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New Recruit - Ooo Rah

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Apologies & Warning to all ahead of time, with me there's no TL;DR

I am a thorough communicator, long-winded in speech and writing.


My name is Tom (aka Archon), I live in the Farmington Hills area of Detroit.  I nerd out to tabletop games: boardgames, card games (love deck builders), and RPGs (I run a D&D 4.0 game, that version per the player's request).  I also play a moderate amount of computer games.  I have cut down on the amount of computer gaming I do in the past month (working on improving my sleep habits), but I have 4 IRL friends who all play Heroes of Newerth (plus a couple other non-IRL), and I am a fan of all games Blizzard, though I have done minimal WoW.  I also love fantasy books (Martin, Rothfuss, Tolkien, Herbert).  I have no knowledge of comics or anime.  I am 29 years old, been married for 4.5 years, I stand 6'3" and weigh in ~270 lbs.


A week ago I discovered NF and I have since been reading a lot of the articles by Steve (probably ~50).  I am also super happy to be bring a few IRL friends with me (Bobby & Mike).  I will link to their intros & friend them when they get around to creating their accounts here (I am the trailblazer and this is all still new to me).  I have never been an active forumite on any forums in the past, but I have found a newfound love for myself and passion for my health.  BobbyBear's Intro



Reason for being here:

It has been a gradual realization over the past year that I have become unhappy with my life and particularly with my body.  Several major changes are happening in my life (more on that another time, but that is long story for another time).  For the past decade I have used up all my energy caring for someone else and not cared at all about myself.  Changing my life is about being healthy and fit because I care about myself, something I have not done in a long time.



The Changes I am making:

I have had a lightly-used gym membership for the better part of two years but I never saw any results from my work and would quickly lose motivation to improve.  I would spend all my time doing cardio work (rotating between the treadmill and rowing machine).  Three times during that period I got really geeked and was doing 30-60 minutes of work, 3-5 days a week, for 3-6 weeks.  What I have been doing has not been working, so I am taking the NF approach.


Another big change I am making is what I eat.  Over the past week I have been slowly transitioning towards Paleo.  My goal is not to end up 100% Paleo, though I may do a 30-day Pure Paleo diet to help my body transition.  I have cut candy & soda out of my diet over the past year.  It will be much harder for me to do, but I plan to also cut my alcohol consumption.  I am also working on transitioning from carbs (like cereal for breakfast every morning) to vegetables (a food group I have neglected my whole life).  One challenge for me with Paleo is I am not a big fan of any seafood.  I may find something I like and try to incorporate that into my diet once a week, but I do love meat and eggs.



My Story, in short:

From the time I was 10 until I was 18, I was a wrestler.  I knew what it was to workout hard for 2+ hours a day, I had focus and determination.  Those are good things, however, I also knew how to force myself to lose weight through dehydration & starvation and as a result I have a great appreciation for being well hydrated.


Near the end of my wrestling career I was offered a very nice scholarship to become a college wrestler at a school I didn't really want to go to.  The coach there wanted to "red-shirt" me my freshman year (I would not wrestle a single match, I would be part of the team only in theory, but I would be doing 2-a-day strength building workouts in the gym).  At the time I was 6 feet tall and weighed 180 pounds (I looked like a twig compared to most of the people I wrestled).  He wanted to put 30 pounds of muscle on my frame over my first year at college and then wrestle me in the light heavyweight weight-class my 2nd through 5th years of college.


My reasons for turning it down were many-fold.  Primary among them was "I did not want working out & wrestling to become my life" (in my own words at that time).  I had enjoyed the experience up until that point but I was done with the daily two hour workouts.  I had had a girlfriend all through high school and was never single long.  But my sophomore year of college I met my wife and the past ten years were dedicated to our relationship so much so that I completely neglected myself, my own needs, and most importantly my health.


In my 5 years of dating her and college, post wrestling, my weight climbed to 220.  I was working manual labor jobs through college, so still healthy & very active.  But after graduating and getting married I got my first "real" job.  I have been sitting at a desk there for the past 4+ years now.  I make more money now but I made no positive lifestyle changes and as a result over the past 4+ years my weight has climbed to ~275 lbs (at 6’3â€).


I am now unhappy with my life and my health and my body and want to do something about it.



My 1st attempt at Goals:

These are rough, but they were the first thoughts I had and I wanted to share them with you all for feedback and inspiration.  After reading a lot of information on NF, I emailed these to my friend Bobby last week. 

  • I would love to get under 200 lbs, but I realize that is a super long-term goal, and losing that much weight would probably be unhealthy in general.  A few months before I got married I got really motivated and got from 225 down to 203, but I was not able to get under 200 at that time.
  • I would love to set a "body fat %" goal for myself, but I have no clue where I am at today, how to measure and track it.  (After finding an article by Steve about this topic, ordered a caliper on amazon).


So I am going to set more specific goals that line up with strength training and general health:

  • For the first time in my life, I want to be able to do a Pull-up.  That is right, despite 8 years of wrestling, I never did any strength training and I have never been able to do a pull-up.  I was tall, lanky, and had crazy good endurance because our training was a mix of calisthenics, bodyweight routines, and intense cardio… but never working with weights or in a gym.  As a result, I had huge triceps and no biceps to speak of
  • I want to be able to Bench Press my own body weight. (This goal is great, because as I work towards it, the gap will shrink from both sides.  I have never done much work in my life with free-weights so I do not have any particular number of pounds I want to get too)


In order to achieve those goals, I am setting for myself the short term goals of:

  • Working out no less than 3 days a week (Doing “Beginner Bodyweight Routine†M, W, & F)
  • Eating healthy – 30 day Paleo cleanse followed by Paleo 5 days a week (M-F)
  • Improving my sleeping habits


In order to get there, I first need to do a few things:

  • Build a network of social supports (I have Bobby, Mike, and NF now)
  • Research how to eat healthy & workout properly (I have read a lot on NF now)
  • Start taking weekly pictures of myself in the mirror as I go (Is weekly too much, should I just do monthly?)
  • Track my workouts and measurements in excel as I go (My friend Bobby & I are working to create a daily tracking template we will both use)



Prior to the next Challenge (June 8 – July 19 will be #1 for me)

There are 3 weeks between now & the next challenge.  I am going to spend those 3 weeks focusing on improving my eating habits and increasing my "activity level" in small ways every day.  I will also start practicing the BBWW (beginner body weight workout). When June 8 comes around, I am thinking of setting the following personal goals. I know that in the article "How to not suck at goal setting" it is recommended to avoid setting specific weight loss goals, but I think that this is a legitimate goal for me.


For my second 6 week challenge, I will look to evolve to more of a strength training mindset, but for right now my focus is to create healthy eating habits, exercising habits and build up my stamina.



CHALLENGE #1 - (June 8 - July 19)

Main Quest - Lose 10 pounds

  • Completely remove junk food from my diet (no ice-cream, candy, soda, Cheetos, etc).  This is not a huge change, I only eat junk food 1-3 times a week, it is a small change to a zero-tolerance policy.
  • Limit alcohol consumption to no more than once per week.  I really like drinking, but this is not a huge change because a month ago I just completed 6 weeks w/o drinking.
  • Do the "Beginner Body Weight Workout" 3 days a week.  This will be the biggest change for me and my primary focus.

Life Side-Quest

  • Get 8 hours of sleep a night.  This will be a challenge and I may not get an “Aâ€, but by setting it as a goal and being daily mindful of it, I will improve.



Other Notes:

I would be happy to get encouragement,

I would be honored to get feedback,

And I will gladly answer any questions.

I look forward to getting to know you all better.



I will be out of town next week (Sat May 23 - Sun May 31) and not active on the forums (no smart phone yet, I have resisted the trend for so long).  I will be tracking my activity and being mindful of my eating.  I am driving from Michigan down to Tennessee to help my 7 month pregnant sister & her husband move to Louisiana (and then driving back).  So a lot of driving, a little bit of natural working out, and WAY TOO MUCH heat & humidity.  I am one of those crazy people who is happy to be from Michigan (I love things like snow, ice, and the cold) and wears shorts and t-shirts until the temperature is below 50F.


But I will be active for the next 2 days, and again after I return.



Eventually these will become my before and after pictures.  I weighed myself yesterday at 271.4

Not happy with how I look, but that's why I am here.



Also, for reference, here are 2 pictures of me from 12 years ago when I was in "Wrestling" shape (Senior photos when I was in highschool).  A bit different than the ones above of me at 29... but I plan to look much more like the ones below for me 30th birthday :-)



  • Like 5

Level 14 -- Yeti Ranger -- STR 30.25 | DEX 12.00 | STA 21.00 | CON 14.75 | WIS 18.00 | CHA 7.50

Current Challenge -- Previous Challenges -- My Epic Quest -- Album of Holding -- About Me

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Welcome welcome :D I too battled the alcohol issue (I was SUPER hooked on both WoW and Diablo...and Hearthstone for a bit waiting for people to log on for the first two) And my weekends would sometimes start on Thursdays.....so wheeeee, sometimes I was drinking 4 nights out of the week because Sunday is Walking Dead/Game of Thrones/Football....there's always SOME reason to drink on Sunday if you look hard enough! 


But it can be done and the less you drink the less you feel the need and want to. 


Do you have the support of your SO? I did the same thing in my relationship and got really really really unhappy and frustrated because he wouldn't do the things I needed to do to get healthy. One day I just said screw it I'M doing this...and it's been that way ever since. I do my healthy thing, he does his thing....and we don't get in each others way or force each other to change. Sounds a little cold, but it's better than the constant frustration and constant unhappiness I had for a number of years. 

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Spaz Ranger


You can have results or excuses. Not both

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Thanks for the welcome Basement Cat!




I know that I have the willpower to go without alchohol, it is just difficult because I have a lot of friends who also enjoy drinking socially.  But thank you for the words of encouragement.  I gave alchohol up for Lent, that was 6.5 weeks (not for any religious reasons, I just used that as an excuse for a fast with structure).  That was the 3rd time I gave up alchohol for lent, and 4 years ago I gave up meat (now that was hard).  But not drinking when I game is something I can do that will help me achieve my long-term goals.  However, as I have been improving my sleeping habits over the past month I have done significantly less gaming in general (I've had 3 close friends now text or call to say they miss me because they "see" me so rarely now).


I have the support of my SO in a sense, but that is a complicated topic for several reasons (which I am willing to go into).  I had contemplated on and off adding something of this nature to my original post, but I decided against it.  Not beacuse I didn't want to share, but because it would have made an already long post into a ridiculously long post.  But since you brought it up...


First, my wife does not agree with the "Paleo" diet (specifically giving up whole grains & legumes like beans).  She has been a health food nut herself on and off over the past.  (She is one of those people who reads the label of everything she buys, and actually understands it... I am not).   However, I do over 75% of the cooking and shopping, so I will make do.  However, the way I explained to her that the Paleo diet will work functionally for me is by forcing me to replace all carbs (processed + whole grains) with vegetables.  I explained that it is important to me because it gives me structure.  Monday I cooked a dish I found on NF, Pan Seared Salmon with Pinapple Salsa, only I used chicken instead of Salmon b/c I am seafood adverse.


An additional complication is that she has a history with eating disorders, so I need to literally hide the scale & fat measurement tools I will be using because those things are very triggering for her.  She has slowly come to accept her body the way it is, but that said, she has to tell the Doctors to weigh her "blind" when she goes to the hospital and it has probably been over 2-3 years since she last stepped on a scale (a good thing in her case).


And last but not least, we have been having several long & serious discussions over the past few months.  The outcome of those is that she will be moving out of the house in the next month or two.  The reason for this will be for her to explore her own sexual identity.  When we started dating, I would have labeled her as bi-curious, but she never considered seriously the option of being with a woman.  When we started dating she was 17 and I was 19, so she has been with me her entire adult life.  I am now 29 & she 27.


However, she has realized over the past year or two that she never has sexual thoughts about men (sadly, including me).  She is my best friend and I have been very loving and supportive of her in all of this, but for the past 2+ years of our marriage we have just been "best friends who live together" and there has been little to no passion.  I take great care of her and am a strong emotional support for her, but after many discussions with her therapist she has come to realize that the reason she needs to stay in this relationship is for survival.  Needless to say, it is not an ideal situation and we are working through it together.


I have done everything I could to stoke the passion (I take her out on nice dates weekly or more often, just 2 days ago I made a fancy candlelit dinner with wine, we go on long walks and talk together for hours, I will give her an hour-long full body massage, etc)... but she no longer has any passion or lust for me.  She acknowledges and appreciates how hard I work to take care of her and make her feel good (I have another close friend who considers me a hero because he knows all that we/I have been through and said he could not have come close to handling it all as well and being as good as I have been).  But I love her so much that selflessness comes naturally, and her happiness matters to me so much that if she has a chance to be more happy with a woman, I will let her go.


That is why I am not relying on her as one of my key supports.  And that has also helped me to realize that for a long time now I have spent so much of my time and energy caring for her, that I have neglected taking care of myself.  Maybe me caring for myself will make me more attractive to her once again, that is a possibility.  Maybe she moves out and finds happiness with a woman, and while it will be painful for me, I will be happy for her and know that it will probably be for the best for both of us in the long run.


The recent developments in my marriage are still a secret from our families currently.  But all of my close friends know and are very supportive.  She knows her family will not take it well (fundamentalist Christians) so she is not planning on coming out to them until she is in a relationship with another woman.  I am not 100% certain what her plan is to explain her moving out of the house to them.  However, she said I can tell my family which I plan to once she moves out.  Some of my family is similar to hers, but in general they are a more accepting lot.  But I am very close to my family so I will want and need their support.


That is probably an over-simplification of the issue, but it is also an important piece of how I ended up here and what my goals and motivations are.


Again... I ramble.  Probably won't be the last time.  Good question though and thank you for bringing it up.


I am willing to answer any other questions you have.  (Here or in a PM if you want to get really personal, I am a very open person)

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Level 14 -- Yeti Ranger -- STR 30.25 | DEX 12.00 | STA 21.00 | CON 14.75 | WIS 18.00 | CHA 7.50

Current Challenge -- Previous Challenges -- My Epic Quest -- Album of Holding -- About Me

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Wow, I can't even imagine how I would act or handle a situation like this. You are a true hero.

Its great to see that you can rely on your friends and family.

Good luck with your diet, I would like to eat more healthy, but I can't find it in me to start.

And again much respect

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So my wife moved out last Friday, July 17th. I am now adjusting to the "empty house" thing. The most awkward thing thus far has been the lack of confrontation or negative emotions (anger, bitterness, etc) that I was expecting would be part of the separation process. But this whole process has helped me to refocus on myself, and as a result I am in better health now than I have been in 2 years, and by the end of the next 1-2 challenges, I plan on that being "in 5 years".


So there is both good & bad. Huge thanks go out to my buddy Bobby who has been a great friend through all my loneliness. We have been playing tons of racquetball, which is ALL THE THINGS: great exercise, cardio-y, fun, gives me something to do in the evenings, social, etc.


Anyway, finding Nerd Fitness has been great for my health, and I am only two & a half months into my self-improvement journey. I don't know what the future holds, but I am looking forward to increased health, and in a way, that has made me more happy than I have been in a long time. Through this past challenge I have relearned to love myself and that has been extremely rewarding.


So to all the supporters & friends out there, thank you & love!

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Level 14 -- Yeti Ranger -- STR 30.25 | DEX 12.00 | STA 21.00 | CON 14.75 | WIS 18.00 | CHA 7.50

Current Challenge -- Previous Challenges -- My Epic Quest -- Album of Holding -- About Me

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My "About Me" links to here, so periodically I will do updates. Originally this was my Intro Thread.


I am Tom. I live in the Royal Oak area of Detroit, MI. Detroit is not as bad as all the press it gets. In fact, the population is now only half of what it was 50 years ago, so traffic is not that bad for a major city. I am 29 years old with only a few months until I turn 30. I consider myself a "Jack-of-All-Nerds" in that I am a master of nothing nerdy but have been exposed to most things. At many points in my life I have spent way too much time playing video games on the computer. During my first 6WC I broke that addiction (by focusing on healthy sleeping). I also really enjoy playing nerdy board games. My newest friends are also slowly introducing me to more anime.


I am passionate about several things. The newest and healthiest two are cooking and playing racquetball. In addition to those, I love Irish Music, particularly the traditional / folk genre (moreso than its rockier peers like the Dropkick Murphys). But I can often be found at large Irish Festivals, drinking "Irish drinks" up at the front of concerts, singing along and sometimes dancing.


In July 2015, my ex-wife moved out. There are some long posts above about that if you're curious and like reading. We got divorced in October and that has been a lot of motivation and provided me with a lot of extra time to spend focusing on improving my health. That whole process left me in bad position financially, so I moved in with some friends. Moving in helped keep me from becoming a depressed hermit crab, as did discovering NF and learning to care for myself.


I knew there were a lot of changes looming in 2015 and that I was going to go through a rollercoaster of emotions and stress. So I prepared for that be actively deciding to focus on my health. In mid may I started eating a "Paleo inspired diet". I prioritize fatty foods, avoid sugary foods, avoid carby foods (bread/pasta/cereal/etc), avoid liquid calories (except fermented). I eat when I am hungry. I keep healthy snacks around, like Almonds, for when I am snacky at work.


In June 2015 I began exercising. I did the Beginner Body Weight Workout (BBWW) for 5 months and was killing it (relative to where I started). One of my goals was to get a gym membership prior to the end of the year and transition from bodyweight workouts into the Stronglifts 5x5 program. And in November I did just that and I am now several weeks into weight lifting for the first time ever in my life and loving it.


I started my journey to fitness around 275 lbs. and figure my highest weight was probably around 280 over the holidays at the end of 2014. I am now down to around 240 lbs. and happy to have lost 40 lbs. It has given me the confidence to know that I can make changes to the way I look and I can lose weight. It has been a long journey to get this far and I still have a long way to go. I have dropped my Body Fat % from ~34% to 24%. I am proud of that. My main goal is to get down to 16%.


A couple people asked me why I started with body weight workouts instead of going straight to lifting weights. In my mind, body weight is much more convenient and it takes away many of my excuses. Also, while I eventually want to be strong, my short-term goals are all about weight loss, so the most important thing is just being active.


I recently posted up an Epic Quest with some of my long-term goals. I look at it more as a "What I am going to hopefullly do in the next 10 years" instead of a "bucket list", so roughly it is the plan of awesome things to do in my 30's.


Since day 1 I have tracked my progress on my Battle Log with weekly posts. I update that post throughout the week, but it is where I keep track of my exercising and a few other notes. I also have been taking regular monthly progress pics.


In a recent challenge, someone asked me what has helped me push through the rough points and keep motivated. This was my answer:

1) Staying plugged into this community has been a HUGE part of my success. The 6 week challenges help me stay focused on my goals and push myself harder than I otherwise would.

2) Defining my motivation was important.

3) And while I agree with Steve that collecting underpants gets you nowhere... I did do a lot of research prior to setting my goals and determined what I was going to do to get where I wanted to get.

4) Focusing on my diet (as a higher priority than exercise) also got me a really big push. Exercise is important, but what you eat, in my opinion, is even moreso.

5) Don't kick yourself when you are down. Pull yourself back up. There will be ups & downs. Enjoy the Journey!

  • Like 1

Level 14 -- Yeti Ranger -- STR 30.25 | DEX 12.00 | STA 21.00 | CON 14.75 | WIS 18.00 | CHA 7.50

Current Challenge -- Previous Challenges -- My Epic Quest -- Album of Holding -- About Me

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