T Nation

2+ Year Layoff Due to TBI/PCS


#1

Hey all,

I was a poster on here several years ago, but my search function isn't bringing up any old posts, so if I'm redundant, my apologies.

About two and a half years ago, I was working full time as a professional wrestler, weighed 212 pounds at a bf% hovering between 8-10. Natural lifter, 45 minutes of steady state cardio every morning, meals consisted of 15f/50p/0c except post-training meals of 15/50/90. I was religious about getting bigger, more shredded, etc, so that Vince would notice me. Never happened.

I ended up having to bow out after getting knocked out three times in two weeks - all three concussions. After the final one, I had a throwing up style migraine for about six months. Once everything calmed down, and the neurologist diagnosed me with post-concussion syndrome, I started trying to get back into working out. Most times, about ten minutes in, I'd start losing my vision and would end up with a blinding migraine that would last a good three days. Needless to say, working out became not so fun.

Diet wentby the wayside, too. I drank heavily to deal with the pain (no insurance to cover the really expensive pain pills), and ended up dealing with the depression of the whole life dream thing fading away by gorging myself.

Through it all, I never gained too much weight. I've been stuck at about 230-235 since my injury. Of course, the measurement tell a different tale. I've gained a lot in my gut and lost some in the chest. Arms deflated, legs softened. All very sad, very tragic.

I'm going into my final semester at USC and I've been doing my due dilligence in regards to the proper way of getting back into the saddle. I don't want to enter the entertainment industry as a fatass. No one wants that, actually.

Realistically, I'm not going to look the same as I did. I don't have the time or the money to devote to supplements, gym memberships, etc. to get back there. I'm not willing to eat the same massive amounts of food because it's just too expensive for me and not worth it. There are starving kids in Ethiopia and whatnot.

My realistic goals are to shed some bodyfat and regain a bit of strength.

I think it's realistic to start getting back into steady state cardio (I'm in zero shape right now...the life of a professional writer...) and maybe start lifting weights three days a week. I'm willing to spend about $400 on some free weights to put in my garage. A bar, some weights. Maybe a bench - we'll see how far I can stretch it.

As for diet...I need to get away from packaged food. Pasta has become the staple that replaced grilled chicken and tuna. That needs to change, obviously.

My question I'm posing is this:

Do I need to worry about plans, and routines, and diets, and all that jazz as soon as I start in? Or should I get my feet wet first, try to get my wind back, see if the weightlifting is going to make me miserable, and then after a few months see about getting into a macronutrient breakdown and a specific lifting plan?

Thoughts?