T Nation

374lbs, Looking to Change My Life Before My 32 BDay


Hello everyone

Im going to cut right to it on how I live what I eat and how I train and my equipment

first off all i suffer from severe anxeity social and general,ptsd,diabetes,OCD,High blood pressure I take zyprexa,Clomipramine,and other meds for the diabetes and blood pressure.

iim 30yrs old and a recluse i only go out when I have to because i get killed about my weight all the time the weight is terrible on my face.I have struggled with this for a long time and im trying my best to man up get healthy again to get back to old days when girls actually liked me lol.

ok im sedentary most off the day i move around more now these days, and i also train a few times a week strictly cardio on the elliptical but i am lucky to have a full olympic weight set and power cage at my disposal when im ready to lift.

what I eat mainly all the time during the week in no specific order are
Fried chicken small wings 4 at the most,Hamburger,Fried fish,fries,Deli subs small usually turkey,salads all the time,baked chicken,tv dinners low caloried ones and pan seared steak with mushroom. this is pretty much the base line of what i eat but i try my best to stay around 2,600 calories everyday.

My cardio sessions consist of 30-40 minutes on the elliptical 3-4 days a week incline 13 resistance from 12-16 im usually getting 1,700-2000 strides in a session,

I also suffer from sever tiredness im guessing the psych meds so i resort to viviarin caffeine pills or a strong cup of straight black coffee to get a boost to get my fat ass moving on the elliptical.

so what I need help with is how long should i do a cardio session?
what should i eliminate from my diet completely?
how can I gain a good clean energy everyday?
do i need a heart rate monitor to makes sure im getting in a good target zone?

Also should I start lifting right now i feel real pussifed being so big and not being able to put up much weight and I cant find a program thats is suited for me should I just lift 120 pounds all the time just not sure.

Well anyways thanks to anyone who reads this and lend a helping hand.



I’m not going to pretend to understand what you’re going through with the anxiety and other conditions, but this:

Needs to change if you want to lose a significant amount of body fat.

Anything that is fried, anything that comes in a box, and bread for starters.

No. You don’t need to worry about a zone or how much cardio you’re doing or anything else.

You need to clean your diet up and move more.

Do you lift at all now? Have you ever lifted?

Maybe @twojarslave can help you. He’s gone through an incredible transformation.


What do you drink? Diet sodas?


Thanks for the shoutout, @usmccds423. And my transformation is still ongoing. Definitely not done, not even close.

@tokarev You have a lot of work to do. First you need to relax and accept the fact that your condition will not change overnight. Also understand that I don’t really care about your feelings. I care about your success, which is why I’m taking the time to write this out. Your feelings can fuck off, and the sooner you start to think this way, the sooner you can get a handle on your feelings and start to see real progress.

In very simple terms, you need to eat less crap and move more. I would also recommend beginning weight training immediately, and give it greater priority than cardio. We can go into more detail on this stuff later.

For the bigger picture, you need to start changing the way you think about yourself, your personal capabilities and your relationship with food. I’ve written about my mindset before, and you might find it applies to your situation too. Advice for Stronger Willpower to Fight Food Cravings/In General

I’m going to call bullshit on that. You can definitely improve on fried chicken, fries, subs, tv dinners and all of that garbage you listed. You can definitely improve on your workout plan. You can improve on simply being a consistent gym-goer. You can probably improve on just about every aspect of your life that will influence your body composition outcome. Don’t tell me you are trying your best when you are not. You said it with your words. Man up.

I’m not saying this to beat you up. I’m saying this to shine a light on the fact that you have tremendous room to improve. This is a good thing. It just means progress is well within your reach.

Now, to answer your specific questions.

Sorry, I can’t answer this. Cardio is not something I have a great deal of experience with. I can tell you about lifting though, and why it is vastly superior for long-term changes in body composition.

Most of what you listed. Strive to eat unprocessed meat, vegetables, fruit, and unprocessed carbs like potatoes and rice. You know, “real food”. If you don’t already know, LEARN HOW TO COOK. Let me repeat that. DEVELOP YOUR COOKING SKILLS.

This comes when you make progress. You will look and feel better. Much better.

No. Just work hard.

Yes, start lifting now. You are not a pussy, you just made a series of bad choices that landed you in a bad spot. You are a goddamn animal, descended from ruthless savages who had to fight to survive. Start to act like it. Pick up a barbell and move it with heart and purpose. Fuck anyone who wants to shit on you for doing it. They don’t matter. Show them. Show them all.

I hope you found this helpful, and feel free to ask more questions. You can do this, but you have to want to make the right choices.

Best regards,



Top 5 sentences of 2016.


Poster material - I might just print this up and hang on my class room wall.


Yes start lifting immediately, this is a good template to start…

a couple months down the line when youre in a good routine with training try a targeted program like these…

twojars’ given you plenty of good advice. I’d add get in tons of vegetables to your diet especially greens


Thanks so much for the tough love i really feel it and i am more sparked up then ever i will start pushing iron when the sun comes up!

and to answer a few questions you guys asked i drink diet coke all day or zero calorie water

yes i have lifted before but never stuck with it to make any good gains i ran all pros beginner routine for a few months but thats it.

also to twojarslave when I have lifted i felt insuffecent afterwords like it was not enough i was mildy tired but not beatdown like i would expect does that matter time spent lifting and fatigue level?

much appreciated


Write out your training plan then see your doctor about it first.

I wouldn’t bother removing food at your stage. Just plan your eating. 4 meals per day, everything goes on a single plate (no piling), no further servings, no eating outside those meals. If you have dessert then that counts as a meal.

That will get you under 300lbs comfortably and we can replan from there.


Just drink water. I’d aim for 64 oz at a minimum.

Being beatin down or being sore is not necessarily an indicator that your training is efficient or even productive.


Yes, drink water, try to wean yourself off the diet drinks.


How you feel after you lift is pretty subjective and it will vary quite a bit from person-to-person. When I started lifting I would feel drained afterwards and sore for days, but I hadn’t really done much at all besides move my bulk from one chair to the next for about a decade. No surprises there, I was fat and about as out-of-shape as one can get.

As to what you should expect, well, you will probably be sore. You will probably be tired. It gets better after a few weeks of consistent lifting. That’s what I think you should focus on right now - become a person who lifts weights consistently. People who lift weights also need food to recover from lifting weights, so don’t try to starve yourself or dramatically change your diet.

Don’t expect yourself to go from your present state to being perfect overnight. You’ll probably never be perfect, which is fine. You don’t need to be perfect, you just need to be good enough to make progress. If you make lifting a priority, eat a little more protein and cut out some of the more obvious crap from your diet, I believe you will see improvement in both strength, scale weight, energy levels and general feelings of well-being. That’s what happened to me. Just remember that the general feelings of well-being and increased energy levels are also in the context of being sore from lifting, which improves in short order.

Do you have any disabilities that will hinder your lifting? Sorry, being fat and out-of-shape doesn’t count. If the answer is “no”, I would strongly advise embracing the challenge of compound barbell lifting. Squats. Deadlifts. Strict Press. Bench Press. Rows. These movements and others like them, done consistently over time with increasing weight, will give you the results you want as you drop fat.


Make it a way of life. The hardest part is always putting on your shoes to go to the gym. Once you get there, it seems easy.

Cannot emphasize this enough.

Diet drinks trick your body into believing you have eaten and so it releases insulin, which then stores any food as fat instead of using it for energy. This also reduces your insulin sensitivity and makes it more difficult for your body to use food efficiently. I don’t really understand how all of this works, but I know that diet sodas are worse for you than most people think (same with artificial sweeteners - Equal, Sweet and Low).

Start with old fashioned oatmeal. Add a tablespoon of peanut butter and half a banana. Drink a glass of milk with it. Pretty simple, very healthy.

Look into getting a crock pot - meat, water, on. Add some veg, maybe some rice (I prefer brown). Meal.

If you insist on doing cardio, I would walk for 20-30 minutes on a treadmill (or swim if you can). Any more than that and you will be interfering with lean body mass gains that are going to help you become more efficient at burning fat. Keep your heart rate below 75% of your max (220-your age). You don’t need a heart monitor - take your pulse on your wrist or neck for ten seconds, multiply by six. It doesn’t have to be exact.

So, for you, figure 220-31=189.


You want your pulse to be 12-14 beats every ten seconds.

But, focus on lifting 3-5 days a week, compound lifts.

You got this bro. Be consistent, enjoy success!


Fat loss is 90% about calories.

I lost 50lbs eating McDonald’s double cheeseburgers as a post workout meal.

I just hit an all time PR at a significantly less bodyweight last night: close grip benched 255x12. I had two beers after; and this ain’t the first time I’ve done that.

However. I tracked all those double cheeseburgers, and I tracked those two beers last night, so I did not go over on my calories. They fit into my diet. I’m actually in a calorie deficit right now as I’m in a fat loss phase, again.

If you have the willpower to limit your junk eating, it’s fine. You can eat a TV dinner. Fried chicken. Deli subs. It’s how much of that you’re eating, that matters most.

But for real though, you’ll save a ton of money if you cook your own food. It can also be healthier; micronutrients still do matter and not all macronutrients are the same. If your social anxiety keeps you from going to the store (Seriously, I get this. I have this problem.), see if you can get groceries delivered.


If you have severe anxiety you shouldn’t be drinking coffee. Trust me, I speak from experience. Caffeine tends to amplify the symptoms of anxiety. Personally, I mostly quit drinking the stuff for this reason.