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Why I don't exercise . . . yet

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Old 08-31-2006, 11:54 PM   #1
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Default Why I don't exercise . . . yet

I just posted this under the "tingly toes" thread, and I thought I'd start a new thread about it to get y'all's input.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm totally with you on the toe tingling. For me it was always the worst when I was doing the stationary bike. I just fought through it, that is until I stopped working out.

I guess I'm not the best person to offer advise. I ended up changing my weight loss routine to all nutrition, and decided to wait until I was within 10 pounds of goal to return to exercise.

*Please don't read any further if exercise is an important component of your weight loss, I don't want anyone to get discouraged from a path that is working for them.*

My reasoning for stopping working out was this:
1. My weight loss (actual pound droppage) was slow if not non-existant.
2. While it's true that solely using nutrition for weight loss causes muscle loss as well. I don't need the same amount of muscle in a 140 lb. body as I do in a 260 lb. body so I would be gaining muscle just to lose it later anyway.
3. If I was working out I would get hungrier because I would need to fuel the exercising, and that would mean taking in more calories, which was a bit counter-productive.
4. Once you start working out you have to do more to keep getting results (more time, more intensity). So I would be doing quite a bit more exercise than that which would be maintainable by the time I got to goal.
5. Lastly there's the simple fact (and now that I've lost a bit of weight I've found it to be true) that exercise is a lot more challenging when I'm larger. I didn't want any potential dread of a workout to discourage me from reaching my goal.



Thoughts?
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Old 09-01-2006, 12:59 AM   #2
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I disagree with you, but hey you have had great results, so if that works for you, fine.

However you asked for thoughts, so here are mine.

1. With exercise my weight loss has been slow - however my fat loss has been fast. What I am losing is fat, rather than muscle and water.

2. Muscle is metabolically active. It burns calories at rest. Therefore helps number one point, it also provides a little bulk and can help with the loose skin issue (this is a controversial point however my arms are a good example as I have lost a lot of inches there, and have no loose skin to speak of)

3. Exercise can be an appetite supressant in some people (not me) there are things you can do with your nutrition to ensure you are satisfied after exercising but not ready to eat a whole child thus throwing out your calorie defecit for the day.

4. You can raise intensity without spending more time. I exercise one hour 4 - 5 times a week and still get results, but I do work a lot harder now than I did 18 months ago. If you exercise consistently your body can start to want a higher level of intensity, and you naturally start upping the levels that your working at. At least that's true for me.

5. Dread is a state of mind. I love exercise, I didn't when I started, but I do now. At my heaviest I swam a lot, because I liked that, and it didn't hurt as much as weight bearing exercise, now I swim for a break or recreation but its not my main form of exercise.

An additional point, studies show regular exercisers are far more likely not to fall into the category of people who regain what they have lost.

And another, exercise for those of us who are at risk of getting, or already have, diabetes, is a a very good way of maintaining good levels of sugar and insulin in the blood, and also helps with circulation thus minimising the risk of diabetic complications.

I exercise because I don't want to be a thin person - I want to be a healthy person.
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Old 09-01-2006, 05:24 AM   #3
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These two posts show how dieting is different for everyone. I agree with kykaree, because I just feel myself getting flabbier when I'm not keeping up with my exercise, and if I don't exercise, I don't eat as much and I'd rather get to eat more.

There's a small percentage of the NWCR's members who don't consistently exercise and still keep their weight off (I think it may be 5%). So some people can get away with it, but most can't. And I always recommend exercise when advising people about weight loss.

I like to feel fit as well - it's important to me to be in shape, and I don't think I could just lose the weight and not work on improving my fitness.

But (analyst), you're working it!!!! Good for you!!
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Old 09-01-2006, 08:39 AM   #4
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On the running boards, they often say the following:

Lose weight in the kitchen.
Get fit on the road.

Exercise by itself is not a good weight-loss plan (unless you are working all day in construction, or walking all day, or something constant like that). I've read articles about studies that show that when diet alone is compared to exercise alone, diet/exercise together, and no change, that the diet/exercise combo works much better. Exercise seems to be like a catalyst for weight loss, not a prime component.

What it does do, though, is make you more fit. A fit body is stronger, more flexible, and just all-around nicer to live in. Regular exercise helps with your digestion and elimination, it helps with sleep, it helps your blood pressure and heart health and mental acuity.

And I'm not talking huge amounts here. My doc says for someone my size, just 30 minutes 4 times a week is enough for "protective benefits." And I break that up into two 10-15 minute walks most days. (Though once I get the playroom organized again, I think I'll dig out the exercise tapes again. When I do them regularly, it's about 2-3 times a week for 30-45 minutes.) And it's a **** of a lot better than nothing!

When i don't exercise, I can feel every one of my 250+ pounds in my knees with each step up the stairs (or worse, down them). I can't twist and stretch as easily. I'm not as limber when I put on my shoes or get dressed. I fall back on some of my "fat lady tricks" to get myself clean in the shower, that I learned when I was pushing 300.

I much prefer my body when I'm exercising it regularly. I don't feel so much like it's a separate entity, and my enemy. I feel more like it's my partner and we're working together to make a healthier, slimmer Synger. When I just focus on food intake (which is, I admit, 90% of my plan), it's much more of a struggle, and I'm more likely to plateau or give up.

And you DON'T have to increase your exercise once your body gets used to the amount you're doing. You might want to, if you are working for a specific reason (like resistance training specifically to get stronger), but it's not necessary just for health maintenance. You can switch your workouts around to challenge your body, rather than just increasing hte same thing you're doing. For instance, I try to swim in the summer, and take walks at work, and I have a bunch of video tapes ranging from Tae-bo to cross-training to walking to dancing to Pilates... to fit whatever mood I'm in at the time. So I seldom get bored with my routine... because my routine changes.

Hope that makes sense. I guess my point is that diet alone will help you lose weight very well. But exercise will make that diet more effective, and has other health benefits that you may not want to overlook.
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Old 09-01-2006, 08:43 AM   #5
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Oh, and as for tingly toes:

If you're talking about getting tingly toes as you exercise, I got that a lot when I started out. I talked to a professional sports shoe fitter about it (I did some running earlier this year). I got wider shoes, and longer laces, and laced them very loosely over the top of the foot, then a little tighter at the top to keep them on.

No more tingling.
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Old 09-01-2006, 09:03 AM   #6
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eewwwoohhhh.. I can see this thread going places!

To each his own. What works for you may not work for another. We all have our reasons for doing certain things and while some of us may not agree with another person, it doesn't change the fact that something is working for you. Usually the only way to find out what will work is by trying it out. I know that exercise is an important part to my weight loss therefore, I do it. I know that reducing calories to 1000 because my metabolism is ok with it so I do it. I don't think that exercising is counter productive. I do think weight loss is like a hobby and a LOT of people will disagree with me on that one. There are lots of things to agree and disagree with. I guess it's all about what you want to accomplish with your weight loss. If its strictly weight loss then fine, exercise not as crucial. If you're looking for other health benefits, getting leaner, toner and having you muscles eat up some of the calories for you while you sleep then you definitely need the exercise. Either way, its a personal decision. And while I don't necessairly agree with most of the issues in question here, this is a great way to get to discuss things and view everyone's point of view. Its very interesting to say the least. I wish you success on your weight loss in which ever way you choose to go.
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Old 09-01-2006, 10:03 AM   #7
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This is my opinion only - if what you are doing makes sense to you and it works - I would be the last person on earth to try and talk you out of it. There are many paths to a goal - each person has to find their own path.

Like I imagine most of us, when I started working on a new lifestyle 27 months ago, I was focused on hitting a number on the scale. I think that one of the big pitfalls of weight loss is the focus on losing pounds as fast as possible. Is my goal really to hit 220 pounds? I could really crank down my calorie, cut out my resistance training and exercise and lose this last 27 pounds in a hurry. When I stepped on the scale and it said 220 is that really the goal I am looking for? At what cost would hitting my goal that way come at? If I lose equal amounts of muscle and fat with a calorie restrictive diet then gain weight again - that weight will all come back as fat. I can end up at the same weight, but fatter as a percentage of body fat than when I started. Each time, I lower my RMR and make it harder to lose weight. That just sounds like a formula for long term failure to me.


When trying to lose fat weight, itís not just about the number on the scale!

You want to build habits that will last a lifetime. Our bodies were not designed to be as sedentary as modern society has us being. For the highest quality of life - we need good nutrition, food in appropriate portions and exercise. There is a guy I know that has lost 350 pounds on a calorie restrictive diet. His muscle has atrophied. I am so afraid what is going to happen to him when he goes back to eating.
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Old 09-01-2006, 10:36 AM   #8
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In a sense, I can see what both of the first 2 posters points are. After some very discouraging attempts at my old TaeBo DVD's, I have decided to give up on that kind of stuff until I am much closer to my goal. But instead, I am keeping my exercises lighter. I like walking outside at a fast pace (close to 4 mph), or riding my exercise bike, or occassionally even getting on my treadmill. The harder toning work (for me) will just have to wait until I am closer to goal. I feel exercise is important...but at my weight, I want to have exercise I can manage instead of be discouraged by.

On a side note, I used to be able to do TaeBo OK, but then I had 2 close c-sections. I always say that those 2 c-sections took a lot of life out of me, but I think it is because I lost so much muscle mass during those couple years. Recovery was VERY long for me with both of them and for months afterwards even just fast walking would kill my incision site (had an infection with the first one). That area is no longer hurting me, but my whole body seems to have had the power sucked out of it. I was always quite tough growing up. Now...I know I am going to have to work hard to get that "life" back in me.

So, to wrap it up...I totally understand what poster #1 says about the exercise being really tough at this stage, but I also understand what poster #2 is saying about excersize. I guess I will have to say that my plan is smack between both of them. LOL!
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Old 09-01-2006, 10:39 AM   #9
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I exercise not just as an adjunct to weight loss, but for heart health and protective benefits against cancer. I exercise for stress relief and for energy to keep up with my kids. I run with my daughter (and dh), I go to Taekwondo with my son, and my legs have some fine muscles in them. I can fly up 2 levels of stairs and race down the hall to catch a baby and NOT be out of breath when I get there. I exercise for the satisfaction of setting and meeting goals (TKD belts, mileage, a half marathon in Oct).

So, reading your post does not discourage me. Rather, it prompted me to be an analyst myself, and evaluate why I exercise and what benefits I receive.

I hear all sorts of rationales for avoiding health behaviors; heck I'm sure I justified the times I chose to have a sedentary lifestyle with an ironclad theory. I'm glad it is working for you and I wish you continued success.
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Old 09-01-2006, 10:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
at my weight, I want to have exercise I can manage instead of be discouraged by.
Oh, definitely!! You have to find what works for you. Some people get really into a specific regimen, like resistance training, or yoga, or Pilates, where you "work out" a couple times a week. Some people prefer instead to incorporate more "life-style" exercise into their lives, like walking and stair-climbing and biking. Heck, just walking stopping a stop farther away in Metro and adding a three block walk at the beginning and end of my work day has done wonders for me. It doesn't even feel like "exercise" any more. It's just part of my life. Definitely, find what works for you at whatever point you are at in your journey. You only have to compete with yourself, after all.
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Old 09-01-2006, 10:55 AM   #11
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Let me tell you, at 360 lbs, exercising wasn't fun. Even at my current weight, exercising isn't always a picnic. I have found that I do best when I exercise. My eating tends to be better, my fat loss tends to be better and my overall mental health tends to be better. I have found though that I love weight training. I also love the elliptical. For outdoor activities, I love hiking. I used to get really bad pains in my shins/ankles when I walked so I tended to avoid walking as exercise as well as the treadmill. If you think not exercising works for you and you can lose weight and maintain that weight loss without exercising, then that is your choice.
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Old 09-01-2006, 12:45 PM   #12
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Default Thanks for responding

My post seems to have hit a nerve with a few folks.

I guess I should have added in my reason for losing weight to begin with which may help with understanding my reasons for not working out:

Last year I was pregnant; my daughter ended up being born early and still because of an abrupted placenta. This was a fluke thing, and the doctor's have assured me that there was nothing that I did that caused it, but it does happen more often in overweight/obese women. So I decided to lose weight because when we try again, I want to give us the best odds we can get, that meant being smaller. Also since age will be a factor, I didn't want to wait years for everything to happen, so time was important.

Now before I get the comments saying that exercise would make me a healthier at a higher weight than just thinner & flabbier. I've always been healthy, and muscular (I carry my weight in my legs). And though I don't do proscribed exercise, I'm not inactive. I work in the yard, the house, go dancing, to amusement parks, and I'm a musician (violin/piano).

I guess my main reason for posting was not to say exercise is bad, I hope it didn't come off as that, but more that it was a question of timing when to begin. To all of those who do exercise, more power to ya!
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Old 09-01-2006, 01:30 PM   #13
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I don't think anyone thought you were saying exercise is bad. It seems like what you are doing is working for you...so go for it!
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Old 09-01-2006, 01:43 PM   #14
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I like this discussion.

None of us is doing this exactly the same way. That's part of what I love so dearly about our group..we embrace each other's differences! I tend not to exercise...I know I should. I'm torn over the whole thing.

I see a lot of sense in your reasons Analyst, absolutely. I get that it's about the when...not the if.

I'd like to hear Howie's opinion...are ya here today Howie?

xoxox

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Old 09-01-2006, 01:44 PM   #15
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For me, something I have realized recently is that there is definitely a balance to exercise. I had gotten really charged up about getting in a lot of exercise. While this was good, I started to push myself too hard. Instead of feeling full of energy I was drained all the time. Maybe if I had more time to sleep to make up for the extra effort it would have worked, but I didn’t have that kind of time flexibility. I started to think of it like calories. I used to think that the less you could eat the better your weight loss would be, which is not true. There is a calorie range that is optimal that gives you the right amount of nutrients and energy while maintaining a decent deficit. I think the same thing is probably true of exercise. There is an optimal range for everyone depending on their fitness level, nutrition, sleep, other stress factors, etc. I think some exercise is better than none for the amazing benefits it brings, but that doesn’t mean that more exercise is always better. Finding the right balance is the key and it is something that will be constantly changing.
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