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.
Monday Babble and Dhammapada
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