T Nation

I Finally Got 'Triggered'

Sorry for the welcome pic. I don’t know how to remove it.

Okay, let me tell you what I mean. I call that event that happens to people who finally get tired of being overweight or feeling sluggish to making a difference in their life—a trigger. Like something someone said, or they experienced, or in my case were forced to do resulted in them making changes. I remember when I first signed up here…I didn’t have a trigger per say. It was more like, I would watch a program on obesity, biggest loser, or just Oprah and feel like working out. Let’s just say, that a few days later I would be back to my old habits. Out of sight, out of mind.

Well, something did change. So about 3 years ago I moved to France. I’m personally not a fan, but I speak the language and had a job, why not. However, what most people don’t know about France is that it’s a very fitness oriented country. They are “weightist”. Best term to describe it. They are basically people who are prejudiced against overweight people. I think overall they try not to be but if you are larger than a size 14 American, you most likely can’t walk into a store and find anything. Sitting down on their subways chairs can be hazardous. For instance, I would walk into the subway and go through a panic moment. “Do I take the chance and sit down on the flip seats (these are seats in the train that flip up so that more room can be had when it gets crowded–normally there are two). If I do that and someone wants to sit next to me, I have to figure out how to lose 5” around my hips so the people aren’t struggling with the chair. Or when they get up the chair decides to stay down because half my ass is on it. Or do I stand up and people blame me for not having room. You can tell by the look on their faces.

First year…I suffered well and was around a size 22/20 American. I ended up losing weight by year 2 and was a size 20. However, it’s in January of my third year that I sort of created the trigger. I moved from a shitty place that I was living in during October 2011 to a newer place in Jan 2012. The newer place put me on the 5th floor and no elevator.

Can you imagine my 220lb self climbing those stairs? Added to that, they put me on a bunk bed. I couldn’t climb the stairs without taking at least 5 minute breaks in between each floor and it was a struggle to get up and down the bunk bed. I cried a few times. Before this, I had shitty knees guys. I mean if I walked for too long, my knees would get so bad that they would actually swell up. Like I had an injury they were huge.

Well a few weeks ago something happened. I was trying on one of my cut off pants that were two tight for me 2 years ago and I noticed they were too big for me. I was like…hold on here…too big?! At this point keep in mind this is 6 days a week I am going up 5 flights of stairs a minimum of 4 times a day, I am also running up and down stairs in the French subway. France doesn’t know anything about technology. If you don’t have good legs, you can’t live in France. It’s stairs everywhere.

Added to that about 3 times a week I would walk from 45 minutes to 90 minutes a day. I was also working with kids 25 hours a week—so I spent most of my time on my feet. Well guys, I went from being a size 20 in February to being a size 16 now. I got tired of going up the stairs one step at a time, now I either run up the stairs or take two steps at a time. I even made it a work out.

I had bad eating habits and for all intents and purposes I still do. I cut down the carbs, I don’t really eat breakfast—but drink whole milk instead), but I try to get in something in, but I do eat lunch and dinner and try to minimize the fat. No MacDonalds, no fast food in general, no sodas. I will be cutting down the French fries. I cut out the chips that ate a lot of. I keep my calorie count in between 1400-1600.

And I seem to be losing weight. My work out consists mainly of climbing up and down stairs and walking. I don’t want to invest in a gym membership yet. But since I got the trigger I need help guys. I was looking at my thighs, and I know there is no such thing as spot reducing but it’s not looking right and I’m getting scared of having loose skin.

Here are some pics, tell me what you would recommend workout wise (with no gym and just body weight) and how to really get muscle tone, burn the fat. Plus anything on a cleaner diet, than the rudimentary stuff I have now.

Rudimentary Meal day

Breakfast - whole milk
An hour later - salad with protein

Lunch-rice or some carb, salad, protein; maybe yogurt or fruit

Dinner - same as above

Meal time snack - high protein meal replacement or milk.

The pics are below…just showing the lower body.

Okay guys…so excuse the heels. I’m in a hotel room right now and I bought them for like 10 quid so I felt like wearing them. I was checking out my calves in them.

I’m putting myself out there guys so please be gentle. I’m taking advice to the heart now since I’ve seen differences in my body and for me to go from a size 22 to a 16 shocked me. As a note, no I am not clenching my butt. I get that a lot.


Yeah, I’m hella embarassed. But I figure some of you have seen worse or been in a similar situation so you’d be kind enough to help. Again, not sure if I’m gym ready, I’m about to start a new schedule so I’d be more interested in doing bodyweight workouts during my breaks or at home when I get home. When my body clock in order, I’m in Europe now, on my way to the US. Then I will start back to integrating walking into my routine.

Thanks in advance everyone.

I’ll never forget my trigger for getting back into shape… My wife took a picture of me with our cat on my chest and I had 2 chins… That was all it took… That was 15 years ago or more mind you…

So my thoughts (and I totally get where you’re coming from):

  1. Get the gym membership - you may think people are looking at you and making fun of you, but they’re not. It’s only in your head. Once you get past that, you’re golden.

  2. Drop the whole milk.

  3. Try to eat 5-6 smaller, balanced meals a day. Or 3 solid meals and 2 snacks. For snacks, you can always do with a protein bar and some veggies, or a protein shake and some veggies. Don’t over-complicate things, or you won’t do it. So start small and do minor changes so it won’t be such a shock to your body.

  4. Reduce carbs, breads, pastas and look towards lean choices of meat/poultry. Try to eat fresh green veggies at every meal (breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner, etc.)

  5. Get some orientation around the weight room (see #1 above) and then start doing weight training. Cardio is fine, but do it AFTER your workouts, not before. Why? You want your muscles to have depleted their glycogen stores for energy, so that when you do your cardio at the end of your workout, your body needs to find another energy source - bodyfat. 90% of people will do this wrong and spend 30-40mins doing cardio first and 10-15mins weight training - do the opposite and the results will be amazing.

I could suggest more, but I gotta get back to work…


I’ll try to keep this brief and to the point. First off, congrats of having that trigger moment, its what gets many of us started on this long, rewarding road. Hopefully you can stay on it.

At this point you just need to focus on doing “more” activity and “less” eating. Meaning, if you are doing your daily routine of walking up and around stairs and around town, you need to do something in addition to that. The activity that all of us do daily for our jobs/life/family etc… Never really goes away, so you cant count that as part of your exercise. ie - If you walk 10 flights of stairs every single day, then thats just “normal” for you. “Exercise” is walking the 11th flights of stairs and beyond.

You can look up body weight exercises online and find the ones you like and can do safely, but again my rule of “just do more” applies here. Body weight squats and push ups can be where you start. How many? It doesnt really matter at first. If you can only do 1 of each, thats fine. The next day, do 2. Then 3. Then 4… Just do MORE. Pretty soon you’ll be doing 30 of each, then 60 of each, then 90 of each… It adds up fast.

As far as food goes, it sounds like you know what to do, but seem to be going about it a little inefficiently. Try to start making more real food, and less protein bars and milk. Things like eggs, salads, meats, etc… are all fairly cheap and easy and are much better than a glass of milk. I can scramble 3-4 eggs in under 3 minutes and that costs like a Euro or less.

You are a beginner and have a long way to go. DO NOT think about how hard it is, instead think about how fortunate you are to have this opportunity. DO NOT worry about what other people think of you and your body. ONLY focus on improving yourself.

Stick around here and we will get you on the right path!

Get the gym membership and lift some weights :slight_smile: I don’t know how much T-Nation you’ve been reading, but here’s the reason weights are your best friend:

When you’re taking the stairs and stuff, you’re burning extra calories while you’re exercising, but then when you’re done, you’re done. That’s great, but the only way to progress with it is by doing more and more, which stops being practical at some point.

When you lift weights, on the other hand, you’re giving your metabolism a boost that burns fat all day (or longer, depending on who you ask)! Plus, the muscle you build (don’t worry, you’re unlikely to get bulky) will also contribute to a higher daily calorie expenditure, so it’s kind of “taking the place” of fat tissue.

I’m oversimplifying, but that’s the idea.

Diet is at LEAST half the battle, arguably more important than the exercise. Lowering your carb intake (especially from breads, rice, potatoes, etc… Starchy and sugary carbs) may have a positive effect on fat loss; I personally had great success on a ketogenic diet. But hey, read alot and tweak things as you go… Don’t expect to change overnight, and don’t decide something isn’t working before you’ve given it a chance (i.e. don’t try a new dietary/exercise strategy every week). If you can, write things down and use a calorie counter (I use www.myfitnesspal.com ) to get an honest image of what you’re doing nutritionally.

Stick to it and be patient, the results that last are the ones that you take your time with.

Good luck!

Nice thread resurrection! Respect!

LOL! I didn’t even look at the date, I just saw it was close to the top >_<

I mean… I was just so inspired, you know?