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Enough is enough!

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Well, today I took my before pictures...and I just about cried. I've been at this for about a month and a half I think, and I've only gone down about half a pound. I think I know why, and I'm working on a plan to fix it, starting with regulating my exercise. I've been doing more cardio (walk/runs with Zombies, Run and the elliptical at the university gym with Netflix lol), which is awesome, and much better than the nothing I was doing, but it's been intermittent and lacked any kind of strength training because, let's face it, I'm afraid of all the weight equipment at the gym and I'm too afraid to ask for help. I have severe anxiety and just getting to the gym is a huge accomplishment for me. But as of today, I have a plan. 


Cardio: Go for a run or to the gym (depending on how I feel/weather/whatever) every day M-F. Weekends my schedule doesn't really allow for it but I tend to do a lot of walking anyway. This will last at least half an hour. 

Strength training: Darebee's Shepard Workout: http://darebee.com/workouts/shepard-fem-workout.html#sets Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. I started it today and I only managed two sets rather than the three they recommend for level one :( But that's still better than zero sets, right? And I completed all of the exercises, even if I did need to modify the pushups and shoulder taps for the time being. 


Can I get some feedback on this plan from anyone more knowledgeable than me? So, like, probably anyone, because I have no real idea what I'm doing, lol. I'm 38 lbs away from my first goal, at which point I'm going to re-evaluate and see how I feel, and will probably want to drop another 15-20 after that. Is this a reasonable schedule? Am I over/under doing it? Is this the type of schedule/balance that will help me to lose weight? 


Now, on to revamping my diet...but that's for another post in another category. :)

"The universe is a dark place. I'm trying to make it brighter before I die." - Thane Krios

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As most bodyweight workouts, this lacks some pulling. You might want to integrate some pulling exercise such as table rows or towel rows (sling towel around both doorknobs, place door between feet, grip towel and pull yourself up), or if, you find some heavy(ish) stuff, dumbbell rows. That said... go!  Any workout is better than no workout.

And DO NOT BE AFRAID of the weight room. People there might look intimidating, but most of them are nice and helpful. (Like dogs: it's always the small ones who are mean and will bite. The BIG dogs might look scary, but they usually have the friendliest character. A great dane will run to you, jump at you and lick your face to greet you. A small terrier will jump at you and bite your leg. ;-) )
Take your 20 second of courage, walk up, and ask for help. I bet any reasonable amount of protein shakes or creatine that nobody would refuse to teach you the main lifts (squat, bench or overhead press, deadlift, rows), if you just dare to ask. But maybe that's your task for another week. It will help you tremendously in the long run, but it is not crucial now.
Getting somehow started (no matter with what) is the most important step.  Being consistent the second. Really. You do not need a "perfect" program, you just need a "good enough" program that get's you into the habit. The darebee routine you linked or Steves basic bodyweight workout from the NF blog or basically any other bodyweight circuit you can find on the net can totally be this first step. 

Regarding your weight loss goals... well, that is impossible to answer. Weight loss and weight gain basically is a function of calorie intake and calorie expenditure (the latter being a function of activity level and muscle mass and to a very small degree also some tweaks in the metabolism.) So you have to see the big picture; exercise alone won't make weight/fat loss happen. Diet alone might, but diet in combination with strength training is the fastest, safest and healthiest road.
Also, I would like to remember that your real goal is probably not to loose weight, you want to loose body fat. Weight loss is just one indication of that, but the number on the scale alone is absolutely meaningless. You might even gain weight while becoming slimmer  - muscle is denser than fat. (For example, I once coached a girl that gained 6kg while dropping two clothing sizes.) Water retention due to changes in diet, inflammations, be them rooted in DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness after a workout) or an infection can, depending on your starting weight and body composition, shift your weight significantly, up to 2-3 kilos. In women, even the period can have a more or less significant effect on weight. So use the scale as one tool of many, to establish long-term trendlines, but do NOT focus on it as your primary means of judging your progress. Take measurements of your body parts, look at how your clothes fit, perhaps take some "before/after" pics... and have a look at your performance. If tight clothes fit better, if you can pull the belt tighter, if you become stronger and can run faster and for greater distances - well, then you are doing a lot of things right and chances are high you are moving in the right direction, even if it does not translate directly proportional to the number on the scale (yet). 

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Rowing, rucking, running, lifting heavy stuff. Why not do it all?

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If weightloss is your goal don't hyperfocus on activity. I love exercises and will promote it to anyone looking to become stronger and striving for a goal- however weight loss is purely what you eat. 


Set up a nutrition plan and stick to it if shedding weight is your primary focus and then start integrating activity once you have a solid nutrition habit. 

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Spaz Ranger


You can have results or excuses. Not both

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1 hour ago, Slates said:

If weightloss is your goal don't hyperfocus on activity. I love exercises and will promote it to anyone looking to become stronger and striving for a goal- however weight loss is purely what you eat. 


Set up a nutrition plan and stick to it if shedding weight is your primary focus and then start integrating activity once you have a solid nutrition habit. 


This.  Movement is good, but diet is where weightloss is key.  If your diet is crap, it won't help if you have P9000Xtreme: The Felxanator workout.  Yea, you might be able to do it, but you aren't guaranteed to lose weight and the moment you stop without a diet change the more likely you are to regain that weight.


We can't outrun our forks, and diet should be the first thing looked at for weight loss before trying to get sucked into the "What workout is best" game. (And hint on that last part - the best workout is one you enjoy.)

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RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Turns to Ash


"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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I don't know how much weight you want to lose but my wife lost 50 pounds in about 6 months, all we did was first change what she ate and got that under control and did cardio 3 times a week.  That's it, the cardio helped if our calorie count was off and it started to get us in the habit of going to the gym.  My wife is 5 7 and 145 pounds now doing both cardio and free weights (She can squat 160 pounds now and i deloaded her to get better depth).  Diet is what you need to change but 30 minute of cardio 3 days a week (or more it's just what we did) can give you a buffer to help while you change your diet.

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You mentioned a University gym.  Great news, University/College gyms come with trainers and they tend to be a FANTASTIC deal in comparison to finding one outside of that system.  If you are dealing with issues learning to lift, programming, and developing a nutrition plan I highly suggest you look into what options your University gym has in regards to trainers.  Utilizing all tools at your disposal will greatly increase your success rate.

Your workout plan doesn't look too bad, but as turbo pointed out bodyweight routines tend to lack pulling exercises.  Pulling exercises play a major role in proper posture development in addition to balancing things out.  In fact my current gym puts clients on workouts that favor pulling exercises over pushing exercises for several months purely for the purpose of fixing bad posture (rounded shoulders, curvature of the spine, etc).  So making sure those play a role in your routine is very important, turbo listed off some great ways to do that.  When in doubt, google "Nerd Fitness Bodyweight" and it will take you to every article written by NF on bodyweight routines.  If you want to start with that kind of strength training, do it.  Steve has a lot of great exercises that emphasize pulling.

Machines and weights themselves can seem intimidating, but you will find that people are very helpful in gym environments.  Even if you don't want to go the trainer route, go ask the person working the front desk for tips/advice on how to use equipment.

As far as nutrition goes, nutrition does play a major role in helping us reach our goals.  I've found that Paleo is an easy way to get started to eating better, feeling better and looking better while taking a lot of the hard work and thinking out of it.  Replacing processed foods with natural ones will drop your calorie intake like a rock.  The caveman thing is bogus, so if you do want to have dairy, grains, and legumes..feel free to.  I wouldn't worry about things like measuring food on a food scale or logging in an app like MyFitnessPal off the bat.  Just start getting used to eating more natural foods.  This whole thing is a process, to change your relationship with food.  Processes take time, developing new habits and breaking old habits is best done broken down into several steps with ample time between them to adjust.  I'd say just start getting used to natural foods and replace processed ones should be your first step.  After a few weeks of that, start logging your food either in a journal or on something like MFP..don't set any goals for yourself, and definitely do NOT follow MFP's goal suggestions..just log it.  Develop an awareness for what you consume each day.  Do this for several weeks then come back here.

I could keep going on the diet thing, but I don't want to overload you with too much too fast.  Incremental changes are best.  I think maybe combining some of these things with the next 4 week challenge would be of great benefit to you.  A way to build some accountability in while you start to change your habits.

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Well, the Shepard workout isn't the easiest one you could have picked, as a beginner.  So I wouldn't worry at all about doing just two sets to start with.  Give it a couple of weeks and you'll be up to three.


Alternately you could do 1 set, 3x in a day.  Some people think small frequent workouts are better than one big workout.

Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.

Hylian Assassin 5'5", 143 lbs.
Half-marathon: 3:02
It is pitch dark. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

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