With the Waypoint forum starting up and me coincidentally getting more serious about being healthy by eating better and going to the gym to lose weight, I thought it’d be a good idea to create a thread here about fitness and nutrition. I’ve always found that I have like a million questions to ask people when it comes to this topic but haven’t been able to find a good community to discuss this with. Just seeing the way people are in the Waypoint community over the last 2-3 days has been awesome and everyone’s been pretty helpful! I’m hoping to not only get answers for myself with this thread, but that we can all work together to achieve our own personal goals
For me the biggest challenges have been actually going to the gym to exercise and sticking to good, healthy lifestyle choices when it comes to food. I’d be interesting to hear what other people do to keep themselves motivated and on schedule. Any tips!? Also, I’ve had some bad incidents in the past with regards to fainting a couple hours after doing a hard workout, which has made me super nervous about going too hard. I figure I’m not fueling my body in the right ways either. Hoping someone can give me some tips!
Anyway, I hope that this thread ends up helping others more than just myself! Cheers.
It’s so hard to feel motivated to go to the gym regularly especially when you have to travel to get there. I usually go with my roommates so we can keep each other accountable.
In terms of nutrition, I think it’s really important to have a pre- and post-workout snack/meal to avoid feeling too weak. I’ve definitely had that where I felt like I was going to pass out during a workout because I didn’t have enough fuel. I usually do a good kind of fat like cashews with some beef jerky or some other kind of protein for my pre-workout then have some protein and veggies for my post-workout meal.
The best thing I’ve managed to do about eating right was always having some healthy snacks prepared in advance so I can go to the kitchen with a deep deep hunger for donuts and come away having eaten a small batch of overnight oats instead. Of course I needed something that took less than five minutes to make otherwise I wouldn’t bother with it every evening.
About going to the gym regularly: as CRelyea12 said, if you have somebody to go with, you can guilt each other into doing the right thing.
I personally found that exercising became much easier once I gave up gym and started doing it at home instead. Saved a bunch of time and money, not to mention anxiety. A pair of running shoes and some weights (and later a pull-up bar) was all I needed.
My partner has been dieting recently, so I’ve been eating more “healthy” things as well.
The main thing I’ve learned is what an appropriate portion size looks like, so I can eyeball the amount of food that would satisfy my hunger, but not make me feel stuffed. So far I’ve lost quite a bit of weight just adhering to her diet, so if you have an active metabolism, portion control could be a good start.
@CRelyea12 - pre and post work out meals sound good! Any advice on what types of foods are good? You mentioned cashews, I’m assuming because of protein and fat? Before going to the gym yesterday I ate a banana, I figured that’s good for some energy.
@Reiniac - I definitely have tons of people to go with. I’m on a corporate plan at work for the gym and a lot of my coworkers are my university friends. I think I’ll take your advice and try to go with a couple of them once a week, and do two days on my own.
@boithorn - Portion control is something I’ve been trying as well. I generally split my meals throughout my day at work now too, instead of having one big meal at lunch I make them smaller and make sure I eat something, even a banana or an apple, every 3-4 hours during the day. All the portion sizes when you go out as well are quite big, it gives you the wrong idea of what is the appropriate size.
I absolutely loathe working out, lifting and getting on a treadmill can be so boring. I’ve found making exercise more fun to be a big help. For me, that involved buying some boxing equipment and doing 10 rounds on the heavy bag/double end bag 3 times a week, with some light/medium lifting sprinkled in. These days I look forward to my workouts.
I think joining some sort of fighting gym, basketball or flag football league would be a great way to have fun, keep motivation up, and exercise at the same time.
Yeah, cashews or macadamia nuts or any other kind of “healthy” fat for pre-workout are really good. Avocados are also a good source of healthy fat though I’m not the biggest fan of them. I will also have some kind of protein usually beef jerky, a hard boiled egg or some chicken.
I love fitness. Its my second hobby next to video games. Currently trying to cut a few final pounds with a low carb diet, but everything has carbs!
Sticking to some form of regular workout is absolutely the hardest in my experience anyway.
I’ve found that changing things up regularly is key for me. If it starts to feel like a chore motivation slips and then its only a matter of time before excuses / justifications.
I did a solid year and a half of yoga before it started to get stale, now I change it up throughout the week. Yoga one day, running with some light weights another, then heavier weights and abs another. Between all those activities I can switch things in and out if I’m just not feeling one on a specific day.
If you can afford it, getting a personal trainer makes a huge difference. I find it hard not working out without one. It helps give you goals, focus, correct form, and they are a great source of encouragement (well good ones at least). I’ve been lucky enough to have a trainer that shares a lot of similar hobbies: for the past year we’ve talked about tv shows we both like, video games, etc… But encouragement is the biggest part of working out at a gym because it’s a bit of a weird social group most people aren’t used to being around.
@Capn_V Yeah that’s my problem too, especially with cardio. It becomes really boring very quickly. I’m thinking of taking advantage of some of the classes that the gym has that come with my membership. There’s Yoga, cycling, rapid fitness, etc. Also since the weather is a bit nicer now that it’s not winter, there’s a lot of hiking I can do outdoors. I think I’ll try to mix it up and see what I can do.
@Zeemod The gym I go to is the largest in Canada, GoodLife. They really push for people to get a personal trainer, but I’ve always been unsure if it’s really necessary.
I ended up going to the gym today and had no idea how to use any of the leg machines. I hope I did it right… Guess I’ll find out tomorrow how sore I am lol
Awesome thread idea! I wish you the best of luck on your fitness journey.
The best thing you can do is find a routine you can enjoy, or at a minimum, tolerate. This goes for everything: find a routine for your eating, fitness, and lifestyle habits that might affect the firs two.
I deal with/dealt with a ton of self-loathing due to weight/fitness/nutritional reasons (even though I’m much fitter now). For myself, using applications like MyFitnessPal to track my meals, and the StrongLifts 5x5 app helped me get off the ground. The former let me visualize my eating habits (kept me honest), and SL 5x5 was an idiot-proof lifting app that was very easy to get into, seeing as you only perform three or four heavy lifts per session over the course of three days over the week. I don’t use either now, but for anyone first starting, the foundation of your journey is in establishing a routine you can stick to.
When you get really into it, you can start looking at all the nerdy evidence-based stuff like this to optimize your food choices and dietary supplements to get the most out of your calories.
I was obese in my youth, peaking at about 240 lbs at ages 14 and 21 as a male just under 6 ft tall. I managed to drop to 160 lbs in my mid 20’s for awhile, but I started power lifting a few years ago and bulked up to 200 lbs of (mostly!) good weight. Not to sound like I’m tooting my own horn but I wanted to show how very all-over-the-place I’ve been with fitness or lack thereof before I shared some very general thoughts on my experiences.
Habit building is priority when you start. Do what you need to keep going, and try being active more days in a week than not. Most people who manage to start a routine will quit and undo their efforts within a year, often because they plateau in their strength gains or weight loss. This happened to me three times over a span of seven years before I made it stick. Do not despair if you plateau, it just means you need to change things up and do a little more. It is a sign of progress, do not let it deter you from getting past that first year.
Going with friends and using a trainer is highly encouraged-- the latter especially if you’re unfamiliar with the equipment. Training sessions can be expensive, but bear in mind that you can learn a lot from just a few. Someone who can critique your form on assorted workouts is pretty essential, in particular for rougher exercises like squats and dead lifts should you wish to try those out.
As for diet I find slow, gradual change of eating habits work best. Radical alterations often lead to radical returns to old ways-- try for lesser evils first. Identify the weakest points in your diet (write down all you eat if you can’t keep track) and search for options that will satisfy about the same but without as many calories, fats, etc. and creep your way to healthier options. Also, read all nutrition labels always!
Lastly, be so very careful of woo and fad diets/workout programs. We are believing machines, it is easy to think all this can be done quickly and easily, and there are many people out there who make a living off this inclination. We are all tethered to our baseline for activity and diet, and moving that baseline takes a lot of work. Anyway, I think I’ve done enough droning on-- I pray there’s at least a modicum of insight somewhere in all this for someone.
I think it was Terry Crews that said, just start making the gym the place you hang out. Everyday, go there, read the paper, post on waypoint, make it your spot. You’ll start working out. Link for his answer
That said, I haven’t run in a few weeks because of constant rain, and then lack of motivation. I’m also really bad at it, but getting better! I enjoy running in the forest preserve near my house. Keeps things a little more interesting than running on city streets.
Last year I started making an effort to eat better and work out more. I dont really have time for the gym so i just work out equipment-less in my own room in the morning and that’s…worked out. (boo…)
Nutrition-wise I haven’t altered how I eat TOO much? Not in a big monetary position to do so. But I got MyFitnessPal to watch my portions and I dropped 20 pounds in a few months. Now I just use it to maintain. Super easy, I love it. And I AM slowly eating better little by little. Working fruit and veg into my diet. Baby steps haha.
I think @Foofaraw is absolutely right, in terms of changing how you think of the gym.
I would describe it as making working out a habit, not a decision, not something you need to motivate yourself to do. Of course this isn’t easy, forming habits takes time (for better or for worse, I form them VERY quickly), but just carve out whatever time period from you day when what you do is go to the gym. There, like Foofaraw said, you could be reading or listening to a podcast on a stationary bike, thinking of it as somewhere to be.
Good luck, and embrace the soreness, that’s one of my favorite feelings.
I believe it! When I was tracking 100%, I lost weight pretty quickly. I think part of it was due to laziness. Do I want to measure and track this Doritos? Is it too much work for something that I will visually regret when I complete my diary? Maybe I shouldn’t have them. A diet closely observed tends to become a bit healthier. Good on you for including more nutrient dense options into your diet!
I’m pretty…frail, for lack of better words. On the taller side, pretty lanky, and now that I’m a paper-pushing-desk-jockey I’ve lost most if not all of the muscle definition I once had. Not a good look, but I was pretty down in the dumps for awhile so it was hard to pick myself up and get to the gym.
Luckily, I decided “enough is enough” about two months ago and I’ve been going consistently three times a week solely for some quick weight training. Nothing intense, just about 30 or so minutes. Challenging enough to make it feel worth it, but not overdoing it to where I dread actually going. It has done wonders for my mood and confidence levels and I feel more lively than I have in quite some time.
I mostly concentrate on upper body (I know, “don’t skip leg day” and such) because it seems most impactful for me right now, but it’s just really enthralling to move up in what I can handle weight-wise and this is hands down the most time I’ve ever spent in a gym in my life. As a male in his late 20s whose daily life is fairly sedentary , I just don’t want to “miss the boat” on being healthy to some degree before it’s way more difficult.