Thursday, September 22, 2011

Healthy Wargamer Challenge

My computer issues have now been resolved and I am getting caught back up with the online content that I have missed. I have just found out that one of my Online friends has passed away He and I have been friends since I found the Dice like Thunder now Eternal Warriors podcast and have enjoyed sharing our hobby via the live show chat and forums. We also became friends on Facebook, which was neat as I got to know more than just the gamer he was. I would like to offer his wife and young children my most sincere condolences

On September 9th James Ayles also known as "xxxjammerxxx" passed away from a sudden massive heart attack at age 45. I am in shock; James was only a couple of years older than I am. The first thing that I thought was that could have easily been me.

Back in June I had reached a weight of 375 pounds; I was horrified, I immediately decided that denial of my health and weight issues could not go on any longer. So I began walking every day; at first I walked a mile a day, but within weeks I was walking a steady 3 miles.

It was on one of these walks that I got clipped by that damned car a few weeks ago. It was bizarre I found myself going stir crazy due to my inability to take my walks. So I worked hard at rehabbing myself as fast as I could. Even with the pain from my previously dislocated shoulder I pushed on to rehab the shoulder as soon as I could manage to move the darned thing!

At the time of my accident I had lost 45 pounds, thank goodness I have not put any back on from my inactivity. I have resumed walking although I am only walking a mile and a half right now. The rehab on my arm is taking a toll on me and I don’t want to over do it while I heal.

I would like to lose at least another 45 pounds by the New Year. I will be chronicling my progress by weekly on the blog, not something I would usually do, but I think that gamers need to be aware of the repercussions of being an inactive and/or overweight hobbyist.

I have a few medical conditions that are caused from my weight and inactivity. Up until August I had a serious issue with my blood pressure and was on medication for the condition. I am happy to say that through my recent exercise I have completely corrected the condition. I always knew that I could control my blood pressure through exercise, but was just too lazy and it was easier to just take the medication then go through all that effort. I was also borderline diabetic, which I am happy to say is also no longer the case!

I feel a hundred times better than I did back in June, I really do. I now wake up in the morning invigorated and ready to start my day; before it took me at least an hour to shake the grogginess outta my head.

The tragic passing of James has strengthened my resolve. I will be down to a weight of 190 pounds by this time next year; or at least that is the plan. I swear I won’t go back to ever being as inactive as I was back before June.

So here is the challenge for any of you that would like to embark upon this journey with me.

Make a determined effort to be more active and healthy. Get a bit of exercise and eat a bit better staying away from those typical sugary gamer snacks. This is not necessarily a weight loss challenge as it is more of a getting into a more healthy state of mind and body; don’t get me wrong weight loss is a thing to be praised. Then when I make my post in two weeks just report your progress in the comments.

Whether or not you join me I will be sharing my progress with you guys in two weeks. I will not pass quietly into the night; I will do everything in my power to live good life as long as I can.


  1. Kudos on your efforts towards good health.

  2. Thanks for sharing this. At the end of last year I had reached 285lbs and decided it was time for a change. Starting in January I added walking and hiking and increased by biking. My wife and kids joined in. We started eating healthier too. All was going well and by June I was down 25lbs. Then an indulgent summer vacation and the Arizona heat set in and I was soon back to old habits. I have put 15lbs back on during my inactivity. I have restarted my walking this morning and I hope to make up my lost ground and reach 45lbs down by the end of the year. The ultimate goal is to be back to 200lbs.
    Keep up the good work! I know there are many others in our hobby that struggle with the same issues. It is good to know that you are not alone.

  3. First off, glad to hear you are feeling better.
    Secondly, I would also like to commend you for your efforts to lose weight. Guess no more supersized burritos of doom for you!

  4. Hey Jim,

    Just so you know, you aren't alone. I'm topping in at 225 right now, which for my height is bad. I'm on the weight loss train as well. Maybe we can keep each other updated. :)

  5. All I can say is that you are doing a great thing for yourself. In my line of work I see people dying regularly from obesity-related health problems, many far, far too young.

    You're an inspiration. Keep up the good work.

  6. Glad to hear it Big Jim! Or should I say soon-to-be Medium Jim? :)

    The walking is a great way to get healthy, I've been doing something similar, I crept up to 270 recently and have been doing hour walks four times a week and have managed to get the weight going the right direction. Keep it up - you're not in it alone!

  7. Keep it up!

    I've never had a problem with maintaining a healthy weight, but recently I've been more concerned about eating better and exercising regularly given the various medical problems that my family has a history of. I was going to put off going running when I get home tonight, but your post has inspired me lace up my running shoes!

  8. Go, Jim!

    Last week I started a lo-carb diet, hoping to slough off the 25 pounds I've put on since my daughter was born 3 years ago. The first three days were miserable, but I can already feel a change. It's true that us gamers are more at risk due to lifestyle. Keep up the good work!

  9. I'm in a "healthy" range for my height and muscle density, but the armed forces want me to be at minimum 30 pounds less, so I think I'll go by their standards!

    Hopefully pushing carts all day will aid me in this endeavor. But, you never know, so I'm back biking to work and doing a couple tens of laps around the building before work starts up again on top of that, so all I really gotta worry about is the food intake (which if you're living on $150 after rent and utilities, you're pretty much eating nothing but crap...)

    And THEN there's the hobby!

  10. Kudos to you Jim for talking about this and I wish you the best of success. My condolences on the passing of your friend.


  11. Sorry to hear about James:( I hope we all can turn things around. Yes, I am also above the recommended weight:/

    I'd love to see LFGSs starting to offer some healthier alternatives. I tend to buy my snacks where I pay as I know that owning a gamestore seldom makes the owners rich.

    And I'm going to get off the couch and paint. Still gotta be better to paint than slouch? Right?

  12. I applaud your efforts. I'm not the slimmest person in the world, but I try and stay pretty healthy (and ran a half marathon last weekend), but it is sad how many gamers just don't seem to care for their health and appearance.

    Keep it up, and if you are struggling to keep going, I'm sure a post on here will get you back to it as I know loads of people will be there to spur you on.

  13. Good on you mate.

    I better pull finger out too!

  14. Big Jim,
    First off congrats on the weight loss so far! I myself have lost 50 pounds, but I've started to slack off the last few months. Would you mind if I re-posted this on my blog with full credit to you?

    Also, my condolences on the loss of your friend.

  15. Good on you!
    About a year ago i finally got some health issues dealt with and immediately after that, decided i needed to do something about the rising scale weight. And now I'm running a marathon in 7 weeks.
    I will admit it has taken up all my time and I haven’t played a game in a few months, but it has been worth it to take a break and prioritize for a bit. But i am looking forward to my return to gaming!
    A resource I wanted to share with everyone is the Couch to 5k program. It’s a great way to start moving and really shed those lbs.
    Walking is great, but if you can get your heart rate up a bit more, the caloric burn sky rockets.

  16. Thanks for all the comments and encouragement, I do appreciate it!

    It is indeed good to know that others are in the same position and are working on fixing the problem.

    @ Drunken Samurai, I feel you and have been there many times myself. Just keep on keeping on!

    @Neil, I would really dig keeping each other updated, I expect to see your comments in two weeks!

    @WQrobb, as an ex-paramedic I totally know what you are talking about.

    @Modian 7th, Kudos to you bro, keep it up!

    @Alex, I am glad I inspired you and hope it was a good run!

    @Fonkin, good for you, good luck and keep going!

    @Andy, Thanks bro, I am sure that I will need to encouragement from time to time over the next year!

    @Asmodi, good for you, stop being a slacker ;) and yes feel free to repost!

    @Mikel, congrats on getting in good enough shape to run a marathon! Thanks for the link it is always good to have resources and to change up the workout. I have in the past done the walk and jog thing, it does work, but currently the jogging plays hell on my knees. I am sure that once I am under 300 pounds this will change some.

  17. @Big Jim
    Thanks for the repost, and the motivation!
    If your knees are hurting when you jog / run, pay close attention to how your feet are landing while doing it. Really try to focus on landing with your mid to fore foot rather than on your heel. Heel striking as it is called will cause damage to your knees and legs. I injured my I.T. band about this time last year. During physical therapy I saw how hard I hitting the ground with my heels and decided to change my stride rather than go through all that again! I finished my first 5K on the 4th of July, and have another planned for a week before Christmas.

  18. I'll be posting. :) Took my baseline weight as of this morning. 217.6. So, I'm a little lighter since I started, but now I'll be keeping track weekly. Will post next week!

  19. Actually, if you put up a regular post about it, I'll announce this on the podcast this week and see if we can get a bunch of people updating on a regular basis.