T Nation

From Fat Nerd to Frank N. Furter



I’m gonna start updating my new training regimen on here; I feel like having my stats be more public might spur me on to keep up with exercising regularly, especially if people don’t mind giving input/advice if/when they see me making potential mistakes.

A little backstory on the title of this thread: I’ve been a (relatively overweight) theatre/video game nerd for a vast majority of my life. I graduated from Western Washington University with a B.A. in Acting and Dramatic Writing (yes, I know, fantastic way to get in debt) and noticed that I was starting to get type-cast in bigger-guy or comedic-relief roles. I want to get myself in a position where I can be more flexible (figuratively and literally, I suppose) with different acting choices. There was a time where I had gotten down to about 215lbs, and would desperately love to get back to that point.

I’ve recently taken on the role of Frank N. Furter in my community’s shadowcast production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which goes up the end of each September and kicks off our local Halloween festival (in which I also participate as several different characters). My goal for the next few months is to get myself in better shape than I was last year, and I suppose just in better shape period.

Below is a photo of me in costume last year (warning: picture of a fat guy in a corset and little else):

At the moment, I’m a bit bigger than in this photo, and with September just on the other side of this season, I don’t feel I have much time to tone down before I have to get into that get-up again. While I have zero shame in wearing costumes like this, there is a certain point where you realize, “as good/bad as I’m actually acting, people are just seeing a fat guy in a corset”, and it really puts all your health choices in perspective.

So hopefully starting this online log will help me pull my head sufficiently out of my ass and start taking better care of myself. I’ve had a lot of great advice given to me by a few members on this site, and started a suggested workout/diet regimen just this morning. So…here goes nothing!



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May 4th, 2020

First day of the new regimen.

I was doing really well, diet-wise until dinner. I made this braided bread from a cookbook based on food you find in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and…well, yeah. Otherwise, I feel I did okay today. The workout kicked my ass, which tells me just how out-of-shape I am. Hopefully I’ll see improvements soon. Stepping on the scale this morning was a little bit of a shock; I thought I had lost a few pounds recently. :slight_smile:

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I’ll be following along.

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May 5th, 2020

I am SO not used to squat-related exercises, and my legs are paying for it today.

Decided to mix it up a little bit - I was originally going to skip strength training today in favor of going for a lengthy hike, but a bunch of meetings cropped up and made it impossible to leave the house for more than an hour - and I feel like I did more work than usual despite not knowing exactly what I was going to do going into my workout. I tried to do at least a couple of full-body exercises (the squats and sledgehammers both involved full body movements) and a little of upper and lower, as well. I’ve only got one meeting tomorrow (that I know of) so I’ll make tomorrow my hike day instead.

After talking with a few members on here, I don’t feel as bad as I did last night concerning diet; in fact, they even said I could stand to eat more, which seems so strange to me…like, I feel like I ate MORE than enough last night, and yet I didn’t even come close to my recommended calorie intake. Though I DID end up making a few batches of banana bread today; I only had a couple of slices (it’s still a lot of unnecessary calories, but they were gooooood lol) and I did end up at just over 2500 calories (a lot of it carbs and sugar though, so… :confused: )

I’m so used to only eating when (I think) I’m actually hungry, which has been a challenge for me because I’m a stress/bored eater, so knowing when I’m actually hungry is difficult. But now that I’m trying to up my caloric intake (with healthy choices), it’s going against my trained instincts to just wait for certain hours of the day to eat. Plus I’ve given up keto/intermittent fasting in favor of getting the proper nutrients at reasonable times, rather than just shoveling a bunch of food down twice a day. It makes sense to space it out evenly and have a continuous fuel feed going…I don’t know, is that the right thinking, or can someone clarify it for me?

In any case, I feel like today went pretty well overall. I’m going to completely ignore the scale until next Monday, just to keep from getting discouraged, and continue on with what has been suggested to me. Hopefully I get the hang of this and start seeing a steady drop in weight (and some tone in my arms/chest wouldn’t be a bad thing, either.)

May 6th, 2020

I woke up this morning and felt like my legs and part of my lower torso were going to fall off, so…I can only assume I did something either right or HORRIBLY wrong yesterday workout-wise. Barely made it down the stairs, and then decided not to be a wuss and waddled around still getting my daily chores and stuff done.

Decided to go for a walk today; there’s a great trail system near my house that spans about five miles round-trip. The walking turned into a little walk/jog adventure, alternating between the two at each trail marker (the distance varied from a few yards to a football field’s length at one point) and overall I felt like I made some real progress; it actually helped me work out the soreness a bit (though that came back in FULL force after I sat down for a while to finish up some stuff for work.)

I think I’ll try to focus more on upper-body workouts tomorrow…if I can stand up, that is. #nopainnogain #ohtheresalotofpain #everythinghurtsandimdying

May 7th, 2020

I woke up this morning and decided to give myself a rest day; I was still hurtin’ pretty bad and didn’t want to push anything and cause myself some real strain. I ended up getting a lot of work done that I had been previously putting off, which was a plus, and I cut down my calorie intake to make up for the lack of activity, plus ate really clean (or at least cleaner than usual, minus the one drink); did I end up dropping too low? Could someone let me know?

Tomorrow I’ll do some weight training and (after a couple meetings) I plan on doing another walk/jog adventure through the woods. It really felt good to do some real running and as much as I like weight training, I want to balance it out at least a little bit with some cardio. I just hope the method I’ve developed is actually helping me…I mean, it FEELS like it’s helping, or at least working, but then I don’t exactly have the fine-tuned gauge for this stuff yet.

I’ll look over all my data - and weigh myself - on Monday and see if I’ve made any progress. :slight_smile:

May 8th, 2020

Okay…workout felt good today, but I may not have stuck to all the right foods in the later half of the day. Especially those flour tortillas…next time I’m going to get whole wheat or something, or maybe try those spinach ones that they make, cuz I had a LOT of carbs today.

It’s still taking a lot of getting used to, documenting all of my food intake, but it’s definitely helping me see what kinds of foods I’m putting into my body and how much of it is and isn’t crap. I know that carbs aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but I don’t want to go overboard and have a bunch of extra stuff to burn off. And I’m still not sure whether I’m eating enough/too many calories. I’m going to check in with a small group of people I met on here on Sunday or Monday and show them my logs, see what they think. I honestly don’t have a clear path to my goals yet, so I’m just gonna keep trying my best and see what works for me.

I’m actually pretty excited for tomorrow; I’ve decided to do maybe some light lifting in the morning, but save most of my energy for a walk/jog in the woods. Sounds like a good way to get the heart rate going and get outside for a little while. That’s one thing that I’ve enjoyed about not having handy transportation these past few months: I’m walking or biking everywhere, and I’m starting to get used to it. I’m almost tempted not to get a vehicle, except that I work seven miles away from my house (when school is in session and not doing virtual learning) and I’m still not quite to the point where I can bike that without almost dying. Maybe I’ll get there soon, but I should really think about having reliable wheels.

In any case, the extra effort I have to make to get around is (hopefully) helping contribute to my fitness goals. We’ll see on Monday if I’ve made any progress, but for now all I can do is keep my head down and try not to overindulge. I’m not going to beat myself up about the extra carbs, just tell myself that I can do better tomorrow. :slight_smile:

Okay, your title drew me in. If you really want to stretch your goals, you should shoot for playing Rocky next time this play rolls around in the rotation!

I’m not going to throw any advice in the ring right away, but I do have a few questions. Where did you get the workout you’re doing? Do you have any specific weight or performance goals, or just ‘look better in a corset’? What equipment do you have available, and where do you train, home gym, well equipped commercial gym? The more detail you give the more useful advice people will be able to give you.

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I actually started a thread in the Beginners section, where a few people suggested the workout routine I’m trying to get started with based on the equipment I have on hand:

I would love to be able to play Rocky, but I actually have a special place in my heart for the role of Frank; it’s one of the most fun roles I’ve ever played and yeah, I suppose at the moment my primary goal is “look better in a corset”, though in the long run I’d like to get down to a more comfortable weight, or at least lose the gut/love handles and put on a little bit more muscle. In short, just tone up a bit. At the moment - due to the quarantine and gyms being closed - I’m working out at home, in a little gym I’ve made for myself with the few bits of equipment I have on hand.

Just went over and checked out your first thread, and you’re getting some decent advice, it looks like, and what you’re doing is good for the equipment you have to work with.

I did notice some conflicting advice over there, but don’t let that get to you, there’s just more than one way to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’, none of it is necessarily wrong. The bottom line is that as a beginner as long as you work hard on a reasonable program, and don’t eat stupid, you will get stronger and lose weight.

You are going to be challenged increasing your loading as you get stronger with your limited equipment, so once you don’t have any heavier weights to work with, you can increase the reps/set or decrease the rest time between sets. Once you can get to a gym with better equipment, I would suggest mixing things up and working in compound barbell lifts like squats and deadlifts. Also, use the resources on this site to educate yourself. The links the kind folks over in your other thread provided are an excellent starting place.

I was a theater nerd in high school myself, I got into drama to force myself to learn social skills, and I like to think it worked pretty well for me. Haven’t done any of that stuff in over 30 years, though, life just got in the way, as it does.

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May 10th, 2020

I’m submitting yesterday’s log today because I was out until late last night and was busy today with Mother’s Day festivities…plus I didn’t keep track of today’s intake. I’m actually a bit nervous to weigh in tomorrow, because although I feel I’ve been a lot better than usual, I don’t know if it made much of a difference.

That’s been the hard thing for me to deal with through this whole process…it’s that whole “a watched pot never boils” kind of philosophy. I want to see results now, but I know it’s a gradual process. I get frustrated easily and lose steam. I kept on with a good workout schedule this past week (at least I think so), and the new exercises definitely worked…but I really want to see things happening more quickly.

Maybe that’s why I was so eager to rush into those extreme diet plans; I didn’t care about what happened to my body unless it was giving me the results I wanted. But I do know that through eating healthier choices, I at least feel better. I might go back to skipping breakfasts, but that’s more of a preference than anything. I do work out in the mornings before I start working, but I can have a protein shake and my coffee and call it good…right?

In any case, it’s all about creating the right mindset and sticking to the process, even if things aren’t immediately working. I just have to keep telling myself it takes time. And it would be nice to find a training partner or mentor, someone who can actually show me the ropes and help me reach my goals…plus I’m starting to get cabin fever during this quarantine and could use someone else to talk to besides my cat. :laughing:

May 11th, 2020

Okay…so I did alright today…at least with the weigh-in. I’m sure I was weighing myself wrong last week somehow, because I don’t know how I lost almost four pounds in a week given my inconsistent habits, but seeing a lower number on the scale did make me feel a little better. I’ll try to stay more streamlined this week, continue on with what I’ve been doing, and hope for the best.

I did decide that I was going to start skipping breakfasts again; it just feels more natural to me, and makes me feel like I’m working towards lunch. I can get by with a post-workout shake and some coffee, and it helps me keep the calories under control without watching every little thing I eat. I mean, I’m still doing that, kind of.

As you can see, today I slipped up again in a couple of respects. Who knew you could jam so many carbs into ice cream

At this point, I need to stop making excuses for myself. I’ve gotta go full-clean for this week, see if I can hold out for just seven days without the extra munching or sweets or beer or whatever. I keep telling myself that I want this change but I keep giving myself allowances. I’m tired of seeing the love-handles and gut when I look in the mirror. I’m tired of having to hide my chin with a beard only because otherwise people see my chin-to-neck slope (I mean, I would have a beard regardless, but right now having one has an added incentive for me.) I want to change and get better. It’s hard work, but I know I can do it.

May 12th, 2020

I think I’m really starting to like running…which is so weird, because for most of my life I’ve hated moving faster than a casual stroll. I’ve even started making a bit of a game out of it (nerdy, yes, but it keeps me engaged). One of my coworkers challenged me to a “50 Miles in 50 Days” contest, and I think I’m beating the hell out of her with these five-mile adventures every couple of days. Plus today was beautiful and it felt good being out in the woods instead of inside.

And I have no idea how, but today I ended up WELL below calorie goals, even though I feel like I ate far more than I needed to. Dunno whether that’s good, bad, or…though I know my protein/carb/fat levels look kinda weird today compared to before. At least most of my intake was in protein…and like I said, I feel like I ate almost too much.

Tomorrow is going to be really busy with meetings for work…I’m hoping I’ll be able to find time to work out at least a little bit. I usually prefer to work out first thing in the morning, but I may have to wait until after my last meeting at around 3. Oh well, it’ll feel good to start moving around after being stuck in front of a computer all day. :slight_smile:

You can’t keep crashing your calories like that or you’re doing to have some serious problems with overtraining, sleep, and hormones. You need to be at a moderate deficit if you’re trying to lose weight. 300-500 calories under maintenance, and hitting your calories and macros every day.

I’m having trouble finding that balance between what/how much I should be eating and when I should be eating. Like, intermittent fasting comes naturally to me but I won’t get the calories/macros I need if I keep it up. And while I do enjoy eating breakfast, I never feel like I really need it, or I feel like I’m overeating if I DO eat in the morning. :confused:

I always recommend (kind of ironic, because I’m not aware that anyone has ever asked for my advice) that you just eat whatever you feel like and track your weight for a week. You may find you don’t eat much for two days, then go crazy on the third, or whatever. But we can then see what’s happening and make a decision. Often we find out just the act of tracking builds better habits, and we don’t need to actually “plan” any changes for quite some time.

You’re already tracking, so I gotta ask: do you want to be eating this little? Is this your norm or is this what you’re doing because you know you’re tracking?

I also don’t like to eat in the mornings, but I love breakfast foods. I find when I do force those calories in, I don’t balance it out by eating less later in the day - I just overeat all day. Just throwing this in there for solidarity. I do think there is some value in multiple feedings, though. What I try to do (when I’m paying attention and not being a lazy quarantined slob), is drink some carbs and aminos during my workout first thing in the morning, and then follow that up with either whey or egg whites and fruit. That fills me for a long time, I don’t have a separate workout meal I don’t actually need later, and I get some spacing in my meals through the day with a pretty low calorie start. I’m not sure if that made sense the way I typed it out, but I appear to be on a roll this morning so there you go.

And I was not prepared for the picture in your opening post!


I think that it’s a little of both; I tend not to eat too much because I know I can let myself go and just start binging (many years as a Certified Fat Boy still has me trying to break old habits) and I’m afraid if I go over or under what several different macro calculators have said (in between 1900 - 2100 cal.) that I’m gonna break some kind off balance and ruin my burning capabilities.

I also have a hard time making protein a priority; even if I’m eating nothing but meat and vegetables, it always seems like I don’t get enough protein or that it pulls even with everything else.

And yeah, haha no one ever expects that picture, but I think it’s important because it’s what I’m working with, and I want to improve my physique as much as I can so I can make THAT look good.

If I’m reading right, you weigh 264? What calculator is telling you to eat 7-8kcal x bw? That’s pretty low even if you were bedridden.

I am not in the camp that thinks we need quite as much protein as sometimes written, but yours is relatively low. For me, if you’re not starving or ridiculously sore, I’d probably fix this in “phase 2” - I’d prioritize getting your calories comfortably up. You’ve just got nowhere to go right now.

I’ve used several different ones; they all suggest an average of 25% calorie deficit from maintaining to lose 2 lbs. per week (a lot, but I’m eager) and they put that number at around 2500. But maybe I’m checking the wrong sites.

And I’m not generally starving - or feel that way - when eating this much/little. Usually I only get super hungry if I haven’t eaten ALL day or if I’m bored, which is where my difficulties lie. I’m still trying to train myself to know when I’m actually hungry and when I’m just bored…or should I be so concerned about that if I still need to up my calories?

May 13th, 2020

I know, I know…my calorie intake is still pretty low…I just don’t know how to raise it without either eating like crap, or eating MORE and making myself uncomfortable. Like…I feel like I ate just enough today. I wasn’t hungry and I wasn’t feeling bloated and overfed. I even added twice as many eggs as I usually have when I do eat breakfast, just to get some extra protein.

I also decided to do a bit of cardio today, considering I just got my new smartwatch in the mail today and wanted to try it out. Over 10,000 steps and over 1,000 calories burned on a single 5.5 mile run! I’d say that’s a relative accomplishment!

Tomorrow I’ll do a little bit of weight training just to even myself out, but I feel like I really need to get my eating habits in order more than anything. :confused:

(On the plus side, I feel like my shoulders/upper body are/is becoming more defined. I should start posting progress pics!) :slight_smile: