Emi inspired running/workout

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Re: Emi inspired running/workout

Post by Enemy | » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:26 pm

Didn't run today, had to get shit done downtown and my routine got messed up
Not sure how tomorrow's gonna go then, usually resting a day just makes it harder for me the next day.

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Re: Emi inspired running/workout

Post by ZXRN » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:28 pm

mysterycycle wrote:
SpamJam wrote:What time do you guys get up to run at?
I was getting up at 4:45 AM to go run, mostly because my wife needs the car to leave by 7:00 (or a little earlier sometimes). That's enough time for me to get dressed, drive down to the lake, walk to the baseball field, do my run, and come back.

I like being out before everyone, when it's still kind of dark and I don't have anyone watching me hyperventilating. :wink: I also like doing it first thing in the morning because it leaves me feeling pretty good the rest of the day (if a little sore sometimes).
wahaha same here. (well, almost.) I run at 5.30 so coz a few joggers jog at the parking lot of the mall at that time so I don't really feel ashamed.
I honestly think that Akros and the rest who run at night are kinda lucky specially since you doods can run at almost midnight. While over here, I don't think I can jog in a relaxed state while worrying that someone's prolly already chasing you with a knife. (Maybe it's just me being paranoid but I did have hear some news around here so yeah...)
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Operation: Excursion

Post by DrNonookee » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:21 am

*cracks knuckles* Alright, may as well pitch in my own two buckazoids about this.

Like many of you, I was recently moved to get off my duff and start exorcising by a fictional character who nontheless had a heartwarming, moving story. However, after nearly getting my head gnawed off by a demon, I've decided to try exercising instead. :roll:

I've only been at this a week, and I already feel a lot better - not just physically, but in the sense that I also feel a sense of accomplishment for getting up off my rear, putting my mind doing something constructive, and getting it done (Hisao comments on this himself in the game). However, it hasn't been without its problems, and so I thought I'd throw out some things in here.

--So far, my 'routine' basically consists of walking/power walking (switching between them when I get too tired to keep up the latter), and doing some arm curls with a 20-lb barbell, which is the only piece of actual exercise equipment I have access to. I'm loathe to join a gym or the like, partly because I don't have the cash to spend and partly because I'm self-concious and don't like working out in front of other people (for reasons I shall explain shortly). I've been going at this for about a week and a half, and at the moment I'm getting about a mile a day from the walking and about 20 held curls per arm before they give out. :P Is this a good area to be in given that I'm just starting out, or should I push it more?

--Unlike a lot of folks on here, I'm not trying to lose weight - it's more or less a lost cause. I weigh about 400lbs - no amount of exercise or dieting is going to put a dent in that anytime soon. :? Most of the things I like doing are couch potato activities, and I enjoy a nice, hearty meal too much for dieting to do anything but kill my resolve. About the only thing I have going in my favor is that it's 'compact' fat - I look more like a 300lb-er than my actual weight, and I can move around without any great phyisical awkwardness. :p Anywho, my point is, my only real goal (aside from general feel-good-ness) is to improve the strength and endurance of my legs and feet (so I can walk for extended periods without getting tired), arms (so I can not struggle like a pansy when I lift stuff), and...uh...breathing? (So I can not gasp for air like a fish when I get tired). Lungs? Heart? Actually, I'm not really sure what would govern that last one, although I'm guessing getting my heart rate up from power walking will do it regardless. Any other exercises I should try to focus on these? Again, I don't have access to a gym right now, so exercises I can do without equipment would be helpful. :) I should point out that extended running, jogging, etc. are basically impossible for me right now - I weigh so much that the impact of my footfalls severely strains my knees.

--I've found that the major limiting factor in my walking thus far is my feet. Obviously, my feet are *not* used to being used this much, and I find that by the end of any given walk they're sore as hell. I've got a decent pair of shoes, so beyond that, what can I do to lessen that problem? I find myself often stopping mid-walk, shifting weight from one foot to the other to ease them a bit before continuing, and sometimes I'll stop partway through the walk entirely to sit down for a little bit. Are these things a good idea, or are they more harm than good?

--Sometimes after walking, my knee (or rather, the muscles around it, in particular the uppermost part of my calf) is sore for a while (as opposed to the rest of my muscles, which feel pretty *good* right after a walk). This is most likely the result of a car wreck I had about six months ago, which severely bruised my right shin and left me walking a little lopsided for a while as a result. Stretching might help, which brings up another question: how *exactly* does one stretch the legs for exercise? Like, what positions, for how long, etc? It seems surprisingly hard to find good info about this...

--From what I've read earlier in this thread, I'm starting to think that I should be doing all this every *other* day instead of every day, due to the whole 'muscles need time to heal' thing. Am I right in thinking this?

--What's the best time of day to work out? Some people seem to think early morning, others seem to point to later at night before bedtime. In my case, it's both - I have a late work schedule that has me getting home at about 1am. I've been coming home, settling in and resting a bit, then going out to walk at about 2am and getting back from the mile a half-hour later. I initially tried walking right before bed, but I found myself lying awake and unable to sleep afterwards :roll: so now I finish and wait until about 4am or so before going to sleep. Is this healthy, or do I need to get my sleep schedule back towards something resembling normal and exercise after I wake up instead?

Just some questions from a curious geek hoping to feel a bit better about himself, break up the monotony of sitting in front of screens all the time, and maybe meet some cute fitness girls. Maybe. :P
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Re: Emi inspired running/workout

Post by NoOne3 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:59 am

Most of those you can find reading the thread, but it grew significantly, so I'll try to make it a little easier for you.
DrNonookee wrote:which is the only piece of actual exercise equipment I have access to. I'm loathe to join a gym or the like, partly because I don't have the cash to spend and partly because I'm self-concious and don't like working out in front of other people
Trawl the net (YouTube first) for ideas of a cheap gym equipement. On the basic level a piece of clear floor will do, for pushups and situps. Then You can think about getting a sandbag, or making yourself a pull-up bar.
DrNonookee wrote:I weigh about 400lbs - no amount of exercise or dieting is going to put a dent in that anytime soon.
You might be surprised. It is heavily influenced by other things, like metabolysm, but any exercise will decrease your energy surplus, so in the absolutely worst case scenario You will at least gain weight slower.
DrNonookee wrote:Stretching might help, which brings up another question: how *exactly* does one stretch the legs for exercise? Like, what positions, for how long, etc? It seems surprisingly hard to find good info about this...
Check the links in the first post. There was an Emi Stretch Guide there (also a pushup schedule, since you mention other exercises). Stretching might definitely help, but the most important thing is not overdoing things. If you notice your feet or knees getting worse after every workout, they need a break, also don't be shy of doctors if push comes to shove.

As to the other day thing, and good time of the day it's personal thing. The "every second day" thing is supported with some scientific knowledge I think, and it personally work well for me, a day off from exercising is a little reward mobilizing for a bigger effort in the given day. Time of day is very personal thing, and depends heavily on your day schedule, you can try working it at different hours, and see what suits You best. I'm running after work, just before eating dinner.
Late night schedule isn't such a big problem, as irregular one or straight forward sleep deprivation, so I guess it's nothing.

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Re: Operation: Excursion

Post by Akros » Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:21 am

DrNonookee wrote:*cracks knuckles* Alright, may as well pitch in my own two buckazoids about this.

Like many of you, I was recently moved to get off my duff and start exorcising by a fictional character who nontheless had a heartwarming, moving story. However, after nearly getting my head gnawed off by a demon, I've decided to try exercising instead. :roll:

"The Power of Christ Compels you"

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good luck with that
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Re: Operation: Excursion

Post by ZXRN » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:12 am

Akros wrote:
DrNonookee wrote:*cracks knuckles* Alright, may as well pitch in my own two buckazoids about this.

Like many of you, I was recently moved to get off my duff and start exorcising by a fictional character who nontheless had a heartwarming, moving story. However, after nearly getting my head gnawed off by a demon, I've decided to try exercising instead. :roll:

"The Power of Christ Compels you"

Image

good luck with that
well said brotha...well said...
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Re: Emi inspired running/workout

Post by jmeks23 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:16 pm

DrNonookee, as far as the whole 'lost cause' thing do not ever think that way. I suggest getting in touch with a poster on this topic named Gandara who was 400lbs when he started and is already down 40lbs without even doing the running of this program yet. It's all about persistence and in my experience, not doing anything cold turkey. Ease yourself into everything, particularly diet and exercise. I'm also overweight, but down roughly 40lbs myself without even being on a full diet. Just cutting back on major indulgences (like fast food or soda) can help tremendously.

At the end of the day it's obviously your call and your life, but having the mindset of 'it is what it is' isn't right. You can always improve yourself.

Just my 2 cents.


Also, week 3 completed this morning. Sweet :D

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Re: Emi inspired running/workout

Post by dwarduk » Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:53 pm

I want to start, but I'm really worried about it. I'm underweight despite being mostly sedentary as it is, while struggling to eat enough to maintain my weight. On top of that, I'm a coeliac, massively restricting my carb intake, and don't enjoy sweet tastes... Further, I'm moving out at the end of September, and am not sure about being able to afford food, as I can't eat most of the cheaper options

Oh well, I'll give it a try at some point. I have other problems like hypermobility, so I want to get everything organised and sorted beforehand. I won't put it off forever; I'm replaying and about to reach Emi's route, so that ought to give me some more motivation, albeit less than the first time through. It's great to see other people here actually putting their plans into practice!
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Re: Operation: Excursion

Post by Gandara » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:59 pm

Weekly Update:

Down another 3 lbs. - All I do is lose!

Weigh-in's on Friday now instead of Saturday. Should be okay.

I ended up missing my swim on Wednesday due to my brother having some financial issues he had to work out that day, so it infringed on our swimming time. I'll be going tomorrow afternoon to make up, then back to my Monday / Wednesday schedule. The walks continue as well.

So... yeah, now to dissect our new member's post:
DrNonookee wrote:I've only been at this a week, and I already feel a lot better - not just physically, but in the sense that I also feel a sense of accomplishment for getting up off my rear, putting my mind doing something constructive, and getting it done.
Excellent - you're at the beginning of something very good. One quick warning, it's easy to be super excited at the start then get burned out rapidly. Just make sure to pace yourself, take a break every once in a while, and keep it interesting - listen to music, take different routes (if you're walking through your neighborhood), etc.
(Walking / Arm Curls) - Is this a good area to be in given that I'm just starting out, or should I push it more?
Great start. Another thought would be swimming, though it is a "public" activity, it's a lot less embarrassing than going to a gym. It's a great high-resistance, low-impact exercise. I know exactly what you mean with the gym thing too - it's why I've been shy about going to my work's facilities. No harm with that, though. The best thing to start with at your weight is low impact stuff. Walking is great, arm curls are just fine too. Consider possibly picking up some lighter arm weights - 5 or 10 pounds, maybe - and just use those while you watch TV or during loading screens in video games. You can do a lot more than 20 curls w/o tuckering out with a lower weight, and it'll help build a bit of muscle in your arms too.
Unlike a lot of folks on here, I'm not trying to lose weight - it's more or less a lost cause.
I'm about to say something really harsh, but I think you can take it - this is a terrible mind set. Absolutely terrible. I can say that with certainty because that has been my mindset for the past several years. I am quite similar to you - I also weighed 400 lbs., but I'm tall (about 6' 4") and carried the weight relatively well. I didn't look humongous unless I was sitting down - I carried the weight pretty well. I'm speaking in the past tense since I'm now down 43 lbs. past my starting weight, and that has been only over the past six months, with 16 lbs. of that being lost just over the past four weeks (since I really started dieting).

My secret? Fucking knock off some of the super high calorie stuff, and eat more veggies. It's really that simple:

1) Soda was a huge, HUGE problem for me. I was drinking three 20 oz. bottles a day, plus X cans at home (varied based on how many cans I had in my fridge... ugh). At the beginning of the year, I began cutting that back, from its horribly high number to two bottles a day, to one, to one diet, then finally to zero when I began my diet. I tried going cold-turkey in the past and failed every time - the headaches were terrible, and the cravings were worse. Since officially quitting I've not had a drop of soda, though I've had my share of "man, I could go for a Mountain Dew" times, I just push it aside and drink water instead. Water, water, water - it's key. Drink water, and tons of it. If you need something sweet or not water, try low-sugar water flavoring stuff (Crystal Ice or the like), low-calorie Gatorade, or fruit juice. I've been drinking an 8-oz can of V8-Fusion every day - it's not bad flavor, and it's a serving of fruits AND a serving of vegetables in one.

2) Cut back on snacks. Candy, chips, greasy finger foods in general. They're tasty and cheap, but they're not good for you at all (should go without saying). I used to have between one and three dessert type things a day, from candy bars to brownies to cakes to pies. I knocked that shit off. Now, I will occasionally have ONE cookie or ONE doughnut if the craving is there, but I keep track of its calories and count it vs. my calorie count for the day.

3) Fast food. Just... no. I used to eat McDonald's, Taco Bell, and whatever else two to three times a week. I cut it back drastically, and since I started my diet I had Taco Bell once (damn Pathfinder group, pressuring me). However, I ordered less than I normally would, I looked up the calories beforehand, and I tracked that shit.

These were the three things I started cutting back gradually to the point of elimination (soda) or near-elimination (candy and fast food) since January. I lost 27 lbs. without even thinking about it. It was just gone. I didn't exercise, I didn't do anything else different besides cut this stuff back.

Going on a diet doesn't mean you can never have the stuff you want ever again. It just means you have to be conscious of what you're putting in your body. One thing I've found is rather than thinking, "what could it hurt?" think to yourself, "what could it help?" - that greasy burger will fill you up, but so would a turkey sandwich... and the turkey's gonna be like 1/3 the calories almost every time. And instead of having an extra large milk shake, why not get a small? Instead of five cookies, have two. That sort of thing.

Anyway, beyond those basics, when I started my exercise / diet routine, I cut out the big 3, then I started counting calories and eating more vegetables and fruits. Right now, I take in less than 2000 calories a day and get an average of 4 servings of both fruits and veggies a day. Not as many as I should be getting, but you gotta take it slow. Staring at a "dinner" of cabbage and brussell sprouts is painful if you just had Burger King the night before. Have a little veggies with your meals at a time, or try those V8-Fusion juices. Buy a bag of carrots and snack on 'em while you watch TV, or try your hand at some cooking and do something with vegetables you wouldn't normally do. I make a bad-ass zucchini + squash sautee, it's delicious. As for calories, you can go higher than 2000, but I'm sort of "super dieting" - I've not been perfect, but I can average 1500-1800 calories a day with little issue, and no, I'm not starving myself or eating less. It's just a matter of WHAT you eat.

As for exercise, I do what you do, plus swimming 2x a week. I walk an average of 3 miles a day, to and from work (1.5 miles each way). If you're looking for exercise encouragement, you should join Fitocracy and join our Katawa Shoujo group. We're all bros, and it's a great way to track exercise and keep yourself motivated.
(Walking) - Are these things a good idea, or are they more harm than good?
Just do what you gotta do. As long as you've got a good pair of shoes you should build up endurance sooner than later. Of course, losing some weight will help exponentially, but as you are just take it slow and work up endurance / muscle. Stretching is also a good thing to do. Don't go overboard, but stretch your calf muscles and your ankles.
how *exactly* does one stretch the legs for exercise? Like, what positions, for how long, etc?
Check the first post in the thread for Emi's running stretching guidelines. You don't have to do most of these, but the calves and ankles stretches would be good. Just follow the directions on there.
(Every other day) Am I right in thinking this?
Yes and no. Resting for a day is usually more for people who do stuff like hardcore running, big weight lifting, etc. - when you're doing low-impact exercise like walking it's not a huge deal to go two days in a row. However, if you feel any new pain or you feel like you should take a break, definitely do so. Better to spend a day resting than to hurt yourself from overexertion.

I walk pretty much every single day, sometimes twice a day, and I'm on my feet all day at work. You get used to it, and I don't have any problems besides being tired by the end of the day.
What's the best time of day to work out?
Whenever it works best for you. It's difficult to go from working out to bed immediately after - your blood is pumping and you're more alert so it's difficult to rest. Some posters on here laid out their routines not too long back, and one mentioned doing their exercise a half hour to an hour before bed, to give time for a shower and a little relaxation. It's best to give yourself some amount of time before sleep to unwind.
Just some questions from a curious geek hoping to feel a bit better about himself, break up the monotony of sitting in front of screens all the time, and maybe meet some cute fitness girls.
You got it in you to make yourself better, man. Your whole life is ahead of you, and if you decide to get in shape it's something that you will benefit from for the rest of your LONGER life.

If you got any more questions, let me know.
Diet / Exercise Tracker:
Original weight (1/1/12): 400 lbs. // Target weight: ??? lbs. // Current (1/28/13): 344 lbs. // Total lost: 56 lbs.
Current exercise: Workout 3-4x a week: jogging, weights
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Re: Emi inspired running/workout

Post by ZXRN » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:05 am

Update: Since I skipped running last morning, I decided to go today. And I'm happy to say that i think I've improved.
I never thought I could go 11 min. straight without stopping so I'm pretty darn happy with that. Oh yeah, stomach cramp thing or stitch whatever you wanna call it also managed to disappear completely. I'm back to normal doods!
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Tempester
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Re: Operation: Excursion

Post by Tempester » Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:59 am

Gandara wrote:3) Fast food. Just... no. I used to eat McDonald's, Taco Bell, and whatever else two to three times a week. I cut it back drastically, and since I started my diet I had Taco Bell once (damn Pathfinder group, pressuring me). However, I ordered less than I normally would, I looked up the calories beforehand, and I tracked that shit.
I hope you're not one of those people who swear off fast food restaurants but will eat anything prepared by a nice, fancy restaurant. A steak or a salad smeared with dressing can be just as bad or worse than a Mcdonald's hamburger. If you're really going to avoid fast food, go all the way.
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DrNonookee
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Re: Emi inspired running/workout

Post by DrNonookee » Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:10 am

Another thought would be swimming,
Oh *god* I love swimming. <3 If for no other reason than it's fun. The only reason I don't do it more often is because I don't have ready access to a pool anymore. There's an aquatic fitness center (think YMCA) right across the street from where I work, with both a gym and a pool; I'm tempted to scope the place out. My only real issue with it are time management (I can only work out before work, and I'm worried I might end up late) and the fact that it's a little pricier than it seems like it should be for a membership. I'm sorely tempted, though. POOL. :mrgreen:
My secret? Fucking knock off some of the super high calorie stuff, and eat more veggies.
Want to know the ironic part? I started eating healthier on my own without even trying. :p I *used* to pig out on junk all the time back around high school and college, which is why I weigh as much as I do now - but I've found that over the past several years my desire for junk food has naturally been replaced by a taste for less destructive meals. I *only* drink diet soda, literally - the regular stuff actually makes me sick from the amount of sugar in it. I have cold-cut sandwiches for lunch at work most days (mmm, turkey), and I've found that popcorn is now my favorite gaming snack (instead of chips). I do dip into the fast food and deep-fried stuff more than I ought to, but compared to back then, I'm practically a health food nut.

The only real problem is that I can't stomach vegetables. :( I mean, at all. And it's not even the taste - something about the *texture* of plants/cellulose-based food seems to set off a reaction of shivering, horrified disgust in me. :? Not sure why, but I've been that way ever since I was a little kid. I still try a nibble every now and then, but...ugh. I could *make* myself eat the stuff if I had to, but doing so would ultimately depress me and kill my desire to keep up the exercise. The only vegetable-type stuff I can stand is dark-green, leafy types, like spinach (uncooked!) and dark lettuce. I'll make myself a nice simple salad every so often, but it's hard to resist the urge to over-wield the ranch dressing and ruin the whole point in the process. :p

If nothing else, I *have* found that I rather like V8. I've gotten into the habit of drinking two cans (24 ounces, about 4 servings of veggies) a day. Sadly, this doesn't really help with regards to feeling full/sated.
This is a terrible mind set. Absolutely terrible.
Hmm. In hind-sight, that probably wasn't the best way to phrase that. Let me put it another way...what I'm saying is that, I'm not *expecting* to lose weight. That is, it's not the main goal of my exercise - I'm aiming more for strength and endurance. If I *do* lose weight along the way, then sure, that would be pretty awesome. :D But I'm not going into this hoping to drop a lot of weight and end up a skinny hunk. :p The way I see it, I'll do the exercise, make what adjustments I can to my food intake (I'm a big eater by nature), and whatever weight I *do* drop, I'll consider an added bonus. :)

On a bright note, my weight has remained more or less static for several years based on my current patterns - not losing, but not gaining, either. Even if I do *nothing* else but the exercise and keep everything else the same, that still means that loss of weight should be the result - even if it's a slow loss. I'll take what I can get. :P

(I should point out that I'm something of a pragmatist - I prefer not to get my hopes up ahead of time. *After* I've been doing this a while and the scales say it's working, I'll probably be more enhusiastic about the weight loss part. :D)
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Gandara
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Re: Emi inspired running/workout

Post by Gandara » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:08 pm

DrNonookee wrote:The only real problem is that I can't stomach vegetables.
What about fruits? Biggest thing is to simply take in SOME fruits and vegetables a day. If you're doing the V8 thing that's great - and actually, you shouldn't be trying to make a meal out of that anyway. It's an addition to the meal. For example, a standard lunch for me will include: some sort of meat (chicken breast, typically), at least one vegetable, and one starchy side like rice or mashed potatoes. I'll also have a V8 Fusion with the meal, and some water. It totally fills me up, is decently low on calories, and has several servings of fruits + vegetables.

Another suggestion: prepare vegetables differently than normal. Raw or undercooked vegetables are typically the ones that have a weird texture. Consider trying things like mashed cauliflower, sauteed squash, boiled cabbage, etc. - Another thing to think about is just adding vegetables to what you already have. Do you like soup / stew? Throw in veggies. Want to make a pasta dish? Add veggies. It's really easy, and you can mask the flavor / texture with the other food you made.

Ya just really gotta get those veggies in, man. Dislike of the texture or not, it's really necessary.
... I'm not *expecting* to lose weight.
Alright, that makes a bit more sense. I didn't mean to jump down your throat or anything, it's just - I literally came from your exact same attitude not long ago. It bugs me now, to see apathy in this type of field, when it really is just so damn easy to lose weight. All it takes is little changes, gradual changes that aren't even that hard to do, and your life quality improves so much.

It sounds like you're doing well with your eating habits, but you just have to make a few more adjustments and I think you'll start seeing positive changes. And best of luck to you with your exercise routine - you'll feel better very quickly, and you'll start having some more motivation to shape up and get things really going, I think.
Tempester wrote:I hope you're not one of those people...
I love how pretentious that sounded.

No, I'm not one of those people. Did I not say I'm watching my calories? I won't go into a fancy restaurant and order four steaks just because it's a fancy restaurant. Quality of food does not mean lower calories... in most cases. However, I can pretty damn well guarantee you a chicken breast, not fried, will almost always be lower calories than a cheeseburger.

I work in a restaurant where we have nutritional facts posted for all of our food, so I can keep track of my caloric intake easily. Lunches are typically 600-800 calories, with dinners being similar. Breakfasts are generally small, a piece of fruit or two. So yes, I'm being cautious about what I put in my body. I'm not stupid.
Diet / Exercise Tracker:
Original weight (1/1/12): 400 lbs. // Target weight: ??? lbs. // Current (1/28/13): 344 lbs. // Total lost: 56 lbs.
Current exercise: Workout 3-4x a week: jogging, weights
"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies." - Andy Dufresne, "The Shawshank Redemption"

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Re: Emi inspired running/workout

Post by Megumeru » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:22 pm

I'm beginning to loathe my previous lifestyle for failing me again on W5D2.

Sure, I can run the first 8 minutes and another five, but it's still THREE MINUTES SHORT. I hate that. If Doraemon exists, I want one of those time machine to fly back to my past and bitch-slap my old me and tell him 'you go run 5k NAO!'.

...that, and one of those dream machines or something that makes KS a reality for the lulz :lol:



anyway, still on W5D1. Catch up2~
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mysterycycle
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 9:50 pm
Location: Silent Hill, USA

Re: Operation: Excursion

Post by mysterycycle » Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:13 pm

Gandara wrote:1) Soda was a huge, HUGE problem for me. I was drinking three 20 oz. bottles a day, plus X cans at home (varied based on how many cans I had in my fridge... ugh). At the beginning of the year, I began cutting that back, from its horribly high number to two bottles a day, to one, to one diet, then finally to zero when I began my diet. I tried going cold-turkey in the past and failed every time - the headaches were terrible, and the cravings were worse. Since officially quitting I've not had a drop of soda, though I've had my share of "man, I could go for a Mountain Dew" times, I just push it aside and drink water instead. Water, water, water - it's key. Drink water, and tons of it. If you need something sweet or not water, try low-sugar water flavoring stuff (Crystal Ice or the like), low-calorie Gatorade, or fruit juice. I've been drinking an 8-oz can of V8-Fusion every day - it's not bad flavor, and it's a serving of fruits AND a serving of vegetables in one.

2) Cut back on snacks. Candy, chips, greasy finger foods in general. They're tasty and cheap, but they're not good for you at all (should go without saying). I used to have between one and three dessert type things a day, from candy bars to brownies to cakes to pies. I knocked that shit off. Now, I will occasionally have ONE cookie or ONE doughnut if the craving is there, but I keep track of its calories and count it vs. my calorie count for the day.

3) Fast food. Just... no. I used to eat McDonald's, Taco Bell, and whatever else two to three times a week. I cut it back drastically, and since I started my diet I had Taco Bell once (damn Pathfinder group, pressuring me). However, I ordered less than I normally would, I looked up the calories beforehand, and I tracked that shit.
These three things have made a pretty big difference for me, too. Soda was the big one, as I had a similar addiction - many cans per day. Now I pretty much force myself to drink water the vast majority of the time (always checking the label for nutritional information for juice), and every time I want a snack, I try to find some fruit (grapes have been great). Also, since I'm on the road a fair amount (my wife and I share a car), I knew I was eating a lot of fast food, and just changing that one aspect of my life made a noticeable difference in my weight.

Speaking of your Pathfinder group...I remember once I hosted our 3.5 game at my apartment, and my wife made a veggie and fruit platter for us to snack on. Everyone commented on how much they appreciated and enjoyed that over our usual chips-and-junk-food platter. I need to get off my duff and prepare something like that the next time we game...
You are not alone, and you are not strange. You are you, and everyone has damage. Be the better person.
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