T Nation

Post Divorce Physical Recovery/Rehab


9 months ago my wife left me after 10 yr marriage for another man, I kind of went into a bit of a bad phase with mental health, let a lot of stuff go, got into drinking a lot, coke (knocked it on the head now though) and not eating properly, not going to the gym etc. I am trying to build myself up again now, as well as my confidence, but its pretty hard looking in the mirror right now, my muscles are shrunken, I have a spare tire. I feel like I have totally forgotten how to train , plus I don’t have tonnes of energy, not sleeping well etc.


I mostly want to strip off the fat and get stronger, have more energy. Obviously look better, but I need somewhere to start.

Any advice.

I have been doing a bit of steady state cardio (fast walking) for an hour before breakfast to strip the fat.

I’m 5’5", weight 75KG, probably 30+% bodyfat. Very strong legs compared to upper body, I walk/cycle a lot and I squat 160kg for reps still, but upper body is weak as shit. I can do about 5 pull-ups.


Ouch. Truly sorry to hear that.

IMO, you would be best served by hiring a good online coach to program your diet and training, because both are going to need a lot of tweaking. There are two good coaches who frequent TN; if you’re willing to countenance hiring one, say the word and I’ll call them over here. (Note that I am not a trainer myself, and I do not have any sort of financial relationship with either of the trainers I would recommend.)


Good advice @EyeDentist much better read than what I was reading to help reduce anxiety naturally…one method is dunking your entire head in ice…oh, my.


Sorry for having your world turned upside down. The gals, guys and coaches have great advice…plus the articles are good, too. But, yeah I think you need guidance in both areas. Super awesome coaches here. Best of luck🤗


Fought my way out of a very similar situation. Sounds like you have the motivation to get out of the funk, which is the first major step. Swap out some of your steady state cardio with yoga, it is just as important to focus on wellness of the mind to help with regaining confidence. Plus hot/warm yoga will burn more calories than ss cardio. Its a journey of finding yourself again, not the easiest but you will come out stronger both physically and mentally if you have the drive. best of luck brotha


Hey thanks for the advice, yeah I’d be interested in the online coaching, but I am also kind of on a budget, but will consider it. If you you could link me up that would be brilliant. Thanks.


What gals, guys and coaches?


Happy to help:



There’s the old saying that “breakups create bodybuilders.”

Not always the case but certainly a set of circumstances that let one assess and focus on themself for a While.

I actually work with a surprising number of non-competitors, so feel free to reach out off site if you’d like.



See below there are some awesomeness people that can help you out and obviously realize you’re on a budget. I’m on my second marriage. Lifting is so much healthier than self-destructive behavior. When we feel pain we want it to go away, so some go to alcohol which I admit I did for a bit. However, waking up after a grueling leg day is way better than a hangover. One makes you healthier and the other strips away your control in life. Fight hard to make it through this painful experience and reach out to nation community. I’ve struggled with anorexia and used to be a reader and now I am on some but not as much. However, someone’s always there with a challenge, a joke or reaching out for help like you. I promise it will get betterand your inner strength will grow as do your muscles. Cheers! Let the healing begin! I look at the site as “transformation” nation. It truly has changed me. :hugs:


I’ve been in a similar situation. After my breakup I stopped every phisical activity (I was a runner and a soccer player) and started to binge eating. I went from 175 lbs to 220 lbs, weak, unhealthy and skinny fat. I’m not here to tell you my story but I think I can give you some tips.
1 - If you can’t afford a coach, buy the 5/3/1 Forever book by Jim Wendler. It is awesome and will give you all the tools to fine tune your training. It completely changed and improved my approach to training.
2 - Eating is important. So: carb cycling according to your training and eat the right amount of calories.
3 - Progress slowly and don’t worry about your appearence.
4 - Do not do too much cardio. When I leaned up for the first time, I have done 10 km every day. This literally ate the little muscle I had!
5 - Live your life. Be happy to be alive. You can do everything you want!
Good luck, Mate!


I’ve been there as well with the self-destructive behavior during and following divorce, as well as using it as motivation to get into the gym, and the latter is definitely way more beneficial in the long run. I’ll second @raoh1990 on 5/3/1 as an awesome resource if you can’t afford a coach, and Jim Wendler is actually very active on his forum here answering questions… just make sure you read the book before you ask the questions, because a lot of the answers will be there. I’ll also second progressing slowly, and focus on performance rather than appearance. Appearance will follow performance to some extent anyway, and there’s something theraputic about putting up big weights. Once you spend some time with the iron, then you can step back and decide what you want your next goal to be.


Reading this makes me think at one time you knew what you were doing and frequented the gym. Do you need someone to tell you what to do or to motivate you? Get up and start heading to the gym, pool, track. Just do something. Post here and we’ll try and motivate you.


Does Yoga really burn more calories than cardio? I would have thought cardio burned more?


Yeah I used to train a lot, but I wasn’t as out of shape, and so I didn’t train for fat loss really, just performance and strength. But Now I have this fat, just a bit of a pouch going on, make me feel about 10 years older.