I hope this might be an appropriate forum. I am posting here instead of under rehab because, frankly, I just feel like I'm more likely to get a response from someone who notices the thread here and I am writing about the general theme of the board. If that is improper, then a mod can feel free to move.
I'll first admit that I've been a reader and poster for many years here. I'll also admit that I made this new ID just because for reasons I'll explain I feel like this is a new phase for me that is going to take time to figure out.
By way of background, I had been training up until July 2014 for ten years with weights total (five consistently prior to July), with a stretch of long distance running in undergrad (marathon running). I had decent but not great lifts: could bench 225x27, squat 405 for a set of 10 and could deadlift just under 5 (...grrr). I'm 27 right now.
In June, I suffered a serious medical event that resulted in a near-total colectomy, along with at the time tube feeding and gastric emptying by tube. That lasted many months. It then turned out that I had developed a massive abscess, which required another tube and some months. I have another surgery tomorrow because after they thought the abscess was resolved and removed the tube, six weeks out I'm still leaking significant fluid.
So for the past couple of months I had somewhat resigned myself to becoming a cardio guy again, as I have significant abdominal scarring running the length of my abdomen and was informed that I'm a high risk hernia candidate. Was up to a point doing almost 2 hours of elliptical a day along with light weights.
The problem--or at least one among several--is that exercise is a big part of my life and I get very into what I'm doing. Specifically, I tend to treat cardio like a race to the bottom as far as leanness and bodyweight goes, which leads to me being miserable. Aside from that, I miss lifting. I know that I'm going to have to navigate my limitations, but this feels like the first step in doing so in a smart way. So I'm trying to start lifting again more seriously.
Here are some limitations and my plan. I wanted to solicit comments.
Restrictions: I am now permanently on what is called a "low residue" diet. Cannot eat vegetables or anything otherwise fibrous (...). Am supposed to avoid fats to the degree that I possibly can because, along with my risk for intestinal blockage, I also now suffer very severe gastroparesis (basically a very slow stomach). Because of the effect eating has on me now, I have to eat late at night, basically once my day is "done." Otherwise, I need to lay down/nap/etc.
Food Choices: the docs have recommended only lean meats and that I basically have to "figure out" other things that work to get calories.
Proteins: So far, I really stick with very low carb Greek yogurt (the Light & Fit 80 calorie packs, frozen), egg substitute and cottage cheese almost exclusively. Even chicken breasts are ok from time to time, but they would probably be hard on my system daily. I'm thinking of introducing more tuna and other very lean fish. Could definitely use ideas here.
Carbs: I've been fairly exclusively on rice cakes and kids cereal so far. Definitely open to recommendations. Nonfat ice cream or frozen yogurt is also good here.
Before all this happened, I'd really been more of a high pro/med fat/low carb sort of trainer, so the carb issue is difficult for me. I frankly don't know much about frequency and loading and such (discussed further below).
I went into the hospital at 200, after cutting from a high of 215. Left the hospital in the 140s. Right now at 155. It's hard to explain how much strength I ultimately lost: I couldn't walk up stairs a month post-op. Part of this is because I am a TRT patient and that wasn't communicated to them during the course of the hospital stay until week three (so much else was going on).
I'm thinking that I am going to opt for a split as follows. I'd up to this point always trained 7 days a week:
Day 1/4 -- Legs/Calves/[maybe abdominals, but probably not]
Day 2/5 -- Back/Biceps/Calves
Day 3/6 -- Chest/Triceps/[Day Three only: Shoulders]
Day 7 -- Shoulders
That's essentially the split I had been running previously. Does that seem reasonable, or should I start back at square one with a SS-type regimen to build basic strength? I much prefer a body part split but don't want to be too aggressive either.
Also, on Diet:
Given the timing considerations, I think nutrient timing is going to work as follows: the food from the previous night fuels the morning workout I do. I think this will work for me because digestion takes me so long that the food isn't really processed until near the time I'm awake anyway.
That said, I have no idea where to really start on a low fat diet like this other than the fact that I obviously am and will be "Intermittent Fasting"
in terms of the structural protocol. But is Carb Backloading something I should look into? The only really structured diet I'd tried before was the Anabolic Diet, which is obviously out. The fiber and fat restrictions just sort of leave me at a loss for where I should start on crafting something that makes sense for late night eating.
Any and all thoughts would be greatly appreciated.