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#421604 - 08/15/09 05:05 PM Worried about how I look?
newbie121 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 02/15/09
Posts: 7

Hi Everyone:

Sorry in advance as this post might be long as I try to introduce myself and explain what the issue is.

Well, I am male of 31 yrs age with 195 lbs and 5 ft 6 inches height.

I practice martial arts on and off but joined back a 2 months ago and will continue few years this time.

I used to weigh around 220 lbs and feel not so fit. However, once I reach 190lbs and below, I start feeling great. Now is the problem. As per all these calculators, I need to lose as much as 50 pounds. My eating habits are moderately bad. I do not eat much junk but lot of preserved foods or outside.

You see, most of what I do at my Kung Fu school is for weight loss first than muscle gain as we do not use any machines at all. My plan is to lose down to 150 lbs and then increase to 165 or so with lean muscle. Now, mind you, I don't care what the calculators say, all I care is how I look and feel.


Here is the problem, as I am losing weight, I already start feeling skinny. I always used to think my weight gave me a little edge on others on how I move around in the society. Nobody could bully me. But now as I lose weight, I already start feeling like a weakling sometimes.

Is this normal, or is it me that needs to change the thinking? Thanks in advance. BTW, I am medium built with good upper body definition.

Thanks,


Edited by newbie121 (08/15/09 06:02 PM)

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#421606 - 08/15/09 06:45 PM Re: Worried about how I look? [Re: newbie121]
puffadder Offline
Member

Registered: 04/29/07
Posts: 250
Loc: UK
Sounds like your entire self image comes down to how you look. Hopefully you will learn that looks aren't that important. What is important is how you feel about yourself, how healthy you are, how comfortable in your own skin and so on. Studying a good kung fu system will help you to find the limits of what you are capable of and start to grow as a person. The gradual development of skills will help you feel better about yourself and your weight/size/looks will seem unimportant compared to the skills you will learn. If your kung fu school is bothered about how you look the only and best suggestion is find a better school. Kung Fu should have nothing to do with looking good although many schools seem to be interested only in appearance of the student and the practice of empty but beautiful looking forms.

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#421609 - 08/15/09 07:44 PM Re: Worried about how I look? [Re: puffadder]
newbie121 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 02/15/09
Posts: 7
Originally Posted By: puffadder
Sounds like your entire self image comes down to how you look. Hopefully you will learn that looks aren't that important. What is important is how you feel about yourself, how healthy you are, how comfortable in your own skin and so on. Studying a good kung fu system will help you to find the limits of what you are capable of and start to grow as a person. The gradual development of skills will help you feel better about yourself and your weight/size/looks will seem unimportant compared to the skills you will learn. If your kung fu school is bothered about how you look the only and best suggestion is find a better school. Kung Fu should have nothing to do with looking good although many schools seem to be interested only in appearance of the student and the practice of empty but beautiful looking forms.


Hey, thanks for the reply. I should clarify that my school is old traditional and does nothing to do with this. The system is fine and my shifu is great. It is more like my own problem. Last time when I did training for 3 months before I quit, I think I was fine. Just that this time, as I lose weight, I felt skinny couple of times and thought looked like a wimp. Maybe I am exaggerating. I guess I should just keep doing what I am doing and good results should come naturally, I guess.

Thanks again,



Edited by newbie121 (08/15/09 07:45 PM)

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#421624 - 08/16/09 01:31 PM Re: Worried about how I look? [Re: newbie121]
Ames Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/29/05
Posts: 1117
Quote:
Here is the problem, as I am losing weight, I already start feeling skinny. I always used to think my weight gave me a little edge on others on how I move around in the society. Nobody could bully me. But now as I lose weight, I already start feeling like a weakling sometimes.


I think this is totally normal--I've been through it myself. Think of it more as now being able to see how refined your technique actually is, or if you were just depending on your size to 'muscle through' things.

Also, it sounds like you're doing mostly cardio. I would strongly suggest you also lift weights. Not only will this help you 'feel' stronger, it will also help you not lose as much muscle while you lose the fat.

--Chris
_________________________
"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
--Basho

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#421627 - 08/16/09 01:42 PM Re: Worried about how I look? [Re: Ames]
puffadder Offline
Member

Registered: 04/29/07
Posts: 250
Loc: UK
Don't mistake martial skill with having big muscles. Remember that kung fu is Chinese and most of them are about 5' tall and of slim build. My own master had awesome speed and power despite being barely over 5' and weighing around 110lbs. If you learn to use the structure of your body correctly you can generate great power without needing to bulk up.

I guess you need to decide if you want to dedicate your training time to building muscle or to working on your skill - that's down to you. Working on your techniques will tone your muscles and will mean the movements you're training will have some real applicable use unlike many weights exercises that are of limited use due to the limited range of movement of the exercise (though I'm sure there will be many on here who disagree).

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#421631 - 08/16/09 04:15 PM Re: Worried about how I look? [Re: Ames]
newbie121 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 02/15/09
Posts: 7
Originally Posted By: Ames
Quote:
Here is the problem, as I am losing weight, I already start feeling skinny. I always used to think my weight gave me a little edge on others on how I move around in the society. Nobody could bully me. But now as I lose weight, I already start feeling like a weakling sometimes.


I think this is totally normal--I've been through it myself. Think of it more as now being able to see how refined your technique actually is, or if you were just depending on your size to 'muscle through' things.

Also, it sounds like you're doing mostly cardio. I would strongly suggest you also lift weights. Not only will this help you 'feel' stronger, it will also help you not lose as much muscle while you lose the fat.

--Chris


Thanks for your reply Chris. I think you nailed it pretty good. I think I am experiencing a bit of 'not feeling' stronger. I might be losing a bit muscle. I was thinking of losing lot of weight before building again. I practice white crane kung fu. While it consists mainly forms and drills, there is a bit of weight training when I practice with others while I push their bodies:). I was under the impression that if I do weight training along with Kung Fu, I may end up not losing the weight in numbers at least. I will look into doing some weight training.

Thanks again,

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#421632 - 08/16/09 04:20 PM Re: Worried about how I look? [Re: puffadder]
newbie121 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 02/15/09
Posts: 7
Originally Posted By: puffadder
Don't mistake martial skill with having big muscles. Remember that kung fu is Chinese and most of them are about 5' tall and of slim build. My own master had awesome speed and power despite being barely over 5' and weighing around 110lbs. If you learn to use the structure of your body correctly you can generate great power without needing to bulk up.

I guess you need to decide if you want to dedicate your training time to building muscle or to working on your skill - that's down to you. Working on your techniques will tone your muscles and will mean the movements you're training will have some real applicable use unlike many weights exercises that are of limited use due to the limited range of movement of the exercise (though I'm sure there will be many on here who disagree).


Thanks for your reply. I completely get what you are saying. I am not after big muscle although I am after feeling a bit stronger. I may have to wait for to happen like last time when I joined Kung Fu. I did feel stronger after 3 months. This time, it has been only 1.5 months so far. I was just sharing what I was feeling. In fact, at my school, all instructors except two do not have any visible muscle at all. I want to strike a balance between a bit of muscle and speed.

While I am going to look into weight training, I will wait at least another 1.5 months to see how I feel then.

Thanks again,


Edited by newbie121 (08/16/09 04:21 PM)

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#421633 - 08/16/09 06:45 PM Re: Worried about how I look? [Re: newbie121]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
welcome Newbie21,

height/weight charts and BMI readings are pretty useless, and influenced by health insurance companies in order to keep premiums high.

For example, a competetive marathon runner will come out as dangerously underweight by such guages, and a professional bodybuilder will be shown to be morbidly obese.

Neither statement is true of course.

Its never a case of 'lose the fat first, then gain the muscle'. Your physiology simply doesnt work like that.

Here is my advice, as a sports nutritionist, and qualified trainer.

Enjoy your kung fu, and outside of that, feel free to do some activities to increase your general fitness, in turn, allowing you to apply that fitness to your kung fu.

Other activities could include swimming, jogging or cycling for your stamina, pilates or yoga to improve your posture, balance and what is known as 'core strength', and basic supervised weighttraining in a good gym, to improve strength and musculature.

Mix it up, find what you enjoy, and go with it- its all good stuff :-)

To compliment your new active lifestyle, try and improve your diet - lots of fruit and veg, less processed and red meat, and not many fast food, or take-out meals. Its not rocket science wink

By doing regular, varied exercise, working hard at your Kung Fu, and eating more sensibly, your physical appearance will take care of itself.

There is no 'ideal' or 'optimum' weight for your height or body type. There is only what is right for you as an individual.
Personaly, I would throw your scales out and go by how you feel, and how you look in the mirror.
Weight is an abstract concept that tells you nothing about your physical condition.
_________________________
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
http://cord.mybrute.com

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#421634 - 08/16/09 07:30 PM Re: Worried about how I look? [Re: Cord]
newbie121 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 02/15/09
Posts: 7
Originally Posted By: Cord
welcome Newbie21,

height/weight charts and BMI readings are pretty useless, and influenced by health insurance companies in order to keep premiums high.

For example, a competetive marathon runner will come out as dangerously underweight by such guages, and a professional bodybuilder will be shown to be morbidly obese.

Neither statement is true of course.

Its never a case of 'lose the fat first, then gain the muscle'. Your physiology simply doesnt work like that.

Here is my advice, as a sports nutritionist, and qualified trainer.

Enjoy your kung fu, and outside of that, feel free to do some activities to increase your general fitness, in turn, allowing you to apply that fitness to your kung fu.

Other activities could include swimming, jogging or cycling for your stamina, pilates or yoga to improve your posture, balance and what is known as 'core strength', and basic supervised weighttraining in a good gym, to improve strength and musculature.

Mix it up, find what you enjoy, and go with it- its all good stuff :-)

To compliment your new active lifestyle, try and improve your diet - lots of fruit and veg, less processed and red meat, and not many fast food, or take-out meals. Its not rocket science wink

By doing regular, varied exercise, working hard at your Kung Fu, and eating more sensibly, your physical appearance will take care of itself.

There is no 'ideal' or 'optimum' weight for your height or body type. There is only what is right for you as an individual.
Personaly, I would throw your scales out and go by how you feel, and how you look in the mirror.
Weight is an abstract concept that tells you nothing about your physical condition.


Thanks a lot for your reply and welcoming Cord. I am not a newbie exactly as I have been reading these wonderful forums for a while. For that matter, I always enjoy your well rounded, informative replies.

As I said before, I do understand that those calculators like BMI do not really serve any real purpose rather than a simple tool to make some people happy at least. I always go by how I feel. Even at 190 lbs (height 5'6''), none of my friends think I am overweight. My build is medium and unless my tummy comes out there is no way to tell. I always had good definition.

Thanks for your excellent advice. I love my Kung Fu. At the moment, I am looking into doing things like weight training, playing ping pong (really good at it), learning swimming (don't laugh, I don't know how to swim), or going sprinting (can not really run for long but love to sprint). I am going to start doing at least one or two of them in coming two weeks.

Apart from that, the big thing for me is eating healthy. While I don't eat at McDonalds or type, I do eat preserved food. I cut one bad habit recently (smoking), cutting eating bad food is next bad habit I am going to attack.:):) It should not be that hard for me to change into good food habits though.

Well, once again, thanks to you all for answering my questions and putting me on the right track. Maybe, I will be happy to report good results once I achieve them.

Thanks for this great forums,

Newbie121


Edited by newbie121 (08/16/09 11:44 PM)

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#421641 - 08/17/09 05:22 AM Re: Worried about how I look? [Re: newbie121]
karl314285 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 326
Loc: The Matrix, Serif is Teacher
Hi, welcome

Uh gotta say I'm no MD, Nutritionist nor geneticist, cool?

1. first thanks for the vital stats post and current, helps better phrased answer

2. Learn the medical history of parents, grandparents, siblings and close cousins...to include surgical Hx, chronic or genetically inherited traits/diseases/and body morphology changes and to those get approximate year of diagnosis or onset (you did inherit your future in a sense). If One is deceased, cause of death and age.

3. Hate to say it, at 30's genetic traits such as weight gain begin, your still a pup but say addisons disease or diabetes type II are common than you will have a more difficult time losing weight.

4. Losing 50 lbs is a LOT and should take quite a while as excessively rapid weight loss can be bad for kidneys heart and mental function acuity. Consult an MD to first check for pathological reasons for wt. gain and an eval organ fct. to time how much tolose how fast and how to connect to support groups.

5. I hate giving good people bad news...once a fat cell is created it does not die as you diet...in point of fact it loses lipids and that [censored] it off causing a secretion of a potent hormone which stimulates the brains hunger center...overcoming this signal is possible...through will power (or liposuction, but as you can die during any invasive procedure, I hope thats not an option)

6. Please,please avoid "weight loss OTC pills" esp. if on any Rx meds currently, ephedrine, a natural precursor to methamphetamine, should no longer be present...so those pills are loaded w/ caffeine containing herbs (green tea, yerba matte, etc.) and will not be good for your long term blood pressure (or immediate, if you neglected MD idea, dieing of a weight loss caffeine OD is up there with dieing during liposuction.

7. Cord got it down my friend, great resource, I just posted cautions recommended an MD visit and establishing if your weight for age is genetically typical...OH yeah, family Hx get Bad Habits as well and avoid them. perhaps 175lbs is a more realistic/attainable goal...this one project where you end wt. goal is important, you can hit 150 again (provided reincarnation is real smile )miss the desired goal is a big cause for relapse and, shoot more bad news, rebound weight gin generally exceeds prior high, fat cells believe you are starving during a weight loss program and pack more on for the next starvation.

desire restraint moderation and will power (knowledge and exercise help too smile

best wishes achieving goal.
Being big as in heavy may feel like ann advantage to you but to me...if you intend to seriously harm me...well excess is a leading cause of knee problems so i'm kickin or shooting brutally there, just so I dont have to run from you.

Try this for confidence... make lots of eye contact with potential threats wherever you notice them while mentally seeing them as your "Prey", you are a Lion among sheep. believe it.

Karl. Peace.
_________________________
do not try to spork the post, for that is impossible, only realize there is no post to spork

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