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Mark D's First Challenge


Mark D

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Hi, I'm Mark D, this is my first challenge.  I'm a mainframe programmer by profession, my hobbies are fishing, reading, model trains.  I'm 51 years old, which probably makes me older than most of the folks here on NF.

 

Last November a doctor's visit revealed that I'd gained quite a bit of weight in the last year or so, and my blood pressure and cholesterol were high.  I began a weight-loss program, eating better, walking for exercise.  A few weeks ago I discovered Nerd Fitness while searching for body weight exercises, so I joined the Rebellion.  NF has been a great help and inspiration to me.  I've modified my diet, while not going full Paleo I'm using those guidelines to make good choices in what I eat, for instance choosing veggies instead of fries if I just HAVE to have a burger.   As of this morning I've lost 34 pounds since early November.  

 

My main quest is to lose weight and get in shape.  My motivation is that I want to have a long and happy life (including retirement) with my wonderful wife.

 

My quest for this six week challenge is twofold:

 

1) Lose ten more pounds.  That's actually a pretty modest goal, since I've been averaging ten pounds a month, but that brings us to quest #2:

 

2) Get stronger.  Specifically, get strong enough to do a proper push-up.  I've been doing inclined push-ups on a windowsill, and I can do more than I used to, but a true from-the-floor push-up has eluded me.  Of course I expect getting stronger to impact quest #1, since I should be adding muscle in addition to losing fat, but I don't think we can consider that a weight gain.

 

I also have a side quest:  After this challenge I hope to be strong and confident enough to begin a beginners weight-training program.  I'm leaning toward Stronglifts 5x5.  I think I'll be more capable and less discouraged if I strengthen up some more before I begin such a program.

 

In mid-April my wife and I are going on a cruise, so I guess looking good in my swimsuit would be another side-quest.  

 

So here's how I'll do that:  Five days a week I'll walk at least 45 minutes a day.  I've been doing that for the last few months and it's been working.  Three days a week I'll do the body weight and dumb bell training I've been doing, squats, inclined push-ups (until I can do real ones), planks and dumb bell rows.  I'm thinking it may be time to add lunges too, and maybe some overhead presses with the dumb bells too.  I'll continue making good food choices, limiting carbs, eliminating sweets, lots of lean protein and veggies.  I won't beat myself up if I go off "diet" for a day, I DID marry into an Italian family and we have regular family get-togethers where pasta is featured heavily.  The important thing isn't that I go off but that I get back on.  

 

Here are my current details.  I'm 51 years old, 5'11", and currently (as of this morning) weigh 237 pounds, down from 271 in November.  The last time I was in really good shape was my senior year of college, I didn't have a car so I biked everywhere, then I weighed about 210.  From looking at the pictures in the NF post about body fat percentage, I'd estimate I'm a bit over the 20-22% picture provided, I WAS more like the 30-32%.  Maybe call it 25-27%?

 

My current workout program is three sets each of 25 body-weight squats, 15 inclined push-ups, 25 20# dumb bell rows with each arm, and 45 second planks.  The 20# dumb bells are the heaviest I currently have, I'm thinking I need to get something heavier.  I generally do the squats and push-ups in the morning and the rows and planks in the evening.

 

Suggestions will be welcome!

 

 

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Sounds like you've got a great plan on how to improve fitness.

I'm sure someone more knowledgable can help out with the link but I am sure I read a NF article about how difficult it can be to lose weight and build muscle at the same time? That's not to say you can't get fitter and stronger but maybe worth focusing on the weight loss. I feel like I'm waffling but I swear there is method in my madness.

TKDgirl Level 3 amazon

STR 7 DEX 0 STA 7 CON 10 WIS 6 CHA 3

Challenges: 1 2, current

 

20 good form push ups

45%
45%
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you'd be quite surprised how many folks we have over 50 on NF. You're definitely not alone :D Congrats on your weightloss so far.

 

You might notice that someone has added a tag to your post.  This is not to box you into a corner but rather because your goals or lifestyle have links to the guild you've been tagged and we'd like to bring you to the attention of one of their guild ambassadors. These ambassadors will be able to offer you advice, encouragement and support on your goals.  You don't even have to wait around for them to come introduce themselves to you, you are more than welcome to pop into the Warriors' board and introduce yourself to the guildies there. I am also around to answer any questions that you might have so do not hesitate to PM me.

 

Good Luck with your challenge

AB xx

Half Faerie (Sidhe) Scout | Black Belt Kitchen Ninja
"A positive attitude will not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort" - Herm Albright
You're welcome to skype me (audriwolf) too but let me know who you are

My challenge

 

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Blaidd: Thanks for the explanation, although I doubt I qualify as Warrior just yet, and thanks for the welcome!

 

Edit: Was it my interest in Stronglifts that brought me to the attention of the Warriors?  I'd have thought I'd be more Adventurer, not entirely sure what guild I'd belong in and/or building up the skills needed to specialize in a guild.  (See, I really DID read the guild descriptions!)

 

Tkdgirl: Yes, I read the NF articles recently on losing fat and gaining muscle.  That's why I've made my goal for muscle modest, a push-up.  It's also why I kept my weight-loss goal modest.  I figure a combination of losing some more weight and building up my upper-body muscles could make that happen.  I've always been a little unbalanced (not just mentally either), I've always had TONS of lower-body strength and have been lacking in upper-body.

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Since today is the first day of the challenge, I thought I'd establish my baseline.  You don't know how far you've come unless you know where you started.

 

Weight as-of this morning, 234.  Not sure where I lost three pounds over the weekend, maybe shoveling snow yesterday, but there it is.

 

This morning I did three sets of 20 squats mixed with three sets of 15 inclined push-ups.  I did my last set of push-ups to failure, after 20 I just couldn't maintain form.  Since push-ups are a goal, I thought I'd see just what I could do.  I'll do the dumb bell rows and planks tonight as usual.

 

I'm going to make a minor alteration to my walking goal, where I said 45 minutes each day.  Since I have a Fitbit Zip, I'll say 10,000 steps a day.  When I first got it I took a baseline (I obviously like baselines), my normal work day is about 4,500 steps.  I generally get around 12,000 steps on a work day, less on a weekend (when I often forget to put it on during my daily routine).  I may substitute other exercise for walking, for instance yesterday I spent a couple hours shoveling about five inches of snow off my sidewalks and driveway.  I probably didn't make more than a few hundred steps, but I can tell you I got a work-out.  

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Great job on the loss so far!

I saw you mentioned shoveling snow for awhile.. snow and snow removal have become the bane of my existence for the past month. It certainly feels like I a burn a good deal of calories and wind up pretty drenched in sweat.

 

Oh yeah.  My parents told me to go to college, get a good education, otherwise I'll get up at 4:30 in the morning and swing a muckstick (shovel) all day to make a living.  So now I get up at 4:30 and swing a muckstick to clear the driveway and sidewalks so I can get out and get to work on time, then swing the muckstick again when I get home because the plows plugged my driveway (again) while I was gone.

 

I think I missed something.....

 

So see you live in New England, you got it worse than I did in NJ.  I don't envy you.

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Oh yeah. My parents told me to go to college, get a good education, otherwise I'll get up at 4:30 in the morning and swing a muckstick (shovel) all day to make a living. So now I get up at 4:30 and swing a muckstick to clear the driveway and sidewalks so I can get out and get to work on time, then swing the muckstick again when I get home because the plows plugged my driveway (again) while I was gone.

I think I missed something.....

So see you live in New England, you got it worse than I did in NJ. I don't envy you.

We got about 4 inches this weekend but it was brutally heavy and sitting on top of 2 to 3 feet already on the ground.

I think the plow guy screws with me on purpose. Sometimes he will plow my street left to right and sometimes right to left. Makes it so I can shovel a pile to one side because I have no idea which direction he is coming in and might just plow it back into my driveway. It's like snow shovel pile Russian roulette.

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I've had to make an adjustment today, it's currently 7 degrees F outside.  Since I'ma asthmatic, exerting myself outdoors in that kind of temperature is NOT a good idea (and has in fact sent me to the Emergency Room a couple times).  So rather than my outdoor walk, today I've already taken stairs when I'd have otherwise taken an escalator while commuting, and unless it warms up quite a bit later I'll do some walking up-and-down the stairs in the building for a work-out instead of my usual walk around the local park.

 

A man's got to know his limitations.  I was in some distress this morning after the stairs, I didn't get my breath back fully before I went outside.  

 

It's odd, I can shovel snow in this weather if we get any, I don't get winded.  Tired, sore muscles, and sweaty but not winded.  If I walk up a steep hill I get winded.  Different type of exercise I guess.

 

(edited because what I wrote originally in the last paragraph didn't make sense)

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Hi, from a fellow asthmatic and over-50. I hear you on the asthma. Cold can definitely be a trigger - keep your inhaler close in this weather. 

 

Stronglifts will be a great program when you feel ready for it. If you can do OHP and squats with a pair of 20 pound dumbbells, you should be fine with starting the Stronglifts program when you feel confident enough. 

 

Best of luck with your first challenge. See you over on the Warriors board!

Level 2 Warrior  | STR 4 | DEX 1 | STA 1 | CON 4 | WIS 4 | CHA 3 |

Current Challenge  First Challenge

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To my fellow asthmatics: My asthma has been pretty well controlled for a while, it's about 15 years since I've had an attack.  I still get winded, especially in cold weather (which was my big trigger before it was well controlled), and especially if I have a cold. 

 

As far as my challenge, I managed to get some walking done yesterday.  Work was busy, so instead of my usual lunch-break walk I walked part-way home last night.  I work in Brooklyn, NY and live in NJ, so I walked over the Brooklyn Bridge into lower Manhattan for the Path train, I usually take the subway.  It's about a 40 minute walk, so about what I would usually take at lunch time.  

 

I'm emphasizing upper body exercises too, upper body strength has always been lacking for me.  This is in line with my quest of doing push-ups.

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Well done on the upper body exercise - bring on the push ups! Have you tried doing box push ups or three quarters?

 

 

I've been doing inclined push-ups with my hands on a windowsill.  (I call them Wuss-ups).  When I'm all the way down I'm probably at a bit under 45 degrees.

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wuss-ups shmooss-ups. They're incline push-ups and they work the same muscles that "real" push-ups do. Keep it up and you'll get there.

This is how I inspire myself.

I started this journey largely because my doctor told me I'd lose 20 pounds and after that would be hard. I passed 20 pounds 17 pounds ago. The best way to make me do something is to tell me I can't.

Two things my Dad said all the time:

The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer.

Yesterday we did the possible, today the impossible. If you want miracles come back tomorrow.

I've lived my entire life by that. I'm too old to change.

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wuss-ups shmooss-ups. They're incline push-ups and they work the same muscles that "real" push-ups do. Keep it up and you'll get there.

This is how I inspire myself.

I started this journey largely because my doctor told me I'd lose 20 pounds and after that would be hard. I passed 20 pounds 17 pounds ago. The best way to make me do something is to tell me I can't.

Two things my Dad said all the time:

The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer.

Yesterday we did the possible, today the impossible. If you want miracles come back tomorrow.

I've lived my entire life by that. I'm too old to change.

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I think progress with push ups is all about correct form and hard work. I recently found out my form was rubbish (which is why I wasn't making any progress) and had to start from the beginning again. It was really disheartening but I went right back to the start and am now pretty close to being able to do 'proper' push ups for the first time in my life.

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TKDgirl Level 3 amazon

STR 7 DEX 0 STA 7 CON 10 WIS 6 CHA 3

Challenges: 1 2, current

 

20 good form push ups

45%
45%
Link to post

This is how I inspire myself.

I started this journey largely because my doctor told me I'd lose 20 pounds and after that would be hard. I passed 20 pounds 17 pounds ago. The best way to make me do something is to tell me I can't.

Two things my Dad said all the time:

The difficult we do immediately, the impossible takes a little longer.

Yesterday we did the possible, today the impossible. If you want miracles come back tomorrow.

I've lived my entire life by that. I'm too old to change.

This is so good, I'm clicking "like" twice.

"An obstacle... is an opportunity." --Greg Bartholomew Strydom in Searching for Sugar Man.

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I realized I didn't post an update, so here goes.

 

Last Friday had me at the same weight as the prior Friday (I weigh myself on Friday morning right after I shower).  Not getting too stressed over that, it's happened before.

 

Exercise has been problematic.  The weather has been awful so my daily walks haven't gone too well, on the other hand (where I also have five fingers) I've been shoveling snow.  Especially last night, a very wet, heavy snow, I feel it in my back today.

 

I also haven't been sleeping all that well.  Partly work related stress, partly because my wife hasn't been sleeping well (her problems caused by, er, feminine issues that women encounter when they reach a certain age that's above 29, but I'm not saying HOW much above that age).  Partly, at least last night, because the (expletive deleted) smoke alarm decided to fail at 2:30 last night.  I called the fire dept just to be safe, they found no smoke/fumes/CO and concluded the alarm went kaput.  Don't know why these things ALWAYS happen in the middle of the night.  Of all the ways I've been awakened in the middle of the night, a blaring smoke alarm is one of the least pleasant and hardest to get back to sleep after.

 

I've been eating pretty well, protein and veggies, not too many carbs.  Afternoon snacks have been hummus and celery or cucumber and fruit.

 

So all-in-all a mixed bag, better than I used to be, not as good as I've been other weeks.  

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I should have mentioned this on this thread too:

 

As I mentioned in the Woot forum, I got good news from my doctor last Saturday, since early January my cholesterol has dropped from 271 to 213 WITHOUT taking statins.  He prescribed them, I refused to take them, preferring to lower the cholesterol naturally.  Doc was impressed.

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