T Nation

Learning the Way


Good morning

I am new here and hoping to learn some ways to turn myself around.

I am 41yrs old, 5.4", 215lbs and had gastric bypass surgery 7yrs ago.

I have started a training/progress thread in the BEginners section.

I was 258lbs when I had my surgery and I got down to 178lbs. I was with my boyfriend of 6yrs during all this and he left me. I had some more things come at me and I turned to food for comfort and the weight came on.

I hope any of you women who have ideas, suggestions, tips or whatever will stop by my thread.

I plan on working hard, I just don't really know how to handle the mental aspects of staying motivated and consistent.

thank you


Starting a thread here, and regularly updating it is probably a great start. You've already shown way more initiative than most Americans.


Thank you! That is the plan


Welcome Belle! Can you give us any idea of what you are currently doing? Are you working out at all? What is your diet like?

Glad to have you! =D


Just so you know, the phrase 'squats and milk' are often thrown around fasciously(sp?). Squats are an incredible exercise, and it's tradition for 14-25 yr-old young adults to consume a bunch of milk (half or a full gallon) to increase weight gain. Milk isn't a superfood though- it's actually kinda shitty, because so many people are lactose intolerant. It's just really convenient, because it's easy to measure, purchase, prepare, and it's liquid.

So when you see 'squats and milk'... take that with a grain of salt.


I read thru your other thread, the Precision Nutrition system was mentioned and I'd stress once again that it will benefit you. You are going to need to get the food under control, as it has been noted, you can't out train bad nutrition.

You mentioned that you don't want "cheerleaders" or people who will put you down. Read through some of the threads in this forum, you will find neither. The women here are pretty serious about training. If you are on your way to being serious about changing your life around, you will get support.

As for getting the mental aspect and motivation down, yes a forum can help, but it comes down to you. If you are truly fed up with being overweight, you'll do what it takes and get in that gym 5 days a week, no excuses. You'll educate yourself about good food choices and the appropriate times to feed yourself, in the appropriate amounts. And you'll teach yourself patience and acceptance that it took a lifetime to put on this weight, and that there are no quick fixes to take it off.

There is no luck, so I won't wish you this, but I will say to take control of the situation and overcome it. I'm looking forward to your continued posts.


It looks like you are already getting a lot of good information at T-Nation. But I am noticing that you may be getting caught up in the minor details like when is the right time to do cardio.

As much as these forums are awesome for motivation and assistance, you should not get too caught up in the most perfect plan and just find a program that is all laid out for you and matches your goals, and dedicate your life to it fully and completely.

Don't second guess it or try to stick a couple programs together. This will lead to failure (Trust me I have been a victim of this).

I definitely would echo Dianab's advice. GET PRECISION NUTRITION. It is way worth your money. I use it and it has changed the way I think about how to eat.

Also, I agree that Rachel Cosgrove's program (or Alwyn Cosgrove's program in the book THe new rules of weightlifting for women. I like using the books because the programs are longer and there is more info about the program) is the best way to go for your needs.

I can't stress enough that if you follow the program laid out for you by these experts you will succeed.


Thank you!

here is what I have planned
I will be lifting weight but it is hard to squat with all this weight on my frame so this is what I thought.

Sat. / Sun. / Tues. / Wed. - weightlifing

cardio on Sunday and Wednesday.

should I do HIIT or steady state?

part of me wants to go EVERY day, but I am worried that I would burn myself out as it isn't a true habit for me yet.

Sat. - legs
Sun - upper body and cardio

Tues - legs
Weds - upper body and cardio

I am a beginner and I am considering hiring a trainer. I am a member of 24 Hr Fitness. The trainig is REALLY EXPENSIVE!!! 5 sessions $339

Here is the eating plan I am going to follow.

2 eggs
1 cheese stick

1/4cup of almonds

1 can tuna

1/2cup edamame

6 oz chicken or ground turkey
1/2 sweet potato

Before Bed
toast with peanut butter


Thank you Otep!

dianab thanks for your good advice. I guess a part of me was still hoping for a secret or a trick that I just hadn't learned yet. Sounds like I just need to do a lot of hard work. And thanks for setting me straight about this forum! I like it already.

sbmart2, thanks for your post! I am tapped what with the holidays but with so many recommendations for Precision Nutrition I will have to check it out. In fact I may check my local library.

I had my first workout with the trainer that shows you how to work the machines and I am SORE! And it feels great.


I can guarantee there are "tricks" you haven't learned yet, we all can be more educated about health, training and eating.

You won't find PN at a library, spend the money on it. Your proposed diet needs a lot of work, as was commented on in your other thread.

The trainers at your gym are way overcharging, BTW. I would not recommend you buy into that.
Personally, I abhor machines, but you have not been training at all from what I understand so 4-6 weeks will be beneficial to start with.

I give any clients who are unconditioned and overweight a program consisting of some machines and free weight. Post up what they have you doing, the details.

As for doing HITT, please be careful. Most ellipticals have an interval program, start with that, it'll be easy on the joints. Also "running" on the elliptical will spare you shin splints and possible stress fractures that may occur on a treadmill.

Don't fall into the trap of being over enthusiastic and then not being able to walk up stairs on sit on the john because you are too sore. Patience and acceptance, you are taking the first small steps, the big strides will come.


Squats and milk!!


Dude, she's 41 and carrying around at least 65lbs of unwanted fat.
Don't confuse the issue, do your squats, drink your milk and jack off in another forum.


I think it was a joking reply to what Otep said. And yes milk is an aweful idea if you're trying to lose weight, but squats are most certainly not a bad idea. Belle, I know you're just getting used to lifting with machines, but you should endeavor to use free weights as soon as possible, since they are far more effective at burning fat.

If you're uncertain how to squat properly, watch this Dan John video.


By all means, start small - body weight only or goblet squats with a light dumbell - but start squating or at least start doing lunges. Either one is far more effective than leg extensions or leg curls.

Also, give us some more details on you're doing, like what specific exercises, and number of reps and sets.


I went to the gym last night and did some cardio on the bike and some weights.

I did a 5 min warm up on the bike and then went to the machines.

Chest Press
3 x 8 45lbs

Sitting Row
3 x 8 45lbs

leg extension
3 x 8 60lbs

leg curl - laying down
3 x 8 30lbs (the first set was easy but I started getting what felt like a cramp on the front of my shin in the 3rd) Also the roller rolls down to my calf at the top and I can't get the bar to squeeze down to my butt. I get up to the top and that is as far as I can go.

Leg Press
3 x 8 90lbs

crunches on the big ole ball
3 x 20

I finished by walking on the treadmill at an incline of 6 at 3.0 for 20 minutes


Today I went walking at the high school track with a friend. We walked 3 miles and we did pretty good at keeping at the 15 minute mile pace. I plan on running some and then walking until I can run a mile!


My eating is better but I don't even notice when I am cheating! Just out of habit I put the food in my mouth. When I picked up my friend to go walking she had brought me a fresh baked holiday cookie and I ate it and I just didn't think. I just popped it in my mouth.

I did go shopping today and I bought some good food and some jello and the sugar-free pudding.


Meh, I get tired of hearing it, I guess.
Agreed 100% on the squats and lunges in place of extension/curls.
The first exercise I give to all beginnners is either a body weight squat or goblet squat, so the person can "learn" how to sit back. The only issue with lunges for very overweight people is balance and knee problems.
Belle, ask the trainer to show you how to do body weight/light dumb bell squats and step-ups. You'll get more out of those 2 exercises than the leg ext/curls.


Your exercise selection looks well pretty balanced, except I might suggest you discard the leg extension and leg curls in favor of some squats or step-ups (as dianab mentioned).

Also, if you're having alot of trouble adhering to your diet. You could always try keeping a food log for a few weeks. Just write down everything you consume (including any beverages) and the corresponding number of Calories for each meal. It's kind of a pain in the rear, but nothing keeps you from reaching for the cookies like having to add an additional 300+ Calories to your food log.


Have you looked into the Rachel Cosgrove fat loss program on the fitness athlete website yet?


I am still sore from Friday! My sides, my legs, and that muscle under your arm pit to your breast. Very sore.

I went to the gym tonight and did pretty much the same thing. I tried a new leg machine, it was the standing calf machine. I was surprised to see that I could do 75lbs. I would do it until my calves burned. I felt like the she-Hulk so this might be my favorite thing.

I did do bodyweight squats. I am having a hard time getting low and maintaining balance. I was watching in the mirror and I get to just above the knee and it seems to be a natural stopping point for me. I try to force myself down lower and I lose my balance.

Is this just because I am fat or is it my lack of muscles?

I can do step-ups! Those do not look complicated.

The goblet squat looks interesting. I will give that a try next time.

I do lunges and you are right that I wiggle a bit side to side. Is it good just to do them anyways?