As I have progressed down the fitness path I am realizing how I compensated for my fatness in the way I move through daily actions.
I use/used alot of gravity leverage and momentum to move around. I have found that my back and my hamstrings are stronger than pretty much any other muscle group and my supporting muscles are even weaker.
Examples: to get up out of a chair, I don't use the arms, instead I lean way foward and push my legs up and lift. To get up out of my couch, I would lean back an throw myself foward creating momentum to get up. To get up out of bed, I would do a similar momentum movement with my leg. I carry things using my belly (once an item is braced, my hams and glutes did all the work and my arms could basically rest). I also keep my feet pretty far appart when lifting items, thus using my abductors rather than quads. Using these methods have allowed my shoulders, abs, hips, and quads not to be as involved in my movement.
How have you compensated for your fatness? What is weak and what is strong for you? What can you do to retrain yourself into moving in such a way that you gain muscle strength from living?
I'm going to try to get up from things using my quads and hips by trying to stand with my back as straight up as possible. I am also going to work on bringing my legs closer together as I stand.
I don't know that I can specifically answer your question...not being a science-minded person (I was a liberal arts major LOL)...but I will give a little example.
Last night, I decided to take a little nap on the couch while waiting for my sister to call me back with some info I needed. One of my dogs was laying on the floor in front of the couch. I had to move over from the loveseat, I was sitting with my laptop, to the couch.
When I weighed +/- 370, I would have put down the laptop, grabbed one arm of the loveseat with one hand, the edge of the seat with the other hand, then grooooaned as I hefted myself, pushing and pulling, to a standing position.
Then would have had to wait a few moments for my right knee/right ankle to catch up and support my weight without collapsing, they always hurt and were questionable.
Then I would have had to wake the dog and move her.
Then I would have PLOPPED down on the sofa, and slowly swung my legs up.
I would have reclined propped on 3-4 pillows. And wiped off the sweat my exertion had caused.
There would have been NO ROOM TO SPARE on that couch.
And after laying there 15-20 minutes, my legs would have gone to sleep.
That was what it would have been like 11 1/2 months ago.
Instead, last night...
I used my legs (look Ma, no hands) to gracefully STAND UP from the loveseat, holding my laptop. Walked over immediately, no pausing no limping, to put it in its spot. Then I gracefully dodged the dog, lifting one leg then the other over her...then just laid out on the couch. No extra pillows. Would have had room for a couple dogs or even a person, to share. No sweating. No groaning.
And THAT is a VERY HUGE SIDE BENEFIT of losing 120 lbs!!!!!!!!!!
What a great question! Definitely something to keep in mind the next couple of days to see how I am compensating.
My legs are the strongest, but different parts -- my calf, my hamstrings are very strong but very tight, my quads and my gluteous, strong but not as strong as I would like. When I was younger, I lifted weights and loved upper body stuff because it would show more quickly -- now my upper body is relatively weak. When I carry something, I either hug it to my belly or balance it on a shoulder so my legs carry the weight.
Even though I've gained alot of leg strength in the last couple of months, I still one foot up steps and one foot down steps because of balance issues.
Cool line of thinking,
"But remember, the brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop other people." Randy Pausch, "The Last Lecture"
Way to go! Yes the extra energy it took to do something when over that 300 mark is amazing.
DCHound - Your discription was wonderful. At my 316, I would have said, heck putting down the laptop - I would have swung my legs around and sat the laptop on my feet for warmth and started drooling in my sleep.
Barb, yes we used to call the belly (and chest when eatting) the shelf. It works great to support things, rather than holding them up with your hand/arms.