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  1. #1
    Registered User sternfan2017's Avatar
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    I'm a mess - Advice needed

    Hi all,
    No idea where to begin, so I'll just go back to right before Covid started. I was overweight, infrequently exercising but Covid made everything worse. Long story short, I am the caregiver for my Mom (who has health problems) so we quarantined ourselves. This worked until my mom got sick and had to go to the hospital and rehab facility. While there she contacted Covid, but survived. She eventually came home after Covid and had a stroke. Seems Covid and strokes go hand-in-hand. Thinking she would die, I visited her in the hospital and of course caught Covid there while doing everything right - cleaning hands, wearing masks etc. While my mom had a lighter version of Covid, I got the nasty version.

    Covid was the worst health experience I have ever been through in my life. It felt like I was being poisoned. I have had the flu, stomach viruses etc - nothing felt like this. I took a bunch of supplements to help - felt like they did nothing. I had it all - fever, headaches, cough, loss of smell & taste - everything. Weirdly, it got worse every day instead of getting better.

    On day 8 I woke up and couldn't breath right, everything felt wrong. I sat on the edge of my bed and forced myself to breath and I couldn't catch my breath. I described it to a buddy as if I was stuck at the bottom of the deep end of the pool. I called my best friend to take me to the ER because I didn't have the money for an ambulance. He came within 20 minutes. On the way to the ER I saw a UPMC express care, so I said stop there (thinking the sooner I got a doc to see me, the better). The place was open and virtually empty, took me immediately. Ran a bunch of tests and x-ray, I also had pneumonia. The Doc looked at me and offered monoclonal antibodies - would I be interested? Yes, I had heard of them on the news, though I would have agreed to anything. Next morning I had nurse with a portable IV kit in my living room, pumped me full of the antibodies. It was a not a miracle cure or anything, but I started to feel like I wasn't dying. This was the beginning of February. I was terrified that I was on my way to being attached to a breathing machine.

    Flash forward to today. Being stuck in the house for a year, I am easily 50 lbs heavier. I have no idea if I am a long-hauler, but I am definitely not right. I am constantly fatigued and out of breath. I get tired doing stuff like taking out the garbage. Sometimes I smell smoke, like as if I were standing next to a fire pit. My mom ended up worse, before Covid she could walk, pass her cognitive tests etc. After Covid she has never walked again and is mentally not where she was. I am still her caregiver.

    Mentally I am not doing well either. I feel depressed and embarrassed that Covid knocked me out like it did - embarrassed how weak I feel. Paranoid. I had gone most of my life without ever seeing a Doc, I had a check up about 5 years ago when I was approaching 50 and told my Doc that the previous checkup I had was in the 90s.

    So what am I doing here? I used to post here 15-20 years ago (account long since gone) and got a lot of help here. I need to get an exercise/cardio/diet plan together to try to get back to some kind of normalcy.

    I've done some googling - here's what I came up with. Let me know what you think.

    Diet - carb cycling. I did Atkins/LC 15 years ago with great success, but ****ed up and staying LC just no longer feels right. The next thing I found was carb cycling. I was thinking Mon, Tues, wed =LC, TH = carbs, Fri & Sat LC, Sun = carbs. LC days are under 20 carbs per day, not sure on carb counts for other days - working on it.

    Cardio - this is rough since I am afraid to do anything alone - like walk or ride a bike. Crazy fear that I am going to die alone with no one around on a street or bike trail. Solution? Go to local gym (I have a membership) and use treadmill. I am originally just going to start with whatever I can do, not push it. If I get any better, I was thinking of doing intervals - a certain amount of time as fast/hard as possible, then an appropriate slow time. Used to do that when I was younger.

    Lifting - light weight using mostly machines. I have no idea what I can do with this tired-feeling, hopefully this will help. Three days a week - T, TH, Sat.

    Any and all help appreciated,
    Rob
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  2. #2
    Old Man Lifting PhDPepper1111's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sternfan2017 View Post
    Hi all,


    Diet - carb cycling. I did Atkins/LC 15 years ago with great success, but ****ed up and staying LC just no longer feels right. The next thing I found was carb cycling. I was thinking Mon, Tues, wed =LC, TH = carbs, Fri & Sat LC, Sun = carbs. LC days are under 20 carbs per day, not sure on carb counts for other days - working on it.

    Cardio - this is rough since I am afraid to do anything alone - like walk or ride a bike. Crazy fear that I am going to die alone with no one around on a street or bike trail. Solution? Go to local gym (I have a membership) and use treadmill. I am originally just going to start with whatever I can do, not push it. If I get any better, I was thinking of doing intervals - a certain amount of time as fast/hard as possible, then an appropriate slow time. Used to do that when I was younger.

    Lifting - light weight using mostly machines. I have no idea what I can do with this tired-feeling, hopefully this will help. Three days a week - T, TH, Sat.

    Any and all help appreciated,
    Rob
    OP sorry to hear of the troubles! Truly awful stuff.
    I think you are overthinking it a bit.
    Start back with the basics. Set an appropriate calorie and macro target for food and stick to it - no fancy cycling required.
    Your lifting plan looks good.
    Cardio is up to you, but I'd keep it really simple - and perhaps integrated with your training days except for daily long walks where you gradually ramp up pace. The gym treadmill sounds ok to me.
    Might want to consider talking to a counselor about the anxiety if it doesn't abate with exposure/pushing yourself some.

    we've had a few regulars in the O35 forums in recovery from COVID and sticking with it - not pushing too hard - but not giving up. They've fought through and are feeling better.
    Rooting for you!
    It's never too late!

    5'6", 206
    Age: 50

    Results:
    11/7/21 IPL drug tested world championships: 463/319/529 @ 205lb
    6/20/21 USPA Western drug tested regionals: DQ (bombed squats) @ 192lb
    2/27/21 USPA PNW drug tested championships 468/308/501 @ 202lb
    10/10/2020 USPA FS meet: 407/303/474 @ 212lb

    Gym PRs:
    501/325/545
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  3. #3
    Registered User IronBar66's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sternfan2017 View Post
    Hi all,
    No idea where to begin, so I'll just go back to right before Covid started. I was overweight, infrequently exercising but Covid made everything worse. Long story short, I am the caregiver for my Mom (who has health problems) so we quarantined ourselves. This worked until my mom got sick and had to go to the hospital and rehab facility. While there she contacted Covid, but survived. She eventually came home after Covid and had a stroke. Seems Covid and strokes go hand-in-hand. Thinking she would die, I visited her in the hospital and of course caught Covid there while doing everything right - cleaning hands, wearing masks etc. While my mom had a lighter version of Covid, I got the nasty version.

    Covid was the worst health experience I have ever been through in my life. It felt like I was being poisoned. I have had the flu, stomach viruses etc - nothing felt like this. I took a bunch of supplements to help - felt like they did nothing. I had it all - fever, headaches, cough, loss of smell & taste - everything. Weirdly, it got worse every day instead of getting better.

    On day 8 I woke up and couldn't breath right, everything felt wrong. I sat on the edge of my bed and forced myself to breath and I couldn't catch my breath. I described it to a buddy as if I was stuck at the bottom of the deep end of the pool. I called my best friend to take me to the ER because I didn't have the money for an ambulance. He came within 20 minutes. On the way to the ER I saw a UPMC express care, so I said stop there (thinking the sooner I got a doc to see me, the better). The place was open and virtually empty, took me immediately. Ran a bunch of tests and x-ray, I also had pneumonia. The Doc looked at me and offered monoclonal antibodies - would I be interested? Yes, I had heard of them on the news, though I would have agreed to anything. Next morning I had nurse with a portable IV kit in my living room, pumped me full of the antibodies. It was a not a miracle cure or anything, but I started to feel like I wasn't dying. This was the beginning of February. I was terrified that I was on my way to being attached to a breathing machine.

    Flash forward to today. Being stuck in the house for a year, I am easily 50 lbs heavier. I have no idea if I am a long-hauler, but I am definitely not right. I am constantly fatigued and out of breath. I get tired doing stuff like taking out the garbage. Sometimes I smell smoke, like as if I were standing next to a fire pit. My mom ended up worse, before Covid she could walk, pass her cognitive tests etc. After Covid she has never walked again and is mentally not where she was. I am still her caregiver.

    Mentally I am not doing well either. I feel depressed and embarrassed that Covid knocked me out like it did - embarrassed how weak I feel. Paranoid. I had gone most of my life without ever seeing a Doc, I had a check up about 5 years ago when I was approaching 50 and told my Doc that the previous checkup I had was in the 90s.

    So what am I doing here? I used to post here 15-20 years ago (account long since gone) and got a lot of help here. I need to get an exercise/cardio/diet plan together to try to get back to some kind of normalcy.

    I've done some googling - here's what I came up with. Let me know what you think.

    Diet - carb cycling. I did Atkins/LC 15 years ago with great success, but ****ed up and staying LC just no longer feels right. The next thing I found was carb cycling. I was thinking Mon, Tues, wed =LC, TH = carbs, Fri & Sat LC, Sun = carbs. LC days are under 20 carbs per day, not sure on carb counts for other days - working on it.

    Cardio - this is rough since I am afraid to do anything alone - like walk or ride a bike. Crazy fear that I am going to die alone with no one around on a street or bike trail. Solution? Go to local gym (I have a membership) and use treadmill. I am originally just going to start with whatever I can do, not push it. If I get any better, I was thinking of doing intervals - a certain amount of time as fast/hard as possible, then an appropriate slow time. Used to do that when I was younger.

    Lifting - light weight using mostly machines. I have no idea what I can do with this tired-feeling, hopefully this will help. Three days a week - T, TH, Sat.

    Any and all help appreciated,
    Rob
    Stern,

    I don't know what state you live in, but you need to contact your local social service agency that assists disability, aged, and/or veterans. In Oregon it's called Department of Human Services. They may be be able to assist you with respite care for your mother. Apart from exercise, you need a mental break from taking care of your mother all the time. With everything that's gone down in your life over the last year, you need to take care of YOU. Get going!
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  4. #4
    Registered User sternfan2017's Avatar
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    Hi all, thanks for the replies.

    Update: I have gone to the gym almost every day since I posted above (missed one day). Walking on the treadmill every day - am now up to 40 minutes. When I started it was rough - hard to do and sweat pouring out me (30 mins). Now I am doing the 40 mins and doing OK. I also find myself having more energy around the house - cutting grass etc. Also getting better with my diet, though not doing anything strict yet.

    Biggest move yet is that I hired a trainer. Explained everything to her. Never thought I would do that, but here we are. Completely redid workout plan - now doing "head to toe" 3 times a week. Light weights - seriously light weights - like 8lb curls. Strangely, I seem to have much of previous strength, but get tired easy (if that makes sense). I am also stretching, which I never did much of when I was much younger.

    Thanks,
    Rob
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  5. #5
    Old Man Lifting PhDPepper1111's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sternfan2017 View Post
    Hi all, thanks for the replies.

    Update: I have gone to the gym almost every day since I posted above (missed one day). Walking on the treadmill every day - am now up to 40 minutes. When I started it was rough - hard to do and sweat pouring out me (30 mins). Now I am doing the 40 mins and doing OK. I also find myself having more energy around the house - cutting grass etc. Also getting better with my diet, though not doing anything strict yet.

    Biggest move yet is that I hired a trainer. Explained everything to her. Never thought I would do that, but here we are. Completely redid workout plan - now doing "head to toe" 3 times a week. Light weights - seriously light weights - like 8lb curls. Strangely, I seem to have much of previous strength, but get tired easy (if that makes sense). I am also stretching, which I never did much of when I was much younger.

    Thanks,
    Rob
    Good stuff! Keep at it, and hang around to let us know how you are doing!
    It's never too late!

    5'6", 206
    Age: 50

    Results:
    11/7/21 IPL drug tested world championships: 463/319/529 @ 205lb
    6/20/21 USPA Western drug tested regionals: DQ (bombed squats) @ 192lb
    2/27/21 USPA PNW drug tested championships 468/308/501 @ 202lb
    10/10/2020 USPA FS meet: 407/303/474 @ 212lb

    Gym PRs:
    501/325/545
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  6. #6
    Registered User AlterEgoNYC's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PhDPepper1111 View Post
    OP sorry to hear of the troubles! Truly awful stuff.
    PhDPepper - I’m just back in these forums after about 7 or so years… forgot how they work, but saw your stats and wanted to ask how the hell you got to 200lbs at 5’6”? Are you an endomorph? I’m 5’5”, 145lbs, mesomorph and fairly well built. I can’t imagine how I could put another 20lbs on let alone 50lbs. What’s your secret? Any issues with fatty liver or heart strain at that weight?
    The building of a perfect body crowned by a perfect brain, is at once the greatest earthly problem and grandest hope of the race.
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