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I Want To Get In Shape And Don't Know Where to Start. HELP PLEASE!


Welcome to the EliteFitness.com Bodybuilding Site! Please join this discussion about I Want To Get In Shape And Don't Know Where to Start. HELP PLEASE! within the Women's Fitness (Female Bodybuilding and Training) category.

Excerpt: A little about myslef first: I'm 18 years old. I'm 5'9" and I weigh 214 lbs. I'm in college and have access to a gym. I live in a dormroom and have a microwave and a fridge (no kitchen). I started watching what I eat and lost ~12 pounds between October and December. That was before I moved out to go to school and without working out at all. Now that I've been out of the house I haven't gained any weight but I havent been losing weight either. I've been working out but I haven't been eating

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  1. #1
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    I Want To Get In Shape And Don't Know Where to Start. HELP PLEASE!

    A little about myslef first:
    I'm 18 years old.
    I'm 5'9" and I weigh 214 lbs. I'm in college and have access to a gym. I live in a dormroom and have a microwave and a fridge (no kitchen).
    I started watching what I eat and lost ~12 pounds between October and December. That was before I moved out to go to school and without working out at all.
    Now that I've been out of the house I haven't gained any weight but I havent been losing weight either. I've been working out but I haven't been eating enough. I rarely get a chance to eat breakfast and when I do eat I eat 'on the go' and don't sit down and eat well-balanced meals.

    For breakfast (~3 times a week) I have:
    Bran flakes (sometimes with a tablespoon of raisins) with a half cup of 2% milk.

    For lunch I have:
    Roast beef on sliced wheat bread (w/tomatoes, lettuce)
    Cup of milk
    1 serving of fruit

    For dinner I have:
    Frozen dinner (~300 calories)
    cup of milk

    Snacks:
    a serving of fruit
    100 calorie pack

    I do watch what I eat and I kinda know what I am doing. I count calories.

    I go to the gym 4 days a week. I focus on cardio and just getting my heartrate up.
    Monday:
    1 hour of cardio on a treadmill
    20 minutes on exercise bike.
    Running 1/2 mile on track
    100-200 crunches

    Tuesday:
    Step aerobics class for 55 minutes. Including ab workout at the end.
    100-200 crunches when I get home from the gym before my shower.

    Wednesday:
    Cardio kickboxing group exercise class (55 minutes)

    Thursday:
    Yoga (55 minute class)
    1/2 mile run
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I'm a bit intimidating by lifting weights but I know I need to do it I just don't know where to start.
    So how is my diet and exercise routine and what do I need to change? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    Also, here are a couple recent pictures of me.
    http://uploadhut.com/view.php/34780.jpg
    http://uploadhut.com/view.php/34781.jpg

  2. #2
    Elite M0derator BUBBLES's Avatar
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    Re: I Want To Get In Shape And Don't Know Where to Start. HELP PLEASE!

    Hello

  3. #3
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    Re: I Want To Get In Shape And Don't Know Where to Start. HELP PLEASE!

    Quote Quote posted by _HERA_
    Hello
    HI!

  4. #4
    Da Pope Sassy69's Avatar
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    Re: I Want To Get In Shape And Don't Know Where to Start. HELP PLEASE!

    Hi AU - Welcome to Elite! First, congrats on the 12 lbs so far. I know its hard to do things when you are first away at college with limited time & resources. And the stress .... I did 30 laps in the university pool every nite when I moved at age 20 just so I wouldn't lose it on a daily basis with all the demands.

    We can definitely give you a lot of guidance & support here! A couple places to start:

    You are definitely under-eating. The truth about dieting is that you *need* to eat to lose weight. If you starve yourself or even eat enough calories but are starved nutritionally, your body will think you are in a "famine" and will adjust your metabolism down so that it will be able to store fat and use what you have for longer term "survival". What you want it to do is speed up and burn energy & calories efficiently.

    I am not sure what resources you have for food but generally the optimal way to eat is 5-6 small meals, each with some source of protein, over the course of the day, roughly every 2-3 hours. It takes a little to figure out what is affordable, when and how to prepare it, how it fits into your schedule and if you need to carry anything with you over various parts of the day if you aren't conveniently near your room. Protein shakes are very convenient for when you don't have access to real food all day. Do you have any kitchen facilities in your dorm building? I also had the microwave & fridge when I was in the dorm, but we had a cafeteria (which was scary .. I know because I worked in it...) but also each floor of the dorm had a common room with a real kitchen.

    Outlining some ideas for a change in your diet:
    Meal 1:
    Oatmeal + some protein source. I usually eat 1 whole egg + 3 egg whites. I'll wait & see if other people can chime in w/ some better ideas, but when I was eating breakfast a work, I kept a carton of egg whites in the fridge there & nuked a bowl of egg whites. It may take a little getting used to, but it does work. Carton egg whites get a little expensive though. You could also mix in some protein mix with your oatmeal. Meal 1 is where you want to put some carbs & protein to help you start your day with enough energy. Some fruit here can also be good.

    Meal 2:
    Protein shake -- you can get most any decent whey protein mix & most of them mix easily with water without needing a blender. You can also mix them with 1% or nonfat milk as well.

    Meal 3:
    salad + protein like tuna or chicken. Tuna is a cheap & source of protein. You can put a vinegar & oil or some oil based dressing on it as a fat source. Here you might want another carb like some brown rice, a potatoe or crackers or something.

    Meal 4:
    Same as meal 2.

    Meal 5:
    protein & green leafy veggies -- not sure about the frozen dinners -- again if someone can make some good suggestions here given your cooking facilities. Generally you want to stay away from foods that are processed.

    Meal 6:
    some natural peanut butter or some almonds -- your last meal you would want some protein & fats -- this gives you some protein and the fats help slow down digestion so you aren't "starving" while you wait overnight sometimes up to 8 hours before you eat your next meal (meal 1 the next day).

    With this, drink LOTS of water over the course of the day to keep you hydrated and keep your system flushed, to shuttle out all the various toxins that accumulate in your body. When trying to lose bodyfat, don't eat too much fruit because it is basically just a simple sugar (fructose), however the enzymes in fruits are good for cleaning out stuff in your system and also you are 18 and your body needs lots of good stuff in it right now. And at least once / week you want to schedule in a "cheat meal" or a "cheat day" where you just eat whatever you want. (Don't gorge yourself, but fit in a nice meal & dessert or go out w/ your friends or whatever so you can address the little cravings you get and also so you don't start feeling like you are a never-ending, boring diet that just isn't fun.

    Training-wise, doing too much cardio isn't great either because it can just eat the muscle that you have. If your school has good gym facilities, get a trainer to take you around & show you the weights. Don't be afraid of them. For your height & size, you're gonna be able to develop strength if you don't have it already. What you want to do is make sure that your form is good so you don't end up hurting yourself. You don't have to lift "heavy" to get results. But at the same time, don't feel like you have to stick to the light weights just because you are a girl. Women *can't* build muscle and "look manly" just by lifting. We don't produce enough testosterone to do that so it will simply never happen. So lift away. Heavier weights & fewer reps (e.g. 8-10 per set) will give you good results. If the weights aren't a challenge for you while keeping tight form on your exercises, then you are cheating yourself out of building muscle.

    Cardio-wise, probably your Monday routine I'd change -- that's like nearly 2 hours of cardio. One option is to do "high intensity interval training" (or HIIT) -- this involves spending maybe 20 minutes on cardio with 5 min warmup, then crank your speed up so you are going as fast as you can for 30-45 sec, then bring it back down for a recovery period of say 1 min 30 sec, then repeat that cycle for 7 times and then a 5 minute cool down. Do this a couple times/week. The kickboxing & yoga are good also to keep it all interesting and to keep you "limber" and also to build your core strength.

    I'm throwing out some ideas here, but don't take these as gospel -- spend some time reading & educating yourself, ask questions (LOTS of questions!!!!! because you'll get the BEST answers here!) and also see what other people add here. Some good places to start:

    - set up an account on fitday.com -- it takes a little bit of time to set up your food definitions, but if you enter everything you eat on there, it will tell you how many calories you are eating and also what makes up those calories -- proteins, fats & carbs. This way you know if you are over or under eating & also getting good nutrition over all.

    - I really like the "Body for Life" book by Bill Phillips for people new to resistance training & dieting. It is a good all-around program with clear explanations of how and why you do what they tell you to do. They may even have it in your school library.

    - Check out the "Shadow's Project" and "Project Summary" stickies at the top of this board -- these are programs several of the girls on this board are following that our beloved token "guy" The Shadow has put together. These will give you an idea of training, diet & cardio that work. And will probably answer lots of questions that you will have along the way.

    If you can get your bodyfat measured by someone at your school gym, that will tell you where you are as far as progress. Your "weight" is just a measure of the earth's gravitational attraction to you as an object on the surface -- i.e. it doesn't tell you what that weight is made up of as far as how much of that weight is muscle and how much is fat. What you want is the fat part to drop & the muscle to remain. It is a good datapoint to capture on a regular interval to tell you your progress.

    This should give you alot of places to start reading and learning! Don't hesitate for a minute to ask questions, but at the same don't get overwhelmed by all the information and then how to make it fit your schedule & lifestyle. The whole point of a good fitness program is to have a way that is healthy but also fits into your day easily so you will keep up with it, develop the right habits and just incorporate them into your daily life. "Diet" isn't supposed to be "DIE" with a "T" --- its just "how you eat", consistently and over the long run. You can't speed up the process, like some people want to know how to lose 20 lbs in 1 week. Your body can't handle fast and forced changes like that. You may lose weight on a starvation diet, but you will lose muscle and eventually your body will just rebel. And in the end you will either starve yourself down to an unhealthy state where you really start getting sick, or you will rebound and gain it all back & then some.

    Again, welcome to the boards & we look forward to your questions & your progress!

    What are you studying in school?

  5. #5
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    Re: I Want To Get In Shape And Don't Know Where to Start. HELP PLEASE!

    Thank you so much Sassy69.
    To answer some of your questions, unfortunately I don't have access to a kitchen or anything like that. I do have a blender.
    I need to go grocery shopping this weekend and pick up some things. I definitely need to get protein mix, peanut butter, oatmeal....
    I'll definitely get someone to show me around the gym and show me how to use all the machines & also the freeweights. I'm gonna try hard not to be scared of using weights!
    I will definitely start eating more and better-balanced meals. I actually already have an account at fitday.com. I also want to keep a journal or some kinda log on here so that I can keep track of how I eat/work out and I hope it'll keep me motivated and stop me from getting off track.

    I'm an economics major right now but I'm not really sure yet!

  6. #6
    Da Pope Sassy69's Avatar
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    Re: I Want To Get In Shape And Don't Know Where to Start. HELP PLEASE!

    Sounds like you're on track! College .. ah .. the memories....! (soooo loooong agoooo..)

    Make sure you get natural peanut butter -- its a good fat source. The other stuff like Jiff is more processed.

  7. #7
    jenscats5
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    Re: I Want To Get In Shape And Don't Know Where to Start. HELP PLEASE!

    Hi & Welcome!! Do you go to the same school as Crak?? If so, have him show you around the weight room -- it won't be as scary.

    I think Sassy covered a lot, if not most of everything!! Do you live in a dorm room??

    What are you allowed to have in there as far as appliances??

  8. #8
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    Re: I Want To Get In Shape And Don't Know Where to Start. HELP PLEASE!

    Quote Quote posted by jenscats5
    Hi & Welcome!! Do you go to the same school as Crak?? If so, have him show you around the weight room -- it won't be as scary.

    I think Sassy covered a lot, if not most of everything!! Do you live in a dorm room??

    What are you allowed to have in there as far as appliances??
    No unfortunately I don't go to the same school as him.
    Yep I live in a dorm room. I have a fridge a microwave and a blender.

  9. #9
    Da Pope
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    Re: I Want To Get In Shape And Don't Know Where to Start. HELP PLEASE!

    Quote Quote posted by Sassy69
    Hi AU - Welcome to Elite! First, congrats on the 12 lbs so far. ...

    Again, welcome to the boards & we look forward to your questions & your progress!
    ^^^what she said

    Great post Sassy


    P.S. - Welcome to EF!

  10. #10
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    Re: I Want To Get In Shape And Don't Know Where to Start. HELP PLEASE!

    Thanks everybody

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