T Nation

Significant Changes

I have been kind of down for the past month, and I’m looking for a little inspiration.

I’m seeking a catalyst or words of advice that might just help me get through this time.

What is the single most significant change you have made in your life that has helped your progress? It doesn’t have to be big, just pivotal. Be it diet, exercise, or something in your personal life, I’d really like to hear about it! Thanks for your help.

I’d been stuck at the same weight for a few months, and (stubbornly) concluded that my diet was to blame. I simply wasn’t eating enough. On a sheet of paper, I wrote, in big letters, “You should be eating now.” I taped this to the top of my computer monitor. I’ve since gained 6 pounds. :slight_smile:

Started limiting my TV time daily to the time I spend reading fiction.

Kathleen,

Sometimes the things we go through in life happen for a reason. I don’t know exactly what’s happening in your life but rest assured that you aren’t alone in whatever burden you are carrying. I find that when i feel down, I look for guidance within the bible and surround myself with my family and friends. I know that you can beat whatever it is that’s keeping you down. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Keep the faith and God Bless!

Whenever i feel i can no longer go on, i think of the girl i love. The strength boost that gives must be seen to be believed :wink:

I’ll give it a shot. For me, the growth surge project really gave me a huge jump for the skinny kid who wanted desparately to get big. It made me believe in myself a lot more. Reading t-mag (esp atomic dogs) usually do it for me. They remind that what feels good is really a job well done as well as the little things in life (a good movie, etc). As T-men, we work hard and enjoy the benefits and know we can deal with adversity which gives us confidence, and that is the best thing for you.

I’ve been there, Kathleen. My problem was focusing TOO MUCH on “the lifestyle.” I would rarely go out unless it was to work or the gym because I was so worried about missing a meal or not getting a good workout. As a result, I ended up sitting around at home way too much. When I do this I get really bored and depressed. During Christmas break, some friends were back from college and I hung out with them quite a bit. The cool thing was, I didn’t have to sacrifice my diet or training.

Now I don’t know what your situation is, but I would get out and enjoy life, even if you don’t really feel like it. Keep yourself as busy as possible…I’ve found this to work wonders for me. Sometimes I have to force myself to go out and do things, but I always feel better after I do. Change your program as well…try something you’ve never done before. There’s lots of great programs on here to experiment with. Best of luck!

Hi, Kathleen. You asked about the SINGLE most significant change that has helped with my progress? Oh, dear, my problem is with the word “single.” Could I make a list? (grin)


  1. Finding T-Mag, the forum and the articles, both.


  2. John Berardi and everything he’s ever written. JB started me on the path to losing weight when I had had no success for five years prior. If I had to pick just one of JB’s concepts, I’d say P+F and P+C food combining.


  3. Taking a BodyGem/MedGem test to find my RMR. Finding out the number was so high is the only thing that gave me the confidence to DOUBLE my calories. Before then I was SEVERELY hypo-caloric.


  4. Keeping a food log. Tracking my caloric and macronutrient intake on a daily basis has paid INCREDIBLE dividends. I no longer snack out of a box. I read labels. And keeping a food log has allowed me to get really scientific and play around with macronutrient percentages and make subtle changes in my diet. I hit a plateau that lasted several months, all the while a friend of mine on the same diet lost 20 pounds in 6 weeks. I made some EXTREMELY subtle changes and got back on track. I couldn’t have done that if it hadn’t been for my food log.


  5. I stopped doing 2 hours of cardio a day and started doing four 30-minute sessions a week.


  6. Low carbs & carb refeeds. That’s the subtle change I alluded to above.



    Kathleen, as you can see, it would be hard to pick just one thing that helped my progress. I was doing a heckuva lotta things wrong. But if it hadn’t been for T-Mag . . .

Hi Kathleen,


In Oct last year I read “The Diet Manifesto” by Chris Shugart. He hit me right between the eyes and kicked me right in the ass(Thanks for that Chris, but you can stop poking me now!)


I was 283pounds and 28% bf(been lifting for a number of years), Now 253 22%bf looking to get to the mid teens by summer. For me it was DIET, DIET, DIET and oh yeah DIET.

I still get down now and then, it's a long way to single digit bf%, but I look back at the progress I have made and it gets me geared up again.

So to sum up for me:

1. Food Log

2. Track progress (I measure monthly, weigh weekly.) 3. Stay on the T-MAG forum and let the energy of the T-Nation soak in to your work outs!

I would have to say that a good training partner can do wonders. I was pretty much stuck with weights and bored with what I was doing until I stumbled upon a fellow t-man. I was inspired, challenged and my body reacted. I am still looking for a replacement…there really isn’t anything like a good workout with a friend, good conversation, yelling and iron flying everywhere.
You’ll get ouy of your slump. Just keep swinging!

good luck.

Check out the movie GI Jane. If that doesnt give a kick in the OO, then I dont know what will. I also like reading the bible. Lots of great quotes in there. “No weapon formed against me shall prosper, I am more than a conquerer…” You may want to learn to enjoy life more. In other words, whatever is causing you this rut, dump it. A new job, man, car, whatever.

Kathleen, as a cancer paitent, I would suggest you to read a excellent book by Lance Armstrong “Its About the Bike, Its my Journey Back to Life” not only did he beat cancer he won the Tour De France 4 times in a row also made “S.I” "Sportsman of the year in 2002. Hope this helps… Live life to the fullest!!!

Thanks for the responses, everyone. All of them have been very helpful.

Recently I’ve been going through a very unique struggle - while dealing with an eating disorder (my coping mechanism for a number of other personal problems) I found T-Mag, and the advice here has really helped me gain a perspective on how important proper nutrition really is - and how important it is to take care of my body.

While dealing with those issues, I’ve also been trying to maintain my grades in school and keep my status as a competitive athlete, which hasn’t been easy given the circumstances.

So, thanks again, and keep the replies coming!

Words to live by:

“Adversity does not build character…it reveals it.”

Got that quote some time back and have it posted on my office wall. You have what it takes to overcome your situation already inside you. You goals should be to find the inspiration.

Hi Kathleen. I’ve been in a rut for the last several months when it comes to lifting, and what did it for me was the creation of a food log. The act of starting a spreadsheet and mapping out what I ate and when I ate has helped me tremendously. I eat often enough so I never get really hungry even though I’m dieting, and I make sure I’m eating what I’m supposed to. It sounded like such a pain to do before I tried it, but now that I have I realize how easy it actually is. It’s kept me on track and motivated to get back to the gym. This one thing has been the catalyst I needed to get me interested in the iron game again. You’ll find the motivation you need too, you just need to keep trying different things until one clicks with you. Best of luck!