Trying to be there for my son's future through exercise


I’m on the fence about that.
Personally, I find that some of my exercise sessions are flat out more intense than others. Meaning if I’m not performing well in one exercise, I probably won’t perform in any during that single visit to the gym. I think this is where breaking it up might be helpful (moreso than “afterburn”, which I don’t really subscribe to myself).
From a muscle building perspective:
Clearing lactic acid efficienctly is probably the biggest factor (after intensity and technique, of course). If your body stuggles to clean up lactic acid and expell it (in the form of urine), then splitting up your exercises into morning / evening routines might help a lot.
If you’re like me and have no trouble with muscular stamina and recovery related to lactic acid removal, a longer session all at once is probably ideal. If you’re like my brother (who is bigger, but feels more burn faster and gasses out after 30 or so minutes), you probably could benefit a lot from breaking it up some.
If it were me, I would make my overall goal to set a routine which I could picture myself keeping up forever. Because in all honesty, it’s the active lifestyle that gets you what you want in the long run. So much of exercise is very personal, listening to what your body needs, what works for you, and making changes when you don’t get results you want is fundamental to maintaining the lifestyle.

So, try it out if it seems like it might work for you!
Just because I could talk about the weightroom all day doesn’t mean I know everything. And certainly doesn’t mean I know what works best for you!

I think ideally, we’d all spend 5hrs+ a day lifting, running and climbing. It would certainly make of a very attractive human race, haha!
Short of that ridiculous dream, going about things in a way that is intense, but sustainable, observing proper technique and avoiding injury is pretty much all there is to it.

((I really enjoy talking about exercise, but I think I should throw out a disclaimer:

I am just some random jerk. I have near zero medical knowledge and have little merit to give any advice at all.
If you recognize that you need to make a change in lifestyle for your health, I will gladly provide encouragement. But real solid information and advice is best taken from a real doctor / nutritionist / physical therapist. Individual workout and diet plans are extremely personal and need to be tailored to fit your circumstances, genetics and also account for any medical conditions.

Please don’t read my advice, then run off the rails and hurt yourself. Injury is a very real risk, especially when attempting to ‘get in shape’.))


Wow, wonderful, NYC for a day. And a 5 mile walk, that was good exercise for both of you.


Two months in the books - here’s my update.

The plan is working:) I have not dieted and I have not lost “weight” The muscles can be seen (by me) and I am stronger. I have definitely gained muscle and lost fat.

The strength is the most rewarding part. Because of the strength,I have found peace for my worry about living as long as I can to be there for my son’s future. While I do know there are’t any guarantees, when those worries cross my mind I do feel peace because I am doing something. In June when I found myself needing to use my arms to get out of chairs, I felt old and the worry grew.

If I had reduced how much I was eating, I would not have stuck with it. As wreklus has pointed out, the muscles need fuel to grow. Its like investing in something that will eat that fat. Like many investments, you have to be patient and wait for the results.

On Friday I had a fast food meal and for once didn’t feel bad about eating the fries. After two months, I have gained confidence in the workout commitment. Sorry wreklus, I did keep weighing myself each week.

For Labor Day weekend we visited our other son and ate out at restaurants all weekend. I took two days off and got right back to exercising.

Still 60 minutes a day. Strength workouts every other day. Still doing pilates, Madonna arms and Rebecca Louise butt toning for muscles. Running and walking with the dogs in the mornings and the walking programs by Leslie Sansone on youtube. These walking videos require hardly any space at all in a room - they have been great - so easy- low impact and lots of variety of time choices on youtube. Whatever of the 60 minutes is left over at the end of the day gets finished up with the walking. Did have to buy a decent pair of cross training shoes for the indoor walking.

In reviewing what I wrote - there might be a tie between strength and muscles growth for the most rewarding part:):slight_smile:


I certainly don’t have a single criticism for you at all!
You are the only person with the right to judge you value and your progress.
And all of us gym rats are constantly a work in progress!
So, congratulations!
You’ve successfully established the lifestyle and habits to achieve goals. You throttled back to enjoy some “normal” food, then got back into working out without guilt. That’s really awesome! That’s an accomplishment!
Keep doing what you’ve been doing and remember that you can change the kinds of exercises you do whenever you want.
Now that you’re into a routine, the next challenge is preventing boredom. If you have some staple exercises that you always enjoy, stick with those. If you start to lose interest, or get frustrated with not seeing more results, seek new workouts or make small modifications to workouts you already do.
Love squats, but are tired of doing a million repititions? Try lunges!
Love working shoulders, but bored of doing arm raises? Try standing rows!
Love leg lifts for abs, but don’t feel like it works you like it used to? Try to transition into planks rather than taking a break.

You’ve definitely earned the pride and positive self-image! Keep cultivating that and enjoy working out!


I have switched out some foods for proteins, and added a small snack of nuts midmorning and midafternoon.

If being a gym rat was possible, it would be interesting. Unfortunately, living in a rural location means the only workout partners available are my dogs. They are the best workout buddies as they always want to workout and don’t suddenly have other important things to do after the first week;)

Good suggestion to keep things fresh. Now that my Madonna arms are underway, I am adding another Rebecca Louise youtube for a Kim Kardashian butt. Free weights make the fastest progress on areas that don’t seem to be developing much through pilates. Its amazing how many workout videos are on youtube. Sorting through the videos for good ones is a pain, but now I have a nice sized variety.

Hand weights are so inexpensive these days - and you don’t have to drive to Academy. A nearly small town has a dollar store and it has a “fitness section” with small hand weights and workout mats who knew?


Well, if you don’t have a gym, maybe you have enough yard space / open field / sidewalk space to get some more traditional exercises done.
It’s really great to hear that you’re using a variety of techniques to persue specific results! Definitely keep doing that!
If you do so happen to have the outdoor space for it, consider using it to throw around a medicine ball (or just thick bag full of sand). Depending upon what technique you use to throw, you can work glutes, quads, shoulders, chest and triceps to different degrees. Bonus, throwing for fitness helps get some frustration worked out while giving you a reasonably acceptible excuse to wail like a Viking in public (arrrgh!) Haha!
Just an idea (that I’ve always wanted to do, but never had space).

Anyway, kudos on having the guts and the determination! I hope you’ve already worked past most of the soreness and awkward feeling phase! Your body is yours to master, keep chasing that positive self-image!


I do have a medicine ball - over the years with two sons, we have picked up a small collection of workout stuff. Thanks - I wondered what people did with them.

This is the first time I have tried to lose weight properly. In the past I did the 60 minutes of exercise- but also dieted. This created such a yo-yo effect and I never could figure out what I could eat and not gain fat.

It is working, slowly, but working. I do know that it takes time to change a lifestyle and that’s what will give me a chance to be successful in the long run. I really figure that it will take at least 6 months to get me where I want and maybe after doing it for 6 months I will be able to stick with it.

If I went outside and wailed like a Viking, my neighbors would probably assume my son had returned. We had a lot of yelling here during his psychotic breaks.

How are you all doing with your evacuation?


Hmm… I see what you mean about yelling. Maybe just grunt at a reasonable volume… Haha!

I think 6 months is a very reasonable expectation, depending upon genetics and overall health and a bunch of other factors. Trying to envision yourself maintaining this kind of lifestle for a longer amount of time helps to make each individual workout sesson valuable, but also each set back seem less crushing.

Don’t worry, when you hit the 6 month mark you will probably have come up with a new set of goals. Thinking of things you might go do with your tougher body 6 months from now (or sooner) might be a source of extra motivation to continue.
Personally, I try to reward myself with hiking in state or national forests. I should do that more often now that I bring it up…

Anyway, you will get there. Success is inevitable as long as you have determination and consistency. You are doing all the right things!

Thanks for asking how stuff is going for me and mine!
My girlfriend and I decided to visit Atlanta, after it was reported that the hurricane would also dump tons of rain at my Dad’s house. My brother and sister decided to visit our Mom (ATL is expensive!).
They’re doing great out there, just getting a little bit of clouds so far. My brother seems to continue to do well! He reports that he is keeping up with his meds and feeling confident enough to limit his anxiety meds.
Myself and my girlfriend are enjoying a romantic vacation together, seeing sights, having a few drinks, and getting some work we each took with us done (yes, I think a woman who takes work on vacation is very attractive! Moreso that she lets me take work with me, too)

I’m not sure what part of the country you and yours are located in, but I hope all is well either way!
I know there are plenty of struggles, but I gotta tell you, exercise at least cures a lot of things in yourself and I think you’re doing awesome with that!


Good to hear that your evacuation is going well - especially for your brother. Good idea to turn it into a romantic vacation for you and your girlfriend - did home stay dry?

I think you are really, really right. I am finding the exercise does cure a lot of things. In addition to worrying less, I am surprised by how much better and stronger I feel just walking around. Being more fit does seem to be empowering.

I helped my husband lift a window unit into place this weekend and was really surprised by how much easier it was than a few months ago. The Madonna arms turn out to be useful:) I don’t think the K-rear is going to do much - except its a large muscle group and will do its part to reduce the fat I have accumulated.

Its nice to not have mixed up feelings about eating for a change.


Yes, home is safe and sound. We had a great time and are back to tackle the ho-hum regular grind again (in a good way!)

I’m inspired by the way you talk about how you feel just walking and feeling more fit, doing tasks that require strength, and your attitude toward food.
Those are definitely signs that what you’re doing is working perfectly!
And fear not, the K-booty does it’s work in many subtle ways. In combination with hamstrings, hip flexors quads, abs and spinal erectors; glutes are the “Oomph” that pivot your body weight to get explosive force and also stability when doing just about everything. It doesn’t complain the way quads and delts do as far as burning and tiring out, but it’s certainly doing its fair share of work!

I’ve been working extra hard in the gym lately, especially after getting to talk to you about fitness (thanks for that!)
I realize that what is holding me back lately is consistency. I am finding myself juggling priorities, sacrificing gym time to get other affairs in order. When this happens, we all tell ourselves that it is temporary and that we’ll get back into the habit soon.
But I know full well that it is easy to let fitness slide.
My girlfriend and I were discussing this over dinner tonight. The bottom line we concluded was that we can’t let distractions harm our self-image and our pride. That fitness is more than just vanity, it is vitality.

Thank you for the inspiration to stay consistent!


I understand your thoughts about how quickly fitness habits can slide - the next thing I knew the pilates dvd was looking pretty dusty on the shelf, my body was all soft, weak and puffy and I was struggling to get out of a low sitting chair.

Getting working out back up and going regularly has taken more effort in my late 50’s. The good news is the muscles are growing just as quickly as they did in my 20’s, just like the Nautilus information said back in the 1980’s - they used to talk about how people can still grow muscle in their 90’s.

One of my flesh and blood friends told me that gym memberships cost about $10 a month these days - wow! Her son suffered from scz as well, she thinks a gym membership is a good way for people who take care of their family members at home to get out of the house and get a break.

You are welcome for any inspiration I have offered you. There has to be an interest in self, we parental types need to hear your message:):slight_smile: We get too caught up in our emotions sometimes and neglect ourselves.


yes, I want to join you. I’m just seeing this


The greatest gift a parent gives is all those tiny bits of themselves to make their children more complete.
But you’re absolutely right. It is really important to get out there and fill back in those bits so you don’t become a person you don’t recognize, or someone you aren’t proud of, yourself. So, take those breaks. Be a human being that gets to feel fulfilled and content and desireable!

Go for it!
Are you exercising already?
Have you worked out in the past?
What might your fitness goals be?
Tell us your story and craft up your plan for an even more amazing you!


I am proud of those of you who are staying motivated to do this! I fell off the bandwagon for the most part but have been back on the treadmill for 2 days in a row. I watch C-SPAN or the news or sometimes a show while I am doing it! It helps my mind to focus on something other than my problems and helps me be a participant in the world beyond mental illness. And a Bible study group I really like has started up again and I can tell already that I am a happier person. It relates to my life in meaningful ways and gives me encouragement.


Welcome Robin! It has really been worthwhile for me. I look forward to hearing about your workout plan.


I have been basically shocked about how hard it was to keep up as a daily commitment. I wish we had a treadmill. Cooking is much more pleasant with a show on, exercise would go faster with something to watch. Netflix saves me from having to advance or sit through commercials and has a lot of old television series that I missed years ago.


Have you tried shopping the Facebook marketplace for used treadmills?
I don’t know about your area, but in my town people are dying to get rid of their gear. Some of it is in really good condition and most people will negotiate price if you promise to pick up yourself without their help.


Good suggestion wreklus, I have heard that treadmills are a good item to pick up on resale.


I was trying to figure out where to put this information and I think this thread might actually be the most applicable location.

Placing exercise as a priority has become about me making myself a priority - writing “making myself a priority” feels a little strange. Maybe because its a been a really long while.

I happened to come across (no questions please;) some discarded Family to Family errrr, information - yeah that’s it, lets call it that - some information. Keep in mind this might be an old printing. If you are new to being a family member of someone with scz, you should not read this and should probably attend the class first. (That’s right, stop reading right now;) For those of us who have been to the classes or can’t get to the classes, it is interesting.

For starters, how about this - btw, I added the caps.

THE BASIS FOCUS IN THE COURSE IS ON THE FAMILY MEMBER, NOT THE ILL PERSON. This means we don’t allow the “saga of the ill relative” to take over our general group discussions. We continually move the issue back to family needs. “What do you feel when this happens? How can you take care of yourself in this? What do you need?” We are trying to teach them not to permit their ill family member to dominate the family. We do this by not letting them dominate the class.

Followed by -

ENCOURAGING FAMILIES TO REGAIN THE PRIMACY OF THEIR OWN LIVES. We give out tons of information in this course not because it gives families a real sense of mastery and control. All of the educational information is a vehicle for bringing families together so that we can impart the REAL MESSAGE. As families we have a responsibility to learn about the illness and do the best we can for our ill relative. BUT we must also reinstate and develop our own life plan.

I would share more of this source later, currently am trying to get my head around regaining the primacy of my own life by reinstating and developing my own life plan.

In case you are wondering, primacy does mean putting it first, that’s right, your own life first. What a concept.


I totally agree that you have to put self-maintenance at the top of your list of priorities.
First Responders like paramedics know that you can’t help anyone if you’re injured or unable to perform the tasks. Putting yourself in a risky situation to help someone else is always the last resort, even when that risk is only our own peace of mind, physical fitness, or emotional resillince.
While it is sometimes necessary to make sacrifices to help someone else, especially when they are family, we can do so over the long term without letting our peace of mind and our health decline.

I think the title of this thread really nails the concept well:
Being there for your son’s future through exercise is exactly what it’s about!
I think about what I will look like and how I will feel and what my lifestyle will be like when I’m 70 and ready to retire from work (hopefully). That’s a major motivation for me.
Will I still be able to run?
Will I still drive myself to the grocery store (and do so safely)?
Will I still be able to offer my home as a safe place for the people close to me to feel welcome and comfortable?
Will I still be able to swoop in to the rescue?
I will, only if I make sure I am in really great shape my whole life.

I don’t want to just survive until I retire, I want to be able to really have fun by then. In the process, I will make sure that I am able to take care of myself and help others along the way.

That’s why I am so inspired by @hope journey!
Not only has your intentions and your tenacity been big sources of motivation, but your success as well.
What am I doing sitting around on this forum??
I’m going to go get fit like Hope is!