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Zaheer

Zaheer Boots Up An Un-Labeled Game

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I don't even know what's going on.

 

Hi. I'm Zachariah Anthony Robbins. Zaheer has always been my favorite name for a video game alter ego. 

 

I need a discipline. Not a "get in shape for the summer" surge, or to have abs for the sake of vanity. I need to build something into my life to ensure I have more than fifteen more years on this body - preferably a lot more.

 

I am in my early twenties, but my body is on a clock; I have a condition I was born with, that means that I need to get under a healthy weight and stay there, if I want to run around after my kids. I don't have kids yet,  but if there's one thing I know, it's that I want to raise a family. 

 

The pressure has been on for about the last year, since something (we're still not sure what exactly) happened that involved the doctors putting me under and those doctors telling me / my parents / my future wife that I really seriously needed to bring my weight down or I was going to be paying with future years. I've been eating really well and consciously since, focusing on salads and nuts and clean meat. I love to cook, and I'll eat anything, so at least that part hasn't been a problem. I lost most of the weight I needed to, over the summer, between that and my carpentry work. But then I stopped working to focus on my second year at college, and l managed to put on weight during this winter - despite continuing to eat carefully. Like, a surprising amount of weight. During the evening of the thirteenth (right before I wrote this), my breathing became difficult in a way it hasn't done before, and I felt like a bucket of ice cold water just got flung in my face. 

 

I'm not insecure about my body. I'm not worried about attracting girls or finding the love of my life - I already found her, and she's the one helping me write this. I don't need to be thin to feel good about myself. It isn't me this is about, anymore. It's about my future kids.

 

Okay. So. Now freakin' what?

 

The thing that scares me the most, and the thing that has kept me from pursuing any kind of a workout regimen, despite knowing from a young age that I'd probably inherit this, despite having learned about the importance of me keeping my weight down right now to have a chance at a long life, is having absolutely no clue where to begin.

 

My dad and my mom are both big lovable pillows, and neither of them work out regularly - my mom got a blackbelt at the dojo I went to as a kid, and used to attend karate regularly, but hasn't done so in years. Neither of my two older brothers ever had anything resembling a workout habit. I've seen the gym my fiancée goes to, and she showed me how some of the machine works, but she only goes there to use the dance studio when there aren't classes, and is at a loss in helping me design a routine. 

 

Where do I start? 

 

I've been lifting wood while doing carpentry for a couple years on and off, so I'm good with my arms and shoulders and back, theoretically - I chop firewood, I have a woodworking studio, I know how to hold heavy things and swing an axe properly. My woman creature tells me that these are already a 'great start', from what she's seen in various lifting exercises. Also, I need to be really careful / light on my knees until I get more of this weight off, ruling out weight loss through jogging, and lifting sounds like it involves me sitting / focusing weight on my arms, not my legs/knees. So maybe I should look into lifting while getting my basic stamina in gear and psychologically getting over my helplessness fear in the face of a workout routine?

 

I did a little Karate when I was little... enough to get to a yellow belt. I took some more classes last year, which was rewarding but WAY too late for my sleep schedule and dangerous for me driving back at 10pm at night every week, and I got to a green belt. Maybe I should start by resuming martial arts? But at that dojo I'm used to - the one where my mom got her blackbelt - the only classes for adults are way too late to be health sustainable, the style leaves me in a bad headspace (defensive,  jumpy, win-lose oriented with my partner), and the person who runs the place makes me uncomfortable. Still, it's the only regular exercise style I know, even if I only ever did it once a week, and the calm sureness of katas are exactly the kind of long-term discipline-focused repetition-heavy mind-and-body-centering activity I need to make exercise a part of routine for me. I thrive on peaceful, physically-doing-based routine... and going to a classic gym and learning to lift and interacting with people I don't know seems scary and draining. Maybe I should go join the Aikido dojo that my partner went to a few times and really loved, and do that three times a week. I know at first I'm going to need to take it slow and be there just for building comfortability, if I'm going three times a week as my core workout staple. But what about when I can't go? Or the weather is bad, or psychologically I can't make it, or I need to take care of something at home (we're now living with my parents, who now has my grandmother back moved in with them, and my father is already old enough that he's not supposed to be lifting / doing anything, so that's a lot of stress that's been going on). How do I find a routine to do then? 

 

This was a community and a... (place? I'm not sure) that the love of my life said was deeply a part of her getting through the last five years, even though she hasn't been here for a while. Honestly, any kind of guidance or advice would be welcomed, and from hearing her talk about this place on and off over the last three years, I know that this involves using video game mindset / courage / playfulness to structure and motivate working out, which sounds worth jumping into.

 

Even if I am doing the equivalent of popping in a game cartridge whose label has fully scratched off - both with my body, and this site. 

 

Some things will always be true, right? You hit start. You hit New Game. You fill out the information they ask of you.

 

 

Level: 1

Guild: Recruit (My woman added me this, said it was "Traditional" in a really cute happy voice, I wish I knew what that meant.)

 

Main Quest: To create, evolve, and integrate an emotionally and physically sustainable workout routine into my life that ensures the ability to wrangle small children out of the tops of McDonald's play structures even when they stubbornly don't want to and chase down / lift up said children an indefinite number of times, for at least the next twenty years. One that makes my doctors sigh in relief during check ins and liver tests. A physical exercise routine that takes the weight off of my knees so I need my cane less and less, and ensures it staying off long enough for those knees to recover and for my legs to learn a new way of walking - one that my knees can withstand.  A physical exercise routine that builds a life where breathing is easy and dry heaving rarely happens, and the love of my life can stop worrying about losing me in ten years.

 

Level 1 Challenge Quests (Hello I am 'The Woman Creature' and I am writing this part)

 

 Boot Up Your Game:

- Make an account here on NerdFitness

- Create a habit of checking in with / getting to know your body and writing about what you find / checking for advice from others on this website three times a week.

Specificities: Once max per day, and you can get up to seven points for doing it every day of the week, but the intended days are Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays. Each session is one half hour of physical awareness - which can be as simple as thirty minutes of sitting with your eyes closed, or dancing around, or doing pushups, or walking outside, or (likely) a combination of these things. Lying down counts only if the others are not possible, for physical reasons. (In which case, good job! You did exactly what you and your body could do! Feel proud about that!) Once done, write a post about the experience, like a diary entry, of at least one sentence, and respond to any advice you might have gotten. Then take at least a full 30 seconds to feel conscientiously proud of having the courage to show up for your body (happy dances are encouraged). Bonus points (you get a really nice bonus kiss) for responding to three other peoples' threads, from any guild - this might give you ideas of what you like, and a sense of being not alone! Which you are not. Everyone starts at level one. ❤️

 

 

Properly Shut Down Your Game When Done:

Zaheer has been sleepy / tired a lot this week, which makes sense due to how much stress he is under. 

- Sleep at night. (You already do this! These are basically free points. This is a placeholder for Sleep Measuring and Taking Meditation Breaks when you are higher level, so that you have something known to build off of when that happens. <3)

 

 

"I Chose" / Make Your Character Your Own: 

- Every time you are snacky or you are making pizza for the human you make various versions of pizza for all the time (me, Lizzy), and you choose, intentionally, the best food option you have to be your snack or your meal, come on this site and/or text Lizzy and/or come to Lizzy and brag about it. It doesn't matter what you ate, it doesn't matter what you chose, what matters is that you set into motion training for your system to choose the best option for you and your body every time you eat. (Lizzy has strong feelings about promoting intentional eating vs. 'food logging' which can quickly become 'food shaming'.)

 

 

Zaheer does not know how to finish this so I (still Lizzy) am telling him to just post this because he can edit this later and sound cooler, he deserves to be proud just for taking this step and caring about his health. I take full responsibility for him sounding uncool and not having a fun ending. Behold, my responsibility taking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Firstly Zaheer, let me welcome you to The Rebellion! 

 

It already sounds like you have some great ideas on how to get started with this - and a great support network in Lizzy. I would recommend that instead of getting too bogged down with which exercise method is the best, just try some stuff and see what you enjoy best. The best kind of exercise is anything you actually do and enjoyment is a really big part of that so just start on something, you can tweak it to be more in line with your goals a bit later when you've built the habit. 

 

I think you have a great attitude to this which I personally think is 80% of the whole shebang. Looking forward to seeing how you progress with your goals.

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Hi there! I agree with Deftona, trying out different types of exercise is important, because enjoying your workouts is the key to going consistently, and everyone enjoys different things. That said, martial arts can be high-impact and hard on the knees. Meanwhile, lifting is low impact, and provided you can squat without pain, it can actually be protective against future pain. That's because it helps strengthen a lot of stabilising muscles in your feet, ankles, legs, around your knees, and hips. Lifting doesn't always involve sitting and arms... I do a lower body movement every time I go (squat or deadlift), and it has helped with my posture and let me walk/stand for longer periods with less pain. 

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I love the idea of  bragging about it when you make a wise food choice. It seems like sometimes we make 50 good decisions a day, and 1 bad one, and then end up feeling like a loser. I think bragging on the good food will give a good reward system. I'm thinking of stealing that plan!

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Welcome to Nerd Fitness!

 

On 2/14/2020 at 12:04 AM, Zaheer said:

the ability to wrangle small children out of the tops of McDonald's play structures

 

I feel you on this.  Those indoor playgrounds at fastfood places these days are nowhere near as Adult-friendly as the old ones were.  I feel like they need a sign that reads: "You must be shorter than this line or you won't be able to get your child back."

 

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6 minutes ago, Hazard said:

Welcome to Nerd Fitness!

 

 

I feel you on this.  Those indoor playgrounds at fastfood places these days are nowhere near as Adult-friendly as the old ones were.  I feel like they need a sign that reads: "You must be shorter than this line or you won't be able to get your child back."

 

My partner human and I are having giggle fits over your response.

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On 2/14/2020 at 9:00 PM, Harriet said:

Hi there! I agree with Deftona, trying out different types of exercise is important, because enjoying your workouts is the key to going consistently, and everyone enjoys different things. That said, martial arts can be high-impact and hard on the knees. Meanwhile, lifting is low impact, and provided you can squat without pain, it can actually be protective against future pain. That's because it helps strengthen a lot of stabilising muscles in your feet, ankles, legs, around your knees, and hips. Lifting doesn't always involve sitting and arms... I do a lower body movement every time I go (squat or deadlift), and it has helped with my posture and let me walk/stand for longer periods with less pain. 

Thank you very much Harriet, This was very helpful. 

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Everyone starts at level 1, and I'm so glad you have a supportive partner in this process. That's like a golden ticket.

I second others' ideas of at this point try everything and avoid knee impact. Exercise bike may be a great way to get in some cardio, zero impact and you can slowly build up resistance. But I'm no trainer, so I dunno--my colleague needs a knee replacement surgery soon, but she rides 10 miles at a time on a bike at her gym! I like the elliptical for cardio that's low-impact.

Growing up American doesn't teach us to listen to our bodies at all, we're always push push PUSH harder harder HARDER...and then people get injured. It's the mental side we need to grow those determination muscles in, imho. You're an adult, you set your pace. 

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Look what I found for you! Research librarian xp +5:

https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/a-beginners-guide-to-the-gym-everything-you-need-to-know/

If you can afford to go to a gym, plus your partner is already going, then you can tag along with her. Do it! This link includes some starter gym routines which look really legit to me.
Good luck!

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Hello again everybody!

Today my body is HEAVILY advocating for me to rest.

I, the goof that I am, pushed my body a liiittle to hard these last three days, and my body is really letting me know how it feels on the matter.

So today I rest :)

talk to you all soon.

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On 2/20/2020 at 6:08 PM, Lady Morbuks said:

Look what I found for you! Research librarian xp +5:

https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/a-beginners-guide-to-the-gym-everything-you-need-to-know/

If you can afford to go to a gym, plus your partner is already going, then you can tag along with her. Do it! This link includes some starter gym routines which look really legit to me.
Good luck!

Thank you so much!!!

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On 2/19/2020 at 8:37 PM, Lady Morbuks said:

Everyone starts at level 1, and I'm so glad you have a supportive partner in this process. That's like a golden ticket.

I second others' ideas of at this point try everything and avoid knee impact. Exercise bike may be a great way to get in some cardio, zero impact and you can slowly build up resistance. But I'm no trainer, so I dunno--my colleague needs a knee replacement surgery soon, but she rides 10 miles at a time on a bike at her gym! I like the elliptical for cardio that's low-impact.

Growing up American doesn't teach us to listen to our bodies at all, we're always push push PUSH harder harder HARDER...and then people get injured. It's the mental side we need to grow those determination muscles in, imho. You're an adult, you set your pace. 

Thanks for the reminder. I used to use the elliptical and bike machine, and remember feeling pretty good after couple of weeks using them. 

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14 hours ago, Zaheer said:

Hello again everybody!

Today my body is HEAVILY advocating for me to rest.

I, the goof that I am, pushed my body a liiittle to hard these last three days, and my body is really letting me know how it feels on the matter.

So today I rest :)

talk to you all soon.


Rest is good. Rest gives our bodies a chance to repair and adapt. 

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