Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Plan for Changing My Body

All these years, since I started blogging in 2007, I have gone back and forth about whether I "need" to exercise while losing weight or not. I've gone through many phases; at first, I was almost crippled by my weight and arthritis and was unable to take even a short walk, so I worked on mobility by walking just a little bit more each day until I could do two miles. I didn't really do much else in the way of exercise, and still I lost 64 pounds just by changing my diet and walking short distances. Later, I added strength training. I felt fantastic and strong just by adding a simple home routine with hand weights for 15-20 minutes, 3 times a week. But it got boring, I got sick of doing it, I dropped it. For awhile there, I was biking religiously. I rode my indoor, stationary recumbent exercise bike most days of the week; I'd do 7 miles or so in a half hour. But nagging little injuries would crop up: pain my one foot, then the other; knee pain, hip pain. I bagged biking and went back to walking. Last year I went to physical therapy to strengthen my knees and hips. I did the exercises 3x a week at home and saw huge improvements in strength and mobility. But then I got sick for over a month, bagged all the exercise, and became a lump of inactivity.

Lately I have been thinking, "oh, I need to get back to doing my PT exercises. They made a huge difference." And last night, watching the Biggest Loser, I was just astounded by the athletic people on the screen who, just 15 weeks earlier, were weak and morbidly obese. And I thought, "hey, this is what is missing in my program. I need conditioning!" I know I can lose weight without exercise. I can do it with simply walking the dog a couple miles a day (which is all I am doing for exercise right now). But maybe it's time to get back to some strength training, including the PT exercises I'd been doing. Those all focus on lower body and core strength, but I feel like I need to add arm exercises, too. I am still having nightmares about my arms. Every time I put on a t-shirt and look in the mirror, I actually become distressed and change my clothes to cover my arms. I need that to stop. I think my confidence will grow if I am actually working on my arms; strengthening along with losing more weight should help. It certainly can't hurt!

This morning, I took pictures of my arms from the angles that bother me the most. I think they are horrendous, and I think when I post them most of you will agree they are really bad and make me look bigger than I am. My camera battery is recharging and I will upload and post them later. It takes a lot for me to share them, if I can stand to do it, so I am asking for your support as I work to reshape my body. Okay?

So the plan is: stick to my eating plan, keep walking daily, and get started on a PT/strength training program at home. I wish I had a personal trainer, but I don't, so I will be putting together a routine similar to the one I did earlier in my weight loss. I need to get a notebook and write down all the PT exercises that I can remember, call the therapist and see if I missed any, and add a few arm exercises in there. I feel both hope and dread about doing this, but it is necessary, I think, so I am going to do it. I will start next week, because I need time to write it up, get my weights out, and get through the first of 3 dance recitals this weekend. I hope this is the boost I need to get excited again about changing my body.

Feel free to bug and nag me about whether I actually got my routine together and started on Monday and whether I am keeping up with it! I am such a procrastinator, but I am going to DO this, work hard at it, and post new arm pictures when I can see a difference. If you would like to do my program along with me, I'd really love that! Just check with your doctor first, because I am no expert. I will share my list of exercises soon.

30 comments:

Andra said...

Weight bearing exercise truly can change your body, but it's the increase in confidence I noticed the most as I got stronger. I can't recommend highly enough the New Rules of Lifting and the 28 day body shapeover book.

Many of the exercises do not even need weights or any other equipment (tricep dips and push ups and all the ab/core exercises.) I dare you to tell me that you don't feel better about yourself after a few weeks of strength training.

Leslie said...

I will always support and encourage you, Lyn. It's a good idea to add back in some strength training, as well as a little cardio. Even though weight loss is entirely possible without, it's so good for our bodies and minds. Also, with osteoarthritis, the absolute best way to achieve and maintain optimal flexibility over the long haul is to keep moving.

I have a thing about my arms too. If you show yours, maybe I'll get the nerve to do the same. Glad things are looking up.

Anonymous said...

strength training changes the composition of your body, which changes your metabolism. Also creates better functionality. Best thing I've seen you say in months!

Anonymous said...

Just a warning - this will make you more hungry! Don't be afraid :) Food is fuel!

Anonymous said...

Good job with thinking of changes that might help you get comfortable with your new "bod".

While working on this, it might be good to work on some acceptance as well and love who you are. Arm skin. like tummy skin, may be the hardest to get rid of without surgery, but strengthening is always a good thing.

:-)

Anonymous said...

I lost 85 pounds and for the past 9 months I strength train 3 days a week and I love what it does for my body. I have beautiful biceps and great shoulders now, but I still have "bat wings" that really bother me. I work very hard on my triceps and there is muscle there, but the strength training will not get rid of the excess skin (atleast not for me). I have come to the conclusion that surgery would be the only way to get rid of this, but that will not be happening in my case. I'm not trying to be negative, but wanted to let you know it is not a miracle cure. Don't let this stop you however. You will love your body more as your muscles develop so go for it!
Also whoever posted earlier about being hungrier is right! Expect your appetite to go up. You will need the fuel! More muscle increases your metabolism so you can enjoy more food. That's another big plus.

Princess Dieter said...

My arms, belly, thighs, butt, and boobs are all awful--deflated crinkles, excess skin, bleh. But this is still way better than being morbidly obese.

Browse youtube. Browse the web in general for conditioning videos. Some are faboo. I have found several excellent Pilates ones on youtube that I use on non training days. I am planning to rebrowse and do more stuff at home during the summer challenge--as it's too hot in Miami in June-September to exercise outside often. Heat stroke!

I love the short 10 minute ones that address one body part or just show one exercise. Doable. Not intimidating. No huge time investment.

Have fun!

Diandra said...

This is a great plan. I know several people who lost weight without exercise, but I think that exercising is part of a healthy lifestyle. After all, we were designed to move!

Kelliann said...

If you look on YouTube, you can find variations on exercises too, so you don't get bored! Getting bored is the worst!! Good luck!

Princess Dieter said...

Oh,and I'm in the same boat as Anonymous with the arm issues. I've had a trainer for 3 years come June 30. I have a better overall tone, am way stronger (I have the grocery bag boys just load me up and carry stuff without a cart. They always worry about me, but I say, "No, I'm really strong!" and off I go with my assorted burlap sacks and huge packs of kitchen towels, working thoes biceps and forearms to the FAR parking spot. hahah.)

I like the biceps and shoulders (they have nice firmness), but the hanging skin hangs. It's ugly and there's not a damn thing to be done sans surgery, which I don't wanna do. May change my mind later, but surgery is scary to me.

They flap. They hang. That's the price of letting ourselves get huge. A reminder not to get huge again....

Rhi said...

I think this is a great plan Lyn. Another way to look at it is by considering the added benefits of weight training:
By increasing your muscles mass, you increase the amount of calories your body burns (even at rest!). So along with feeling stronger, your body will metabolize calories more efficiently.
Good luck!

Bringing Pretty Back said...

I think that the exercise is good for a few reasons. I did see a huge difference when I started working out. I walked, weights at the gym, biked. Also, when I exercise I seem to get my head on straight. I seem to eat better because i am focused on my health more. I have really fallen off the wagon and I am putting weight back on - clothes are tigh - or don't fit at all.... ugh.
So... Exercise - is a must.

Have a pretty day!
Kristin

Debbie said...

I just read all of your latest posts and it is good to hear the positive attitude in your voice again.
I like where you are heading with your exercise it sounds like a great plan.

Cathy said...

Hey Lyn, nice to meet you!
Here is my two cents - The same ol plans and diet systems are so 10-20 years ago and outdated. No matter how much money you throw at the problem, it's always going to come back to you.
Some of my friends have struggled for years and years with weight issues and battling plans, as have I.
What has always worked for me is being organized, and always have a plan of attack. Most of all, be ready for ups and down.
My fitness trainer recently recommended a new site called www.fitango.com and the buzz has been really good and some of the fitness/diet Actionplans(?) are highly recommended. Plus, it's like facebook where you can connect and share.

Either way you go, stay with it to make progress and don't be fooled by easy fixes!

Cathy

Kristi-Bisti said...

I have found the groupon deals to be good for getting into a gym for a personal training session or 2 and then carry on at home. For $20 I have gotten lots of good info to go!

Jayne said...

Best of luck. I've been lurking around reading your blog for a while and it really seems that you have your head screwed on right about this. I only hope I can show an ounce of your commitment and determination! Take care x

Deb Willbefree said...

Ok. You have some sort of secret acces to my brain, don't you? You might as well fess up as that can be the only explanation for the fact that your posts reflect my thinking soooo often.

I walk a couple miles a day. And it does wonders in a number of ways, but I've been thinking that I need to finally take the plunge and engage in some strength and toning exercises.

I decided today to make an appointment at a gym--for which my insurance will totally pay for--and not cancel it this time. :}

Thanks for the boost in the right direction.

Deb

Jo said...

I found your blog a few weeks ago. Thank you so much for the inspiration to do something better with my life. Thank you for being so real!

Alzie said...

I felt the same way while watching Biggest Loser - they look amazing! They are so strong and healthy!

spunkysuzi said...

Are you going to share your weight routine??

Jennifer said...

I think you will see a huge difference in yourself once you start weight training. I actually just added it back into my routine this week(I posted about it today actually) and I already love the difference. Who knew? hehe.

Jennifer

Dances with Corgis said...

How about p90x- you can do the videos at home.

Also, you could check meetup.com for some group workouts near you. They have free "exercise buddy" type groups... having a friend to train with could be extra motivation.

Excited to hear how the conditioning works for you!

Cheers :)

lynna said...

Amazing woman! Your wellness journey may not always be smooth, but it is continuously gutsy and intelligent. Love looking over your shoulder, and I think your request for support and accountability is inspired.

For what it's worth, I use resistance bands nearly every day, and after a 80 pound weight loss, I almost have Michelle Obama arms and shoulders. That's exagerrating some, but I love wearing sleeveless tops and feel like my arms are a "best feature". I totally attribute that to the bands. Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Good plan. The nice thing about exercise is the fact that it does wonders for regulating your body (sleep patterns, eating patterns, etc) and for your self esteem! I used to gain weight and freak out, thinking "oh my goodness, I am going to have to restrict my diet and do x y and z and maybe it won't work and I will be fat again.." With exercise you feel better about your body, and like you have more control. I think also it makes you like parts of your body more. I do not like my stomach or thighs. But it is easier to be at peace with them when I am working on them and seeing how much they can do for me, rather than just on how much I dislike them.
Marie

Undercover Dieting said...

If you like workout dvds I'd recommend you try 30 day shred by Jillian Michaels. It focuses on arms and upper body, and it's only 20 minutes (but VERY HARD for a wimp like me with no muscles in my arms whatsoever.

Good luck with your program! :)

Anonymous said...

I am so proud of you! We ALL need exercise, not just for weight loss! It makes our bones and muscles strong, prevents disease, builds lean muscle, relieves stress, etc. I love strength training and cardio. I feel so powerful and sexy. Sure you can lose weight just modifying your eating, but your body will remain soft and week. We humans are made to MOVE.

Cortney said...

You absolutely should be exercising as well! It makes a huge difference, from the way your body looks, to the way you lose weight, to the way you feel about yourself.

Cortney said...

I hope my comment came across the way I meant it- the exclamation point was supposed to be encouraging and congratulating, not chiding :)

healthierhappierwiser said...

I personally believe that working out is merely to improve ones health to improve your strength and endurance. I don't think it should be a tool to lose weight and you can lose weight without vigorous exercise. If you want to know how it's done, learn how the Swedes are stopping the rise of obesity in its tracks. Eat like the Swedes! High Fat Low Carb, seriously, look it up ;)

Lisa said...

I am right there with you. Now that I am in a place where I can move around, I need to get my butt moving. :)