ON2VICTORY   47,549
40,000-49,999 SparkPoints
ON2VICTORY's Recent Blog Entries

Just a quick reminder to myself

Monday, December 15, 2014

I am going to re-post these as a reminder to myself. These pictures represent one of the greatest moments of my life...ever, a monumental accomplishment. Just because I currently can't run doesn't take away from how epic that moment really was.... and yes, I'd like to re-live it a little if for no other reason than to remind myself how capable I really am sometimes we all need a little reminder.

I have come a long way and just because I have issues now does not change the fact that I have a warrior living inside me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHY42MORROW 12/16/2014 5:02PM

    emoticon on your achievements. You have given me something to think about. Just because I can no longer be the "gym rat" I used to be doesn't take away from all the good I have done for myself. Besides, never say never. emoticon

I was feeling pretty bad today until I read your message here.


Comment edited on: 12/16/2014 5:04:41 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 12/15/2014 9:34PM

    I can't tell you how blessed I felt to be there in the moment when you crossed that finish line! NO ONE can take that away from you. EVER! You *did* it. You can be proud. You ARE epic, Robert... and I am so proud of you!


Report Inappropriate Comment
MOBYCARP 12/15/2014 9:00PM

    There's nothing wrong with looking back and being proud of what you've done. You might never do another 70.3, but that doesn't take any of the glory out of the fact that you did the first one. Many people never get to the start line, and you got to the finish line!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GABY1948 12/15/2014 3:14PM

    VERY emoticon and KEEP this handy! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KAREN42BOYS 12/15/2014 3:00PM

    Totally right.

Report Inappropriate Comment
RANAF222 12/15/2014 2:52PM

    You can do it again!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GORDON66 12/15/2014 2:22PM

  Getting in touch with you inner warrior is very important.



Report Inappropriate Comment
CRACKERS4554 12/15/2014 12:40PM

    Thanks for the extra push! You look great!

Report Inappropriate Comment
170BY2015 12/15/2014 12:06PM

    Look how far you have become, you look awesome!
Congrats on your success!


Report Inappropriate Comment
UMBILICAL 12/15/2014 12:00PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
WENDYSPARKS 12/15/2014 11:55AM


Report Inappropriate Comment

An open letter to runners...

Friday, December 12, 2014

I posted this in a runners group forum on FB but felt it was worth sharing here... if you are a runner, read this and think...

"It's been a long time since I posted here. In short, I miss running. For now, I have had to hang it up and follow other fitness paths. There is nothing more I would love to do than to re-live the feeling of finishing a marathon or 70.3. I am still looking for answers concerning my ankle and the issues surrounding it but after a grieving process I have finally accepted the fact that I need to move on as much as I love the feeling of accomplishment, the medals, the race fun, and the community. I can still do 5k's to some extent so I guess that keeps me connected in some way but my heart is really out on the marathon course or in the middle of a heart pounding long distance triathlon.

The best piece of advice I can give anyone here is you only have one body and us distance junkies have a bad reputation for training through pain because we have learned early on that progress happens at the end of our comfort zone. So we dose up on Ibuprofen and keep going. We fret over missing runs, obsess over bigger numbers, and push hard until we are clutching the railing just to make it up or down stairs.

We often make the mistake of thinking that just because it doesn't hurt, we have recovered enough. We fail to realize that tendons and joint inflammation doesn't go away after a rest day and that is if we actually took a real rest day. Often we satisfy our compulsiveness by filling rest days with alternate cardio believing that rest is a four letter word.

Over time, our bio-mechanical quirks, over zealous addition of too much, too soon, and the thousands of foot strikes on tired feet catch up to us. Once they come calling, they bring injury, downtime, and sometimes total removal from that which we love because we failed to heed the red flags.

If you see yourself in anything I just described, I suggest asking yourself the hard question why and keep asking why until you really get your answer.

Learn from my mistakes so that you will run long and happy for years to come.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHY42MORROW 12/16/2014 5:32PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
LEANJEAN6 12/16/2014 6:05AM

    I have to agree----I walk now!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WATERMELLEN 12/16/2014 5:38AM

    As one of those who for years ran 10 km every day -- and now cannot run at all -- I say amen.

Report Inappropriate Comment
RUDITUDI2000 12/15/2014 1:20AM

    It's hard to learn you cannot do what you love..I'm so sorry you are going through this. I'm still recovering (more on the mental vs physical) after my injury 2 years ago. I so badly want to do what I did then but those actions ended badly for me (running 20 miles a week with very little core or stretching or strength). I feel like I'm walking a tight rope trying to determine how to get this 30 lbs off again, trying to run (2-3 miles two or three times a week). I'm a distance junkie..or I used to be ha! I do know it can be done! Giving up really is not an option for you, or me.. We just try, and try again. I've been battling for years. I know one day it will stick. So! One day at a time, one meal, one step. I enjoy your blogs and totally relate. Praying for you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MAGGIE805 12/13/2014 3:09PM

    This kind of where I'm at right now. Thanks for posting this 😊

Report Inappropriate Comment
RUNNER4LYFE 12/13/2014 1:41PM

    Wow, love the blog! Im not a full on runner - I still do intervals with walking - but I still consider myself a runner cuz it makes ME feel good :) Thanks for the helpful insight. Sometimes pain is NOT gain :) Keep on reaching those dreams!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 12/12/2014 8:52PM

    Yeah. I read the posts of others who train triathlon (as I do) and feel inferior because I train less than they. Still, I take seriously the chapters (in the Triathlete's Training Bible by Joe Friel) that say "less is more" and particularly address female and older athletes... and I qualify on both counts. I love my sport. I want to be able to keep doing it as long as God gives me the grace to do it... and that means paying attention to and taking care of the body I've been given to do it with.

Why? Because I can. Why? For those who can't. But if I become one of those who can't... I won't be able to answer the WHY that way.

Thanks for a thoughtful and well-thought out lesson! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOBYCARP 12/12/2014 7:31PM

    As an adult onset runner and a developing distance junkie, I see this as a cautionary tale. It's sad, but a cautionary tale from someone I have actually met seems a bit more meaningful than a cautionary tale involving some stranger.

One of the better things that has happened to me in training has been running with some people who have run multiple marathons, and in the case of my most common pace leader, multiple iron man triathlons. All of these people say there is a time to limit how much you do, to avoid injury.

The multiple iron man isn't running farther than about 12 miles right now. No, he's not hurt. It's the off season, and he's just running to keep in shape. 10 to 12 miles as the longest run of the week is enough. He also does other stuff that I am not ready to attempt, and might never be ready for. Running trails, maybe I could do. Triathlons, not now and maybe never. Ice climbing, I'll pass.

The hard question for me is not, "Why?" The hard question is, "How much?" How much do I need to do? How much can I do without risking injury? Answering these questions is difficult, but I have to do the best I can with them.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GABY1948 12/12/2014 1:57PM

    Great letter. I am not a runner but have always wished I could. You just showed me the other side of the coin. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUBMOM2 12/12/2014 12:25PM

    Thank you for sharing this. I'm glad you are working through this process. I can honestly say that I am not a distance junkie but I do struggle for moderation in so many areas of my life! I wish you health and strength as you move into your next chapter.

Report Inappropriate Comment

What true recovery is all about..

Thursday, December 11, 2014

I am doing much better. If anything I am learning what true recovery is all about. It is about slowly rebuilding and taking small steps. Those things that drew me in close to a fitness lifestyle are those things that will bring me back. One of the first lessons I learned early on is to develop an emotional connection with exercise. One reason a persons exercise commitment fails is because they are doing it for the wrong reason. Generally, when one embarks on some effort to establish / re-establish an exercise habit, it is done from a negative motivation.

Rarely do we ever darken the doors of a gym because we like how we look, are satisfied with our weight, or our clothes are fitting just right. Most of the time it is the opposite of what I just mentioned and exercise is automatically associated with a negative emotion. Even if you are driven by justifiable panic over the number you just saw on the scale after months of neglect and you are motivated to pull out all the stops and make whatever sacrifices are needed to bring back a sense of control, rarely does such panic create lasting change. It can spark movement but it doesn't provide for lasting commitment.

What has worked for me then and works for me now is to create a positive association with exercise. Setting and keeping small fitness goals, promising and then delivering, brings with it a sense of control and personal empowerment. A sense of control is what is needed most to stop the downward slide. Relish the feeling of accomplishment of fulfilling a 10 minute workout. Keep track of how much stronger you are getting or how good it feels to really get out in the fresh air on a long walk or bike ride.

Every time I do that, I get strength to re-establish consistency because I want to do it, I am not driven to do it out of fear or panic. Consistency gives you something that is much needed in your journey, a reason to take yourself and your goals seriously. The human heart can't pull motivation out of thin air, it needs evidence to support the belief and consistency proves to yourself that you are indeed serious. Once your heart senses that this isn't just another attempt in a long string of over promised-under delivered fitness endeavors, the eating behavior slowly begins to change and choices begin to revolve around your new commitment. You begin to think and eat like an athlete and not like a desperate dieter.

This is what has been happening with me and I am slowly getting re-established and more like my old self again. Bad habits don't disappear with the wave of a wand but I have noticed that my eating is once again beginning to revolve around my fitness.

I am doing much better :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHY42MORROW 12/16/2014 5:27PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
MPLSKEN 12/12/2014 8:23AM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOTTIESPLACE 12/11/2014 6:57PM

    There you go buddy! Spark ignited!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GABY1948 12/11/2014 5:05PM

    I am SO glad to read this blog! I just "met" you but that last blog had me concerned for you. Seeing your page again made me believe that you would get back just to get that FABULOUS smile back on your face!

Glad to read the positivity in this! You are all set to do this! and it shows in your face!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUBMOM2 12/11/2014 4:20PM

    Good for you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WENDYANNE61 12/11/2014 3:43PM

    Thank goodness, Robert - your last blog had me really worried!

Report Inappropriate Comment
FITWITHIN 12/11/2014 3:40PM

    emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
PRESBESS 12/11/2014 3:39PM

    Now you're talking!

Report Inappropriate Comment
RABBITART 12/11/2014 2:39PM

    emoticon . thank you for sharing.


Report Inappropriate Comment
KAREN42BOYS 12/11/2014 2:27PM

    Don't you and the K-Bell make a cute couple! Build that relationship!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GORDON66 12/11/2014 2:15PM

  Wise words. Thank you.



Report Inappropriate Comment

Picking Myself Back Up

Friday, November 28, 2014

Well it finally happened. I crashed. After 5 years of success and doing cool things, I thought I had the whole mental game pretty well figured out. It's a long explanation so I won't go into it because I don't have time to explain. I was in post-op rehab for my shoulder and at the same time I was rehabbing my left ankle and trying to strengthen my stability so I might be able to run again. I had held out some hope that my ankle was fixable to I soldiered through the exercises with an upbeat spirit.

After several weeks and seemingly no progress, the trigger event happened. I was on the treadmill and I couldn't even go 5 minutes without feeling pain. Then later when they had me doing one legged dead lifts, I almost fell over.

Something flipped like a switch in my head and everything just collapsed.

It's over

I finally hit my limit and I gave up.

Every session after that until I was released was simply going through the motions. I no longer believed I could be fixed and all I could do now was weep for dead dreams.

I felt lost and no longer had the will to push myself any longer and I finally met my match. All it took was just the right mix of circumstances and everything I've striven to achieve has come down around my ankles. That was about 3 months ago and now as I type this, I am about 30 lbs heavier and don't exercise at all. My old addictions an bad habits are back in full force and my clothes are tight.

I'm not the same hard charging go get 'em guy I used to be and it almost feels like all that happened was a past life... Like I never knew the guy that earned all those medals that grace my wall. I guess I'm writing this to vent my sorrow and loss over something that gave me strength and a sense of personal power.

Now I feel like an addict in bondage to his old habits again. I can see that they are taking me in the wrong direction but my commitment only lasts until another opportunity to indulge arises then all of my push goes bye bye. A few simple back slaps and a you can do it is well meaning but ineffective on someone who lived the last 5 years of his life overcoming, kicking butt and taking names. It's all stuff I've heard before and have told others. There isn't much someone can tell me that I don't know already. Unfortunately my knowledge works against me. I know to do good and do it not, to me therefore it is sin.

I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with myself but I am slowly realizing I can't stay where I am because it will be certain death for my health. I'm not gung-ho but I am trying to explore other possibilities in fitness after all, I still have to live in this body and self destructing is not the answer.

I truly want to do better and get back in control.

I am going to try to pick myself back up because the alternatives are not good. I see that now.

I am going to try.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHY42MORROW 12/16/2014 5:41PM

    I've read your latest posts today and I'm so glad you are doing better.
The discouragement that comes with injury can be so defeating. None of us can let it defeat us. Like you said, it would be death to our health.

You've given me a lot to think about reading your blogs today and I thank you for sharing.


Report Inappropriate Comment
KBRADFORD88 12/7/2014 8:51PM

    Robert, I started on here about 3 years ago and was doing so well. This past summer I found out I had a morton;s neuroma and it just did something to me. I too am facing 30 pounds but I went to my Y and they are giving me ideas. Maybe this is one of those times you just need somebody else to be motivated for awhile. I am sorry you are down. It is so hard to drag ourselves up and move on. I am only promising to do what it takes for 1 meal at a time. I know you are a man of deep faith. Maybe it is time to extend grace to yourself. much like you have extended grace to so many others. blessings.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KBRADFORD88 12/7/2014 8:50PM

    Robert, I started on here about 3 years ago and was doing so well. This past summer I found out I had a morton;s neuroma and it just did something to me. I too am facing 30 pounds but I went to my Y and they are giving me ideas. Maybe this is one of those times you just need somebody else to be motivated for awhile. I am sorry you are down. It is so hard to drag ourselves up and move on. I am only promising to do what it takes for 1 meal at a time. I know you are a man of deep faith. Maybe it is time to extend grace to yourself. much like you have extended grace to so many others. blessings.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WENDYANNE61 12/6/2014 2:00AM

    Dear Robert, you are one of the most powerful bloggers on SparkPeople and are deeply respected by many people. I am sad to hear you have had such a health crisis with all the baggage it brings with it. But, I hear the little spark in your blog that has not fizzled out but is raking around for straws at the bottom of the box, determined to find new fuel. You will move forward and find new forms of exercise and you will get back into the "Good Food - Good Feeling" mode. I wish you all the very, very best!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PRESBESS 12/5/2014 11:54AM

    Robert, your blog saddens me. I wondered where you were, but, now I know. Everyone else has said all the right stuff so I'll just say... you are worth every bit of the fight. I'll pray for you, but, most of all, pray for yourself and do take heed to the supportive feedback given by others.

Remeber... nothing ever stays the same.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WANNABFIT34 12/5/2014 9:29AM

    I am in a similar boat with the new little one I have been sleep deprived and falling back into some old habits. I have been slowly fixing them through logging and seeing what my eating habits have been. That for me is always the key fix my nutrition and exercise falls into place. After a week of logging honestly I see huge nutrition blunders and lots of overeating or eating unhealthy "justification" going on. I have 2 weeks now to work specifically on nutrition and if I manage some exercise in there then so be it. Once I get back to the basics on nutrition then I will work on adding in the exercise.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LEWILL1982 12/4/2014 2:14PM

I just saw this, I am so sorry you are struggling. I wish I had some sage advice or something that would help you pull yourself together, but all I can say is reevaluate, set a new goal. So you can't run, so what? Whoever said you had to be a runner? There are 2 other events from your ironman days that you might be able to focus on. Maybe excelling at swimming or cycling, assuming your shoulder will allow you to swim. You have your kettle bells right? That seems like an appropriate mix of cardio and strength training.

You can do this, you know you can, you've done it before. You've been an inspiration to so many, you've helped so many! It's time to reassess and help yourself buddy, you can do this!!

PS -this sounds like hard love, it's not meant to sound harsh, just an observation...

Report Inappropriate Comment
GABY1948 12/2/2014 4:48PM

    Hi, I have to admit Barb (ONEKIDSMOM) mentioned you to me today and I had seen you alot on spark, so I came over. You know nothing about me but I do know some about you but did not expect this when I came to read your blog. Barb and MOBYCARP are the BEST writers in the world and you are so fortunate to have their care for you. I agree with them totally!

All I will say is that I have been where you are with the weight. I am older than Barb with bad knees so I can't even begin running...and that breaks my heart so I can understand a miniscule amount of your disappointment. Each day will get better (I promise) it always does. But not running doesn't mean you can't stay thin. It just means you can't run. I do hope you realize that before you sink ONE BIT further.

emoticon emoticon


Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 11/29/2014 7:33PM

    OK, this is your Spark mom talking turkey (pardon the holiday pun)... Of all the people on here... I can certainly understand getting into the spot you're at. Because after nearly 5 years of maintaining a loss and becoming a runner, back in 1994, my own life "exploded" (although in different ways)... and I didn't just regain 30... it was 50 in the first year, then more later, and eventually it was ALL back.

Eventually I got to a point where I recognized the phases of "giving up entirely and I don't CARE", to "I CARE, but lack motivation", to being motivated, to thinking I've got this thing covered (moving on to a little TOO cocky), and then over the edge to the next backslide. It's all about what you do when you wake up at the bottom of that slide.

Nobody's mottos will return your motivation. But you've got it backed into a corner: you KNOW you have things to live for, and this self-destructive thing is NOT you. So, as MOBYCARP said... get that sleep. As I would say, draw that line in the sand. And it will be YOU that wakes up and finds that missing motivation... in whatever form your Maker chooses to give it to you.

YOU are worth it... and eventually I have faith that you'll find it. Be patient. And be kind to yourself. In the meantime, minimize the damage, and keep loving yourself. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOTTIESPLACE 11/29/2014 6:33PM

    Robert, I'm just finding my way back to SP. I'm nursing pain from a "healed" injury as well. It messes with my head. Try to separate the facts from the feelings. I can stand, I can walk. Yes it hurts and I do my best to convince myself that I need to sit down, I can't make it, it hurts too much etc. but that's all crap. I can, yes it hurts but I can!

Consider therapeutic massage, maybe you have trigger points built up which could be relieved by a Licensed Massage Therapist. Either way massage might help you with stress relief and help you to get a restful sleep.

Sorry you have hit a rough patch. Do not let yourself out grow your clothes, it will only be harder on your foot.

Hang in there!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOBYCARP 11/28/2014 7:45PM

    Oh, Robert, that is so sad. I knew you were struggling because of something you posted on Facebook a while back, but I didn't know it was as bad as you describe here.

You need some time to grieve. Yes, try to limit the damage while grieving; but be gentle with yourself. Look at some of Indygirl's sayings, like "one always has fewer calories than two." Sometimes the best you can do right now isn't impressive, but you can always do better than the worst case.

Out the other side of your grief, you will re-define yourself. You will find something that you want badly enough to take care of your health. Until you find that new and different motivation (and I can't predict what it will be), try to do as little damage as possible.

You know all the things you need to do. Doing them is another thing. Do the best you can, recognizing that sometimes the best you can do is expressed in terms of limiting damage rather than making progress. But it's worth it, and you'll appreciate having limited the damage when your motivation returns and you are making progress from a better (or less bad) place than you would have been in if you hadn't limited the damage.

Personal recommendation, worth what you paid for it: When I am low on motivation, the most important thing for me to focus on is simply getting enough sleep. I know that's an issue for you, but it's an issue worth working on even when your motivation is low. Without enough sleep, the wheels come off. With enough sleep, it's possible (though still difficult) to work on things even in the absence of good motivation.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FORZACHANDMATT 11/28/2014 5:08PM

    I'm so sorry - please, please don't give up

Report Inappropriate Comment
KAREN42BOYS 11/28/2014 2:38PM

    I forgot to mention that after awhile it stops being annoying about having to lose the weight again.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUBMOM2 11/28/2014 12:38PM

    I'm sorry that the recovery for your ankle and shoulder have been so tough.

I agree with the other posters in that some kind of counseling could be really helpful.

I know you don't want to hear a glib "you can do it" but you need to think about what you CAN do. Can you try swimming for exercise, or acupuncture for the pain?

I'm not familiar with your whole story but you've come all this way. The Old Way wasn't working for you. You've hit a big bump on the the New Way but that doesn't mean you should abandon it.

Don't give up. You are worth the effort.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KAREN42BOYS 11/28/2014 12:10PM

    Yup, astonishing how when we think our heads have it all figured out, we still find ourselves weak and susceptible to food and all. And what a morass we can get lost in.

I'm not saying it's easy to get it all going again, but I am saying I've got it going again. And it started the same way. Baby steps and adding more baby steps when I was ready.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GAELENEC 11/28/2014 11:58AM

    A friend of mine once described recovery as a spiral: we get better, we develop healthy habits, we improve, and then we slide back for a while. I loved that analogy, because for most people I know, success is not a straight line.

You posted honestly on here; that's a good start. Also, with the health and pleasure you felt in your recovery, you'll never be content going back to that way of life again. You know you can do it, and that will stay with you.

Perseverance. This is a detour, and you WILL detour back. It's a journey, not a destination.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHICAM 11/28/2014 11:51AM

    I had concurred so much also and out of the blue I fell. We are all human. Do not give beet yourself up. You know what it takes. You know all the tools that you need to do this. When I was down that I had gained back 50 pounds I said to myself, I have 2 choices either I continue to feel miserable and eat unhealthy things and feel sad about myself with all my close being tight "or" I get up wash my face look in the mirror and say you want this!! Go for it!! get up and stop feeling sorry for yourself, Maria!! G emoticon et up and go for your happiness. get back to that happy lady, the one that was so proud of herself. I am back on track and I have the strength. We are here to help each other out. You deserve to feel proud of all you have achieved. It is never to late to start . just take that step and continue....

Report Inappropriate Comment
HAPPYSOUL91 11/28/2014 9:26AM

    Wish I could give you a plan that would help, but you know plans. Maybe you need to get some outside help on the mind set game we play with ourselves, while you come here and work on the physical part. Don't think our addictions ever disappear they just hang around in the back ground waiting to pounce, well they did, they got your attention and now you have another tool and acknowledgment under your belt.

Report Inappropriate Comment
APPLEPIEAPPLE 11/28/2014 8:37AM

    Pain can cause stress which is probably what kicked in. I hope you can find the strength to seek help to overcome the pain. I went through a set back when I got sumac poisoning. The itching made me want to do anything to forget the pain. So yes, I ate. Then I began to write instead. I finished my book in three weeks. Look for an alternative which will have positive effects from the pain. Prayers.

Report Inappropriate Comment
RUNNING-LIFE 11/28/2014 7:58AM

    emoticon We are all here to support you Robert. Firstly, seek some counselling. Then as that progresses, take baby steps, one goal at a time till you are back where you were. Life is a journey with its highs and lows; you might have hit a "low" point, BUT you can make it back up! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
HEALTHYCHIC 11/28/2014 7:35AM

    I'm here to support you in whatever you need. You are the same person. Life ebbs and flows. Hugs my dear friend.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROXYZMOM 11/28/2014 6:22AM

    Robert: please seek help with an eating disorder therapist. I just lost my son to an eating disorder - I cannot bear to see it happen again. Don't put your family through what mine is going through.
Take that step!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PICKIE98 11/28/2014 5:28AM

    Crashed? Tow that mind and body to the nearest type of counseling.. Priest, psychologist,whatever. The mind controls the body, so get it back on the road first.
You will then be able to do a meet and greet with the old on@V guy! OR the revised edition. We are here for each other, reach out, remember how you felt before,,you CAN get it back..

Report Inappropriate Comment

Metabolic Testing Results And Findings- Part 2

Friday, September 19, 2014

The purpose of these last two blogs is to raise awareness among the weight loss community about this test and the benefits as well as to share what I have learned both through my own trial and error experiences and what has been finally confirmed by science. THIS WILL BE A LENGTHY BLOG.. be forewarned. If you want to educate yourself, read on. If you have been stuck forever like I have, read on. If you are looking for a quick woo-hoo-you-can-do-it, then move on, this post is not for you. I am passionate about this subject simply because I have been fighting this war for years and I am always looking for intel on my enemy and ways to relay that intel so that victory can be achieved by myself and others. We are in this together.

I am heavy in to documentation on stuff like this. First reason is that I don't toss stuff like this out to the world based on "I suppose" or "I think..." there is TOO MUCH of that already. There is too much celeb personality driven fitness marketing in a world that is dying for lack of hard, simple facts and from the inaction caused by frustration from conflicting messages. The disillusionment from the cult of personality that is so prevalent doesn't help matters any.

Before I begin let me bring some explanations and definitions to the role of insulin and weight loss.... in the words of science.... not diet cults.

"When people eat a food containing carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks down the digestible ones into sugar, which enters the blood.As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that prompts cells to absorb blood sugar for energy or storage."


"Insulin is a key player in the control of intermediary metabolism, and the big picture is that it organizes the use of fuels for either storage or oxidation. Through these activities, insulin has profound effects on both carbohydrate and lipid metabolism...Insulin inhibits breakdown of fat in adipose tissue by inhibiting the intracellular lipase that hydrolyzes triglycerides to release fatty acids....insulin is involved in further accumulation of triglyceride in fat cells....From a whole body perspective, insulin has a fat-sparing effect. Not only does it drive most cells to
preferentially oxidize carbohydrates instead of fatty acids for energy, insulin indirectly stimulates accumulation of fat in adipose tissue."


"Glucose that your cells don't use accumulates as fat."


Short version: When your insulin levels rise due to carb consumption ( from "good" or "bad" carbs), the hormonal response of insulin causes your body NOT to utilize fat for fuel.. period. Carbs not readily utilized as fuel turns to fat. Understanding the relationship between carbohydrate consumption and fat storage is key to appreciating how important the test is. The difference between good or bad is how fast it rises... but it still rises and the key to fat loss is to keep your insulin levels down and stable as much as possible. How you restrict and how much is between you and your health care provider or dietitian. This is purely education, not prescription.

What the test measures and why-
The test measures your respiratory quotient (RQ) Your RQ is the ratio of oxygen and carbon dioxide that you are taking in and expelling. The gas exchange that takes place (like a cars exhaust) tells the story of how your "engine" is doing and how it is managing fuel for combustion and at what percentage.

"The relative amounts of the macronutrients oxidized by an individual are reflected in the respiratory quotient (RQ), which varies inversely with lipid oxidation. A high RQ, indicating a relatively low lipid oxidation, and a low activity of the sympathetic nervous system have both been identified as risk factors for body weight gain."

" a low ratio of fat to carbohydrate oxidation is associated with subsequent weight gain independent of low energy expenditure and may contribute to the familial aggregation of obesity."

... so understanding your RQ is key to understanding what is REALLY going on inside you since your metabolism is going to be individually determined by unique genetic traits as well as lifestyle. This cannot be determined by online calculators, all they can do is provide a generic estimate based on averages and formulas. Can you lose weight without the test? Sure you can. Millions (including me) have done it BUT... it takes a high level of commitment and a dedication to trial and error as well as keen self observation. In spite of that however, as many can attest, you can get stuck... big time (not your typical plateau either).

This is also where even the best of the best can stumble and crash in their resolve. Some lose their minds when they stall out for a month or two. Hang on honey, you ain't seen nothing yet. Wait until you stall for years and you are still 60-80 lbs from goal weight with NO logical explanation. This is where the typical "oh its only a plateau", "you just need to change things up" cliche's really fall flat.... as if weight loss veterans haven't actually considered this.... wow *eye-roll*. At that point you need more than a pat on the back or a woo hoo, you need answers and don't even get me started on fitspirational posters. If all it takes is a picture of a never-been-fat skinny chic, her abs, and a cliche' to motivate you, you probably haven't been at this long enough for reality to set in... brace yourself, it's coming, but I digress... back to science.

The RQ numbers and what they mean.

"Because of the differences in composition of food fuels, different amounts of oxygen are required to completely oxidize those foods to carbon dioxide and water. Thus, the quantity of carbon dioxide produced in relation to oxygen consumed varies depending on the substrate metabolized. This ratio of metabolic gas exchange is termed the respiratory quotient (RQ): "


Short version: Since fat has less oxygen than carbohydrate, the amount your body needs to metabolize it varies and that ratio of O2 and CO2 tells us the percentage of carbs and fats is being metabolized at that moment. When this is done in a fasted condition, it tells you what ratio of fat / carbs your body uses at rest. This is key because we know that metabolic functions from day to day is what burns the majority of our calories. Also, knowing this is also key to adjusting our intake of insulin raising carbohydrates to a level that will allow energy for the day yet still allow us to lose weight since we are metabolizing more fat than carbs.

My Number is .83

"During activities that range from bed rest to light aerobic exercise the RER seldom reflects the oxidation of pure carbohydrate or pure fat. Instead, a mixture of these nutrients is used, and the RER falls between 0.7 and 1.00. "


During the review of my results with my provider, it was determined that my RQ was .83. I was advised that for fat loss, I need to get an RQ of .80 or less. She reviewed my stats and determined that I need to keep my carb levels to approximately 150-ish grams a day with light exercise. The amount can be tweaked as we go along but that gets me in the neighborhood. If needed, I can also see a dietitian to get ideas but I got a pretty good handle on this.

0.83 Carbs 43.8% Fat 56.2% at rest

At .83 my leanings are somewhat toward fat burning, I just need to adjust my carb intake and avoid the processed crap. For some others the number may be much higher and thus highlights the need for intervention to properly adjust the diet to levels that will allow for weight loss since they are natural sugar burners.

I hope this helps someone. i know this was long, but I wanted to get this out there because this was such an eye opener for me and I know it gave me the missing link, what i am needing to really get my weight loss going in the right direction again.

*** ADDENDUM ***
I wanted to make 3 additions to this-

1) The above information should also should cast much doubt on the mindset that some have that says a calorie is a calorie when it comes to the simplistic idea of calories in / calories out. 1500 calories a day of stereotypical high carbohydrate low fat diet is going to produce an entirely different hormonal reaction than 1500 cal of balanced (good) fats, carbs and protein. The insulin response and thus the fat hoarding properties of high insulin will be in play here.

2) The above only applies to those engaging in a moderate exercise program that does not provoke the body to require more carbohydrates to properly fuel one's training (running / triathlon etc..) Again proper balance requires the input of a skilled practitioner in nutrition / sports nutrition to eliminate the guesswork. It's pretty tough to train for performance and still keep ones carbs down for weight loss. It probably should be one or the other but not both.

3) Some have commented that low carb is not a sustainable lifestyle and I tend to agree. It is not a lifestyle, it is a weight LOSS methodology. Lifestyle implies day-to-day living and maintenance. We are mistaken if we think that we can flood our system with hormones that block access to our fat stores and still lose weight. The science says no. When it comes to maintenance, that's different. The only way to lose fat is to tap our fat stores and that is nearly impossible when our nutritional choices blocks our body's ability to use its own fuel. End of story.

As far as maintenance and healthy living goes, I personally believe that there is NO single "best way" to eat. The fact that humans survived and prospered under varying dietary conditions with macronutrients varying greatly should tell us that humans are extremely adaptable. Then again we are talking daily living and thriving, not about creating the metabolic environment for fat loss to occur. The only thing that the varied traditional diets and peoples across the globe have in common is how the dietary wheels fell off when they were introduced to the Western processed food culture. Across the board, many of these cultures never heard of our diseases eating their traditional diet of whatever was local to them. The bad things happened when they traded pineapples and fish for Whoppers or walrus meat and caribou jerky for Chicken McNuggets and Coke.

For further reading on this concept of there not being any one "perfect" way to eat... I highly recommend the book Diet Cults by Matt Fitzgerald.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHYARTIST1 10/25/2014 11:56PM

    Job well done, sharing info like this is so empowering to others. Thank you and I am adding you as a spark friend, if you don't mind.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LIVEDAILY 9/28/2014 4:11PM

    Robert - thank you for all of this information. Just as your number is your number, everyone else's number will also be individual. Each person metabolizes things differently. I think the research is very interesting about sugar, and how it blocks your body from metabolizing fat stores. Thank you again.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    WOW! Thanks for educating the masses! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
JCMSMILE 9/23/2014 2:43PM

    This was a very eye-opening & thoughtfully written blog post. Thank for all your research and for keeping us on point!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
NDKARIKARI 9/20/2014 7:00PM

    this blog was incredibly well said and helpful. I am definitely interested in getting this test done, and will chat with my doctor about this. As usual, thanks for the spot on blog.


Report Inappropriate Comment
LE7_1234 9/20/2014 11:57AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
DONNA_VT 9/20/2014 10:26AM

    Interesting information but I have to wonder how many of our primary care doctors know this information or how to apply it to us as individuals. Thanks for sharing . . . .I love your blogs.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JAMER123 9/20/2014 12:01AM

    I learned a lot of this being a health care professional but it goes more into the depths of the nutrients as you have and then of course we have learned more about our health now then yrs. ago and I know the information will continue to come out to educate us further. Thanks for a very informative blog!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CALLIESWEET 9/19/2014 9:26PM

    Great info, well presented as usual! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROXYZMOM 9/19/2014 8:04PM

    Thank you for taking the time to educate me on this. It is so interesting. I can't wait to see how your new info influences your weight loss.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ROXYZMOM 9/19/2014 8:04PM

    Thank you for taking the time to educate me on this. It is so interesting. I can't wait to see how your new info influences your weight loss.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GABY1948 9/19/2014 7:41PM

    I agree with the others! This is AWESOME stuff! I thank you for all the time and effort on your part. I have saved it and bookmarked it for reference and to reread it...probably many times over!


Report Inappropriate Comment
ONEKIDSMOM 9/19/2014 7:22PM

    By the way, I recommended you to a young man at work who recently joined Spark People. He's also an "in Betweener" and I regularly point to you as an inspiration AND example of someone who has learned much and is never giving up!

You continue to inspire me!

Report Inappropriate Comment
1CRAZYDOG 9/19/2014 5:35PM

    Ok, I am saving this for reference! Awesome information and your explanations are totally understandable. Thank you!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BLUEROSE73 9/19/2014 4:08PM

    I really need to go through this blog again later when I can think clearly. This one is interesting to me in that I have celliac disease. I can not eat wheat, oats, rye or barley. So basically, no breads, cereals, or pastas. I have been finding when I eat right, I get enough carbs from my freggies, but I wonder how this whole thing is working for me, considering my restrictions.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WEWRTFO 9/19/2014 4:05PM

    Great post! I can definitely relate to all of this information and is great information that should be known for all. Since I cut out all the processed foods, artificial sweeteners, wheat and added sugar I have noticed how important it is to keep blood sugar levels very consistent, not too low not too high. You really can tell, just by how you feel and difference in hunger after working out really hard is just remarkable. Eating all the processed food, AS added sugar constantly spiked my blood sugar levels form low to high back to low all the time casing incredible hunger and cravings. Now I make sure I keep my blood sugar levels as constant as possible through the entire day. What works best for me is high fat intake diet, plenty of protein, one fruit and two or more more vegetables per meal 4x per day as my source of sugar, which keeps my blood sugar level even all day long, right in the zone that allows metabolism to reach peak efficiency. I am convinced eating the right combinations of foods at the right times of day increases your metabolism greatly. The 120 pounds I have lost since Dec 20th has been effortlessly , averaging 3000 calorie intake per day. Through level blood sugar levels it is very difficult to overeat or go on any food eating binge and the weight just drops off at a higher calorie intake. My range has been 2000-3500 calories for nine strait months, not one binge says a lot. This from a person who had 48 strait years of constant binge eating, endless hunger.

Comment edited on: 9/19/2014 4:06:27 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
PHOENIX1949 9/19/2014 1:26PM

    emoticon Very interesting.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUBMOM2 9/19/2014 12:21PM

    This is very interesting and you've certainly done your homework! I hope things get going in the right direction again for you!!


Report Inappropriate Comment
SLIMLEAF 9/19/2014 12:19PM

    Thanks. That was interesting.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FOR_THE_DUDES 9/19/2014 11:30AM

    This is great. I wrote a blog about six months ago explaining the basic chemistry behind fat loss. (You can find it on my Sparkpage, if you're interested. The title is "What happens to the fat? (Fun with chemistry)" from Feb 20.) The two blogs really dovetail each other well. I love your blog because it takes a slightly different path focusing more on the interaction of hormones and how our food choices actually impact fat loss.

I would be very interested in getting a metabolic test. Where can you get them done? How much did it cost? If you have insurance, was it covered by insurance?


Comment edited on: 9/19/2014 11:32:53 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
FINDINGBOBBIE 9/19/2014 11:28AM

    This was really interesting. I have tried low carb diets and not only was I very moody, I gained weight. Not sure why it doesn't work for me, I even tried it following the diabetic diet guidelines. When I followed the diabetic guidelines, I lost weight but lacked the energy level needed for my activity and started having issues with extremely low blood sugar. It would be interesting to have this test done but I assume it would be very expensive.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LEWILL1982 9/19/2014 11:23AM

    Great research and science. I so appreciate your hard work and dedication on this. I've kept checking this week, looking for this. This makes it seem so black and white, yet we still struggle with the balance that it takes to get the weight off. I'm going to ask my PCP to have me tested when I go in for my physical in December.

So much of our abilities to lose weight and how our bodies handle it is genetic. Science helps explain things too, that we don't understand. We can do all that we can do, but sometimes we'll only get so far. Those fitspiration posters are good for a quote or two, but a lot of us, aren't going to get those chiseled abs and beautiful arms and shoulders, muscular legs, round booty, etc. That's not reality, but numbers don't lie!

Look how close you are, measuring at .83, and needing to be under .8. You are super close, you must be doing something right, great job and way to be focused!

Report Inappropriate Comment
PATTISTAMPS 9/19/2014 11:12AM

    Wow! that is really good stuff. It makes me realize why low carb diets work so well for some people (myself included) even though they are not really healthy long-term. But I am probably not going to be able to have this test done, and so I will look to making moderate adjustments until I find what will work for me. Thank you for sharing this!

Report Inappropriate Comment

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 Last Page