Starcraft, Weight, and Pain

By Liquid`Sheth
23:04 January 21 2013

Just wanted to write a blog to talk about what's new with me and two points in particular.. Mostly hand pain and the fact that I need to lose weight. These two things would affect anyyone, in Starcraft and in life.

So to start with, I wanted to share what I've started to do in regards to my weight. A week ago I weighed 312 pounds (141.5kg). My height is around 6'2 or so, which means I'm very likely considered "really obese" or something similar. I've been this weight for a while now, and before when I tried to lose weight I couldn't get past certain problems. The first main problem was that in the evenings I'd get really bad headaches and just not be able to sleep from time to time. And I could fix these headaches by eating a bunch of sugary foods. So in order to sleep and get rid of my headache I would eat way too many sweets and then fall asleep.

The other problem is that losing weight while traveling around and training as much as I do when I'm home is extremely tough. Many things will always be messed up food-wise at SC2 events. (MLG Arenas being the happy exception that proves the rule.) I realize both of these are simply excuses however. It's my fault that I'm overweight, because not all people who have to travel and get headaches are as well. So even though these are excuses, I realize they're not good ones and they are able to be overcome.

So now to get to the actual important part the whole "what am I doing about it?" part. I've tried plenty of diets. I've read a ton of books on working out, books on specific exercise (running, yoga etc) and books on diets (4hour body, and one other). None of these have kept me doing them for a long period of time. I think I was on one diet for around 2 weeks before I fell off and that was really a painful diet to be on. Interestingly enough my new plan comes from StarCraft kind of. Rob Verspui an old BW friend of Nazgul from the Netherlands who used to play under the ID ToT)Strafe(. He was helping people with dietary problems in Thailand, which is where he lives now.

After talking with Victor a bit, I got to talk with Robbie. I'd been struggling with hand injuries (Went to two doctors, both said 'we've done all the tests we can and its nothing we know of') for a while now. We decided that it would be smart for me to take a little break and to focus on my health first. Nazgul even said it would be fine for me to keep being paid even though I won't be playing SC2 during this time. This is extremely nice and something he didn't need to do. Just wanted to say how awesome that was for me...

Anyway onto the diet. So I explained my headaches, my sweet cravings in evenings, and we talked a lot about diet in general. He knows a ton of things and it was amazing listening to him and his ideas. The meat of this blog will be me sharing what his advice was and how it has affected me since then.

To begin with the diet is called the Paleo Diet. Its main point is to eat things that humans ate at a much earlier time—think cave men. The main point of this diet is two-fold; both exercise and the way you eat. I'll start with the food/diet part of it. The main things I can eat are any meats that have no preservatives, no hormones added, and that the animal wasn't caged and preferably was grass fed. Fruits and vegetables have to be fully organic. I can't eat things like wheat, rice, corn, bread and things like that. And the right cooking oils are very important to the diet too, right now I use coconut oil and it is absolutely amazing. So when I started in on this diet I seriously expected this food to taste horrible and for me to hate it, but to just soldier on through it and maybe eventually get used to it.

I'd only eaten say fat free, or low fat or health bars before and so I assumed other "healthy" food would taste bad like that. However it turns out that organic fruits are waaay better then normal fruits. Organic pears are so far my favorite and are absolutely amazing. Also meat when it's not hormone fed and no preservatives and raised properly just tastes better. If you think bacon is good, you would kick yourself for not knowing about organic bacon because it's way better as well. My basic breakfast is usually 3 eggs and 3 pieces of bacon and maybe 5 blueberries. My lunch is maybe a piece of chicken, bacon, pieces of ham, sea salt, lettuce and vinegar or olive oil. And I can eat however much of any of it that I want to, in fact the goal is to get really full off of these foods so I'm not hungry for anything else that's worse for me.

So that's the basics for the food part now to get into the exercise part. I've tried plenty of different exercises. Jogging was always my favorite, but I have torn meniscus in my left knee and this combined with me being overweight basically means a lot of pain if I jog a lot. I discussed this with Robbie and this is the plan he came up with: walk an hour a day, preferably outside. Every time I've been at the computer for an hour, I need to force myself to get up and stretch for 2-5 minutes. Twice a week I need to sprint 100m five times with a small break in between, and I need to go as fast as I can on a bike for 20 seconds, rest for 10 and repeat that 8 times and then do that 3-4 times a week. Also, I need to set a normal time for me to go to sleep by (say 2am) and then let myself sleep as long as I need to from that point. And interestingly enough for the headaches, whenever I seem to eat blueberries and strawberries it seems to help a little. So that's been a huge help as well.

That's pretty much the whole diet. I started this last Thursday and was at 312 pounds (141.5kg) and just very inactive and unhealthy feeling. As of this Friday I was at 301.5 pounds (136.7kg) and feeling healthier then I'd felt in a long time. Basically I feel this is really working well for me. I don't hate this diet like I've hated plenty of other diets. I get to talk with Robbie whenever I need help with the diet. And honestly I'm actually enjoying this. I get to eat tastier foods, more of them, and not feel guilty for doing it. And the exercise isn't too difficult and kind of fun. The first time I did the sprints I ended up throwing up afterwards, but it felt good knowing that I was hopefully getting over the toughest part. And since then it's just given me more energy afterwards. I started doing four 15 minute walks a day. Today I did one 45 minute walk before writing this and I plan on doing the other 15 later on. Still its much easier than when I started and it's only been around 9 days. If you want to learn more about this diet that I would strongly recommend checking out Robbie's Facebook!

I'm going to keep up with this as it is extremely important for me to get healthier. I hope that when I get back to playing SC2 full time I'll be in better shape both for my hands and for me. If you have any questions for me, you're more then welcome to ask in the comments and I'll answer as many as I can. So thanks a lot for taking the time to read this, and I'll try and write another blog in about a week to catch you up on if I've gained weight or lost weight or what. And maybe tweet or add another comment here if I'm having problems early, or find some other amazing food like natural bacon. Again thanks a ton Team Liquid (Victor) for helping to set this up, and Robbie for helping me out!
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