Ok. I do research for a living. As you can well imagine, when I did what I do most naturally, when approaching a new content area, I found that I am completely and utterly overwhelmed with contradictory ideas. I also warn you in advance I tend to be a bit…verbose.
So, my goals. I need to lose 50-100 lbs. The big range is because I know that muscle weighs more than fat and right now I have a LOT of fat. If I were simply going to diet, I would probably need to lose on the higher end of my range.
I’ve let myself get out of control the last four years–caring for my terminally ill husband, grief after his death, then recovering from ACL replacement/cadaver graft, pulmonary embolism after surgery…
I feel like I am finally swimming back to the surface after being trapped in the bottom of a deep, dark, murky lake. I’v managed to recover from my surgery, which was in October, and no longer am on blood thinners for the blood clots. I am moving past the trauma of the past emotionally, and am anxious to get on with things, physically.
I want to be fit. I don’t care so much about looking like a body builder, though I am sure my boyfriend would love that, ha ha! I’ve read enough to understand that I can’t lift too much, and that without serious effort, I won’t end up looking like a guy. So that fear is put to rest.
Though I do tend to put on muscle pretty easily, from my experiences in the past. My knee is recovering well from surgery; I should get the all-clear next month when I have my six month post surgical check. My lung capacity is somewhat compromised by the huge saddle embolism, but seems to be getting better every day. I do have to watch myself that I do not overextend my lung capacity.
So. Nutrition. I’ve successfully lost weight in the past, and I know what I need to do for my body in terms of calories in order to simply shed pounds. I have never, however, tried to both lift weight, gain muscle, AND lose fat.
From what I understand, I need to eat a lot more calories than what I would normally eat when trying to lose weight. And of course I realize that greater muscle mass burns more calories, even at rest. I have to admit, I get a little anxious looking at what seems to me to be obscene caloric intake…
So, how to I figure out how many calories I need to eat, and what proportions of nutrients? Is there a calculator online somewhere? Luckily, I do love healthy foods. I garden in the summer and have no problems eating massive quantities of vegetables. I love fish, chicken, beef, beans.
I adore tofu, but my bf is hesitant to really sign off on much of that–any opinions? I also really enjoy whole grains. I also have to admit that I like my junk food and my refined carbs. In fact, I have a bit of a problem with loving bread, pasta, etc. I do like whole grain versions, but I know even those one should only consume in moderation.
I really hate protein shakes. The smell makes me gag. A holdover, I think, from forcing the things down my late husband’s throat for two years during his chemo and radiation treatments. I know this might be a problem in getting in enough protein.
And supplements–I have always been a bit of a hippy-dippy chick, was raised by an R.N., and I am deeply suspicious of a lot of supplements. Is it possible to achieve my goals WITHOUT a lot of supplements? ARe there sources out there, reliable, credible sources, that will assuage my suspicious nature?
With my modest goals, will it be ok NOT to take many, or any, supplements, especially if I am dedicated to nutrition?
Thanks in advance, with your patience with me. Also, let me know if this is not the place for these questions, and I would be better served, for example, by posting in a different forum.
Oh, btw, I am not doing this totally on my own. My boyfriend is a longtime T-Nation guy who seems to be in high regard and has been lifting for almost 25 years (I won’t out him; he can do so if he so chooses). He will be overseeing my work in the gym.
His plan for me is to start me on a six week program of lifting three times a week, and cardio three times a week. After six weeks we will reassess and he will design a new program for me, based on those results. And of course I will listen to him about the nutritional stuff–I just feel information is power.
Not many people in my newbie position have a live in personal trainer and professional level gym at their disposal, and I know I am very lucky!
I will have him take pics and I will measure and I will keep track of my workouts, nutrition, etc, and at some later date I will post this stuff for input.
I know you all probably have seen thousands of newbies come and go and I am probably asking the same questions that have been answered a million times. I will do some research into the archives and see what I can see…