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I am thrilled to have stumbled on this forum, it's exactly what I need. I know it's supposed to mainly include workouts and food logs, but I suspect it will become a catalog of triumphs and obstacles.

I've never been big on journals on diaries. I'm haunted by the paranoia that others will read my private thoughts or scrutinize my public ones. Even worse, I fear the gut wrenching embarrassment I may feel when my future self reads my past self's thoughts. I am also fairly confident that no one really cares what fitness/healthy lifestyle goals I achieve or which struggles I endure along the way. Quite a melancholy perspective isn't it? However, after reading some other users' threads, I've found comfort in knowing that the community that has formed here really does care about its members' opinions and contributions. Whomever developed this supportive atmosphere should really be given a pat on the back... Who am I kidding, give 'em a beer! I am looking forward to sharing my journey with those who are curious and documenting my experience as I sit, safely hidden, behind my keyboard. :-P

My story begins many moons ago. The first time I got healthy was as a teenager. I refused to change my diet as I was convinced all I needed was exercise. I took weight training in school with all the boys and went to the gym in my neighborhood at least once if not twice a day. Man, I had so much time! This worked okay, I was very strong and comfortable in my clothes, but still self conscious in bathing suits and the like. Did I mention I basically live in surf city? The place where everyone is friendly and beautiful. So feeling uncomfortable in swim suits dramatically reduces the number of social gatherings and activities available to you. Regardless, I still refused to change my eating habits.

I slowly stopped going to the gym and began gaining weight. A few years later, my world seemed to crumble. It was my first day of junior year in college and my boyfriend of 3 years had finally completed the long, drawn out, and painful process of breaking up with me based on a rumor that I had been unfaithful. Thought I was already paranoid? Try adding the anxiety and stress of knowing that one or more of the people you know are spreading hurtful rumors about you. I analyzed everything, I questioned everyone, and I sank into a deep depression. Have you ever sat in a garden on a bright and sunny summer day, but saw nothing but dull colors with hues of grey as you choked back unprovoked tears? I hope you never have and never will.

Here comes attempt to get in shape #2. I decided to get fit by running and completing Beachbody's Insanity. I also decided to clean up my diet. I stated counting calories, portioning properly, and ditching carbs for protein. I was in the best shape of my life, but I was obsessed and it was doing nothing good for my depression. I measured every inch and pound lost. All I could think about was my next meal and despite being 107 pounds (I'm 5'2" so I was healthy skinny) all I could see were flaws. I would look in the mirror and think, "I should really get braces and whiten my teeth now. Maybe I should dye my hair and get a tan." Also, I was unhappy with my lack of muscle definition. I was definitely skinny and starting to develop some definition after 90 days, but not nearly what I wanted. I also remember my face was so thin that one day I caught a glimpse of my reflection and didn't recognize myself.

After Insanity, I kept eating well and working out in other ways. The weight stayed at bay until I entered law school. I began living a very sedentary lifestyle due to the fact that all I did was study. I would sit in the library for 10 to 12 hours on most days. I was too tired to exercise when I had the time and shortly my good eating habits were out the window because it was so difficult to plan meals for crazy long days. Some friends and I tried to do a spin class and encourage each other to run. It worked, for the most part, but it was only maintaining my body, not changing it. Then I left the country!

Fast forward to today. I've been studying abroad for about four months with less than two to go. Fortunately, my boyfriend (the same one from the story above, we worked it out after about a year) has been able to accompany me so I'm not alone. The first couple of months here were freezing and I was adjusting to having so much time on my hands, trapped indoors. I ate and drank like a queen and I was so so happy. Unfortunately, due to all of the winter clothes I had never worn before, I couldn't see the weight piling on. I noticed I was wearing my fat pants almost all the time and my regular pants were becoming too snug. It was definitely time to make a change. Most people come back from studying abroad thinner and happier and I am not going back home fatter and with a drinking problem, damnit!

I joined the neighborhood gym about two weeks ago, about the time I found nerd fitness. I work out everyday with about 40 minutes of weight training (arms one day, legs the next) and 20-60 minutes of cardio depending on my energy. Fortunately this gym focuses primarily on weights and only has a few cardio machines so i can't get too distracted. I've also cut out carbs quite a bit and re-introduced protein shakes. I just don't like the taste of meat enough to get ask the protein I need in a day naturally.

So here I am. The heaviest i've been in my life - 138.6 - with about 40 days to get at least below 130 and back in my normal pants.

Ready, set, go!

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Today's workout:

5 minute warmup walk at 6 km/hr
10 minutes of stretching

Squats: 3 sets, 5 reps, 10kg
Deadlift: 3 sets, 5 reps, 20kg
Leg Extension: 3 sets, 10 reps, 20kg
Leg Curls: 3 sets, 5 reps, 10kg
Standing Calf Raises: 3 sets, 30 reps
Back Extension: 3 sets, 5 reps, 15kg
Hanging Leg Raises: 3 sets, 10 reps
Overhead Squats: 3 sets, 10 reps

20 minute jog at 8km/hr
10 minute walk at 6km/hr
5 minutes of stretching

All in all, today felt pretty wimpy. I think I could have lifted more or at least done more sets. My quads are still sore to the touch from about three days ago. I suspect I'm limiting myself out of fear that I will year something or make it worse by going to hard before my legs fully recover. I'm also suffering from an annoying case of hay fever, 'tis the season!

Any and all advice is welcome.

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I swear I know how to spell. Anytime I post from the tablet I seem to mess something up. Let's blame the tablet. 

 

April 29 Workout

 

5 minute warmup walk at 6 km/hr
5 minutes of stretching

 

ISO-Lateral Wide Chest: 3 sets, 10 reps, 60 lbs

ISO-Lateral Wide Chest: 2 sets, 5 reps, 80 lbs

Lat Pull Down: 1 set, 2 reps, 80 lbs

Front Barbell Raise & Extend: 3 sets, 10 reps, 16 lbs (No idea what these are actually called. I think an old trainer called them ski something or other)

Sitting Chest Press with Dumbells: 3 sets, 10 reps, 16 lbs

Flat Dumbbell Fly: 3 sets, 5 reps, 16 lbs

Tricep Push Up: 3 sets, 10 reps, 12 lbs

Tricep Push Back: 3 sets, 5 reps, 12 lbs

Tricep Pull Down: 3 sets, 10 reps, 30 lbs

Front Barbell Raise: 3 sets, 5 reps, 30 lbs

Overhead Press, Barbell: 1 set, 10 reps, 20 lbs

Overhead Press, Barbell: 3 sets, 5 reps, 30 lbs

Overhead Hold: 3 sets, 60 seconds, 30 lbs

 

15 minutes of Spin

5 minute walk at 6 km/hr

 

April 30 Workout

 

5 minute warmup walk at 6 km/hr
5 minutes of stretching

 

Back Extension: 3 sets, 10 reps, 20 lbs

Leg Curls: 3 sets, 10 reps, 20 lbs

Standing Calf Raises, 3 sets, 30 reps

Seated Wall Plank: 3 sets, 60 seconds

Squat: 3 sets, 10 reps, 0 lbs

Squat: 2 sets, 10 reps, 20 lbs

Squat: 2 sets, 5 reps, 40 lbs <-- Corrected by gym owner, #embarrassing

Deadlift, Straight Leg: 3 sets, 10 reps, 40 lbs

 

40 minute run at 8 km/hr (5k)

 

Status Report

 

I've been using an app called My Fitness Pal, which has been amazing. It's making it much easier to track my workouts and my food consumption and then report it here. I've also used it to track my weight and measurements. I just started the measurements the other day and I haven't updated them yet, but I've been watching the scale the last few days out of mere curiosity. 

 

April 28: 138.6

April 29: 136.8

May 1: 134.6

 

I'm hoping this isn't a fluke. I know it's quite a bit to drop in a short amount of time, but I think it's because I'm just getting started. Also, I've switched up my eating quite a bit. I eliminated all grains and have been making a conscious effort to at least eat 100 grams of protein per day and to at least drink 8 glasses of water per day. I guess it's working?

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