Discussion Forums - Health, Mind, Body

Topic: Exercise

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Subject: Exercise
Date Posted: 5/19/2008 8:34 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2007
Posts: 3,365
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I thought I'd post this separate from the weight loss thread. In addition to dieting, I've been trying really hard to exercise for 30 min to 1 hour a day (depending on the day - some days I have more time than others). So, I thought I'd see what types of exercise others are doing. I don't tend to do well at the gym. I will walk and bike until the temp gets in the 100s. I guess I can swim then. I also do some yoga, sometimes jumpt and "jog" on a minitrampoline we have. But, I get bored so easily even with the ipod or an exercise video. So, thought I'd see what types of exercise others love.

Date Posted: 5/23/2008 10:28 AM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2005
Posts: 2,030
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I don't belong to the Weight Loss Buddies group, which your post looked like a spinoff from, so I hesitated to answer you. But I can't believe you didn't get any responses, so I am posting here anyway.

It's now been about 15 months since I started trying to lose weight, through eating much healthier, avoiding many kinds of foods, and exercising daily. At this point, I have probably lost about 80 pounds, though it's hard to give an exact figure, because my home scale is pretty lousy, and gives me about six different weights even though I weigh myself at the same time of morning every Friday, stark naked. The weights range 5-10 pounds within a few minutes of stepping on & off. So I'm trusting to my doctor's scale, during my monthly visit with him, and mostly the fit of my clothes. I can say, I have gone from size 22 in jeans -- the tapered-leg "mom" jeans that teens despise -- to size 10 in low-rise Gap straight leg jeans. And I'm still losing, though not so worried about it now.

When I started walking daily in February 2007, I was happy to do 15 minutes briskly. I was glad to make it up the hills around my apartment. I just kept increasing the time & distance every couple weeks. And then I started craving it, and being really p**ed if the weather did not cooperate. So I conquered my fear of using our company's on-site gym, which has exercise bikes, ellipticals, treadmills, and weight machines. I remember how I actually had to go in it & walk around first, and think about it. How I hesitated to call & ask for locker room key. Finally, I got on the bike there first. (Because everyone can ride a bike, no?) My butt hurt bad from a half-hour's work, so I ordered XL biker shorts with the padding sewn in from eBay. Then I was bored peddling so hard to nowhere & needed music, so I got out my huge old Walkman cassette player. (And my God, the thing worked, once the new batteries went in.) I treated myself to an iPod shuffle from the Apple Store in Soho soon after, since I seemed to be coming along better & wanted to reward all my efforts. I tried the elliptical machine when no one else was in the gym. I nearly fell off. I could only do it for about 15 minutes at first. Then, in October, I enrolled in a yoga class that mostly draws membership from stay-at-home moms in the area, so I would not be intimidated by all the perfect bodies drawn to yoga in the NY area. And I kept losing weight & pushing myself to go a little longer, a little harder. And I started running for intervals, instead of walking, since runners seem to get far more respect than power walkers (I admit, I probably looked like a chicken, striding along with my arms pumping at an angle.)

Okay, so at this point, I am now jogging 45-60 minutes a day (not fast, but still jogging), or doing 60 minutes on the elliptical in the company gym. I do this six days a week, with a day off for yoga class on Thursday night.

My doctor loves me. My blood sugar's normal again, my cholesterol dropped dramatically & my blood pressure is normal, too. My goal now is to completely go off the drugs I'm on for the last two maladies. 

I can't believe I am actually running. Me, a runner? I now want to enter a 5K. I don't care about finishing with a fast time; I just want to run the whole way without stopping.

I'm also frustrated because I want very much to take a swim class & I can't find one nearby. Yes, I am ready to expose this body with its battle-worn stretch marks in a swimsuit, albeit a modest, sports-oriented one.

Also, I want to get up on a horse's back again, which I haven't done in more than 11 years. Now I would not pain the horse so much.

Once I started to crave exercise, and feared I'd be kept from doing it by weather or an overbusy schedule, it became much, much easier. I was fierce about making sure I got it in. Where there's a will, you can find ways -- classes, if you want to be with people, or solo past-times, if you prefer to do it alone. I'm also less self-conscious now. I don't give a damn. Once, I hated the idea of people looking at me. They still look at me, I am sure, because I am running past them, and not running very fast, and I am sweaty & red-faced. But I just don't care. Not at all. I'm doing something for my health. And when I am showered, with my hair done & make-up on & nice clothes, they do seem to admire the results, and as far as I can see, I can't have that without the other. I mean, I can't have the more attractive results without the unattractive, awkward-looking effort at keeping up my health. The only opinion I care about on this stuff anymore is my own & my doctor's.

Date Posted: 5/23/2008 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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Sherry,  thank you for sharing your story.

"Where there's a well, you can find ways."  Good words to live by.

Date Posted: 5/23/2008 3:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2007
Posts: 3,365
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Thanks for your inspirational story, Sherry!  Maybe I should come read it when I can't get motivated!  I more just get *totally* bored at the gym.  Glad to hear walking can really be effective. Do you use weights or anything when you walk? I went on a bike ride today and learned that we have some KILLER hills in our neighborhood that I've never noticed when driving along at 25 mph!

Date Posted: 5/24/2008 7:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2005
Posts: 2,030
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Denise, no, I don't use weights when I run. (I have slowly transitioned from walking to running.) I have heard mixed things about whether they are good for you. I do use weights, but I do them when I am watching TV. I feel challenged enough by some of the hills in the neighborhood. Yes, you don't notice how the land undulates till you have to modify your pace to get over the hills & keep your balance (rather than going over your knees) coming down. As an added bonus, I have really learned a lot about my neighborhood from walking & running through it. I appreciate it more, I think. When you go over it in a car, you're glassed off & lifted up high & you don't have as intimate a relationship with things & people & the lay of the land itself.