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Mac McPherson

Alcoholic Hillbilly Veteran with PTSD needs support!

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Greetings fellow fitness heathens!

This is going to be quite a long introduction, but even if you don't read it all, at least say "welcome" or some-such. The name's Mac (in case you hadn't figured that out yet) & yes, I'm an alcoholic. It's been a month or so since my last relapse, & part of my reason for joining NF is to get my mind right & my body straightened out. I spent 10 years in the US Army (94-04) & basically let my body go to hell. I'm losing fluid in the discs in my lower back, diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, unexplained massive joint pain, PTSD, TBI, ulcers...the list goes on. The VA has me on LITERALLY a handful of pills on a daily basis (I'll have to take a pic for you folks). I'm in the process of fixing myself both mentally & physically for myself, & more importantly, my wife & son.

I'll break down my life a bit for you so you can see where I'm coming from & where I'm going.

Before: Drinking heavily (30-40 beers a DAY) to keep the flashbacks & nightmares of PTSD away, locked in the house ordering pizza daily because of the PTSD induced anxiety/anti-social disorder, smoking 3 packs a day, sitting on my ass, & not getting treatment through the VA. That's 18 years of hard drinking, hard smoking, & hard living...& seeing the ages of some of the folks on here, I ain't proud to admit that I could polish off a fifth of Jim Beam in a single sitting before you were even born.

Currently: Getting my body prepped to start the Nerd Fitness challenges because I'm so far out of shape from what I was in the Army I disgust myself. My Weider Total Body Works 5000 is delivered tomorrow, I have my exercise bike, & I stole my 16 year old son's dumbbells & kettle-plates. I've been strengthening my core so I don't destroy my back, & come Monday I'm going to kick ass (my own, obviously) & chew nicotine gum!

Future: I want to be the Nerd Fitness poster-child for my fellow Veterans with PTSD (& the addiction problems that come with it) & show them that with testicular/ovarian fortitude, proper treatment, a better diet, a positive attitude, & a kick-ass exercise plan...that they too can stomp a mudhole in PTSD/addiction's ass & walk it dry!

I stumbled across Nerd Fitness last Friday, & every day since I have thanked God, the Lords of Kobol, the Holy Bomb from Beneath the Planet of the Apes, etc. for doing so.

I originally scoffed at the "Basic Training" exercises & the first few challenges... Hell, when I was in the Army we'd run 8 miles a day, I'd have a steady rhythm in my push-ups & situps on my PT tests & averaged 90-100 & 110-120 in 2 minutes respectively. My natural pace for running 2 miles was 13:30. I remembered running in formation for 6-8 miles, knocking out 20 pull-ups, going to the back of the line & having to do push-ups & sit-ups until it was time to get back up & knock out 20 more, run into the gym & climb a 40 ft rope & then start the cool-down. My life was like the old Army ad "We do more before 9am than most people do all day".

I thought "Yeah right, Steve & Nerd Fitness & 20 measly push-ups." Feeling all Billy Badass, I hit the floor & knocked out 25, went to muscle failure...oh shit. Well I'll rock the sit-ups, hell when I was in high school I'd hit the rowing machine for an hour & do 200 sit-ups before taking a shower & going to school. I got sit-ups in the bag, right? 30...oh shit to the 2nd power multiplied by Pi & other math things I've never used since school.

It took me a bit to realize that I'd torn the hell out of my body in the 8 years I was out of the Army, I graduated high school 18 friggin years ago, & the once rock-hard abs are now a "shed for the tool" aka a "fuel tank for the sex-machine" aka where all that beer I used to drink went. That hit me hard. I couldn't even do the simple stuff! & don't ask how glorious my one whole pull-up went... It was all a nightmare come true. I'd turned into a complete & total shitbag! Realizing this, & also realizing that a few months ago I'd just say screw it & drink myself into oblivion, I looked into the mirror & growled "not for long" to my reflection.

I've found a new (& much healthier) addiction Nerd Fitness damnit! But I need support from y'all...A LOT of support! Sure I'll need the occasional "Stay Sober ya Douche bag", but I also need support with my exercising. Not to keep up with the plans & challenges mind you, but to have rest days. I've been doing body weight & dumbbell training for the last 3 days straight. I can't get enough! Feeling the burn in my muscles after so long has put me on an absolute high. Hell I feel like a teenager again. The muscle ache is better than Basic Training at FT Knox & I LOVED Basic Training! You could strap me to a gurney & I'd be doing sets of head lifts. How can you people take a rest day without going nuts?!

Stats: 36 years old (in September) 6'0 180lbs of unadulterated beer gut

Diet: Carnivore, I rarely eat anything that doesn't scream before it dies & I loathe vegetables (I gotta work on that along with my love of bread).

Take Care & Stay Safe,

Mac

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Hey, Mac!

Nothin' like another redneck drunk to keep me on the straight 'n narrow.

(in seriousness: 20 years on the step deck, one-day-at-a-time'ing it through life and former smoker to boot. Holler if you need some support!)

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Hi Mac, welcome aboard!

First off, thank you for your service...from one vet to another. What your going through sucks all to hell, and the only one who can truly do anything about it is you...and it sounds like you are taking all the right steps! We are here to support you and help anyway we can, just remember to take it one day at a time.

If you have not looked into it, I truly suggest you look into the primal/paleo eating plan. Even if you do not do it 100%, if you can keep in the 85-90% paleo eating, it will help the joint pain. I am not saying it will cure it, but it can help depending on what is causing it. Paleo/primal is very anti-inflammatory and can help ease the pain a lot. yes I speak from experience, from someone who had back pain that ranged in the 8-9 pain on a 1-10 scale.

good luck to you and welcome!

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COUNTRY ROOOAADDSS!!!

Welcome - from a fellow West Virginian ( I was born there and my family owns a nice size of land...)

Thank you for your service!

Wishing you well in your changes... slowly but surely, you'll get back.

I would be more than happy to get on your ass about working out... I realize some need it!

Again - welcome, my friend!

**So excited for another person from WV is here! Whooop!

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Welcome!! Thank you for your service. I know some military folks get all embarrassed when people do that, but I really, completely and honestly mean it from the depths of my heart.

The first step is the hardest and you've blown past it already! :) Congrats on taking that action and moving towards a more healthy life!I second the paleo diet recommendation. Its the bees knees.

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Welcome Mac! Thanks for your service. Working out isn't going to be your problem; you know how to do that. For you, it's going to be getting a better diet and not falling off the wagon with alcohol and smoking that will be hardest. If you can do that, you'll be an absolute monster and an inspiration to people around here.

Like they said above, I would really try going paleo if I were you. Even if you only do it 85-90% in the long run, I'd highly recommend going 100% for 30 days. If it isn't a fruit, vegetable, or didn't have a face, don't eat it. It's a HUGE anti-inflammatory to the point that one guy around here (Loren Wade) has basically cured his Crohn's disease by going with it (symptom free for like 8 months now I think). If you really want to understand the health benefits and why grains screw you up, try reading The Paleo Solution. It's short; I knocked it out in like 10 hours total. Going full paleo may not do much for you, but it also may cut those pills you have to take in half. Here's your starter's guide:

paleo_diet_flowchart.jpg

Welcome to the rebellion!

Edited by CoreyD

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Love the chart Corey, this makes the diet as simple as you can get.

Good job on wanting to change yourself that is the most important step. I know what you are going through to an extent though I am a jarhead, I got out and let myself just go to hell, finally when I could not fit into my clothes and my shirts started to look like a table cloth I was finding it hard to look at myself.

You have plenty of support here brother, just keep that inner fire lit. :livid:

p.s. strongly recommend getting started with tracking your workouts and meals on the Workout Battle Logs (no matter what the numbers are it is a place to improve upon)

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Thank y'all so much for the warm welcome & all of my love to my fellow Veterans, West BY GOD Virginians, & recovering alcoholics.

As far as paleo goes, I've been mostly paleo my entire life. The majority of my diet is meat, the only "veggies" I eat are potatoes & corn (yes I know, it's a grain). After living in South Korea for 6 years, I'm addicted to rice...so there's a problem. I've been trying to cut out my grains, am sourcing local grass-fed meats, & drastically increasing my fruit intake. I need to put on about 20 lbs so I can turn it into muscle & be back to my target weight of 180lbs (although I want to be a healthy & low body fat 190-200lbs).

I just finished my Day 1 get back into shape workout (& will also post it in the Battle Logs) & I thought I'd share it with y'all & see if I'm on the right track.

DAY 1:

50 Squats 40lbs 2 sets 25 reps

25 sit-ups w/25lbs plate on chest

25 sit-ups w/o weight (the plate kicked my ass but I'm sore as hell from doing 50 w/25lbs yesterday)

50 wrist curls 20lbs weight 2 sets 25 reps

50 bent over rows 20 lbs weight 2 sets 25 reps

50 bench press 25 lbs plate (laying on floor to avoid back stress) 2 sets 25 reps

50 shoulder shrugs 40 lbs weight 2 sets 25 reps

50 calf lifts 40 lbs weight 2 sets 25 reps

Swimming for a couple hours this evening to keep the muscles loose

I'm sore as all hell, but damn it feels good to be exercising again! Y'all take care & stay safe!

Mac

Edited by Mac McPherson
Forgot 2 exercises I did, but then again I'd forget my head if it wasn't attached.

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Hi Mac, I'm a fellow vet, but I got out before all the real shit hit the fan so I didn't see any action. I am however a card-carrying disabled vet because my body didn't take to the Army very well.

I'm a newbie here too, so always good to know there are other vets hanging around.

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Thank y'all so much for the warm welcome & all of my love to my fellow Veterans, West BY GOD Virginians, & recovering alcoholics.

As far as paleo goes, I've been mostly paleo my entire life. The majority of my diet is meat, the only "veggies" I eat are potatoes & corn (yes I know, it's a grain). After living in South Korea for 6 years, I'm addicted to rice...so there's a problem. I've been trying to cut out my grains, am sourcing local grass-fed meats, & drastically increasing my fruit intake. I need to put on about 20 lbs so I can turn it into muscle & be back to my target weight of 180lbs (although I want to be a healthy & low body fat 190-200lbs).

I just finished my Day 1 get back into shape workout (& will also post it in the Battle Logs) & I thought I'd share it with y'all & see if I'm on the right track.

DAY 1:

50 Squats 40lbs 2 sets 25 reps

25 sit-ups w/25lbs plate on chest

25 sit-ups w/o weight (the plate kicked my ass but I'm sore as hell from doing 50 w/25lbs yesterday)

50 wrist curls 20lbs weight 2 sets 25 reps

50 bent over rows 20 lbs weight 2 sets 25 reps

50 bench press 25 lbs plate (laying on floor to avoid back stress) 2 sets 25 reps

50 shoulder shrugs 40 lbs weight 2 sets 25 reps

50 calf lifts 40 lbs weight 2 sets 25 reps

Swimming for a couple hours this evening to keep the muscles loose

I'm sore as all hell, but damn it feels good to be exercising again! Y'all take care & stay safe!

Mac

heck yeh - get some! honestly, you're in a good spot - and you're making progress by keeping clean and kicking the sticks. I had an old boss who used to say "why you' bullsh!ttin'? You got this!"

I hereby quote him at you ;)

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Welcome. Don't forget to take a rest day tomorrow after that little lot. Far to easy to drive yourself into the ground on this stuff when you start out. (Did I mention the hernia I mysteriously developed when I started exercise back up again?)

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Damn! If you don't mind me asking, what was your MOS, and where did you deploy to? Sounds like Iraq or Afghanistan...Either way, you're still a beast in my mind. I admire your tenacity and your courage, your post is definitely inspiring to me.

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Hey dude! You already won!! As the army has taught me, it's all mental! I'm here for you battle, as one soldier to another, one friend to a friend, and one near to a nerd!!!! Now lets rock this thing we call life! I say hooah

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Hey Mac!

Thanks for your service man, you are in the right place. Let us know how we can help and what else we can do for ya brother.

Stay sober ya douchebag :)

-Steve

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@Maledictus Rest day?! I don't need no stinking...oh he'll yeah I do! I know what you're talkin about, that's why I dropped the plate for the second set of sit-ups. I tore my abdominal wall twice in the Army & they said one more time & I'd be getting a screen put in.

@Teufy I was 19K & 67T/15T M1 Armor Crewman & UH-60 Mechanic/Crewcheif respectively. I was in the sandbox way back in 96 but missed out on deploying to Iraq with my unit in the 101st due to orders to Korea I couldn't get out of.

It's definitely an upper body rest day! I'm going to do some stretches & light dumbbell work to loosen up. I want to do some more calf lifts & get a good 6 mile ride in & then stretch in the pool. The pool seemed to work last night, because I know exactly how much more pain I'd be in today if I didn't do it.

Once again, thank y'all for the warm welcome & support. My fellow Veterans are all getting a friend request.

Take care, stay safe, stay sober, drink water

Mac

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Future: I want to be the Nerd Fitness poster-child for my fellow Veterans with PTSD (& the addiction problems that come with it) & show them that with testicular/ovarian fortitude, proper treatment, a better diet, a positive attitude, & a kick-ass exercise plan...that they too can stomp a mudhole in PTSD/addiction's ass & walk it dry!

Welcome and you've got the right attitude my friend! I've totally got the ovarian fortitude down and I'm willing to kick you in the ass if you lose yours! :)

I stumbled across Nerd Fitness last Friday, & every day since I have thanked God, the Lords of Kobol, the Holy Bomb from Beneath the Planet of the Apes, etc. for doing so.

Don't forget the Flying Spaghetti Monster ;)

STAY SOBER YA DOUCHEBAG! If I can do it, you can do it!

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Today has been AWESOME! My son talked to me yesterday & wanted to get in to the workout! It was the 1st father-son bonding time we've had in years...& it RULED! The Nerd Fitness bug definitely bit him, & he's gonna keep me down to stretching on rest days (cause he's gonna be sore as hell tomorrow!) Read about it here & feel free to comment & make suggestions ---> Hillbilly Mac's Fitness Shack

PS, This dumb bastard is STILL SOBER & I love y'all for supporting me!

As my Drill Sergeant yelled every 5 minutes... DRINK WATER!

Mac

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HA! Don't you remember> Water & Motrin solved ALL Ailments in the military!! LoL. Fellow Vet from the Corps, as well as a Crew Chief/Mech, but on the big boys. (CH-53E) I know where you're mostly coming from & like everyone else has been saying: Welcome to the Rebelion! You have just found the biggest nonjudgmental support group out there! & we are here for you 110%! Ciao for Now & keep up the good work! :victorious:

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Gotta add my voice to the welcoming chorus. Thanks for your service, and thanks for coming here. I have never been in military service (in the words of Woody Allen, the draft board rated me 4F. In the event of war, I'm a hostage.), but I respect those who have been. You, sir, are a BEAST!

On a practical note, brown rice is good stuff. I can't go full paleo for health reasons, so the brown rice is my friend. Goes well with kimchi, too. :-)

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