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How is your fitness level? How has it improved? What are your goals?

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Old 04-09-2007, 08:27 PM   #1
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Default What is your fitness level? How has it improved? What are your goals?

I really wanted to write a post about how our fitness levels are not determined by our weight. I also wanted to write about where we've been, where we are at and where we are going.

GoddessJessica is doing triathlons (yes that is plural Jessica...)
I do hikes up to 6 miles with change of elevations up to 800 feet.

So,

What couldn't you do before that you can do now?
What things do you do now that you wouldn't even attempted before?
What fitness goals do you have in the future?
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Old 04-09-2007, 08:32 PM   #2
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Right now my fitness level is about 0 on a scale of 0 to 100. BUT last summer when I was walking I started out at like a quarter mile and by the end of 6 weeks could do 5 miles no problem. That's where I hope to get to again.
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Old 04-09-2007, 08:32 PM   #3
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So for me.

I've always been a walker. Even at 360 lbs, I could walk 5 miles no problem.
When I first started hiking at 290 lbs, minor changes in elevations would kill me. I would take frequent rest breaks and I never thought I'd be able to do it.

Now, I can hike mountains. I've hiked up the tallest mountain in Shenandoah National park and I've done other difficult hikes.

My goals for the future include going on a hiking vacation where you hike 5-8 miles per day. Tentative date for this is November of this year.

Other goals include doing straight leg pushups, pullups and climb a rock climbing wall. I do need to lose weight to do those because I don't think I can build up my arm strength to do that at my current weight
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Old 04-09-2007, 09:02 PM   #4
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At my top weight 17 yrs ago, had a hard time making it up a flight of stairs. Last year at 20 lbs less, I got most way up Yamnuska, a proper "beginner" climb. Last year I also carried a 50 lb pack up an old horse trail in the Rockies with my family and a friend of DH. We made only about 8 km and lots of up-and-down, net 1.2 km up? Friend insisted on turning around with only an hr to sunset. We sprinted back to the car - had to lever friend back up sharp drops 2x, when he lost his footing - and I thought I'd be the limiting factor! DH hopes I'll be in even better shape this summer, the rest of my family has been hiking in the remoter rockies for so long without me. End of summer, we plan on backpacking/touring around Europe for four weeks. I'd like to go without BP meds!

Other dreams - some weight training/conditioning this summer. Bike-hike through the rockies, next summer or the one after. Some day, single-hand sail around the world! That one's been a dream for a very long while....
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Old 04-09-2007, 09:17 PM   #5
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I forgot to list off another goal, one in the 2-3 yr from now category, trekking through the Himalayas, esp. Nepal-Tibet-Bhutan. Not interested in much climbing, I do MUCH better at sea level than at altitude.
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Old 04-09-2007, 09:22 PM   #6
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Ooh, the Rockies are a great place for hiking and backpacking. We used to live in Colorado, and went hiking a lot. Spent my DH's 40th birthday backpacking in the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness Area (http://www.coloradowilderness.com/wi...mtzirkel.html). Backpacking around Europe sounds like fun. We want to go to England some day and hike in the Cotswold from town to town on the public footpaths. I read about them in British mysteries and really want to walk along them, although I'd prefer not to find any dead bodies.

When I weighed 261, I walked, but walking up hills was difficult--now I can walk up hills without getting breathless at all. About 1.5 years ago, I could only do the elliptical for about 5 minutes. Now I'm able to go an hour, although I prefer to split my time between cardio workouts just to avoid boredom. I also could only do the rowing machine for a few minutes, but I've done that for an hour, too.

I guess my biggest accomplishment was starting running last year. I could barely go one lap around the track last spring. I completed a 5K run in the fall (entered two others in July, but walked a few times so I can't say I actually ran them). I plan to run more races this summer.

My fitness goals for 2007 are to better my time in 5K races, do at least one push-up, and leg press 300 lbs.
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:14 PM   #7
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Great thread nellie!

I'm personally amazed at how quickly my fitness level improved. I started back at the end of January barely able to walk the 1 mile DVD with Leslie. Now I'm walking 4 miles, doing two full length tapes back to back, lifting heavier and heavier weights. And I'm still almost 300 lbs! As I lose more, I look forward to doing more and more, like running and taking classes at the gym. But I already feel as if my fitness level has improved 1000%.
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:46 PM   #8
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I'm at about zero right now......

but each day I'm getting stronger.

Lori
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:12 AM   #9
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This is a fun thread!

I really love my YMCA. I think my biggest goal there is to just be like most everyone else and be able to handle most of the classes and machines. I've already been able to do the treadmill for an hour and the elliptical for 30 mins. I'm getting better in a free weight class and a basic fitness class.

Getting ready to walk my first 5k. I would really like to compete in next year's Danskin Women's Triathlon (May 2008). It's a 1/4 mile swim, 9 mile bike ride, 2 mile run. Several of the trainers are very encouraging and saying it's not out of my reach. That would be a great accomplishment for me.

If you would have told me in January that I'd be thinking about or doing any of this I would have laughed myself right off of the couch. Hard to believe how things can change!
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:28 AM   #10
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Great thread!!

I started out having issues doing 3 mph on the treadmill, for any length of time. now I can do 3.7-4.0 mph for an hour with absolutely no problem! I recently went to Vancouver Island and hiked all over the place, and kept up with my friends.

It feels wonderful to have the freedom to be physical. It doesn't depend on weight as you pointed out Nelie, it depends on your fitness level, regardless of size. Of course, a nice side benefit of moving more is weight loss and/or muscle gain, and the more weight I lose or muscle I have, the easier it is to do these things.

This summer, I am planning on getting a lot more weight training in, I am also planning on going biking with my husband and not slowing him down! When we go camping in August to Algonquin Park, I am planning on doing a very challenging trail (can't remember the specs on it, I'll have to look it up) that I had no hope of doing last year.

GO US!!!!
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:28 AM   #11
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Great thread! It's so encouraging to read about everyone's progress, and fitness goals are just as important as weight loss ones.

I can easily do 70 minutes of solid cardio now, with my heart rate up to 160.

I've been exercising for years, just not consistently. "Good" for me used to be 45 minutes on the elliptical with a 11 minute mile; now I can do an 8 minute (I know the mileage isn't accurate, but there's definitely a difference).

My ultimate fitness goal? To participate in Swim Across the Sound. Won't happen overnight, sure, but I'm aiming for 2009.
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Old 04-10-2007, 11:58 AM   #12
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Nelie, I´m with you. Walking is easy. Even some hiking I could do without any major problems. I did the Inka Trail at my heaviest and I was always at the front of the group (rude comment from guide, that showed him!)

This August my boyfriend and I are doing a two day hike to Kuelaphttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuelap, which is definitely a much more difficult hike.

I´ve also started to run. I can´t believe it. I need a better bra!

My future goals are to run an under 10 minute mile. Squat my heaviest weight. Maybe do a triathalon. I don´t know yet.
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Old 04-10-2007, 02:21 PM   #13
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I always was active as a kid and as a teen. I swam, played volleyball and tennis in college and also skated and rode my bike a lot, too. After I got married and got my first job, it was as if I became a different person. I stopped all the fun stuff and instead, worked at my job, and worked around the house. I was ALWAYS working! I DID get active again when my sons were born. Both were very active, so I would do many of the same things that I did as a kid, a teen, and as a college student...with them. As they got older and began playing more with their peer group friends, I was back again to just working, working, working and becoming a BIG BORE once again!

I've always done a lot of heavy work like helping my mom move furniture and cutting and piling up wood for winter. I usually do all the mulching and gardening as well as the lion's share of anything else that needs done around the house. I am a strong person and really don't mind working at tougher jobs. Regardless of my weight, I still managed to do all the jobs I always HAD done. I just stopped doing any of the FUN things. Maybe I just didn't think I was worthy of having fun anymore. I don't know!

NOW...I'm in the best shape I have ever been! I do Turbo Jam and yoga, and Pilates. I have walked ten miles and could have gone further. I just began HipHopAbs and find myself actually LAUGHING because I am having such a good time at it! I have found myself again!

It helped that I retired. I'm a lot less stressed without my job. I have time for me because my sons are 18 and 26 and certainly don't need me to do for them like I once had to do. My husband is still working and sleeps a lot when he's home. I do most things on my own because I refuse to just sit on the couch and vegetate!

Someday I would like to scuba dive. I plan to go to Hawaii sometime, too. I think I'd enjoy going on a cruise with a bunch of my friends. Being near a beach at the lake or at an ocean is about as close to Heaven as I can get! I plan to spend a lot of time this summer at the lake.

My fitness goals are to stay active as I have been and keep open to new and different DVDs. I exercise about two hours a day.
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Old 04-10-2007, 02:28 PM   #14
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I'm not at any great fitness levels yet, but I am noticing that walking is becoming easier. I don't feel that I'm going to die while I'm out there, so that's a plus. I have started feeling a little more energetic, so that's a biggie, too. I would like to get to the point that I can run a little without everything jiggling and flopping around. (isn't that a pretty picture?)
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Old 04-11-2007, 01:58 AM   #15
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Nelie, thanks for posting this fun thread! Reading about everyone's efforts in their fitness goals and some of their fitness dreams was exciting and highly motivating to know that larger people can still be very active and fit.

About 3 years ago, I started training for a half marathon. When I started I could barely walk down the street without feeling out of breath let alone run down the block. I trained with a charity team and was encouraged by them the whole way through my training. So many of them were in awe that I could even move at my weight (I was around 220 at the time). By race day I found myself walk/running the race. I barely made it across the finish line but I did it! That only pushed me to train for another. The following half marathon was my best. I got to the last 2 miles and found myself so excited that I was approaching the finish line, I ran the last 2 miles. Since then, I have completed three half marathons. My fitness level has gone up and down since then. For most of 2006, I was sedentary and lazy. In December I started to have health problems and decided to head back to the gym. That first day I stepped on the treadmill I couldn't walk faster than 2.8 on the treadmill speed with an elevation of 0.0. 4 months later, I'm back to walking/running. Yesterday my treadmill speed was 3.4 walking and 3.8 running. I'm finding that I'm taking more chances with the different aerobics classes that my gym offers. I've started doing a core class and an advanced step class at the gym. What I never thought would happen is that my body craves the exercise now. I feel like a shlump when I don't and that usually forces me to at least go out for a walk.

I never thought I'd be able to complete half marathons and then I never thought I'd become sedentary again. But, I've done both. Now, I'm taking the middle ground and just filling each day with physical activity. I don't have any immediate plans to do any other races but I have signed up for a charity cycling ride in May to ride 25 miles in Napa Valley. I did this ride last year and did ok. Then, this past holiday season, I went on a bike ride with my niece and could barely make it down the block. Now, my goal is to complete the ride and feel good that I finished it!

My fitness goals are to get fit and be fit. I want to be able to participate in any physical activity and not shy away from it because I don't think I can do it or have the fitness to do it. I've backed out of so many social events because it was volleyball or cycling or hiking. I want to be able to do it all to a certain degree. Eventually, I would love to be able to scuba dive, do a triathlon, run 5-6 miles nonstop, do yoga and get into reverse positions, do pilates without feeling the pudge of my stomach, hike, etc.
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