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  1. Well... the good news is, I know why I was getting so sick and passing out when I worked out! My resting heart rate without medication is between 140-200 bpm, and when I would exercise, it could easily go over 400 bpm with very little effort on my part. I am medicated now, but it's still going to be a long haul, and I have to take it easier than I have in the past. It's been 5 years since I have been on this forum with any regularity. In the last two years, I have been in 5 car accidents, had 4 surgeries, went from one medication daily to 13+ medications a day, and I've gained 50-lbs. Yikes. I am 5' 7.5" and 215-lbs. I have been in physical therapy for Bursitis in my hips, a dislocated sacrum, bulging disks and annular tears in my L4, L5, and L6 disks, dislocated ribs, soft tissue damage to my upper back, shoulders and neck, etc. It's been a rough couple of years for my body. I feel like I have taken one hit after another, and I'm barely holding on. I need to fix it. I need to get better. I need to start moving forward, onwards and upwards. Help me be brave; help me find the strength within myself to kick ass and stop feeling sorry for myself. I don't believe in myself; I don't really believe I can do this, and that is a big problem. I need to rebuild my confidence, rebuild my strength, balance and flexibility. It's possible. I can do it. I don't know how yet, but I can do this.
  2. My arm hurts. It didn't hurt bad at all right after the surgery*, and I thought I had gotten off super easy. Now the nerves are starting to heal, which is GREAT, but also neuropathy = ow. Okay, moving on ... I am seriously recovering WAY faster and better than I had any right to expect. I was back in the gym 3 days post-op. Can't do anything with barbells yet, living on leg press and one-armed DB/KB stuff, but at least the habit remains intact. And if I keep progressing the leg press, theoretically I shouldn't lose too much on my squat. I hope. Anyhoo. 2018 BIG GOALS Build a library (I have a bonus room in my house that has been designated "library" since we bought the place over a decade ago. But it has really always been just the junk room.) Finish the bloody novel! (Bad habit - start a book, get about 25% through it, get a "great idea," start a new book. Stop that. Finish one.) Pay off half of student loans (Self explanatory, right?) Lifting/fitness goals TBD - depending on my recovery rate and how far back I have to start over from. I would like to do my first competition this year. This challenge: Write every day - I'm trying the Julia Cameron "Morning Pages" thing again, but if I fail at that I will fall back on 4theWords (streak = 444 words/day) Write down everything I want to buy that isn't clearly grocery or fuel, put it into Want or Need column, limit "want" spending to <20% of discretionary income (this should impose a mandatory cooling-off period of at least a few minutes actual thinking before I impulse buy just everything that Amazon/Etsy/et. al. shows me.) Go to gym at least 2x/week, 3x is better, do whatever my coach sez because she has a lot of experience rehabbing injuries/surgeries like this Participate fully in my gym's upcoming 3-month Transformation Challenge whenever it comes along Re: 3-Month Transformation Challenge - the coach/nutritionist that owns my gym does this every year. It involves three months of sticking like glue to a personalized nutrition plan (customized for age, gender, goals, etc.) My gym-mates who have done it before say that it is not at all torturous, there are reasonable accommodations for cheat meals and eating food that actually tastes good, and it is super effective. They haven't released any details yet about this year - like, for example, the start date! - my coach says it usually starts around the second week of January to allow everyone who traveled for the holidays to get back into the groove. I need to do *something* about my food. I cut my calories back for the surgery/recovery period since I am not training hard and I didn't want the combination of reduced activity + holiday eating to result in too much BF gain, but a lot of those fewer calories came from cookies and truffles, and I am feeling a little bit like * if you missed my ultra-whiny last challenge ... I had damage to my ulnar nerve at the elbow (funny bone) that was making my hand numb and tingly all the time. While my surgeon was in there anyways fixing that, she went ahead and did the carpal tunnel surgery that I also kind of needed but had been putting off. Surgery date was Dec 19. Recovery prognosis: 12-15 weeks, should be good as new. I'm really enjoying not feeling like my hand is always "asleep."
  3. Whoa! What? Who is this rebel tucking her tail and returning to the rebellion? Oh, it's Angela The Geek! Holy crap, guys... It's been like a really, really long time. It's been over a year since I started and didn't finish a challenge. Well, I'm back! And lots of stuff has happened in the time that I've been gone. Where to start... 1. I spent most of 2016 going in and out of the Emergency Room and Hospital. I went to the ER over 25 times in 2016, and added a few more times in 2017 to get up to a whopping 32 ER visits. It impacted my training for weightlifting, my work, and my personal life tremendously Basically what was happening is that I would get an intense pain in my stomach that would cause me to start vomiting, and then I couldn't stop. I would vomit 4-5 times per hour and dry heave when there was nothing left in me to throw up. When I eventually got to the ER, it was like starting over every time. The only thing that stopped the vomiting episodes was really heavy IV drugs, but they were always reluctant to give them to me, so they would give me everything else and I would spend hours suffering, before they finally gave in and gave me the good stuff. Sometimes they refused and sent me home anyway, then I would be back in less than 12 hours, and the whole process would start again until they gave me the right meds. My first diagnosis was Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome, which isn't actually an illness, but a symptom of something else going on. It took seeing a GI specialist, then a Neurologist to determine that I have Abdominal Migraines. They are as terrible as they sound. Luckily, the neurologist prescribed a daily anti-migraine med this year, and I haven't been to the ER since February! 2. In the middle of all of that going on, I had surgery in July to correct De Quervain's tenosynovitis in my left wrist. That put me out of training for 6 months. 3. Finally got back to training full time for weightlifting and then started having issues with sciatica. Spent a few months trying to work through the pain, then finally went to the doctor and got an MRI on my back. Turns out I've re-herniated my lowest disc and now it's pinching my sciatic nerve. Apparently, it's not supposed to look like this: SOOOOOOOO where does this leave me??? Getting back surgery at 35 years old. I'm scheduled to get surgery on July 26. Looks like it will be a 4-6 week recovery and then I'll hopefully be able to very slowly get back under a barbell. In the meantime, I'll be doing some swimming to try to not get too out of shape. MY CHALLENGE GOALS 1. Finish classes before surgery I am almost done with school! This semester I have three classes, and I've finished one so far. My term ends August 31, but I would like to get the other two classes done before my surgery. I have a study plan that sets me up to do this, I just gotta stick to it. 2. Stop eating like a weightlifter while I'm not lifting This one hurts my ego the most. I've spent the past 5ish years getting stronger by eating more. Now I'm doing nothing and still eating a lot. Gotta knock that off. This will be achieved by logging my food at least 5 days per week, and attempting to stick to my macros. Since I'm not training, I'm trying to eat lower carb, so that's what I will be focusing on. 3. Full recovery from surgery This is the most important goal. I probably won't be 100% recovered by the end of the challenge, but will be almost there. I'm going to be off work for at least 4 weeks, which means I have no excuses to not do my recovery PT and swimming. Recovery PT will be 7 days a week, swimming will be 3-4 days per week. This requires me to actually leave the house and go to the pool, which will be important to keep up my spirits while I'm stuck at home for a month. I am very much a homebody and would stay home 24/7 if I didn't force myself to leave the house. So, there it is. Short and simple. It has to be though, because I don't want to start another challenge and not finish it. I'm notorious for that. I'm SO SO SO SO happy to be back. I really need the support of my nerds to get me through this challenging time and to help me start back from square one with my lifting. I love you guys!
  4. It is time for me to commit to respawning. This summer I had back surgery, a fusion at L-3 through L-5. I spent most of two months barely able to walk and stayed with my family. I regained about 20 pounds of the 200 I lost. I feel like a failure. The time off of work for the surgery really wreaked havoc in my life by putting me in debt, getting behind in work, and worsening my anxiety. I finally was cleared to start exercising again and have moved back home so I can control my diet. It is time to respawn. Even though I am sad that I cannot go back to serious barbell training, I know I should be thankful for my ability to do what I can. These are the things I promise to myself: 1) be thankful for the ability to walk without pain in my legs/feet 2)take full advantage what I can do ( bike, supported bodyweight exercises, using machines, walk) 3)walk a lot daily. 4)watch my diet strictly 5)be thankful for what I can do I will get back on track.
  5. I didn't put anything up last week, because I was still trying to figure out what was going to happen this month. I've been hit in the nose a few too many times, and it's developed into a deviated septum that is severely restricting the amount of air I'm getting. (Less than half of what it should be). I went to an ENT about it last week, and hopefully will here back from him today or tomorrow and as long as he doesn't find any other problems, should have surgery to correct it pretty soon. Until the surgery, I'm going to keep lifting and working on getting stronger. After the surgery, I'll probably need to take two weeks off before I can lift again. :-( But I'll be able to breathe again. :-)
  6. Hey Druids! Seeing as this is my first ever Druid challenge I thought I should introduce myself with some context, hence the life story below… I’ve fallen so far off the wagon that there is no wagon to get back on. The wagon has left and I need to find a new one: a wagon called ‘2016’. In my line of freelancing it’s feast or famine, so when I do work it’s all-encompassing and I’ll miss a few days, then a week of workouts, then I’ll feel I’ve failed the challenge and want to quit to start over again. Since I was last active on here a few months ago I’ve been running and kettlebelling very intermittently. I stopped logging food and maintained the measly 5lbs I lost in summer - but props to me for keeping it off while I ate everything NYC had to offer for three whole weeks! A couple of years of being in the habit of exercising paid off because I ran in Central Park and pretty much walked everywhere else AND did a hardcore vinyasa flow class, and I think that was the only reason I didn’t return to the UK as a small whale. As of 5th January 2016 I had two wisdom teeth removed and a coronectomy on a third (where they remove the crown but leave the root because it's sitting on a nerve) - they seal the gum over an exposed root. So between the appetite-suppressing pain, constant painkillers and liquid diet the most I've managed to eat in one day is 1200 calories - because I had ice-cream and a protein shake that day, but I'm averaging MUCH less than that. It's basically three soups a day, plus sugar-free jello/jelly for treats. The wisdom teeth are healing very well, it’s the exposed root of the coronectomy that’s a bugger. I can’t bend over at all without getting a massive headache, and at night I have to sleep with a ton of pillows to keep my head above my heart. It only stopped bleeding yesterday - three days after the operation (very slight, but enough to stop me doing anything to aggravate it). This is ruling out most exercise I regularly enjoy. I’ve delayed posting my challenge because I knew it started the day before the surgery, i.e. I knew the rest of the week would be spent resting. But like a lovechild of Odysseus and Pollyanna (it’s OK, she’s a fully consenting adult in this scenario) I’ve decided to use this to my advantage - as you can imagine, the weight is falling off me (long term goal is to get body fat down to 20%) and at time of writing I’ve got at least three more days till that pesky root dies and I can eat and drink like a human being again. You know things are bad when you cry with envy over your boyfriend’s vegetarian dinner… So the purpose of this challenge is to recuperate and renew. It’s going to be a very sedentary one - perhaps in preparation for the next one! tl;dr - I'm recovering from major dental surgery, rendering my favourite exercises out of the question, but I still want to do the challenge. I have just finished watching Twin Peaks for the first time as an adult, hence pictures below. Challenge goals Daily meditation. I’ve already practiced some mindful meditation for a few weeks with Headspace. Quite like it, but in famine-mode at the moment (see top of post) and can’t afford the ridiculous subscription fees. Discovered a lovely free app called Insight Timer, so will be experimenting with the huge variety of meditations on there. Specifically, I’d like to develop compassion for myself and for others. Yoga when I can. I can’t do any inversions for the time being, so I’ll be looking to do standing routines - any video links gratefully received. Run/kettlebell when the time is right. Yes, I meant for that to sound as esoteric as possible. I usually only listen to my body when it’s in pain; I want to build a habit of listening to it when it’s feeling good. And this goes with the whole mindful compassion goal. Coop's thinking if the time is right to run with that gun. Life goal Find a flexible and more importantly - achievable - work-from-home job that pays well and regularly. And isn’t surveys. And perhaps includes training for even better jobs. So far I’ve looked at website reviewing and audio typing (not worth it unless your WPM is superhuman). I usually work as a voiceover artist from home - but I can’t afford the fees for the website I subscribe to till I get paid the end of Jan. Again, any suggestions received with gratitude. And I'm looking forward to eating one of these again!
  7. THE BOSS: I've been doing battle with endometriosis for YEARS. I tried everything: ablation, hormones, and simulated menopause (which worked, but wore off, and then it was back to pain and suffering). THE IDEA: Since nothing else worked, at least not for more than three months at a time, I asked my doctor for a hysterectomy and oophorectomy. "Hey Doc, can I please have major surgery that will remove some body parts and probably shorten my lifespan?" Since the pain went away with simulated menopause, and was limited to my uterus and ovaries, he agreed to do it. He tried to talk me out of it; it's not a good idea to remove ovaries from women younger than about fifty, but he went for it. Living extra years won't matter if I'm in pain all the damn time! THE FIGHT: Surgery on December 17th, 2015. THE RESPAWN: I woke up with NOTHING. No strength. No endurance. But, hey, no endometriosis pain! The first two weeks were nothing but drugs and TV. Slowly, I recovered. I started walking. Two weeks after surgery, I walked one whole block! NOW: I can walk for 30 minutes straight. That's almost two miles! I walk at least four times per week. I have the doctor's okay to start running on February 8th, and I can start lifting on February 22nd. I am going through menopause, which is slightly obnoxious, but WAY better than being in constant pain. NEXT: Couch to 5K (running) and Beginner Bodyweight Circuit (lifting).
  8. Greetings Nerds, I joined about a year ago and was mildly successful. I've had a long tough year and I'm having trouble getting back on the train. Through family genetics I was found to have a BRCA 1 gene mutation and with my family history I was given a 68% chance of getting ovarian cancer and a 92% chance of getting breast cancer. I'm very pro-active so in the last year I've had a full hysterectomy and double mastectomy AND my reconstruction. I didn't want to live the rest of my life (I'm 39) looking over my shoulder because with those odds it's not "IF" I would get cancer, but "WHEN." Between hysterectomy and mastectomy surgeries I recovered and went ape-sh** working out my upper body. Healing time is reduced by being in good shape. After the mastectomy I was dying to get my full range of motion back and was doing my therapy exercises every day. I went to the pool almost every day to help increase certain movement with less gravity. I was really workin' it. But after a while I started decreasing all my work because I became over-whelmed by the idea that I had yet another surgery (reconstruction) which should be the last but would once again take me back to that place of minimal range of motion, no strength, and prolonged discomfort. And so I basically gave-up and have been stuck there in this depression which was "why bother you're going to be pulled back down again" but now it's "I just don't feel like it." My husband, God bless him, has expressed great concern and has tried to help me, but I currently have an attitude problem. I know I do, I just can't seem to get over myself. I could not have done this whole year without him and I feel bad that he's watching me in a place with all the surgery behind me and no motivation to improve myself. I'm trying to reboot myself. Maybe the nerds can help, you have in the past. I wanted to be on American Ninja Warrior, now....I'm working on it....sort-of.... I'm starting my questing all over again, back to square one. Writing a new "WHY" story, putting a barrier in front of bad habits and making good habits easier. I'm planning on starting all over in hopes that even though right now I'm forcing myself to do it I'll get to the point where I'm proud that I am doing it. It's helped me before. I wanted to buy a couple of tee-shirts but I can't seem to find a nerd fitness store to get them. I wanted to put them in good motivational places and wear them on my walks. Thanks for giving me a place to lay it all out there and hopefully get a boost in the right direction.
  9. Let's try this again! I really considered this time posting in the druids or adventurers, but then I saw "Strength, Functionality, Mobility." That's exactly what I want, if a little more rudimentary, so I'm here to stay. I want a grass hut. Now before you go thinking, “what?†allow me to explain. My friend has an uncle whose life quest was to marry a nice girl, have a great family, and retire to the beaches of Hawaii where he would live in a bungalow (grass hut) and surf all day. The grass hut isn’t something that can be arrived at, photographed, and left with nothing more than fond memories; it will be a continual journey through life. My first challenge was about doing my physical therapy after surgery and creating good habits. It wasn't perfect, but that's kind of the point of a first challenges isn't it? It's not supposed to be easy, and now the goal is to improve with the following challenges. Though, nobody ever begins the story thinking they’ll save the world, destroy the ring, and kiss the pretty lady (or gentleman!). So, I’m willing to take this how it should be; one step at a time, carefully because the night is dark, and someone moved all the furniture. GOALS 1. I started this one a little early! I decided to do the GAPS into, and I started on the 20th. It's actually way easier and not nearly as terrible as I thought it would be. It's not that I'm craving soup, but I really enjoy eating it, and my body seems to like it. 2. Continue with physical therapy and work in my plans five days a week. I'm still on recovery, so it's mostly PT, walking/jogging, lots of mobility, and body weight. 3. Identify and use methods to relax. My first challenge identified this as a major weak point, and possibly the point of failure for the last one. Life challenge: I take my DLPT on the 24th, so until then PASS IT! After that, if I pass, I'll begin studying for some CLEP tests I'd like to get done this year. First off will be biology because it's the most fun and motivating to study.
  10. Okay, so, I'm taking a quick break from warrior training to get cut open. So, seeing as I've already been told that post surgery I won't be allowed to workout the way that I've fallen in love with, I've decided to pop in here and see what the whole adventurer life is like. Backstory: I've always been bigger, but during University I packed on a lot of weight, and then got a job that was mostly inactive and gained more weight. Then got another job with even less activity (i.e. completely desk bound) and peaked at around 147.2kg around the age of 27. That was a few years ago now, and after yo-yo dieting for a while, I found NF back up around 142.7kg at the start of 2014. That's sort of where everything changed for me, and I've been improving gradually ever since. After my level 1 challenge I joined the assassin's primarily because I didn't have a gym membership, and was really inspired by "the world is your playground" idea. And I even stuck with it mostly. I got stronger, althought I never did manage that elusive pull-up, and remained with the assassin's guild until the end of 2014. Then, for the first challenge of this year, because I now have a gym membership, and had started the Strong Lifts program, I joined the warrior guild. And they were fantastic. Everyone there was so inspiring, and motivating, and so many of them know so much about lifting that to pretty much any question about strength training you could think of, someone there had an answer, and oftentimes, multiple people had the answer. It was great. But now, I'm staring at the start of a new challenge, and know for a fact that in a week and a half I go under the knife, and I'm not allowed to lift for 6 weeks after that. And that brings me here. I want to continue (or more accurately restart) my weightloss journey without the assistance of lifting heavy weights. The Challenge: Lose weight. It always sounds so simple, and yet it never is. Goals: 1) Stick to my eating plan and use meal prep to keep it easy. I have a very basic meal plan already put together that I'm constantly working on making more diverse. I'll try and post the food porns here, when I remember (which I'm not going to garauntee because I'm lazy). 2) Exercise as much as is medically safe and allowed by your recovery. Basically, my surgeon has told me that I will be able to do more and more towards the end of my 6 weeks of recovery, so I want to use that to incrementaly increase the intensity of what I'm doing. And I should post here what I'm doing each week for the purposes of accountability. 3) Continue on Mobility training. So it turns out, lifting weights requires a lot more flexibility than I expected. More than I have to be specific. So, for the next 6 weeks, I'm going to take the lack of DOMS as an opportunity to work on my lower body mobility each and every single day. So I have to spend 5-10 minutes each day completing a stretching routine that I already have established. This is about consistency, and accountability because I already know to do this, and every now and then I actually do it. So now I just need to make it a habit. Reward: If I can stick to this, and let myself take the time I need to in order to recover properly, I am going to splurge on myself a little, and buy a few training sessions from the strength and conditioning trainer at my gym to work on my deadlift form. Bonus Goal: Update here more than just once a week. I know once a week is technially enough, but I've been pretty slack in the past about posting updates. So, 2-3 times a week is my goal for this. And I'm not sure how I'm going to reward myself for this one, but I'll think of something (and include it in one of my many updates ). Anyway, that's it for now.
  11. Hey all, has anyone on here had surgery for endometriosis or a similar laparoscopic abdominal procedure? I am having surgery this week and I am hoping that I won't have to be out of the gym for too long!! Unfortunately, from what I have read, I will probably be out of commission lifting-wise for a few weeks.
  12. I want a grass hut. Now before you go thinking, “what?†allow me to explain. My friend has an uncle whose life quest was to marry a nice girl, have a great family, and retire to the beaches of Hawaii where he would live in a bungalow (grass hut) and surf all day. The grass hut isn’t something that can be arrived at, photographed, and left with nothing more than fond memories; it will be a continual journey through life. My first challenge was about doing my physical therapy after surgery and creating good habits. It wasn't perfect, but that's kind of the point of a first challenges isn't it? It's not supposed to be easy, and now the goal is to improve with the following challenges. Though, nobody ever begins the story thinking they’ll save the world, destroy the ring, and kiss the pretty lady (or gentleman!). So, I’m willing to take this how it should be; one step at a time, carefully because the night is dark, and there are dragons ahead. GOALS 1. I am starting into the GAPS diet to treat some very stubborn digestive issues I've been dealing with. For now I will go straight to the full GAPS diet and save the intro for a later challenge if I feel I need it. 2. Continue with physical therapy and work in my plans five days a week. I'm still on recovery, so it's mostly PT, walking, mobility, and as soon as I get the okay, body weight. 3. Identify and use methods to relax. Last challenge identified this as a major weak point. Life challenge: cram for the DLPT! I have a huge, hugely stressful, job-reliant language test sometime in mid February. A bad time to focus on fitness? Nope. From experience, the best time to have a clear brain and a healthy, alert body.
  13. My Main Quest: In October I had a minor surgery. Unfortunately, I have to have a second very soon, likely in within this next 6 weeks. The recovery period from the first surgery did two things: 1) It inhibited my ability to work out for months. 2) It brought on about a week of intense anxiety attacks and about a month of not being able to fully control my stress levels. Going into this a second time my main quest is to make sure my body and my mind are as prepared as possible for the second recovery process. I want to be as capable of healing as I can be. My 3 Goals: 1) Record everything that I eat. The idea here is to make small improvements in my diet every day and foster a habit of healthy eating. Recording it allows me to easily see what improvements I am making and keeps me honest about what I am putting in my body. (If I know that I am going to have to write down that I ate an entire box of Little Debbie christmas tree shaped snack cakes, I am less inclined to do it.) I've had a lot of successes and failures in the last year with my diet. The biggest hurdle was overcoming a nasty bout of candida. Most of the struggle was from suddenly being put on such a strict diet. There are lot of ups and downs when making drastic dietary changes. The crashes feel terrible, physically and mentally, and the changes rarely stick around. I want to make small steady changes that lead to long-term habits. A consistently healthy diet is going to allow me to heal more quickly. 2) Small daily workouts. I can say with certainty this second surgery is going to prevent me from working out for a while, but there is no reason to not work out every day until that happens. In fact, the more fit my body is, the faster my recovery time is likely to be. I am doing a small warm up every morning to keep myself loose. I also started the PLPS workout (ask me what this is if you are interested) again on 12/31 and plan to continue to do it daily. In addition to this I am going to be attending weekly parkour classes again starting next week. Once the surgery happens I can move to meditation. This second recovery period is only going to be a minor pit stop on my overall path to fitness. 3) Clearly define my life goals. This may not be directly related to fitness, but when I was having anxiety attacks the issues that bubbled to the surface were a lot of worry about not having a clear path for myself. Now that I've turned 30 the question is burning even brighter for me: What's next? Do I travel, go back to college, WWOOF around the country, start a business, go back to Detroit, head out west, stay put, what? I don't know if I will have all of the answers in the next six weeks, but I am going to have a damn good understanding of my options. I'm going to get clear on what it is I'd like to be doing and the direction I'd like to be heading in. Side Quest: Learn geography. I want to travel and I want a better understanding of the world. Knowing where everything is will be the best starting point for me. I found a wonderful flashcard app that is has already allowed me to quickly learn country locations and major currencies. It will eventually get me through capital and flags as well. Guild: Although my heart lies with the assassins I'm going to be siding with the adventurers for this since this is my first challenge and my goals are a bit more general. I'm proud to be among them. I'm excited for this 6 week quest!
  14. Hey all, Next week I'll be undergoing some fairly intense jaw surgery to correct an underbite. Long story short, as my jaw recovers I'll be restricted to a purely liquid diet for 2-4 weeks, with soft foods being introduced gradually thereafter. I'll also be very limited in the amount of physical activity I can get during this time . After about 8 weeks I should be back to chomping on anything I please. How can I maintain a healthy diet (and maintain as much muscle mass) during this time? Typical advice for 'nutrition' during this time is to fill up on meal replacement shakes like Ensure, Boost, etc... Of course, I'd like to avoid these as I know they're pretty highly processed, have a lot of sugar, and a minimal amount of protein. However, I will need to fire up the blender and shuttle down quite a lot of puréed calories (I'm a 22 y/o male with a wicked fast metabolism) to prevent a lot of weight loss. Here are my liquid nutrition ideas thus far: Smoothies:Whey protein powder + coconut milk + spinach (any other blendable veggie ideas?) + berries etc.Alternatively, same as above with cow's milk (I have dairy occasionally in my regular diet without problems) + almond butterBlended soups​I don't have soup too often -- any recommendations?Perhaps Vitamin D supplementation since I'll be indoors a lot more than usual Please let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions. Thanks so much!
  15. Oh Assassins my Assassins. I was happily and productively participating in my VERY FIRST CHALLENGE here at NF and rapidly achieving my goals of strength, endurance, and skill with an eye towards my main goal of being prepared for my third degree black belt when... A burly 15 year old (with a heart of gold and a brilliant smile) muscled me through a shoulder throw in tae kwon do class and I tore my ACL. oh that poor kid. oh, my poor ACL. Since then I've had to chuck what seemed like super achievable goals of running fast, doing lots of bodyweights, and practicing tae kwon do 3x a week in favor of ... not being blue, and doing as much as I can to stay active and mobile. My surgery is scheduled for June 19th and I'm going back to the same surgeon who did my left ACL about 8 years ago (I tore that one playing ultimate frisbee because I'm apparently a secret JOCK or something). So this challenge will have to be a little less structured in order to deal with surgery and the unknown immediate recovery period afterwards. MAIN QUEST: We can rebuild her. BETTER STRONGER FASTER. I don't know why I've managed to tear both of my ACLs (and NOTHING ELSE IN THERE, I'm super pro at tearing ACLs, apparently) but either I'm a super secret jock (seriously, unlikely), or maybe there was something wrong with my knees. my left knee has been BRILLIANT since the ACL replacement and I'm looking forward to the same amazingness moving forward. This is going to be at least a 6-month main goal. I won't count myself as fully recovered until I'm back at tae kwon do class and fully participating. that means jump kicks and twisting movements. I will be running again. I'll have full range of motion. I know I can get there, because I already did it once with the other leg. And because I know I can get there, I am feeling super aggressive about getting there as quickly and as strongly as possible. you know, within the boundaries of medical science, and with the care and guidance of my PT and physicians. Challenge goals! PHASE 1. Prepare to be the best patient ever. June 9 - June 18 My surgery is on June 19, which means I've got 10 official challenge days before the surgery to prepare, PLUS 5 more days including today before the challenge starts. Being the best patient means being fit and healthy and also not sad and discouraged. I said I was going to do this last challenge, but I totally pooped out in the excitement of a new injury. Right up until my surgery I'm going to do this: * pull-up practice - with the mid-resistance band, not the easiest and most helpful band like I've been using. * inverted rows * chair dips (we don't have dip bars at home, so I put two barstools together and do dips off of them. * and LEG LIFTS. you can never do too many leg lifts. this is medical fact. * the bruce lee abs workout, with a nod towards tae kwon do * week 1 (passive flexibility) of the assassins bridge challenge -- of these, I am confident my leg can handle cobra, camel, pigeon, seal, and shoulder dislocates. I will either do these all at once 3x a week, or every other day (split into abs/flex vs. arms/shoulders/leg lifts). I'm also going to watch my diet. I'm losing weight, and I want to keep it that way. keep tracking with LoseIt. PLUS GUYS, I am still taking my 3rd degree black belt test - but because I can't do any moves right now, they're testing me as an instructor, so I need to be boss, be assertive (I'm instructing/leading the test with some bossy 20 year old dudes), and make our students look really good while testing their competency. That happens on June 6. PHASE 2. We can rebuild her. WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY. June 19 - July 6 (subtext: don't be a mope) I'm going to be home and off my feet for a while. AT LEAST one week. more likely 2. Who knows when I can drive again, because this is my gas pedal foot. I really don't know what the specific goals are going to look like during Phase 2, but it will likely include: * I'll be working at home for a period of my convalescence, and I will need to be productive while at home. I'm not the best at working at home and I will need to do better than ever before. * watch my diet! continue tracking. I'm not going to stress out if I gain a little while I'm on my butt but I don't want to gain a whole lot. eating all the vegetables will help here. I'm going to take a few days after my surgery to flat-out-recover, but I will be back here on June 23 with a set of actual goals for the next two weeks. I'm hopeful that I can add in some stretching/range of motion exercises to this but right now I don't have enough info from my surgeon. PHASE 3. ACHIEVE (*ahem* start to achieve) TORSIONAL STABILITY. July 7 - July 20 I don't know what my PT is going to look like, but I'm going to work the pants off of it. I want to achieve torsional stability quickly, strongly, and safely. Again - I'll have to define this a little more carefully after I have my post-op surgical visit and meet with my physical therapist. Deadline of July 7 to come up with concrete goals. but it will certainly include: * watch my diet! continue tracking. I shouldn't be on my butt any more, so I need to focus on eating right. Plan on continuing to eat all the vegetables. As I'm expecting to be more mobile, I should start going to farmers markets and getting (all the) vegetables and eating (them all). LIFE QUEST. KNIT A SWEATER. With all the being at home I might as well do something besides reading YA novels and apocalyptic fiction and regency romances. Because as much as I can read all day long, generally on day two I need to take a little break, and knitting makes me feel better about watching TV. I have this sweater all ready to go: knitting needles, pattern, and yarn are accumulated. Just need to swatch and cast on. I keep telling people I'm a pretty fast knitter, but I just don't have the time to do it - now I'll have the time! so I can do this! Goals | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6
  16. Hi, Chris Hefley here. "indomitableHef" I'm 39, and live in Franklin, TN. Over the past 2 years, I've lost almost 100 lbs. I've always bee an active person, and into outdoor sports, even when I weighed 285lbs. And I had successfully lost 70+ pounds twice before, and gained it all back. So, in July of 2012, I took the drastic step of having a weight-loss surgery. It's called a "Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy". Unlike a lot of the horror stories you may have heard about some weight loss surgeries, this one is very simple. They simply remove a large portion of the stomach. There's no foreign objects in there, no fancy re-engineering. Everything works the same way it did before, but now there's less room down there. It puts a hard stop on "full". I'm not here to advocate for surgery, but it was a good choice for me, and I am pleased to say that my dad and my uncle have followed in my footsteps and done the same thing. I come from several generations of fat people, you see. Like I said, I'm not really here to advocate for that, but I wanted to be up-front about how I lost so much weight. Mods: If talking about weight-loss surgery stuff is frowned upon here, let me know, and I'll make sure I honor that in the future. Now, moving on to my quest and my challenge goals! I didn't _just_ do surgery. I joined a crossfit gym, I started running, and training to run a half-marathon. I enrolled in Jui-Jitsu classes for awhile. I got a fixed-gear bike and started riding around town and riding to work every day. I'm down to 185-190 now, depending on the day. I wear size "medium" shirts now. As a fat kid, there was never a time in my life where I wore a "medium" anything. My fitness level is pretty good, but I want to take it to the next level. Before and After: I still have a certain flabby-ness about me at 185-190. Some of it is probably loose skin, from losing so much weight, but I think most of it is just a layer of fat. I think I'm at about 23%, best I can tell. My goal is to get my body fat % down, really low. Not even sure I'll try to maintain it at super-low levels, but I want to get there, and just see what it looks like and feels like. I think 12% is where I'll set my goal. If it turns out there's some loose skin to deal with in the end, I'll deal with that then. One last bit of back-story. In February, I broke my right Tibia, snowboarding in Colorado. And in March, I had shoulder surgery, to repair a torn labrum. I've been cleared to start running again, as soon as I feel up to it, and I'm getting to the point where I can nearly do everything with my shoulder, but I still have to work on stretching it out and getting my range of motion back to 100%. So, a lot of my exercise goals for this first challenge are going to be physical therapy related, and subsequent challenges will be more hardcore. My Main Quest: To "finish what I started", getting my body fat % down to <12%, to try to remove the bottom layer of flabbyness after major weight loss. Three specific goals for my first challenge 1. Stick to a Paleo diet 6 days a week, with the following exceptions A small amount of super-dark, low sugar chocolate several times a week, during an evening snack ritual my wife and I share. A little bit of bourbon once or twice a week, when I have someone to share a glass with (no drinking at home, by myself). 2. Physical Therapy 6 days a week, alternating shoulder/leg exercises. 3. Do the 30-day Squat challenge: http://30dayfitnesschallenges.com/30-day-squat-challenge/#_ Since losing so much weight, my wife says I have "no ass". I also need to work on flexibility, to get really deep squats. My "Life" side-quest I want to get back into a daily meditation habit. 7 days a week, 15 minutes a day by the end of the challenge period (working up from 5 minutes). I've been in this habit for months at a time in the past, and saw definite benefits in many parts of my life. It's something I want to make a permanent habit of.
  17. Hiya ladies! As my first post for NF, I wanted to briefly get a little support and recommendations (beyond what the doctor orders) from the community. The background: At the age of 30 and as a mom of 3, I wasn't liking what I saw in the mirror. While I'm not overweight, that doesn't mean I'm healthy or in shape. It was time for a change. To the internet! So, I found Nerd Fitness a bit ago and was all excited to get up and moving! Then WHAM! I was diagnosed with cervical cancer a couple of weeks after signing up and purchasing the strength training guide. (Let's face it... Staci is awesome and super inspiring!) So I felt a bit defeated before I even made it out the door. But I did continue my Paleo transition and I was determined to make the best of my situation. Fast forward a bit to today... I'm now cancer-free thanks to a full hysterectomy. My strength and energy is slowly returning since the surgery. My doctor says I'm free to move about the fitness world again beginning October 23rd. But now the path doesn't seem quite as clear. I know I still want to give strength training a go. I know I still want to remain Paleo. But... eh... I don't feel like me much anymore. Has anyone else gone through anything like this as well? Needless to say, life has changed. I wasn't struggling with weight before, but I'm now 15 pounds lighter (Yikes) since surgery and I've lost my appetite. I've also found myself struggling with a touch of depression. I'll address this with my doctor at my next appointment, but still relevant. Any recommendations or confirmation would be fantastic!
  18. Main quest: Lose weight to get surgery Side Quests: “I will work out 5 days a week for an hour"A= 5 days a week B= 4 days a week C= 3 days a week D= 2 days a week F= 1 day a week “I will go for a walk of 30 minutes every day.â€A= 25 minutes every dayB= 20 minutes every day C= 15 minutes every day D= 10 minutes every day F= 5 minutes every day “By the end of these six weeks, I will only drink two soda per week instead of six.â€A= 2 sodas per week B= 3 sodas per week C= 4 sodas per week D= 5 sodas per week F= 6 sodas per week Life Quest: Pay off my credit card What motivates me right now is learning that I'll only have two more years to lose 50-60 pounds until my parents can't pay for my surgery (Being top surgery or breast reduction surgery). Surgery being as expensive as it is, and I don't get enough money to pay for much, this is a big deal. Also what motivates me is doing better on cosplay, having the right body type to portray that character better. I want to be that cosplayer that people go crazy for! I also just want to be healthy, and not feel like I'm looked down by my own family for my size. Starting Stats: Height: 5'3" Weight: 239 Bust: 38H Pants size: 20
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