per km. I'm done.

thatll do pig.jpg


Feet are better than expected*, I used proper dressings on the sore bits, double socked and reefed down on the heel locks. Don't know why I didn't think of doing that before. Only two significant new blisters. I took a muesli bar with me and had it at the 11km mark, I think that made all the difference from about 18km onward.

5 minute timer went off for the cold shower, stayed in another two minutes because I was relishing being in control.

* just noticed two toenails lifted and black with blood underneath, ah well
 
Last edited:

phantom13

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1h22 walk + 15 min erg today, and the cold shower was straight cold. :thumbsu:

Wondering what non-equipment exercises I can introduce to make a start on my core and upper body?
Good on you mate, its a long road and its worth remembering that discipline will beat motivation every day (within reason, if your body is screaming to rest, then rest).

On the bolded
- Push Ups, Chin Ups, Dips, Burpees, Butterflies, Sit ups, V Sits, Bear Walks all do a good job, but be sensible and honestly probably get the weight down and cardio up before doing too much.
 

bennytheroach

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Oct 30, 2021
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bmonth01.jpg


8.8kg for the month. Could have been more but it's a hot day and I've been putting a lot of water away. Gut measurement -8cm. I've gone up a belt notch and should really take it in another. Both pairs of trackies (drawstring tied years ago) fail to stay up with anything in the pockets, or if I walk upstairs.
Walked over 217km for the month, including a number of rest days.

Progress.
 

bennytheroach

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Oct 30, 2021
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bmonth02.jpg


5.5kg for the month. Standardised on a 14.5km walk that takes 2h10ish. Best pace 12.1km at 9:15/km. 253km for the month. A little disappointed that I haven't lost more, but due to weather (heat, not rain), covid jab etc I've had nine rest days this month plus all the Christmas carbs in the last week. 1kg bag of gourmet licorice allsorts as my present. fu** they were good. :rolleyes:

On one LCHF meal a day, and have turned the hot water heater off. No point leaving it burning 24hrs a day if I'm only using hot water to wash dishes when I'm cooking. I just boil the jug instead. Yes, that means cold showers are now my normal routine and I have no trouble stepping in.

Not religious about the food, eg I'm off to have brunch tomorrow and no doubt there will be things like toast or a muffin under my eggs, I'll have no problem or guilt with it. In a much better place with food all round.

Arms and upper body is now in weedy ferker territory now that the layer of fat camouflage has come off, going to start some resistance training 2nd week of Jan. Belt is now on last notch and I have to be careful to not overload my pockets else my pants fall down. New clothes soon, new hole in belt tomorrow.

Onwards!
 
Last edited:

estibador

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Can never be too hard on yourself over the Xmas period. Best off viewing it as permission for a break in any progress. According to the scales I put on 1kg in two days over Xmas and Boxing Day! It's all the beer that does me in more than anything I think.

Great progress mate, I'm sure we're all looking forward to seeing you inspire us in 2022. Definitely start hitting the weights. It's one of the best things anyone can do regardless of their goals.
 

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