Let’s get physical, for psychological reasons…

I’ll try to keep this post short and sweet after the last one. This doesn’t really need a novella, and it’s more to keep track for myself.

However, a little context for context’s sake.

Mid-late 2016 I started a regimen of Prozac for managing my anxiety – a topic for another blog post. There were the usual side-effects for the first month or so, but as soon as they settled down everything was pretty darn awesome. I liked to call myself ‘almost psychologically bulletproof’. The source of the ‘almost’ in that statement is also a topic for another day.

Early-mid 2017, however, I noticed some weight creep that couldn’t be explained by anything other than the medication, as nothing had changed in my diet and exercise regime. I spoke with my GP about it when it came time to renew my prescription, and we agreed we’d give me another couple of months to see if I can get on top of it before we decide whether or not to wean off.

A couple of months later and I felt like a bloated hippo, so we started weaning off. It took two months to wean down to nothing, and it’ll take me another two months to get it entirely out of my system due to the half lives of the active ingredient (fluoxetine) and its metabolite (norfluoxetine), 4-6 days and approximately 16 days respectively.

Right now I feel like the drug is trying to hoard all the fat it can before it’s gone, like a squirrel storing nuts before it forgets where and never comes back.

Though somatotyping is largely dismissed, and is kinda antiquated, I definitely fall smack in the middle of the mesomorph camp. This is both good news and bad news as it means I can gain and lose both muscle and fat easily. It doesn’t take long to lose weight and gain muscle if I put some effort into it. However, one week sitting on a sofa and I’m back to square one. 

For most of my life, I’ve relied on this for achieving (perhaps lazily) my fat loss and muscle gain goals. But Prozac is throwing everything all out of whack.

I walk my dog 10km a day, almost every day. We take maybe one day off in two weeks, depending how hot it is, so Buddy can get a good run around off-lead, something he doesn’t get to do on the track. I started Zumba last year (now twice a week), and I love it. I do tai chi, though that’s not really going to move fat or muscle around, it’s helping where the Prozac can’t anymore. I do boxfit once a week, and a strength and stretch class once a week.

I eat good food – mostly plant-based whole foods – so it’s not like I’m undoing all my work with a trip to McDonald’s.

Yesterday I weighed-in at 11kg over my ideal weight. I can only wish it was muscle weight.

Desperate for help before I have to buy new clothes, I found a workout routine online that I hope I can stick to. I’m opting for the 4/3 split.

Day 1: Chest + Triceps. 
Day 2: Back + Biceps. 
Day 3: Shoulders + Abs. 
Day 4: Legs + Abs.
Days 5-7: Regular exercise.

Today was day one:

Bench Press: 4 sets of 8-12 reps (starting weight: 15kg)

Incline Dumbbell Press: 4 sets of 8-12 reps (starting weights: 2×6kg)

Machine Flies: 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps (starting weight: 19kg)

Dips: 4 sets of reps to failure (starting at 8reps@33kg)

Tricep extensions (cable, straight bar): 4 sets of 8-12 reps (starting weights: 2×10kg)

Tricep extensions (cable, curved bar): 3 sets of 8-12 reps (starting weight:10kg)

Skull Crushers: 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps (starting weight: 7.5kg)

Dips were the most demoralising. I used the weight-assisted machine because I don’t think I’ve ever managed an unassisted dip or chin-up yet. Yet! I used to be able to do both with weight assistance of only 26kg, but I had to go to 33kg because my body weight is so much higher than usual.

I’ll do a (shorter) update tomorrow, and the next two days, as I test how much weight I can do for each of the exercises I’m doing. Establish a starting point, as it were.

Here’s hoping I can defeat the drug trying to defeat me!

[Featured image sourced from Pixabay user Scott Web.]


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