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Unread 10-16-2009, 11:53 AM   #1
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Getting BACK in shape

Tell your story about getting back in shape (or getting in shape for the first time, after a sedentary life). Here's mine:

I am terrible at sports. I have flat feet and slow reaction time (my wife complains that I can't do ANYTHING quickly), and I just suck at every sport imaginable. I made the football team in 7th, 8th, and 9th grades, but I quit in 9th because I kept getting migraines. After that, I started weight training to gain muscle and "look good."

In November 1996, my best friend died, and my reasons for weightlifting seemed so trivial and vain that I stopped entirely after a couple of months. I lost about 30 pounds and then went to college. From 1997-2003, my weight rose to 215 (from about 150 when I entered college). I was living a sedentary life filled with fried food (and lots of it!).

The first, best thing to happen to my health was when I got married. Heather fries nothing, and her food is much better for me than the Lean Cuisine frozen dinners I was living on (maybe you can lose weight eating them; I couldn't). From 2004-2007, my weight settled in around 200. At one point, I tried to get in shape by jogging, but I hated it, so I didn't stick with it.

Then, the second-best thing happened: I got a physical. My doctor said, "Your blood pressure is 180/100. I'm putting you on blood pressure medicine." I got truly scared. I asked if there was anything I could do to bring it down without being dependent on medicine. "Lose weight," he said. So, at the beginning of 2009, I weighed about 195 and I started a new diet: For lunch, I would eat a can of soup every day, and I'd take one snack with me. Simple. From January to May, I dropped 10 pounds, but I didn't have much visibly to show for it.

Then, the third-best thing happened: I got a job painting dorms. This activity alone helped me lose a bit more weight. But it also put me in close contact with a weight room that I had not known existed. I thought, "Weight training is the only exercise I've ever loved. I can burn fat this way, I can enjoy it, and this time I actually have a good reason to do it." So, I started lifting again.

Today, I'm down to 167 lbs. I've dropped from barely fitting into 38-inch waist pants to somewhere between 33 and 34. My energy level is so much higher than it was. My blood pressure is down. Oh, and it's easy to stick with a workout that you love. I think that's the most important thing for anyone who wants to get in shape - find something you love to do!

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Unread 10-18-2009, 02:48 PM   #2
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That's the toughest thing for me...I don't really need to work out, but I'd like to gain some muscle. I just can't get into weight training. Maybe I should try working out with a friend, though. Do you lift alone?
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Unread 10-18-2009, 03:30 PM   #3
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Finding something that you enjoy, and making the right decisions over and over again are so key to losing weight. The right foods, the right proportions, exercising regularly. Even just committing to your exercises so that you are actually working yourself.


Growing up I was always tall, and lanky. Big skinny kid. Around 2nd/3rd grade my parents got divorced. I took up eating. From 3rd grade on I was overweight. By Fifth grade I was over 200 pounds. My freshman year of highschool I was 5'7", and 295 pounds. By eighteen, I was well into the 300's. I topped out at 18 to 19 at 340 pounds.

At 19, and 340 pounds I decided wanted to make a change. I got a treadmill, and started walking. Within a year I had dropped down into the upper 200's. After I turned 20 I got a new job. It was pretty demanding physically, and I started to lose more. Seeing the results, I started watching my portions, being a bit more careful about my food intake. After a year at my job, I had made it down to 240.

At 22 I once again got a new job, and this one was even more physically demanding. I still work with that company, and still have a demanding job. After losing about 20 more pounds, I decided to take it very seriously. I started counting calories. Eating fresh foods. Aside from my fast paced job, I added some semi-serious workouts to the mix.

At the end of last year I was down to 191 pounds, and felt great. This last year has been a bit rough for me, and I have fallen out of my good habits. Also with a serious injury to one of my ankles in the last month my exercise routine has been interrupted.

I am currently at 215 pounds, and waiting to be able to go back into my full exercise regimen.
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Unread 10-18-2009, 03:58 PM   #4
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I've been in and out of shape a few times. Now I'm 30+ pounds over where I like to be, but still fairly fit for my age, especially considering the weight. I stay pretty active. Right now taekwondo and weights when I'm home.

I agree with Bruce Lee (Roy), it's all about finding something you enjoy. For me it's fighting. Of course I don't mean unsupervised hurting people. But I love it all. When I was younger I did a lot of back yard boxing and some karate, a few years ago I was into submission wrestling/BJJ, and now I do taedwondo with my kids when I'm home.

I highly recommend taekwondo as a family activity by the way. Where we go the instructor is continually admonishing the kids to spend less time playing video games and more time out side, less time watching tv and more time reading books and doing home work. He tells the kids how important it is to develop a sharp and disciplined mind. He tells the kids continually to respect your parents etc. It's great and I love doing this with two of my kids.
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Unread 10-19-2009, 07:34 AM   #5
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Bruce, that's a wonderful story. I hope the coming year will be a better one, and that you'll find the motivation to get back on track.
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Unread 10-19-2009, 07:53 AM   #6
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I'm at the beginning of this right now. I used to be in good shape, but then I had a knee injury in 8th grade that took me out of sports. So, to take the place of sports I got really into music. Unfortunately, spending hours at a time sitting with a guitar doesn't burn calories the way spending hours playing basketball does and I found I started gaining weight.

I got back into working out a bit in college and dropped down some, but I've just recently discovered that since college ended and I got married I've gained about 40lbs! Right now I'm 6' 4" and weigh 235. I was helping some people move over the weekend and discovered I'm really out of shape from where I used to be too. I had trouble making it the whole day carrying oak furniture up and down flights of stairs. It's funny I found this thread today because just earlier this morning I decided I was going to take this seriously and lose weight! Our baby is due January 29 and my goal is to be under 200lbs by that date.

Now my only problem is finding physical activity that is motivating for me... The only thing that comes to mind is mountain biking, but thats a big investment to make
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Unread 10-19-2009, 09:16 AM   #7
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Since finding out I was gluten intolerant, I have gained a lot of energy and while I am not losing any weight currently, (much to my frustration) I am getting back in shape. Compared to y'all mine may sound trivial, but I am just 5 foot 8.

I hit a high water mark of 215 and with about an hour in the gym a day, I have gotten down to 185, only to go back up to 200. My wife says that's okay as I seem to be gaining muscle in the arms and such. So I tend to go up before I go down.

I have a build where 180 is about my ideal weight if it is a good 180. (I can be perfectly in shape or horribly out at the same weight, so its not as much a numbers game for me) I am at a 33 waist, down from a high of 35, and am aiming for 30.

I would love to get back into sparring and martial arts, but I fear I will not do very well until I get a bit more leg strength. My left knee was totally thrashed to the point I walked with a limp for years, but owing to a few recent developments I can actually run again. So I am planning on getting a pair of rollerblades. Over the years I have worn five pair out to the point of stripping out the chassis, and that was one activity I always loved. Oh well, I probably will look a bit dorky out there, but who cares.
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Unread 10-20-2009, 09:19 AM   #8
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BSPE and metropolis, good to hear your stories. Bill, I'm 5'8" as well, but with a small frame, so a good 180 will be a big step up for me in muscle mass. I could be healthy and strong at 150, but I'm hoping not to drop anymore weight.

metropolis, if you don't want to make the commitment of buying a bike, are there any other exercises that you've really enjoyed in the past? I have a friend who's a biker, and he says he has to put his bike away in the winter anyway, so it'd probably be the same for you, unless Aurora is much warmer than the northwest suburbs!
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Unread 10-20-2009, 09:58 PM   #9
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I am about 5' 8", and I used to weigh about 165, with a decent mix of muscle and fat, and now I've fallen to 140, mainly due to a change in careers (more stress, less time to eat, less time to work out, etc). I guess I need to force myself to eat/exercise.
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Unread 10-21-2009, 07:01 AM   #10
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Do you have a high metabolism?
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Unread 10-21-2009, 07:41 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McLuvinjesus View Post
I am about 5' 8", and I used to weigh about 165, with a decent mix of muscle and fat, and now I've fallen to 140, mainly due to a change in careers (more stress, less time to eat, less time to work out, etc). I guess I need to force myself to eat/exercise.
Ted mentioned your metabolism. You probably already know this, but when you do make the time to work out you need to work out much differently than those of us that are trying to loose weight. You will need to stay away from a lot of extended aerobic sessions -- if you train like your preparing for a marathon, you will look like a marathon runner. Lift weights. Keep the number of reps low -- like 6-8, the number of sets fairly low -- like three per body part, and the weights fairly heavy -- like 80% of your max for that particular exercise. And of course lots of protein. Of course I'm not an expert, but I think that's pretty common advise you will find in Men's Fitness etc.
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Unread 10-21-2009, 09:36 AM   #12
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Just remember that there is really only one rule regarding weight gain or loss: Eat more calories than you burn, and you will gain weight; eat fewer calories than you burn, and you will lose weight. That doesn't tell what kind of weight you'll gain (fat, muscle, etc), or whether the weight loss/gain will be healthy or not, but it's important to remember that if you eat lots of protein (which has very few calories in comparison to sugars and fats) but fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its weight, you'll first burn fat, and eventually start burning muscle. So if you start working out, and you're underweight, you need to increase your calorie intake to stay healthy.
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Unread 10-21-2009, 04:13 PM   #13
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I wish I could gain weight :'( (I'm like 5'9'', almost 170..)
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Unread 10-21-2009, 04:23 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by penguinofwar View Post
I wish I could gain weight :'( (I'm like 5'9'', almost 170..)
And what exactly does that have to do with getting back in shape?
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Unread 10-21-2009, 06:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmlfan123 View Post
And what exactly does that have to do with getting back in shape?
Well, it doesn't really, just that people were saying about how they were losing weight, meanwhile, I woud like to gain weight...
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