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  1. A few days ago, one week shy of my fortieth birthday, I decided that I need some help on my journey… Backstory: As an adult, I've never really been fit or healthy. About 10 years ago when I moved to Mumbai, I was a UK size 20. A few stints at the gym along with portion control helped me to lose weight and get reasonably in shape, levelling out at a UK size 12. I was my lowest weight about 5 years ago, but as it was due to a combination of immense stress and illness, I was not healthy or really prepared to maintain that weight. Over a two year period, I steadily put on weight until I started running. Setting myself a challenge of running a 5k and a 10k kept me going at it for just over a year, and in turn helped me lose weight and get back to a good level of fitness. Then a promotion at work, a dickhead boss, and dug up roads threw a spanner in the works - I couldn't run at my usual time or place so I stopped. At that point, I was the closest to being 'fit and healthy' as I've ever been. I even joined the Rebellion just over 2 years ago, but I just lurked in the shadows. Instead of participating, I went solo. I dabbled with working out and doing yoga at home, but nothing really stuck. My healthy eating habits were slowly replaced with more and more treats. My portion size got out of control and I ate out of boredom, especially at weekends. I ate because it was 'time to eat', yet I wasn't usually hungry. So over a two year period, I moved from my 'small' sized clothes, into my 'medium' and finally into my 'large' size clothes from my pre-running days. Then in December 2016, my 'large' clothes started getting tight. This was the kick I needed to get back on it. I found a 90-day training program to follow, with a variety of workouts to stop me from getting bored (an issue with me). I also started to make changes in my food. Measuring portions. Cutting out soda. Cutting back on bread & packaged goods. Over the last 3 months, I've made exercising a habit and lost 10lbs. I've bought some dumbbells to use at home. I've found my hunger. But…. As I got closer to the end of the 90 days, I was starting to feel lost and overwhelmed - what next? I realised that I needed a new challenge. The universe must have heard my plea! One of Steve's emails sent me over to the NF website, and on to the Level Up Your Life site to build my character, which reminded me of this fabulous forum I'd joined back in 2015 but never taken part in. I made it back here just in time to see that the next 4-week mini challenge was about to start!!! So why do I need y'all in my life? I need new challenges and goals - I get bored easily I need accountability - I find it easy to start stuff, I rarely finish or make something a lasting part of my life (I've been learning Hindi on and off for 10 years now… This year it will stick!) I need support from positive people who are changing their lives one step at a time And what do I want to change? I want to get fit & strong I'm excited to get started
  2. I joined the academy and the men's Facebook group a month ago, I've never really used fora in the past and don't really know what to expect. I have had some real success in this first month and have lost weight, inches and my sense that "I'll just end up giving up like I always have in the past". I don't have 100% support from my family who seem to think I'm either a little crazy, a little obsessed or just plain annoying. Once I settle into feeling like I can have a less than perfect meal or lay off walking every day (I've stuck at it every day for a month now) without beating myself up this may settle but I'm not keen on missing even one and know that I am going to keep the quest of never missing two in a row. Not struggling yet and I'm determined to keep at it. I'm on NF diet level 7ish and BW level 3. I do a couple of chin ups every time I pass my bar (in my bedroom doorway) so I hope to progress with pull type exercises pretty well (always a bugbear in the past) Not sure what else to add.
  3. ...but not always confidence in me Well that is partially untrue. I am very blessed to have wonderful friends and family. I am getting a PhD. I play in a band (and am shamelessly quoting the Sound of Music in my title). I have a wonderful dog named Dougie to walk me. However, when it comes to nutrition, fitness and how I feel about myself and my body I still have room to grow. I am a 31 year old male who has been overweight (and sometimes even obese) for my whole adult life. I have generally shied away from any physical activity. I am a complete and unapologetic nerd. Maybe not the gamer type (I am too busy reading books about math, history and economics). I also use Linux, which is probably not a necessary, but definitely sufficient condition for nerd-dom. I am a Toronto Maple Leafs fan (very die hard!). I love to talk about music. I love learning new things (but somehow diet and fitness has escaped my interests?). I am currently reading "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking. I also got a lot out of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey. That was instrumental in getting me to join here. In the last year I have been making some incremental changes to my life, but I am somewhat stalled. I will start by listing some the changes I have made and their payoffs (I am an economist so I like measurables): Last New Years (start of 2016) I promised myself I would join an intramural league and start a band. I did both those things. I have actually played intramural volleyball, all sorts of sports, floor hockey and archery tag since then. Last week my band played our first headlining gig. Last summer I found out my cholesterol was high. I decided to lose weight. Some early changes I made were cutting out soda, chips, fast food. I have lapsed a bunch, but for the most part seriously scaled this stuff back. I was 246 lbs last July and just weighed myself at 204 lbs yesterday. Since the most recent New Year I have doubled down my efforts at fitness and feeling better overall. I have actually already used a lot of resources from this website, including the home workouts and some of the recipes. However, I got brave and went into my school gym the other day and didn't even know where to begin!!! I was so out of my comfort zone. As well, being around people that work out regularly made me feel very ashamed of my body and completely discount the progress I had made. The sober realization is that I still have some ways to go; so I took the plunge and signed up. I had some initial motivations for committing myself to "looking" better (My sister is getting married and I am the MC. Having my heart broken). However, I did some of the exercises in the mindset section and I thought it may be helpful to share my bigger "why's" for getting in shape: To develop self confidence, a sense of pride and to believe in myself. To manage my mental health. To live as long as possible and to have the stamina to do awesome things that I used to love (like canoe trips, hockey and maybe some new things?) To overcome fears and build resilience. To be an example for my family and friends. To improve my confidence with women. In terms of goals, I will try to measure them in terms of things I can do and wear. I have some old clothes that I used to love that finally fit, though a bit tight. I also want to be able to do a pull up and a chin up and am working towards this. When I do push-ups I use my knees and would like to be able to do 3 sets of regular push-ups. I plan on hanging out on these forums as I learn over the coming months so I look forward to getting to know you. I am in Ontario, Canada so Eastern Standard Time (and we just lost an hour!!). Cheers, Kevin P.S. Sorry this was so long. I guess I am quite excited to be here?
  4. Short summary of my story: Hey i'm JJ; I've been living on my own since the age of 17. That's when my health took a downhill spin towards dangerous. I started at 113 pounds and lost weight drastically due to the stress of finding somewhere to live and finishing high school on my own (on top of never having a job or even a permit to drive). My future wasn't looking to good. I've been labeled many things by doctors and the titles always seem to change. I have my good days and bad just like anyone else. My boyfriend at the time Matthew is the only reason why I made it through those years. After 5 years he is the glue that keeps me together. And we are going to be married by the end of this year Fast-forward to now at 21: I hit rock bottom in those years (several times), I weigh 95 pounds and I barley eat once a day most times. I'm not intentionally starving myself, but can't get to the point to gain weight and keep eating. Realization hit me after an attempt on taking my life in early January of 2016 that things needed to change. Matt helped me get through the depression that was slowly eating me away; physically and mentally. We've made it our goal to change our lives for the better. We have made many changes and want to get our lives on track. Eating healthy and working out together is our goal and something we are taking seriously. I showed him this site and he's ready to start with me. I can't wait to see our progress and see where we end up. He is the biggest supporter I have and we'll be doing every step together. There's no looking back now; let the transformation begin. Battle Plan: 1 week in and I have already seen results. My main goal is to reach a healthy weight along with eating at least 2,500+ calories in order to gain the muscle that I need while working out. I already have many quest's lined up and all of the basics down. Going from barley 1 meal to 3 meals+ snacks in order to reach my calories in a day has been one of the most difficult tasks. Now it's all in the mindset of keeping my goals in order to see results. Off to a great start and can't wait to be able to check off those weight lifting goals. I have my workout routine planned out along with my warm up and cool down and thanks to matts help during the workout I have been able to do every set of reps. Now that I have the energy from eating working out is something I look forward to after my rest days. Let the battle begin.
  5. Hey, newbie here! I was told about this website by a friend of mine, and thought "You know what? This is what I need." I have tried weight loss in the past, but although I would occasionally talk to some of my friends about it, I never had a full support system. After reading through the stuff this website offers, I am convinced this is the support system I need. So, here's my backstory (sorry if it's wordy): I am always been overweight, although a few months ago I was made aware that at one point I was probably smaller than I gave myself credit for. This was when I tried giving one of my old pairs of pants to my brother. He is also overweight, but not as bad as the rest of the family; I was sure he was smaller than I was before I gained weight and yet, the pants were too small for him. Here's me when I was 20 (I'm 27, now): Don't ask me to do that move anymore, I can't. Three years ago (going on four), I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and Dermatomyositis. As Dermatomyositis is a rare one (about 1 in 100,000 people get it a year), the short description is my immune system suddenly decided my muscle tissue looked appetizing. In order to curb this, I am currently taking Imuran. However, the first medication they had to put me on was Prednisone. In the three years I was on this, I gained over a hundred pounds. For anyone who doesn't know, Prednisone has (among a MULTITUDE of side effects) the effect of causing weight gain ON TOP OF increased appetite. During my time on the Prednisone, I attempted weight loss ONCE, and lasted two weeks. During these two weeks, I lost five pounds; yay, right? But then, I was weak, and fell right back into my habits. Last year for Animaritime (local convention), I thought "screw weight perceptions, I'm gonna cosplay Harley Quinn!" And I had a blast! People loved my portrayal despite my weight. This year (end of June), I cosplayed her again, though with a new look. Again, great feedback. However, in February, I had kicked the Prednisone completely. Also, sometime after that, I had decided to cut out pasta and rice from my diet completely. Also, for the past year, I have been truly ENJOYING water. The last time I drank soda, was because I used part of a 222ml can of Sprite for a recipe, and drank the rest. Now, as I was going over my photos post-con, I noticed something: In pictures from this year, I was noticeably smaller than last year. I posted pictures from both cons side-by-side to FaceBook, and my friends agreed that yes, I had definitely dropped some weight. Over the past two weeks, now (or is it closer to three?) I have been gradually cutting how much I eat in a day, and I make sure to stop eating after six o'clock at night. Also, even if it's just walking, I make sure to do at least a half-hour's worth of exercising a day. Although one of my favourite exercises that I used to do years ago that I've started picking up again (I can only do about ten minutes worth of the set) is a ballet conditioning DVD that I bought some years ago. You can find the whole thing on YouTube if you're curious (I did not post it), just type Element Ballet and the video is just under an hour. So, I'm hoping that with the support system of people on here along with tips offered by the webmaster I'll be able to melt the fat off more easily. Maybe in a year or so I'll be able to wear Harley's unitard? Here's the comparison picture of my two costumes from last year and this year (years indicated at the bottom):
  6. Ok, so maybe not quite, but that does seem like an apt title for an introductory post. My name is Sarah and my story begins - well, probably as far back as my childhood - but this particular story arc begins about 9 years ago when I had gastric-bypass surgery. For those who don't know, gastric-bypass surgery is really only considered for those people who are morbidly obese (read: will die from being obese), and who have a history of failed attempts at losing weight (I started seeing nutritionists and doctors when I was in 2nd grade). For me, the surgery went great. I had no real problems during recovery, and I lost weight - a lot of it. I lost 180 lbs, actually. I kept most of it off for a few years until I moved to Florida and was unemployed for a few months. My mom had, had the surgery before me, and she had been my fitness partner and without her, I really slacked off on keeping active. Being unemployed didn't help, and then when I was employed, it was at a pay level far below what I was used to. I had a lot of excuses for not getting back into a fitness routine. Most had to do with comfort and money (no money to join a gym, hate sweating out in the Florida heat, no money to get proper exercise clothing, etc.), and some had to do with the fact that I am accustomed to failure and don't like setting myself up for it again. I have no particular reason as for why I am ready to start anew at this point in time. A friend of mine who lives far away told me that she is using this platform, and it seems like we're both looking for motivating, encouraging people right now. It just seems like it is time. I would love to get back down to 170 lbs, where I was at my lowest weight. But that isn't my real goal. For some reason, this past year has been littered with messages for me about accepting my beauty, and I don't particularly care what weight I am at. I simply want to be healthier, and that definitely means being more active. If I lose weight as a side effect, great. If not, ok, too.
  7. ME BEFORE I had been athletic all through school. I was involved w/ team sports & loved going to the gym with my dad. After recovering from the birth I went back to the gym but my dad was no longer able to go with me. I tried to remember what to do but got bored and lost interest. I gained and gained and after my second child I was well on my way to the 270lb that was my highest weight. I did not work out, I didn't even like to go for walks, I could not keep up with my kids, I was having back problems, I couldn't lean over to shave or put on socks, I was upset and sad about how I looked. I felt ugly and no matter how I changed my hair or makeup or where I shopped for clothing I knew the real reason that I was so disappointed with how I looked was because of my weight. I had to change but I was SO lost. WHAT I TRIED FIRST After trying to eat better on my own and diet with what ever fad diet was popping up in my email box I would loose about 20-30lb only to gain it right back because I did not know how to continue. A dear friend from High School started posting on Facebook about the runs he was doing. He was getting faster and faster and going farther and farther. I finely told him he was doing amazing. He said he had to because he had let his body go too far and that he was now facing diabetes, a fatty liver and that if he did not loose weight and start eating healthy, his doctor would be forced to put him on medication. He is the same age as me. I had not had medical issues as far as that goes but I knew I would be there soon. I asked him what he was doing and along with the running he was eating healthier and doing a program called Insanity. I had not heard of it and wanted him to tell me more. I made a pact with myself to make a change in July '12 to become healthy. I started with my food. Food is by far and has always been my bigest challeng. It was hard to understand how the calorie intake worked so I did tons of searching and lots of reading and comparing. I am still ever learning on this front. WHAT I HAVE DONE SO FAR I needed direction, something to tell me what to do. When my friend started talking about how he was doing Insanity I looked into it. I was like OH NO! There is no way I could do that! I started looking around at some of the other programs that BeachBody had.. I needed something to get me moving. Something to make me excited to get up in the morning. I stumbled over Turbo Fire and thought ok.... Maybe I could do that. I started Martial Arts classes after my youngest daughter started. I had done Tae Kwon Do in High School and loved it. My current dojo teaches Tae Kwon Do, Shotoka, TMA, self-defense, freestyle, weapons, mix martial arts and gymnastics. Learning Martial Arts has been highly beneficial in not only my fitness but in my disciplined as well. When I finished TF I needed something new and fun. I had started Martial Arts Classes and really wanted something like that. Combat was PERFECT!! After that I decided I was ready for Insanity! Shaun T and me did not always get along. Many colorful words where spewed between gritted teeth BUT I LOVE my results!! Strong!! I am now doing Shaun T's HipHopAbs. TOTALLY different Shaun T!! ;} I am loving the dancing so much I have started doing Zumba with my SIL! My body has changed SO much! I am turning my body into one I am SO proud of. I see muscle tone and I feel strong. I love that my core is becoming stronger. I used to have so many back problems and now I have not had back pain in months. In July '13 I was at a 85lb loss and felt amazing but knew I had farther to go. I am elated by the fact I can actually do full push ups on my toes. When I started I could not even do one on my toes. I can almost do a full set now and plan to be able to do even more. I worked hard to finely do my first unassisted pull-up recently!! My MA teacher loves that unlike many of the students in his classes I am able to keep up with the Cardio burn classes without any problem. Not only physical changes but mental as well. In Sept '13 I did a C25K program and ran my first 5K. I am much more confident of myself and feel powerful in everything I do. I have amazing energy now and am so encouraged to continue my weigh loss and get FIT and HEALTHY! With every day I push myself harder and I find myself doing things I never thought I would. So much has changed! Everything I do has been effected by my new lifestyle. I LOVE being fit. I LOVE the feeling I have when I finish a workout. I LOVE the way I look and how Love looks at me! I feel amazing, strong and confident!. I love all the compliments I get. I LOVE talking to people about the changes, and I get so excited when they want to know about how I am doing it I LOVE that I can go play volleyball with my oldest, go to martial arts classes with my youngest and have more power and energy to play with my hubby ;} I have power in me that I never knew was there and I LOVE how good that makes me feel. I am so excited that friends around me and my sis in law has decided to start getting fit as well and I love to help them reach their goals. And I am just starting! PROBLEM NOW I have now leveled out over the last 2 months. I am strait up ADDICTED to working out. I love getting up early and giving it my all. Unfortunately I started having issues with my eating habits. I felt like I could allow myself a few little extras here and there but learned that that led to cravings that led to eating without thinking. I started to pick up bad habits that just would not do. I NEED TO BREAK THOUGH TO THE NEXT LEVEL!! I am hoping that with the challenges in this forum that I can keep myself accountable to get to my goals. The more friends I have pushing me I think the better I will be able to keep myself from giving into the evil temptation.
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