T Nation

How Do You Manage Coming Back After It Hits the Fan?

General question for anyone with the experience.

Not really going to get super personal. But I’ve fallen off the bandwagon a bit. Had some really nasty family shit go down. Lots of drinking, not really eating and stress through the roof.

Im wondering how you guys get back at it? Is it better to maintain for a while before going back to dieting, or just pick up where I left off?

Whats worked for you?

1 Like

If stress was through the roof, going into a deficit (which is an added stress) is not something I’d advise.

While hitting a deficit after a period such as the one you are describing might have some appeal from an ascetic sense I’d be willing to argue that the sensible thing to do would be to maintain, or maybe even gain a little, as one attends to sorting out life or rides out the storm as it were.

I’m pretty biased though.

The risk with resuming a deficit, again this is heavily influenced by my own personal biases, is that the calorie intake becomes the only variable in life one feels is within one’s own control and it can be hard to shake that feeling after things around have settled down.

I’ve seen your thread in CTs forum, you’ve come a long way and probably haven’t done as much harm as you might feel that you have. If you can, my advice is this: be patient, allow yourself the time necessary to feel like whatever went down isn’t actively affecting you and then consider what your next step is with regards to how you look. In the now, focus inward on your mental well-being first.

Tuning out for tonight but will revisit tomorrow.

1 Like

My 2 cents. I got lost for almost 3 years. When I came back I tried too hard to get back to my old numbers ASAP. The results were frustration and inconsistent training. Took me 2 years of on/off going balls to the walls for next to nothing. In June of this year, I decided to just show up and train a simple program and let everything else worry about itself. 3 months later, I’m as strong as I’ve ever been. I just reintroduced cardio, and in another week, I’ll start nailing down my diet. I’ve been in surplus for 3 straight months. Mentally, I had to accept slow steady progression back to where I wanted to be.

2 Likes

You start from scratch…luckily if you was fairly trained for awhile it won’t take long to rebound. Now it won’t be overnight.

One habit at a time

3 Likes

How long have you been off the bandwagon?

I completely abandoned exercise, reasonable food choices and sleep for probably about 2 years when my little man was born. I’ve been back at it nearly 2 years and in many ways, I still haven’t returned to where I was.

Wise words.

2 Likes

It helps if you have a very, very strong VISCERAL, smack you across the face reason to get back in shape and eat better + it’s also a heck of a lot easier to mostly eat fairly healthy stuff, avoid excessive binge drinking etc if you are happy and have a well thought out plan with quantifiable goals.

To give you a lil idea about how I did it and am still doing it, 3.5 months ago I came off anti-psychotics & the day after that I weighed in at a whopping 350lbs (I’m 6ft & 6 and have been lifting weights for about 20 years, but still, that was too much weight gain to accept). I weighed about 290lbs before I started taking AP’s about 6 years ago

So what did I do? I made a plan, my plan consisted of drinking no more than about 21 UK units of alcohol per week (when I was on anti-psychotics) I’d routinely get through as much of over a litre of spirits a night, up to a few nights a week, I got so efficient at boozing, working my way through a 70cl bottle of whiskey or vodka + a bit extra never even got me close to a hangover the next day. I also started drinking at least 2 litres of water a day (more like 3 if it was hot), I limited myself to one takeway meal per fortnight, one dessert a week and the rest was just hard, consistent training, plenty of veggies, lots of leanish protein, stuff like lentil soup + a lil meat, tuna with half pasta and half cous cous etc fills you up and delivers plenty of protein reasonable amount of carbs.

2 Likes

Thanks for the feedback guys. Yeah, it’s only been a week. I had been on a hard diet. About 11 weeks in I was maybe 4-5 weeks away from my goal. The past few days have realistically only set me back a few weeks. So nothing really.

@Voxel I agree with you. I feel like just being conscious about what I’m eating but not worried about calories or macros is a reasonable approach. I’m just right in the middle of the storm as you put. Just looking for something to control. This is an aspect I actually can control but maybe I don’t need to right now. It just feel like I can finally think straight.

@TrainForPain that’s wisdom

A few days? That’s nothing man. By the end of the year you won’t even remember it, just carry on as before.

2 Likes

Yeah! I had one of those and it turned me right the fuck around!

:joy:

Just say “Here’s where I’m at, and this is what is next.”.

Then go do that. :+1:

3 Likes

I’m kind of confused about your plan - it included drinking a liter of alcohol a day?

I’d focus just on getting all your training done consistently and trying to get the real shit out of your life - eg bingeing (drugs and/or alcohol first, porn/internet/etcthen food).

After a month, revisit.

Also depends where I am. If I have no job, busted up relations and have addictions then gym is perhaps not so pressing.

3 Likes

I too have a habit of jumping off the band wagon. I wont say falling as when I go - I go willingly.

When I start exercising and dieting again I do so low key. Just go. It’s not an issue if the session is a bit weak, or I’m not really progressing. For a few weeks it’s just about showing up. And changing 1 habit at a time at TfP says.
Start with cleaning up your breakfast. Then dinner etc.

After a while just low key changes will add up. And you’ll be training solidly with a mindful diet.

2 Likes

No, I used to drink up to and beyond that amount once a week or so, I NOW drink probably only drink about a quarter the amount I used to get through in a week. I’ve never drank huge amounts every day, my issue with drink used to be not drinking super-often, but MASSIVE drink binges at least 2 or sometimes three times per week.

1 Like

Gotcha. I know you’re in good shape, I was just confused by your wording there, haha.

In Jun, I was told my LDL was 200 and that I was getting put on statins because I was a young-ish dude with a heart that most likely looked like a basketball stuffed with ricotta cheese.

I immediately cut out all cheese and red meat from my diet and slashed my daily saturated fat intake to single digits on most occasions. I went from eating red meat 2-3 times a day to once a month. No ramp or build up: just flipped the switch.

Moderation is hard. Extremes are much simpler. I go for extremes in all instances.

4 Likes