View Full Version : training and nutrition advice for the ADHD'er


FLJourney
06-27-16, 03:52 PM
Hey guys,

I just wanted to start a thread for questions or concerns surrounding nutrition and/or strength training.

A little about me: I've struggled with ADHD my entire life. Diagnosed in elementary school and again at age 28. As a kid, ADHD controlled my life. I was a terrible student, always acting up in class and teachers didn't know how to get me to concentrate. I struggled with compulsive eating, being overweight and a negative self-image. Most of which no one knew about largely because I was one hell of an actor.

Looking back, I had been substituting exercise for medication ever since I can remember. I’d always loved to play sports and I loved going to practices. It was the only time I felt strong and confident. In middle school and high school I would wake up early to work out before school by running around the backyard trees in a track and field fashion and banging out sets of pushups and sit ups – my uncle who was a collegiate wrestler taught me a few conditioning drills and I’d do them too. This was my Adderall, I just hadn’t figured that out yet.

Fast forward through a ‘C’ average high school and college career. Partying and other avoidances sort of got in the way of working out with any real consistency. It was after college when I took a look at what I was up to and where my health was going that I decided to make a serious effort to turn it around. I would start back on my ‘medicine’ by daily doses of heavy squats, deadlifts, overhead presses and bench work! I hired a coach and competed in drug free bodybuilding. I used the incredible power of hyper-focus to read and digest all that I could. I started working as a personal trainer and over time developed a business training clients strictly online as a coach. Things were going great until I went and saw a therapist at 28 years old to address some things that came to light once my wife and I moved in together.

It was through meeting with her and more self-exploration that I would come to realize the things that frustrated me as a child, and still do today, were caused by my ADHD – something I never talked about. But now, older and wiser, I started on a path of personal development and growth, which led me to a meeting with a group of mom’s at a local CHADD meeting. Many of them had young children with similar stories to my own and when they heard what I’ve been able to accomplish despite the struggles ADHD brings, they were happy and optimistic for their own kids futures. I left that meeting feeling so appreciated and grateful for the opportunity to talk with such strong individuals.

I made it my mission that night to do what I can to help others that struggle with ADHD – but what could I have to offer anyone?! Then it hit me. There’s a strong link between ADHD individuals and being overweight due to a number of factors, namely the inability to control our impulses as it related to eating. Food can act like a dopamine booster, something our brains crave, which reinforces the behavior to eat. This is what caused my weight struggles as a kid and still to do this day is something I work on with myself…. I mean, how am I NOT supposed to eat 4 slices of pizza if there are 4 slices of pizza sitting out?!?

I want to give back to folks with ADHD because I know how many brilliant people suffer from it on a daily basis which keeps them from shining as bright as they can. I truly believe that being physically fit and having a healthy relationship with food is the foundation for the ability to do amazing things in life.

All of that to say…. Feel free to post questions or articles regarding strength training and nutrition for the ADHD’er and discussing habit formation and motivation. I’m no longer ashamed of my ADHD. I know I have a lot of shortcomings, but it won’t stop me from living a fulfilling life anymore!

Thanks for having me and I hope to hear from some of you soon.

- Matt

TheFitFatty
06-28-16, 03:06 AM
Great post. I've been overweight for awhile now, but thanks to the wonder that is concerta I'm losing weight pretty quickly. However the lack of appetite and how little I'm eating is affecting my performance in the gym, which I don't want. I'm trying to make myself eat a little more and get enough protein.

I've been weightlifting for awhile, and I'm getting a little bored with my go-to routines, any suggestions for some new full-body workouts for someone with diastasis recti (thank you 2 big babies and 2 c-sections) would be appreciated. ;)

Fuzzy12
06-28-16, 04:00 AM
So how do you not eat 4 slices of pizza (or sn entire pizza) when 4 slices of pizza (or the entire thing) are sitting out there?

FLJourney
06-29-16, 11:10 AM
Great post. I've been overweight for awhile now, but thanks to the wonder that is concerta I'm losing weight pretty quickly. However the lack of appetite and how little I'm eating is affecting my performance in the gym, which I don't want. I'm trying to make myself eat a little more and get enough protein.

I've been weightlifting for awhile, and I'm getting a little bored with my go-to routines, any suggestions for some new full-body workouts for someone with diastasis recti (thank you 2 big babies and 2 c-sections) would be appreciated. ;)

I experienced the same thing on various medications I've tried. And, like you, performance in the gym was of utmost importance! So that was not a welcome side-effect. You're doing the right thing by increasing calories while focusing on consuming more protein. What are your specific goals right now?

How far postnatal are you? What is your current strength training routine like? Have you worked with a trainer before that has addressed the DR?

Thanks for the reply!! :)

TheFitFatty
06-30-16, 01:19 AM
I experienced the same thing on various medications I've tried. And, like you, performance in the gym was of utmost importance! So that was not a welcome side-effect. You're doing the right thing by increasing calories while focusing on consuming more protein. What are your specific goals right now?

How far postnatal are you? What is your current strength training routine like? Have you worked with a trainer before that has addressed the DR?

Thanks for the reply!! :)

I can't say I have specific goals right now. Currently I weight 75 kilos, which is 5 kilos above a healthy BMI, so I'm aiming for about 68kilos. (I'm a US size 8 now, so that would get me to a US size 6, which is pretty respectable for a 35 year old).

I would like to close the gap in my abs entirely. My youngest turns 3 in September LOL! But before I realized I had diastasis recti I did Cross Fit and multiple burpees and ab workouts made it much much worse (almost got a hernia). It was about 5 inches wide (if not more) and I've gotten it down to an inch and a half following this program: http://breakingmuscle.com/sites/default/files/downloads/diastasisrecticyclepdf.pdf

I'm live in the Middle East, so there's no such thing as trainers with post natal experience. Hell, there's barely any female trainers period.

Right now I average about 4 or 5 one hour workouts a week, I do a 25 minute high intensity run, followed by 45-ish minutes of weights/kettlebells and core stuff 3to 4 times (one day or 1 and a half days I just do an hour of moderate cardio). I switch it up a bit so I don't get bored, but I'm running out of good routines and I've had to switch gyms so I've lost my kettlebells :( and my bench press!

I'm benching 34 kilos right now. I was doing about that dead-lifting before I stopped (worried it was making my abs worse). My goal is to do 10 pull ups in a row LOL!

Really, my stomach is what I hate and I just wish there was more I could do!:confused: