in shape for 2016
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Posted by chickd19

I remember in the old forums we had a thread about people and their weight loss goals. Made for a good support system. So, in that spirit I am starting one. The beginning of the year i started back on the road to weight loss. Finally got a gym membership, went for planet fitness (mostly for cost and it's 24 hours, yay night shift hours) and feel like in some ways I am making more progress than my last gym membership. I also joined the cult of fitbit wearers, and it has been a great tool, along with using the myfitness pal app. I am hoping to hit 200lb by gen con, only 23lbs to go.

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Posted by brotherbock

Way to go! Hard work is all it takes :)

Have you considered the Orc Stomp 5k? Friday morning race, in the park across the street from the JW. Not sure where you're at cardio-wise, but the race gets everyone from fast runners to walkers and in between. Lots of fun, lots of people's first 5k ever. T-shirt and a medal, too, to go along with your race bib.

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Posted by chickd19

I use the elliptical, and always hard to tell how that translates to real life. I've seen the orc stomp on the event list before but never thought of doing it, that and I've never been in a 5k. I may have to think about it. Thanks.

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Posted by brotherbock

Most likely the biggest issue you'd see coming off the elliptical would be the impact. If you're not used to it, the jarring can tire you out quicker than you'd otherwie get tired.

If you've got a running store in your area, they will likely offer to take a look at your running gait for free. There are ways to run that are lower-impact. I know people who've done the Stomp as the end of their Couch-to-5k program too. (And you're not starting from the couch! :)

But all that aside, the Orc Stomp is not only a very low-pressure event, it's a very encouraging event--because a lot of people run/walk it as their first 5k, everyone is incredibly supportive.

The first year of the race was the first 5k for Tony, the guy who now runs the event :)

Anyway, don't want to sound pushy. Just putting it out there.

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Posted by bpunkert

Ah yes, I'm with you here. I'm reading about people walking ten miles in a day and panicking. *lol* I have an ACL brace, but I'm starting out by walking back and forth to work. Of course, this would work better if it would stop SNOWING here. At this point I'm worrying less about losing weight than I am about getting to where I can walk a couple of miles without collapsing in an agonized heap.

I'm on MFP as well but I haven't been doing all that great at food tracking. Have to get that back on track (after all, as my personal trainer once quipped, you can't outrun your fork).

I have a TRX that I'm lacking in the space to really use effectively. There's a playgrund right behiond my place with a swing set that would make a great strut, but - see above about snow. *lol*

I also read a lot of Nerd Fitness with is an amazing geek oriented get healthy site. Fitocracy, where you level up based on physical activity tracked is fun too, although I've likely forgotten my password.

I used to be pretty physically active and then I fell in such a way that what little cartilage I had in my knee is pretty much shot. Puts a crimp in things. But I'm going to get out and do SOMETHING.

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Posted by ploveking

 I was involved with the old thread about fitness. Good to see it making a comeback.  

 For me it's not weight loss so much as stamina and strength. I'm in my mid 40s but don't feel like that should be a limitation on how I enjoy the event. I did over 40 miles at gencon last year, or was it the year before? At this point I can walk as far as I want at gencon, just a question of how much discomfort I have to put up with. I had to take two weeks off my workouts due to back pain, and I'm having a tough time getting back up to speed. So, I know how you are feeling bpunkert. An interruption makes it tough, but as we age, we have to take the down time to let our bodies recover. I spend time with a lot of young athletes, as a photographer, and they motivate me, but sometimes they overmotivate me, and sometimes they just make me feel old.

 I love fitness tech. When motivation gets weak, I can look at data and motivate myself with that. Don't want my charts to have gaps. Sadly I lost my fitbit. Its gone. I may get around to getting a new one one of these days. My main tool right now is fitocracy. If you haven't tried that, its a website/app that helps your track your workouts, and you score points for all your recorded activity. You level up as you go, and it has quests and awards and stuff. It doesn't map your runs/walks which is a shame. I think we have a gencon group there, but it's gone totally idle.

  When I started getting back in shape, I geeked out hard. We are all geeks, right? I read a lot of research on the subject. Its not as simple as "eat less, exercise more". Your body is an incredible pile of chemistry, that adapts and tries to maintain everything in pretty much the same state. You have to work to convince your body to change.  If weight loss is your goal, my suggestion is low carb, and intermittant fasting. In short, you have this reserve of energy, in the form of glycogen. Your body will turn consumed calories into glycogen and use that to power everything you do. To lose weight, your body has to burn fat, and it doesn't do that if it has glycogen available. Low carb and intermittant fasting can drain your glycogen stores and let you access your stored body fat. There is a downside, you can't workout at peak power without that glycogen. Everything is a little more difficult. But if you are working out to burn fat, that's ok. The other thing that I found in my research is that steady state cardio is really discouraging. Your body gets very efficient at doing your steady state cardio, and you burn fewer calories to do that steady state cardio as you acclimate to it, which happens very quickly. Intervals are much more effective.

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Posted by brotherbock ploveking

ploveking wrote:
Your body gets very efficient at doing your steady state cardio, and you burn fewer calories to do that steady state cardio as you acclimate to it, which happens very quickly. Intervals are much more effective.

There's a lot of good data on HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) these days--I'm not a fad guy, I wait for data. But the data is there now. I've got a long race coming up in May, and I'm starting to add HIIT to my schedule. I've done intervals before, but there are benefits to 'High Intensity' intervals...which means 'HighER' intensity, if you're already doing intervals.

One of the areas HIIT seems to do well with is fat loss, in fact. Here's a sample sort of HIIT stationary bike workout:

Warmup 10 minutes, easy pace.
Go full out, as hard as you can pedal, for 30 seconds. 
Recover pedaling easy for 4 minutes.
Go full out for 20 seconds.
Recover for 4:10.
Go full out for 10 seconds.
Recover for 4:20.
Go full out for 5 seconds.
Recover for 4:30.
Repeat two or three times.
Cool down.
Done.

Seems from looking that you're not doing a lot, but you really really are. Helps with fat loss, VO2Max, speed (if you're interested in that).

But you're right man, geeks are in a fitness renaissance right now with all the data tracking and fiddledy things. The key is that they are fiddledy things that aren't getting in the way or making people think there are magic bullets. Data tools instead of thigh-masters. And a lot of gamers love crunching numbers and using charts :) I use Trainingpeaks primarily, although I'm looking at jumping onto Strava for cycling. Graphs and pie charts!

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Posted by ploveking brotherbock

brotherbock wrote:
But you're right man, geeks are in a fitness renaissance right now with all the data tracking and fiddledy things. The key is that they are fiddledy things that aren't getting in the way or making people think there are magic bullets. Data tools instead of thigh-masters. And a lot of gamers love crunching numbers and using charts :)

 Yup. Agreed. I think people here can benefit from seeing some of those tools, knowing they exist. "We" tend to look down on the jocks, but, these days there can be a lot of overlap. No reason I can't  level up my magic user/rogue, play a great game of Nippon and increase my max volume on bench press all in one weekend.

 When I talk about working out here, I think it's important to keep in mind that some of this audience has a hard time with walking a mile. They can benefit a lot from some of the geek tools, because a good trend on a graph is encouraging.  Nothing motivates like success, and data tools are great for helping to see that success. If someone is willing to put in some effort, there's always a way to find some good numbers. 

 

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Posted by brotherbock ploveking

ploveking wrote:
 When I talk about working out here, I think it's important to keep in mind that some of this audience has a hard time with walking a mile. They can benefit a lot from some of the geek tools, because a good trend on a graph is encouraging.  Nothing motivates like success, and data tools are great for helping to see that success. If someone is willing to put in some effort, there's always a way to find some good numbers. 
 

I think three years ago at the Orc Stomp, right along with the people running and walking their first 5k, there was a member of the Olympic race-walking team :)

Seems to me that the explosion of video games throughout society has really dulled the edge on the whole 'jock/geek' dichotomy. I have plenty of college kids in my classes who are on athletic scholarships and play tons of Call of Duty, and video game RPGs too. The idea that someone is doing the same thing with paper isn't alien to that sort of guy.

It's also brought that sort of guy into gaming culture--so now people who might thirty years ago have been 'jocks' are attending Gen Con...in costume. :) Geeks are becoming jocks and jocks are becoming geeks.

That's one reason I can't stand Big Bang Theory (the TV show, not the theory). Simple-minded characterizations across the board.

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Posted by vickers1

I encourage everyone to find what works for them in tune with thier fitness goals.  We are so unique in our physiology that it might take some time to see what works for you.  For myself so find what diet and fitness program worked for me took a few years to perfect but I believe that I have found the balance needed.  My fitness focus is weight training and decreasing the intake of high carbohydrates.  There have been ups and downs in regards with this but since I hav e started this focus last year I have droped from 209lbs to 193lbs this year. Not a huge drop but it is good since my strength has increased in my weight training.  Good luck to everyone with thier fitness goals!

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Posted by chickd19

All those extra apps sound nice but having more than one or two apps to update would get annoying. As is, I get annoyed with tracking food in one app and exercise in another. I know I can track food in the fitbit app but it's data base isn't as good as myfitnesspal. It would be nice if fitbit had groups instead of just an overall friend list.
I know my biggest issue is getting my diet under control, especially when my husband has noc concerns about eating right. I think that diet part is holding me back currently, if I don't work out i gain some of the weight back pretty easy. I want to meet with a nutritionist or do something like weight watchers to help fix my diet.

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Posted by brotherbock

Oh man, it's really hard for only half of a couple to eat right. IANAN (I am not a nutritionist), but in general the advice that can help all Americans is "Eat less, mostly vegetables". So even when the food options aren't the best, many of us (my hand is raised too) can make some headway by just eating less than we do. 

Americans think we need a LOT of food. There is no reason that anyone needs a footlong sub for a single meal--no way. But we've convinced ourselves that this is a 'standard meal size' and it's soooooo cheap to get that extra half foot, so we eat it. 

That's hard to do, but to a certain extent, calories are calories. So even just less of not great food can help. 

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Posted by spam2k

I got a FitBit through my company, and it's done wonders! Really motivated me to beat the previous day's goals. Then I partially tore my Achilles Tendon, and I'm sidelined. Gained back at least 10 pounds, and can barely walk the halls at work. Hoping to be recovered by GC, but I'll just just as slow as the first time I went.

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Posted by brotherbock spam2k

spam2k wrote:
I got a FitBit through my company, and it's done wonders! Really motivated me to beat the previous day's goals. Then I partially tore my Achilles Tendon, and I'm sidelined. Gained back at least 10 pounds, and can barely walk the halls at work. Hoping to be recovered by GC, but I'll just just as slow as the first time I went.

Ouch. Will your PT let you do any cycling? That's a good way to keep burning calories without nearly as much Achilles stress as running or walking. 

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Posted by vel

5 K (a bit over 3 miles) will take about an hour to walk at a 3mph pace, not too stressful even for a 50 year old out of shape woman like me.  I used to walk it twice a day to and from work.

I've had a lot of success using the South Beach diet.  in 3 weeks, I've dropped 10 pounds, and the husband 16, including 2 cheat days where we ate what we wanted (helps with the boredom).  A couple tips I have to pass along: 

fajitas without the tortillas and chili are good things to make a potful and eat for several days. 
Though it sounds expensive (and is depending on how you view it), buying an entire beef tenderloin and cutting it yourself gets you lean meat that you will eat, as opposed to yet one more chicken breast or lean but tough and bad tasting beef round.  If you are only eating 4 oz at a time, it does last (from your average untrimmed tenderloin, figure on losing about 2 pounds in silverskin and fat. have a sharp knife. I used to work in a meat department).
Salad, salad, salad.  My husband enjoys making a dressing out of horseradish (the non creamed stuff) and mayo. 
He also finds roasted vegs much more palatable than boiled or steamed. 
The cheese crisps that are now available (parmesan or other hard cheese baked into a disk) give you that cruch that I miss so much on SB. 
Whole milk is a good thing.  Mixing it with diet root beer soothes my sweet tooth. 

Endurance is really important at the con (or at any con).  Walk lots before you go.  Take the stairs when you can.  

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Posted by ploveking

 It is rough trying to eat right when your spouse isnt. Or when different people in the house have different needs. My wife has celiac, and gastric bypass. Small gluten free meals for her, with restrictions. I am trying to gain muscle and lose fat, and have a much spicier sense of taste than her. And then theres the picky teenager. I end up making three different things more often than not.

 And yes, american restaurant portion sizes are killing us all. I got a large sub the other day, and it was lunch and dinner.

For the "one more chicken breast" issue, I vastly prefer boneless skinless chicken thighs to the white meat. The flavor is better, it has some vitamins that aren't in the white meat, and its not as dry. Add any sort of spice or sauce to taste and I can do that 5 days a week. I put a family pack of those in the crock pot with collard greens or other dark green leafy veg, and add whatever, often salsa, a little rice to soak up the broth, and then package it into tupperware for days. For red meat, I've found myself liking lamb better than beef. It does cost a little more, but, that's an ok trade off.  And I always add spice. I want more flavor, not more food volume.

  Looking forward to the convention this year. I am in similar shape to last year, which is fine, I got around great, with tons of walking. My wife had bypass surgery about 6 weeks before the convention last year, was down about 25 pounds, and her mobility was ok, but, she's lost another 100+ pounds since then, vastly improved a major ankle injury, and is all around more mobile. She just got back from a trip to florida that included an 11000 step day (more than 4 miles) that was tiring, but not painful or exhausting. I think gencon this year will be a whole new experience for her.

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Posted by brotherbock ploveking

ploveking wrote:

For the "one more chicken breast" issue, I vastly prefer boneless skinless chicken thighs to the white meat. The flavor is better, it has some vitamins that aren't in the white meat, and its not as dry. Add any sort of spice or sauce to taste and I can do that 5 days a week. I put a family pack of those in the crock pot with collard greens or other dark green leafy veg, and add whatever, often salsa, a little rice to soak up the broth, and then package it into tupperware for days. For red meat, I've found myself liking lamb better than beef. It does cost a little more, but, that's an ok trade off.  And I always add spice. I want more flavor, not more food volume.


+1 for boneless skinless thighs. That's around half of our meat intake. Fish and some red meat tend to make up the rest. For beef, the way to go is the cheaper cuts cooked in good ways. A flank steak has about the best flavor of any cut of steak--you just need to beat it up with a mallet first, or slow-cook it (I use my homemade sous vide cooker on flank steak, it's amazing). The porterhouse and such cuts may be more tender when cooked quickly, but they don't taste as good.

I don't eat a lot of pork anymore, as I try to only buy it from ethical sources--factory pig farming is an atrocity. I try the same with chicken. You pay a little more, but I think it's worth it. I do wish I could afford a little more pork, but there you go.

Sustainable fish is a great thing though. Salmon, swai, etc.

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Posted by jedikitty

https://www.fitbit.com/group/22G56J

Here's the Gen Con Fitbit group I found today, if any other Fitbit users here weren't aware of it. :)

I just got mine in the mail today - really excited and feeling motivated !

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Posted by brotherbock

Ran my first non-triathlon half marathon today (i.e. the run by itself, no swim and bike). Really enjoyed it, had a good day. Almost...almost...ran negative splits (second half faster than the first). 12 seconds off (dang it). But my season has started off well. 

And a friend of mine got proposed to by her boyfriend right after they crossed the finish line. Her whole family came from out of state (secretly) to be there for it. There were tears. :)

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Posted by chickd19

I was surprised how quickly the Orc Stomp sold out. I thought about it but getting up that early didn't sound too appealing.

I am 10 lbs away from my first weight loss goal, and am just barely shy of 4 miles in 30 mins on the elliptical!

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