How I'm fighting the battle

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Life Chris
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How I'm fighting the battle

Postby Life Chris » Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:27 pm UTC

Hey guys,
Basically, for a long time I was one of those people who just never wanted to do anything... like... anything at all. I didn't understand how other people could just go lift on their own, or go for a run or whatever. I guess you could say that it was that motivation bit that was giving me the hardest time. I kind of found out what exactly was causing it. It wasn't the fact that I myself was simply a lazy SOB (though I had some reservations about the matter)... it turns out that depression can have a big impact on your ability to intrinsically motivate yourself (grammar nazis, pardon my use of the second person).

I began to see a therapist, and after a while a psychologist and they put me on meds (wellbutrin) along with this program for um... well it's not psychoanalytical, it's the other one (I don't recall the name haha). After a few weeks the meds started to kick in and I found that I was finally able to actually get myself to do stuff. So, here's what I've been doing to get fit (I want to go to Ranger School in a year and a half or so):

To keep in mind: It's bad to lose more than 5 lbs. per week cus your body will start to fight it... so try to keep it below that or you're likely to experience the yo-yo diet thing (where your efforts are effectively wasted).

1. Run
Looks like the easiest way to get fit quickly is to go running every day if possible. It's really weird but I've started to really enjoy running. Sometimes I'll play back my favorite Benassi Bros. song in my head or even compose poetry based on my surroundings as I go along (though I never have something to write it down with so it's kind of lost in the end). I like to run for fun at night... I think the view of the train station across the Hudson is really pretty.

2. Eat right
This Kinesiology major in my um... dorm (I guess that's what you'd call it) suggested that I increase my intake of protein to a high extent... i.e. eat only protein and veggies for the most part. Keep in mind this is not the Adkins diet or w/e (which is really unhealthy for you since it doesn't offer a replacement of the necessary carbs your body needs to function properly). Basically, for six days out of the week, I just eat protein and cut out the simple carbohydrates (if it's white then you probably shouldn't eat it), then on the seventh I can eat whatever I want. This supposedly works to increase the effectiveness of the stuff that I do use for my carbohydrates. This guy tells me that legumes (peanuts, peas, beans etc.) are money when it comes to losing weight and building up energy. Before I work out (approximately 30 minutes prior) I eat a complex carbohydrate type food. I try to eat an almond bar or 5-10 almonds before I work out too (they're really good for you apparently... just look on wikipedia heh). Surprisingly enough, this really seems to help me get the energy I need to keep going all the way and not give up.

3. Lifting?
I haven't done any lifting and it's kind of um... decreased how many pushups I can do lol, but I'm more interested in losing weight right now and running is my favorite thing to do, so I'm putting this off till I need to actually get some muscle on for this PE class I have next quarter. Suggestions on ways to build up overall endurance with decent strength would be appreciated too :)

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philsov
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Re: How I'm fighting the battle

Postby philsov » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:49 pm UTC

Note: still a beginner at this at the very definition of the word, but:

3. Lifting?


Lifting.

- If you want to get fit, you need to strengthen your muscles. Just losing weight is only one aspect of being fit. Running is great in both the weight loss and cardiovascular capacity, and you shouldn't stop, but lifting on top of running should be more effective. And you said dorm? There's a gym available for your college kiddies, ya?

http://startingstrength.wikia.com/wiki/ ... ength_Wiki

Outlines an overview of possible routine and exercises. Key area is the top right with "getting started". If no gym, you can invest in a pair of variable free weights which should suffice for a lot of things. If that's too much money, stick to body weight stuff like pushups, and then get creative with a bucket and some rocks.

- It's great that you're changing your diet away from simple carbs. Also start counting calories -- if you eat 600 calories worth of protein instead of 400 calories worth of white rice... you're not going to get any slimmer.

Edit: In case you haven't discussed this already, discuss with your Therapist (and maybe a GP?) the potential physical side effects of the meds. The effects, if present, are likely very mild but it's good to be informed and potentially compensate.
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folkhero
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Re: How I'm fighting the battle

Postby folkhero » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:14 am UTC

If you're losing muscle mass, which it sounds like you are if you're able to do fewer pushups while you are losing weight, then it's a good indication that your current eating and work out habits aren't sustainable and you are going to be gaining the weight back. Muscles are your best friends when you're trying to lose fat since they burn a good deal of calories just hanging out not doing anything, and they burn lots of calories when they are put to use. Not focusing on muscles to the point where you're not even maintaining the muscle mass you have now is counter-productive in the long run.

It's great that you are enjoying running so much, the most important thing about exercise and eating well is the ability to keep it up over time and if you have an exercise you really enjoy, it's a huge advantage in that department. Hopefully you can find some muscle-building exercises that you will also enjoy. Most of my exercise is bodyweight stuff and lifts with 20 lb dumbbells while watching TV. I doesn't get me super ripped, but I have pretty decent muscles and it's something I'm actually able to do 3 or 4 times a week because it doesn't require leaving my house and I get to multitask it with TV time. Maybe something like that could work for you.
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Solt
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Re: How I'm fighting the battle

Postby Solt » Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:47 am UTC

folkhero wrote:If you're losing muscle mass, which it sounds like you are if you're able to do fewer pushups while you are losing weight, then it's a good indication that your current eating and work out habits aren't sustainable and you are going to be gaining the weight back. Muscles are your best friends when you're trying to lose fat since they burn a good deal of calories just hanging out not doing anything, and they burn lots of calories when they are put to use. Not focusing on muscles to the point where you're not even maintaining the muscle mass you have now is counter-productive in the long run.


Well the question is is he trying to lose weight or is he trying to lose fat. In the first case, it is inevitable that you will become weaker as you lose overall mass, since excess muscle is the first thing your body gets rid of when you have a calorie deficit (you sell the Ferrari before cleaning out your savings account when you have debts to pay... the fat is the "emergency store" ie, your savings account while muscle is not important, but flashy and nice to have). Now if he only cares about fat loss, that can be accomplished by simply ramping up the amount of muscle building activity without really eating less. Total weight will not necessarily drop, but since muscle is denser than fat, dimensions will be reduced.
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produced a more reliable product. But sailors do
not float on theory, and the welded tankers had a
most annoying habit of splitting in two."
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rsquare
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Re: How I'm fighting the battle

Postby rsquare » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:39 am UTC

You mention Ranger School. Either you're in the Army or going in soon, so can you ace the PT test? If not, I belive that should be your near-term goal. Ranger School is going to push you way beyond that both physically and mentally. It's a lofty goal and I wish you the best of luck!


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