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The Geek Fitness Podcast
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The Geek Fitness Podcast

Author: B.J. Keeton

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I’m Beej, and I’m a running-obsessed mega-geek from Alabama. Since 2010, I’ve lost over 150 pounds, and despite falling in love with fitness, I'm still the same Star Wars-loving geek I was. I just love running almost as much as I do Wookiees.

I wasn’t bitten by a radioactive spider or exposed to cosmic rays. I couldn’t fit on a roller coaster, so I changed how I lived my life.

Today I’m 155 pounds lighter, and World of Warcraft and Mountain Dew have given way to water bottles, tempo runs, and World of Warcraft.

I don't have all the answers, but I'll share what I've learned.
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14 Episodes
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Well, I did it. I registered for a real, full, 26.2 mile-long marathon. The Publix Atlanta Marathon to be exact. March 1, 2020.25 weeks from now. Or rather, 25 weeks from last Tuesday. Which may mean it's 24 weeks now. I don't know. It's 6 months away, or as Siri tells me... 5.52 months. And now...I have to start training. Let's dig in on why I made such a big decision, why I needed to make such a big decision, and why I need your help every step (literally) of the way.You can read the full blogpost for this episode at https://geekfitness.net/i-registered-for-a-marathon--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/geekfitness/messageSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/geekfitness/support
Season 1 of this podcast is a re-release of the first season of the original Geek Fitness Health Hacks podcast. When switching hosts, the episodes went off iTunes, and they need to exist again. I hope you get something out of them.  Full post at http://www.geekfitness.net/anxietySo mental health is a big topic for me right now, specifically anxiety disorder symptoms and treatment. I mean, pretty much all of my energy and focus over the past year has been devoted to anxiety and getting better, honestly. I've been so debilitated that I haven't focused on my physical health at all because my mental health has taken such a precedence.I have pretty severe anxiety disorder, and the docs think I have bipolar II, which I didn't know there even was a type 2 bipolar. But whatever. I don't care about that diagnosis that much. I care about feeling better.Which is why I am doing this. I’ve had some really rough times this year, and I’m pretty sure there are some of you who have either dealt with similar situations to mine or *are dealing* with something similar. You're experiencing the horrible anxiety disorder symptoms that I did, and you're looking for treatment.Last August, I had what essentially amounts to a nervous breakdown.I was pretty much unable to function, both personally and professionally. My co-workers (read: friends. nay, besties) covered the duties I wasn’t able to perform like champs. My wife worked harder than anyone to support me and help me through daily panic attacks and rage tantrums I couldn’t control.I tried to deal with my anxiety disorder by self-medicating. Not with drugs or alcohol, but with video games to escape from my real-world feelings (World of Warcraft, specifically). I tried herbs and teas and supplements that were supposed to calm me down so that I would not panic over every small detail. I was trying to get whatever exercise I could do between injuries to potentially keep myself grounded, but that fell apart quickly.And I made lots of superfluous, impulsive, and frivolous purchases of things I didn’t need.It took months and months of dealing with my anxiety disorder symptoms before I sought help. I got to the point where I had closed myself in my office, turned out the lights, and just cried from panic and stress for a while. Then I called my wife and told her “I can’t keep living like this.”Read more at: http://www.geekfitness.net/anxiety--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/geekfitness/messageSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/geekfitness/support
Season 1 of this podcast is a re-release of the first season of the original Geek Fitness Health Hacks podcast. When switching hosts, the episodes went off iTunes, and they need to exist again. I hope you get something out of them. It’s summertime, y’all, and you’re probably not drinking enough water. If your mouth is dry and you feel thirsty, it’s already too late--you’re on the way to dehydration. Even if you think you’re drinking enough, you’re probably not (we all overestimate how much we drink). So drink up, geeks! If you’re low energy, or hungry. It may not actually be hunger. You may not honestly be fatigued. Your body may be drying out like a husk. You don't wanna become a mummy! So grab yourself a filter bottle and carry it around everywhere you go! And if you're outside, running, cycling, or really, doing any kind of activity that makes you sweat, you're going to want to drink a cold bottle of water (or the equivalent) every 15 minutes. And even though it might be gross, you want to pay attention to your peepee. You want to pee clear. Or as clear as you can. If your peepee looks like a nice, cold glass of lemonade...great! Just be sure not to drink it. If you’re at that point, you should be drinking enough you’re not THAT thirsty, anyway. --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/geekfitness/messageSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/geekfitness/support
Season 1 of this podcast is a re-release of the first season of the original Geek Fitness Health Hacks podcast. When switching hosts, the episodes went off iTunes, and they need to exist again. I hope you get something out of them. Like that old dude in the cave said in The Legend of Zelda back on the NES, “It’s Dangerous to Go Alone.” And honestly, it kind of is. As you embark on your fitness quest, the most dangerous thing you can do is try to do this solo. Just like in a video game, if you try to take on the fitness dungeon alone, you're probably gonna wipe. So you need to look for people to party up with!  Friends and family IRL want to help! They love you! People at the gym are there for the same reason! Talk to them! Check out Twitter! There are lots of cool hashtags with awesome people! (I'm biased toward #RunChat and #MeatlessMonday, personally). Reddit has some awesome subs like /r/yoga, /r/runninglifestyle, and even /r/loseit for weight loss.Also: Facebook! The awesome Geek Fitness page is there to help, and so are your family and friends!  SOMETHING OF THE WEEK  Linux! Ubuntu!  My Windows PC crashed 4x this week. Winload.exe crashed a bunch. Between Win10 and Win8.1, I got mad and installed Linux. It's my first time. And it's awesome. Truly amazing. If you've ever been interested in it even a little, you totally should. You can even run Ubuntu straight off a USB drive with no installation.    THE QUEST LOG  I've been making excuses! I haven't been going to the gym!  I am totally embarrassed to tell you folks that, so as soon as I finished recording this, I put pants on and went to the gym and did a full set of weights and rode the stationary bike for cardio. Thanks for existing, fitgeeks!    --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/geekfitness/messageSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/geekfitness/support
Season 1 of this podcast is a re-release of the first season of the original Geek Fitness Health Hacks podcast. When switching hosts, the episodes went off iTunes, and they need to exist again. I hope you get something out of them. If you're a true newbie, you have to train your body to get used to moving before you start beating it up. You need to get yourself used to moving. If you take the time to adjust your lifestyle before you set out, you'll have a much better time. If you want lasting wellness, you have to actually change the way you live your life.And making sure your body is moving around more is the most fundamental change you can make. So I’ve put together a small (and totally non-inclusive) list of things you can do right this very second to make your life a little more active without it being something as drastic as taking an hour out of your day to go to the gym.Feel free to reach out to me! I’d love to hear from you!--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/geekfitness/messageSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/geekfitness/support
 Season 1 of this podcast is a re-release of the first season of the original Geek Fitness Health Hacks podcast. When switching hosts, the episodes went off iTunes, and they need to exist again. I hope you get something out of them. Too often, the "health" part of mental health is disregarded. Wellness is not just about your physical health. If any one of us is out of shape physically, we often seek outside help for it. We go to the doctor, we hire a personal trainer, or we pop some ibuprofen or start eating more veggies. But when we are out of shape mentally, there’s such a disconnect about seeking help.What’s the difference in seeking out a counselor’s help for anxiety as opposed to a personal trainer’s help with obesity? Why not use an app to practice meditation just the same as you’d download one when you’re ready to start Couch-to-5K?It took me years to finally seek help for my anxiety, so I know how hard that can be. I want to share with you some of the strategies I've learned regarding self care that have made my life much happier and healthier. Feel free to reach out to me! I’d love to hear from you!--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/geekfitness/messageSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/geekfitness/support
 Season 1 of this podcast is a re-release of the first season of the original Geek Fitness Health Hacks podcast. When switching hosts, the episodes went off iTunes, and they need to exist again. I hope you get something out of them. I used to weigh 310 pounds. I was unhealthy, pre-diabetic (at least), and completely sedentary. I hated moving, being sweaty, working hard at anything, sports, and pretty much anything that didn’t involve being inside and staring at a screen.Then, 6 months after I got married, I went on a delayed honeymoon to Disney World and was able to get into a soft-opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It was magical…until I could just barely fit into the Dueling Dragons harness, and the attendant sent me off to what I was sure to be my death.That moment changed my life. I couldn’t go through life carefree anymore. Being fat was actually going to hold me back. So something had to change.I began eating according to the low-glycemic index, which meant I avoided all sugar, starches, and had limited carbohydrates (complex over simple), tried phentermine (which is a miracle drug), and used the extra energy from those changes to begin cycling and running so that when I hit my goal weight, I would already be entrenched in a new lifestyle.And when my dad died in 2012 after 12 years of heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues? I used that grief and stress to motivate myself into living as long a life as I could. I recognized that losing weight and health were not the same thing, and I made sure that not only wasn’t going to be limited in the life I was able to have, I was also going literally live the life I was able to have.So I lost 155 pounds since that day in Orlando, and I learned more than a few things that keep me fit, active, healthy, and geeky.The most important lesson, though, is this: Diets don’t work. Lifestyle changes do.Feel free to reach out to me! I’d love to hear from you!--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/geekfitness/messageSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/geekfitness/support
 Season 1 of this podcast is a re-release of the first season of the original Geek Fitness Health Hacks podcast. When switching hosts, the episodes went off iTunes, and they need to exist again. I hope you get something out of them. As a new runner, you don’t need much to start. Technically, all you need are feet. But if you want some gear, the most important purchase you can make is (obviously) a decent pair of running shoes.As long as the shoes don’t hurt your feet, you’re fine. It doesn’t matter what brand or how expensive they are. For your first pair, all you need to worry about is comfort. Once you’re more established, then you can start tweaking your shoe preferences.I prefer the Asics Gel-Nimbus and the Altra Olympus, personally. And my wife loves Saucony Kinvaras.You can find more suggestions at https://geekfitness.net/start-running--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/geekfitness/messageSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/geekfitness/support
 Season 1 of this podcast is a re-release of the first season of the original Geek Fitness Health Hacks podcast. When switching hosts, the episodes went off iTunes, and they need to exist again. I hope you get something out of them. In our house, we eat a lot of sweet potatoes, and this is my favorite sweet potato recipe. It takes maybe 10-12 minutes, and it costs very little money (or effort!) When things are tight, this recipe helps my wife and me get some quick, cheap meals in.-First, wash a large sweet potato and poke holes across its entire surface with a fork (to vent steam).-Then microwave it for 7-10 minutes (until soft all the way through).-Remove from microwave and slit it length-wise. Scoop out the flesh of the potato into a bowl, leaving the skin as a shell (you’ll put the meat back in later.)-Mix the potato flesh with a sprinkle of cheese, crispy bacon (or bits), a splash of milk, pressed garlic (or garlic powder), and sliced/diced jalapeno peppers. Smash it all together and place back inside the potato skin.-Add cheese on top and microwave it again until warm all the way through and cheese is melted (1-2 minutes, depending on the size of the potato).-Remove from the microwave and top with whatever you want. Our staples are avocado, sour cream, and black beans. We have also used chili and barbecued chicken.Lots of times, we end up foregoing the milk and most of the cheese, too, and just smash up some sweet potatoes, add some peppers and spices and throw whatever leftovers we have into the mix as a topping. It’s really versatile, and when people try it, they’re amazed you can do stuff with sweet potatoes to make them savory instead of overly sweet.Even if you’re not a fan of sweet potatoes (and I wasn’t before this recipe), it’s worth giving a shot and trying. If you love it, you’re welcome. If not, then I’m terribly sorry. But at least you tried!Feel free to reach out to me! I’d love to hear from you!--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/geekfitness/messageSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/geekfitness/support
Season 1 of this podcast is a re-release of the first season of the original Geek Fitness Health Hacks podcast. When switching hosts, the episodes went off iTunes, and they need to exist again. I hope you get something out of them.Running is hard. Starting to run...well, that's even harder. Especially if you want to start running with asthma.Howdy. /wave. I'm a runner. And I have asthma. Which should tell you that those two facts are not mutually exclusive.In general, when you start to run, if you put in the time and effort, you’ll be wearing out the soles of your running shoes in no time. Just turn on something like Zombies 5k, and you’re just 8-9 short weeks away from being race-ready (and potentially willing).Unless you have asthma.Now, don't get me wrong. You might be able to run a 5k in 8-9 weeks if you have asthma. It depends on the severity and a number of factors. But most likely, it will take you longer than any training program's prescribed length.Why? Well because if you're running with asthma, But if you're running with asthma, what might be a difficult task for most people becomes exponentially worse for you.Running with asthma, however, is not impossible.Lucky for you and me, though, having asthma doesn't mean you can’t be a runner. It doesn't mean you can get fit, that you can’t lose weight. All running with asthma means is that you have to account for your asthma.That's it.I’m living proof of that. I have a pretty severe case of exercise-induced asthma (EIA), and my typical weekly mileage before my last race was between 20 and 30 miles a week. And then, I had only been running for about 5 months.But during those 5 months, I learned a lot about running with asthma. And now, I’m okay with my condition.1. Exercise-induced Asthma is Real.For some reason, people like to think that exercise-induced asthma doesn’t exist. Despite being diagnosed in roughly 15% of athletes, I’ve gotten a lot of flak from folks when I tell them I have exercise-induced asthma.A lot of that comes from ignorance, so you can’t blame them. People might see a 310-lb man who runs for 15-30 seconds and then has to take a 5-minute break to catch his breath, and they see a fat guy trying to exercise and failing. From their perspective, I was fat. Of course, I couldn’t run.That’s not the case, though. EIA affects way more than just obese folks.Don’t let people shame you into not taking your health seriously. Running while overweight can be tough, and running with asthma, especially EIA, is not just harder, it’s dangerous. I get being self-conscious about it, but don’t let anyone mock you so that you don’t take the way you feel seriously.If you think you may have asthma, if your chest feels tight and wheezy when you exert yourself, and you can’t quite catch your breath when you exercise, then see a doctor. Please.If you do have exercise-induced asthma, you just have to train your body and strengthen your lungs. Just make sure to keep your inhaler nearby--I keep my albuterol inhaler nearby when working out, even though I haven’t had an attack in months.2. You ARE Different. Train Like It.A recent talk with my doctor really opened my eyes about how to approach EIA. I had been prescribed an albuterol inhaler and told only to use it when I had an attack. However, when I switched to a new doc, she told me that it was okay to take a dose before I ran, that she had a swimmer friend who did that. It had made all the difference for her.So I tried it, and it worked. It was awesome. That first day, I ran longer and could breathe better than I ever had before.The problem, though, was that I still coul--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/geekfitness/messageSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/geekfitness/support
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