How Ruth the Physician Lost 10 Sizes and Renewed Her Life


Meet Ruth O’Mahony.

She’s a 49 year old physician-turned health content manager who struggled for years with unhealthy eating, yoyo-dieting, lack of movement, and a constant struggle to stick with anything for more than a few weeks before life got in the way.

This is something we can all relate to!

Although she found Nerd Fitness in early 2015, she spent months telling herself “I’m not ready yet, I’ll get started someday.” So she signed up for our email list, said “eventually!” and did nothing.

Sound familiar? 

After she could barely close the seatbelt on a flight to Disney (where just walking was a chore), her mentality started to change “maybe ‘someday’ will never happen…I need to change my strategy on this.”

Fast Forward 7 months…. and she had a support group to learn from, a basic plan to follow, and excitedly started her push towards a better life.

So WHAT happened?  Why, after 11 months of reading Nerd Fitness did she FINALLY take action? How did she go from “I’ll level up someday” to “I level up every day”? How did she drop 70+ pounds, go down 10+ clothing sizes, and radically transform her life?

Keep reading!

Shine a Damn Light

Time has no meaning in this godforsaken cell.

How long have I been sitting here?

Hours?

Days?

The windowless walls feel like they’re closing in around me. A single neon light above gives the room an eerie glow and makes every shadow a distorted monstrosity. There I sit, alone, nervously awaiting whoever comes through a lone door in the corner.

Next to me, a small table full of sharp and twisted instruments that will surely be used to inflict excruciating amounts of pain.

I tell myself to not look at them, and yet I can’t look away.

As I silently curse my predicament, I can’t help but think, “please get this over with.” After all, waiting is the worst part.

Actually, it’s the second worst. The worst, of course, is knowing that I have nobody to blame for this predicament but myself. Afterall, it was my choices that led me here.

The door opens and a woman enters. She quietly puts on a pair of rubber gloves and gives me a look that turns my blood cold. I am convinced her overly pleasant smile is hiding an absolutely masochistic psychosis.

“Hello Stephen. Shall we begin?” she says in an accent that I can’t quite place.

The metal chair activates, and slowly begins to recline into the floor.  

I stare up at the ceiling, slowly close my eyes, and quietly begin to panic.

For the first time in 3 years, I am at the dentist.

Staci’s dog has been dognapped! (No, not really.)

Team NF Member Staci’s dog Madi has been dognapped!

(Okay not really. Don’t worry, Madi is okay!)

But in the alternate reality world of Rising Heroes, poor Madi has been kidnapped by a nefarious shadow organization in retaliation for over 2,500 rebels working together last month to track down and capture a hacker operative with ties to the organization.

Alternate reality world? Rising Heroes? Hackers? Madi?

Steve, WTF are you babbling about? I’m lost.

Okay sorry, let me start back at the beginning.

You Are Flawed. And So Are Your Heroes.

My friend Mike was orphaned before he really got to know his parents.

Fortunately, he was was adopted and raised by a loving family. They didn’t have much, but they did whatever they could to provide for him. Despite growing up with these amazing people, Mike always felt like he didn’t belong.

He did what he could to hide his real feelings: that he’d never belong, that he’d always BE on the outside looking in, that nobody really appreciated him.

You see, the real version of Mike, the part he locked away inside, would terrify others. So he kept it bottled up and put on this act that everything is cool when inside he was deeply conflicted. I was fortunate enough to get to spend quality time with Mike, get to know him for who he really was, and I learned to accept all parts of him.

My other friend Jimmy is also an orphan surprisingly, though his path has been drastically different from Mike’s.

You see, Jimmy was born rich. Like, Scrooge McDuck rich. He WAS old enough to remember his parent’s accidental deaths, and it crushed him.  Although all of Jimmy’s needs were taken care of (thank you, life insurance policy), this environment and upbringing created some challenges.

I’ve known Jimmy for years, and it’s been tough to watch him work through layer up on layer of destructive, obsessive, rageaholic behavior.

Like many of us, Jimmy’s been searching for meaning his entire life – everything else has been handed to him, and it’s left him unfulfilled. Who could blame him? So he needs more, thinking this will fill the hole in his heart, at all times.

Despite all the money, and toys, and attractive women, and success, there’s one thing he’ll never have:

Enough.

He is hurting internally, and yet he feels like he can’t share this with anybody. After all, nobody wants to hear about the problems a very wealthy, good looking person has, right? “Those problems aren’t real! Try not being able to put food on the table for your family!”

I’ve known both Mike and Jimmy since I was a little kid, and have grown up with them.

Two orphans with tragic lives, two very different upbringings, and real internal pain and shame that they feel they can’t share with anybody.

These tales might sound vaguely familiar to you.

You see, Mike’s real name is Clark. Clark Kent. Better known as Superman.

And Jimmy? That’s Bruce Wayne. Better known as Batman.

How Tim Walked His Way to a 50-Pound Weight Loss. Wait. WHAT!?

“Holy crap! Seriously!?”

It was 1 AM, and I was sitting, bleary-eyed at my computer in a hotel room in Barcelona. Like many people, instead of sleeping I had been messing around on Facebook (oops!) and happened across a thread with a Nerd Fitness reader who said the following:

“Nutrition is 90% of the battle, right? Well I’ve seen that in action over the last few months. I was unable to continue workouts due to a health issue and have had to rely COMPLETELY on walking and nutrition to find results. I think the pictures speak for themselves.

I am completely sold on the principles of the Nerd Fitness Academy. Thank you, Steve Kamb for founding NFA!

I am not done, I have only begun, but now that I can (hopefully) begin workouts again after seeing my doctor in a couple weeks, I look forward to even greater results! Already I have lost over 50 pounds since starting NFA, I no longer need blood pressure medication, and I fit into size 34 jeans…a feat I have not done since grad school 20 years ago!”

What followed were the photos you see above… right!?

My jaw hit the floor when I saw Tim’s 7 month before and “during” photos. I seriously yelled out loud “Holy sh**!” when I saw them, and I couldn’t help but smile. I wanted to share Tim’s success story with you today, because I want YOUR success story six months from now!

Tim, a recovering gambling addict and single dad of 4 kids (!), is a proud member of the Nerd Fitness Academy and based his exercise, mindset, and nutritional strategy on the information presented there. However, I want to point out that Tim had NO gym membership, NO fancy trainer, NO magic bullet, and NO wonder supplements.  

I’ve been bouncing emails back and forth with Tim and noticed VERY interesting details in his success – tons of things that many would have seen as obstacles (or worse…excuses to justify inaction!). Tim, on the other hand, actually succeeded in part BECAUSE of these setbacks.

Today you’re going to learn how to surprise yourself 7 months from now – WITHOUT “EXERCISING”.  

Six months from now, I want you to look at your “before” and “during” photos with a shocked smile. (It would help if you took photos today!)

How to Increase Your Actions Per Day (APD)

This is an article from NF Rebel Writer, Daniel Thrasher 

Have you ever watched a professional gamer play Starcraft on the computer? Seriously, just watch a few seconds of this:

These guys are insane… their fingers fly over the keyboard like hummingbird wings, and their pointer finger taps the mouse button so fast it sounds like a machine gun going rat-a-tat-tat. When professionals play a real-time strategy game, they’re always doing something; usually they’re juggling five or more competing goals at the same time (attacking, defending, building, scouting, and so forth).

In fact, one of the most common ways to measure the skill level of a professional real-time strategy player is in “actions per minute.” In a game of Starcraft, it doesn’t matter whether the player is researching new technologies, issuing commands to their military units, or training a new worker – every click and stroke of the mouse or keyboard counts as an action!

These players usually hit hundreds of actions per minute, up to 300 (APM) being normal for pros and some even top out as high as 600 APM! That’s up to 10 actions per second in a typical game, which is crazy fast! (In fact, I strongly urge you not to try this at home. Your wrists will hate you…)

Professional or a newb, any player in a real-time strategy game cannot afford to be paralyzed by choice… sitting around in a state of inaction and thinking instead of doing something, right now, is going to get you clobbered.

Sound familiar?

Every action we take in these games, or on the quest to lose weight and gain muscle, takes us one step closer our goals. When we fail to take action, we slowly get overtaken by the enemy swarm of inaction, laziness, and a sedentary lifestyle.

You don’t need to be a fan of these RTS games to take advantage of this “actions per” mindset, and today I’m going to show you how it has been the missing ingredient from you taking action in your own life. 

Simply focus on raising your Actions Per Day, and start winning life. 

Camp Nerd Fitness 2016 Video… Okay, I cried. Twice.

Camp Nerd Fitness is the most magical week of the year around here.

The last Camp took place this past fall – and while over 400 rebels made the trip to Georgia from around the world – we know MOST rebels won’t be able to make it out to the live weekend.

I don’t think I can capture how powerful Camp is in words (campers usually make me cry several times a day at Camp with their stories). Luckily for me I don’t have to use my words. Today, I can show you.

Below is our official Camp Nerd Fitness 2016 video that was filmed and produced by the talented Grant Peelle this past fall in the mountains of Georgia.

It does an amazing job of capturing this indescribable spirit of camaraderie and passion. It also shows how Camp Nerd Fitness laid the groundwork and gave us the inspiration to push forward with Rising Heroes.

Why You’re Not in Shape (Yet)

“Why can’t I do this? I know what I need to do to get in shape, and I just can’t get myself to do it. I’ve yo-yo’d for years.”

I’ve been running Nerd Fitness for 8 years now (holy crap), and I have seen some of the most dramatic success stories from people of all walks of life that give me the biggest smile.

Single moms working two jobs, married couples that got in shape together, people who have been overweight their entire lives, and others who began powerlifting at the age of 50.

In that same time, however, I have seen tons of people who have been reading NF for years and struggled to find success. They might succeed for a short amount of time, or even a few months, before backsliding into old habits, and they just can’t seem to make things stick.

What’s interesting is that with both groups, they knew what they needed to do: more vegetables, more movement, less junk food, fewer calories on average, and a healthy exercise routine.

This wasn’t surprising: we all know what we need to do to get fit. So what separates the group of people who have fundamentally changed their lives and become new people from the other group who continue to struggle with little to no results?

I was curious, so about a month ago I sent a survey out to NF Rebels asking them for their honest answers on why they have (or haven’t) succeeded, and the responses really surprised me.

For starters, we had over 10,000 responses with people pouring out their hearts, proudly proclaiming their successes, or honestly sharing why they believed they hadn’t found their path quite yet.

About 25% of the responses came in saying they had made permanent changes, while the other 75% were still working on making enough progress and building enough momentum to make changes permanently.

So, why is it that some are kicking ass, and others are still warming up their kicking legs?

Is Seasonal Affective Disorder a Real Thing? How to slay the SAD Beast!

This is an article from mental health wizard and resident NF Family Rebel Correspondent, Dan Schmidt.

Brace yourself, it’s here.

Winter. Bigger jackets, colder mornings, mental health disorder subsets, shorter days, umbr- …wait… what was that last one? Umbrellas? No, no, the other one. Oh, you haven’t heard of SAD? Well, let me tell you all about this frosty behemoth.

Aside from being a really clever acronym, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder that, spoiler alert, has a seasonal pattern. It’s also known as winter depression, winter blues, or seasonal depression. In a nutshell, SAD makes people with ‘normal’ mental health experience depressive symptoms at a specific time each year – most often winter.

SAD can be a cruel, powerful, and damaging arctic foe. But armed with the right weapons, we can ward off the winter monster, or even keep it in full hibernation.

Disclaimer: Today we’re going to be discussing some issues that may be difficult for some going through a tough time. If you (or someone you know) aren’t coping so well, PLEASE see the links at the bottom of this article with some resources from all around the world. Obviously, we recommend discussing this information with your health professional – none of this is a diagnosis, but rather a starting point for discussion.

How to Make a Hearty Winter Stew

This is an article from NF Rebel Chef, Noel Fernando.

I don’t know about you, but where I am, winter is freakin’ here. If I have to wear gloves, a scarf, and a hat when I leave the house, I can see my breath, and there’s snow on the ground, that counts as winter, my friends.

Love it or hate it, winter is here (or on its way), and for a lot of people, wintertime is about food. In the northern hemisphere during winter, many holidays and family gatherings take place during the colder months.

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For many people, the cold is completely de-motivating when it comes to getting moving and cooking and eating healthfully.

Why bother working on good? I have to wear 3 layers of clothing at all times anyway (womp womp). And summer is sooooo long from now! I have plenty of time to procrastinate!”

:eats 10 cookies:

(Okay, this is also sometimes me.)

picture 111/365

Well, my friends, it is time to fortify!

Jim gave you a workout to get you through the winter. Today we’re going to give you a healthy, hearty, warm-you-from-the-inside recipe you can make that’s pretty freaking easy. Level 1 winter recipe, activate!

Winter baked goods, watch out!

The Winter Is Coming Workout

This workout was created by Nerd Fitness Team Member and Master of the Fitness Universe, Jim Bathurst. 

With zombie skeletons pounding at your door, you know what really makes me feel safe? Redundancy! If the wall doesn’t hold, the creatures have to go through metal bars. After that, another line of defense. And then another.

And you know what really makes me stick to my workouts? Redundancy. Multiple lines of defense against my own excuses:

Oh, you know what? It’s just too cold to walk or drive to the gym… “NO PROBLEM,” I tell myself, “I can do the workout right here!”

Oh, but I don’t have the right equipment. I probably need to skip it today… “NO PROBLEM!” All I need is my own bodyweight and a backpack filled with something heavy!

Oh, but the exercises at home aren’t right. They’re [too easy or too hard]… NO PROBLEM! Here are some backup exercises if I need a variation.

Today we give you the Winter is Coming Workout. In case of emergency, break the glass and do this workout instead of skipping the day entirely.

Do Season 1 to warm up (3x through), and then complete any season 3x through for your workout. If you are really ready to defend Westeros, try “binging” every season, doing the whole thing straight through! 

You ready?

Bum bum bah dah bum bum bah dah bum bum bah dah dah

Warning: If you don’t want to see spoilers, don’t do that season’s workout!

7 Emergency Hacks to Stay Healthy in the Winter

“Winter is coming”

– House Stark.

Like the White Walkers of the old stories our Gran used to tell us, winter is descending upon us mere mortals, and we must prepare! This endless onslaught of vicious attacks on our brains and our bellies will leave us ripe for slaughter if we’re not careful. What began as celebrations and a time to ‘bring together’ has been corrupted by evil forces:

Holiday parties tell us to embrace our love of engorging ourselves with so much food our belt buckles burst. We stuff ourselves like turkeys being fattened for slaughter. Eep.

Cold weather that encourages us to sleep in, avoid the elements, and say “maybe tomorrow.” A sun that rises too late and sets too soon means we often go days without seeing the damn thing!

These and more challenges are just begging us to go off the rails. And a built-in excuse called January 1st where we promise to “start over” helps us rationalize us acting like an ass until then. Black Friday has come and gone. Cyber Monday is now in the rear view. Thanksgiving is now a distant memory.

And yet…the challenges are still just getting started.

Like the divided houses in Game of Thrones, the White Walkers and the forces of winter in real life will pick us apart one by one while we pretend everything’s okay.

After all, it’s so much easier to give in, and say “I’ll wait until later” to deal with it.

To all that I have two things to say:

  1. I hear you.
  2. Bring it on.

If you’ve seen The Emperor’s New Groove, you’ll be familiar with this scene. This is how I want you feeling about Winter:

5 Important Truths About the Paleo Diet

“You won’t believe #4!”

No, I’m totally messing with you, hahahaha. But there are 5 things I wanted to get straight in regards to the internet’s favorite (or favorite to bash) diet.

The Paleo Diet has taken the nutritional world by storm over the past few years, and there’s a lot of misinformation and outlandish claims being tossed around about it, both for and against.

Speaking of which, did you know the Paleo Diet actually cures, err, I mean causes all diseases?

Being the nice guy that I am, I figured I’d take today to set the record straight on a diet that has changed many lives and earned itself a steady stream of critics and detractors along the way.

Our “Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet” has been viewed 10 million times by now, and we’ve received thousands of emails with questions, comments, concerns, hopes, dreams, and success stories with regards to this crazy, not-so-crazy way of eating. If you haven’t read our ultimate guide, check it out, and then come back and catch these five things you should know about the Paleo Diet.

The Ultimate Guide to Building Any Physique (or Skill Set)

Earlier in the year, I heard something that made my head explode.

The 2016 Summer Olympics had just ended. The internet was aflutter with a debate about Usain Bolt, the fastest man on the planet.

The debate was about how quickly Usain Bolt could run a mile.

Scientists, marathon runners, cross country coaches, Olympians, and others had one heck of a debate. People started calculating his pace from 100 meters or 400 meters and extrapolated that out over the course of a mile. Math geeks couldn’t get enough of the thought experiment.

So obviously this begs the question: “Well, how fast does he actually run a mile?”

There’s just one problem:

Usain Bolt has never run a mile.

WHAT?!

As pointed out by the New Yorker, “Usain Bolt’s agent, Ricky Simms, won’t say whether he believes that his client could run a mile in less than five minutes. But Simms confirmed that the world’s greatest sprinter has, in fact, never tried running that far: ‘Usain has never run a mile.’”

Let that sink in for a second.

The fastest man on the planet has never run a mile. In Usain’s mind and his coach’s mind, he’s built to run short distances quickly, so why even bother running a longer distance? He has built a healthy frame designed to do exactly what he needs it to do.

I thought about this, my own training, and the training of the people whose physiques/talent I admire… and it made me come to a logical conclusion:

For most people, training in a way that you enjoy will get you 90% of the way there (with a good nutrition strategy). 

However, if you want to LOOK or perform a certain way, how you train IS crucial.

And like Usain, it may not fit your typical idea of what fitness is. Instead, you’ll be deliberate with your daily choices, training and eating in a way to build the body (and physical performance) you want. 

Follow these 3 missions and learn how.

Exercise sucks. Here’s what to do about it.

Two weeks ago, I almost puked and it inspired this article.

My friend Noah was in town, and he invited me to join him in a special workout with some other internet dorks (that’s what I call affectionately those of us who make our living online). Noah lives in Austin, and I haven’t seen in him in a while, so although the idea of going out in public (yikes) and working out in a group setting (nope) are things I try to avoid, I figured I’d be a good sport.

Upon arriving at the gym, I walked into a room with 25 other people and an instructor who looked like he had been picked from a “good looking super jacked trainer” casting call.

What transpired was a 25-minute bootcamp style workout where we all did various things like burpees, box jumps, squats, dips, etc. There was no break, and we moved from one exercise to the next as thumping hip hop played, the training yelling louder and louder to encourage us to push ourselves.

I HATED EVERY SECOND OF IT.

I think I would rather get a root canal than go through that style of workout again. Or watch an episode of the Real Housewives of Rivendell.

Let’s be clear: I’m not saying this just wasn’t my cup of tea…This wasn’t mild-displeasure, but pure misery.

As I finished my gazillionth burpee, wheezing and out of breath, I looked at my friend Roman and we both kind of chuckled: “This is not my thing,” Roman said to me. Okay, actually what he said was more profanity-laced, but I like to keep things relatively clean around here.

When the workout was over, I glanced at some of the other people around the room, also drenched in sweat, but with smiles on their faces:“That was great!” and “I loved it, thanks man!” phrases were shouted.

Although I knew I probably wouldn’t enjoy this type of workout, after realizing just how much I hated it – I knew I needed to write about it.

“Just how many people hate these workout and think they hate working out?” I wondered as I pushed myself to the point of puking.

Today, I’m going to give you permission that you didn’t realize you needed.

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