Originally Posted by [B
KTG1981[/b] you're doing fantastic, any exercises you can recommend? I'm trying to move more, and so far I've been losing weight on pretty much calorie control alone.
WOW! That you've done all that with calorie counting is hella impressive!!!
I may not be the best person to ask--I have recurring foot/ankle/knee problems, so I spend a ton of my workouts accommodating, lest I end up back in cast. But, here's my routine. I would love to hear from all of you what's working on your end!
When I got clearance to work out again in February, I couldn't do much. The only way I can describe the feeling was being locked inside my body. (Ye gods, my hips. My hips practically ratcheted like a knockoff GI Joe when I moved.)
My muscles were so weirdly unbalanced and weak that I was actually clueless about how to start back. On one hand, I was so frustrated by my lack of ability (I've always been fat, but I've also always been very physically active, on the move, and in the gym.), but on the other, I knew my muscles and bones had had a rough couple years, and I didn't want to push them too hard. I had no idea where my new line was between wussing out and hitting a legitimate limitation. For me, meeting with a trainer (twice a week at first, once a week as I got some mobility back) was the right choice. It's not so much that he teaches me things I don't already know, but that he's my ally and guru in terms of what my body is strong enough to do. (Ironically, I knew he was the right trainer for me when he kept holding me back from advancing too quickly!!)
I try to work out five to six days a week, because I've found that the single most important thing for me is consistency. If I miss a workout or don't have exactly the right groceries in the house, the day (and probably the day after) are pretty much wrecked. I don't plan my off days, though, I just know that there will be one, maybe two (once in a while three) days when laundry is eating my head or work drops an impossible project on me or I just need a day to play hooky.
I alternate cardio and strength training days.
For the longest time, I wasn't allowed to walk for my cardio (I'm still not allowed to run), and that was a huge challenge for me. I get *bored* on the elliptical, the arc trainer hurt my knees, and the bike hurt my . . . well . . . the bike was uncomfortable . . . so I would do 10-15 minutes on each. That way I still got a solid cardio session in without going nuts and taking out the stairmaster with a dumbbell. Once I was allowed to walk for extended times again, my cardio success took a huge step forward. (I tried for like HALF A SECOND to resist that pun.) It's exactly 1.25 miles from my front door to a major intersection. At first, I would pick mini-goals (I'll go .5 to the park and back. . . I'll go up to the theater . . . . I'll go to Mama Maria's and turn around . . .). As I got stronger, I got more ambitious. I'm also crazy competitive, so I have RunTracker on my phone. Mine's set to give me speed and distance every three minutes. Nothing motivates me like hearing that I'm *thisclose* to levelling up my pace. I'm still not as fast as my old minimum walking pace, but I'm getting better.
I also cannot possibly encourage EVERYONE enough--add a strength training component to your workouts!!!!! For me, the mental victory that comes every time I win a battle with a weight rep is *priceless.* It's also the most freeing feeling to me. Even when I couldn't walk two blocks without limping, I could do a basic weight training session. (Hey, most of 'em you do sitting down!!). I LOVE seeing my numbers edge up, and, TBH, I always feel a little more legit after a weight session. My trainer and I have me on a total body routine; I do the same workout every time I go to the gym, track it on my sheet (OMG, journaling your workouts is MAGICAL), and we take a look and tweak it every couple weeks. The day that I meet with him counts as one of my strength days, but he and I work on challenging new exercises that I may need closer supervision on (like compound movements. I'm beginning to be able to coordinate something like a bicep curl, while also bringing alternating knees up.). When we've done something a few times, it's hitting the right muscle, and it's not causing old injuries to grumble, we put it into my schedule and pull a more elementary move out.
Also, there's a coldly practical reason for the emphasis on lifting heavy for me (if you happen to be unfamiliar with the term, for us women it just means that we lift with the intention to progressively become stronger, not that we lift body-builder style or something). The more muscle I build, the more calories I burn while resting. To me, it feels almost like cheating--not only am *I* eating less and exercising to *lose* weight, I'm adding artillery to the fight! The muscle tissue is sitting there, unseen, just gobbling up all the calories it can. While I'm scrambling up this weight loss mountain, it's just shaving a little of the top off for me. . . Best of all, as the bulk of the weight melts off, all my beautiful, sleek, hard-won, strong, lean muscles will be waiting to take its place!
Anyway, that's my novel, and it may not be what YOUR body is craving. You say you're trying to move more. What sounds wonderful to you? A walk in the park? Or are you more a get-in-get-it-done elliptical girl? Do you have physical limitations? The pool was my *refuge* when I was hurt. I signed up for swimming lessons because I wanted to be able to work out by swimming laps, but honestly I just loved that hour a week when standing up *didn't* hurt.
Tell me what ideas you're playing with! I'm not a doctor, or a trainer, but I'm an awesome idea-haver!