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Old 06-19-2017, 11:48 AM   #1
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Default Oh man! Exercise is SO TOUGH.

I know exercise is only 20% of the weight loss plan.

Nevertheless, how to get that 20% done when I find exercising so challenging, what with absolutely no stamina to begin with?

I'm unable to walk with vigor. Unable to do anything like planks, push-ups, sit-ups, etc, etc (strength training)... and I feel so weak (legs wobble) if I try to do anything strenuous.

Have any of you felt like me and succeeded in your weight loss?
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Old 06-19-2017, 02:44 PM   #2
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What other exercises do you do, besides planks, push-ups, and sit-ups?

Ab exercises (planks and sit-ups) will not contribute very much to weight loss. I recommend not doing sit-ups because you might injure your back.

The best strength-training exercises for weight-loss are compound exercises (e.g. squat, deadlift, bench press (or push-up), pull-up, bent-over row, overhead press).

If you can't do push-ups, you should try to increase the weight gradually, just like any other exercise. One way to change the weight is by using a staircase. Start with your hands 3 or 4 steps up, and gradually decrease the number of steps until you can do normal push-ups (however, keep in mind it's supposed to be difficult, so don't make it too easy for yourself).

If your legs wobble, it might be that your legs are weak, so squats would be a good way to fix that.

If you have no stamina, there are a few possible causes. Do you get enough sleep? Do you eat healthy? What time of day do you normally exercise? Do you do any cardio? If you do cardio and strength-training on the same day, I'd suggest doing the strength-training first.

Last edited by mjf; 06-19-2017 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:02 PM   #3
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Well, first of all, you don't actually need exercise to lose weight. Many people start with diet alone. As my doctor once told me, "You lose weight with diet, you get fit with exercise". At the time I was in my early 20's and could still eat like a horse and exercise it off, but by the time I was in my late 20's/early 30's that stopped being the case. Weight loss for me is 100% diet. Exercise is how I get fit. And I do not count exercise calories burned as a freebie to eat more, ever. Calculators that determine how many calories you burned through exercise are notoriously off, and you can easily eat more than you burned.

My suggestion on exercise is to do it for fitness, and start slow. Do half the program, or half the reps, to start with so you don't get too sore and discouraged. If you don't feel like doing the workout out at all, commit to doing just 10 minutes and give yourself permission to quit after that. Many times after 10 minutes, you will keep going. And if you don't keep going, well, you did 10 minutes instead of 0 minutes so it's still a win. Planks- start with 10 seconds, increase by 10 seconds per day until you can do 2-4 minutes. Or change the angle to make it easier - planks with your hands on a chair or a desk are easier than planks on a floor. Same with pushups- wall pushups are easier than chair, chair is easier than floor. Or go to your knees. Do exercise you enjoy and you'll do more of it. It's GREAT that you are interested in weight bearing exercise because you'll get a lot out of it, just try to find a trainer or a style you really enjoy so that you'll want to do it. Make a list of reasons why you want to be more fit and stronger. Personally I LOVE to feel strong. I love having functional strength. I love that I can carry all my groceries, that I can lift that heavy box, that I can carry our beast of a vacuum up the stairs, that my husband doesn't have to treat me like I'm weak and can expect me to carry my own weight when doing work around the house, etc.

If you want a good program, one I recommend is Jillian Michael's "30 Day Shred" or "Ripped in 30"- she mixes strength training, cardio and ab work in one half hour program (which includes the warm up, cool down and stretching- the hard work is about 20 minutes).
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Old 06-19-2017, 04:25 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mjf View Post
What other exercises do you do, besides planks, push-ups, and sit-ups?

Ab exercises (planks and sit-ups) will not contribute very much to weight loss. I recommend not doing sit-ups because you might injure your back.

The best strength-training exercises for weight-loss are compound exercises (e.g. squat, deadlift, bench press (or push-up), pull-up, bent-over row, overhead press).

If you can't do push-ups, you should try to increase the weight gradually, just like any other exercise. One way to change the weight is by using a staircase. Start with your hands 3 or 4 steps up, and gradually decrease the number of steps until you can do normal push-ups (however, keep in mind it's supposed to be difficult, so don't make it too easy for yourself).

If your legs wobble, it might be that your legs are weak, so squats would be a good way to fix that.

If you have no stamina, there are a few possible causes. Do you get enough sleep? Do you eat healthy? What time of day do you normally exercise? Do you do any cardio? If you do cardio and strength-training on the same day, I'd suggest doing the strength-training first.
Oh, I eat so well, sleep 9 hrs a day (seriously) and since I'm a housewife, get plenty of time to rest during the day too, with light to moderate work.

It is just that I have led an extremely lethargic lifestyle for so many years now, and that coupled with all my weight, makes it very difficult for me to exercise.

To begin with, I have started walking (which I am doing for the past 7 weeks) 2.5 miles a day. And then I joined a fitness club (small group personal training) and so far attended 10 sessions of strength training mixed with cardio for 2 hrs a week (in addition to the everyday walk).

At the club, they did ask me to do all the compound strength training exercises you have mentioned and just that anything that causes my legs to hurt or my heartrate to increase rapidly, makes me stop immediately and not pursue any activity for the next 3 minutes or so...

So as you can find out, I don't sweat a lot, and my weight has been coming off very slowly.

So these things are making me feel annoyed at myself, to begin with. I'm so scared I'll fall back to my old habits of not doing any activity and living like a couch potato.

If it is the easy enough walk of up to 3 miles a day, with some strength training for 1/2 hr 2 times a week, I'm ready. If not, if I have to sweat, my heart-rate has to increase to 165 beats per second, etc, then I doubt if I'll stick to my weight loss plan.....

I'm wondering if anybody is in the same boat as me, but has had success with weight loss, like the proverb 'slow and steady wins the race' (quite literally ).
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Old 06-19-2017, 04:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by EagleRiverDee View Post
Well, first of all, you don't actually need exercise to lose weight. Many people start with diet alone. As my doctor once told me, "You lose weight with diet, you get fit with exercise". At the time I was in my early 20's and could still eat like a horse and exercise it off, but by the time I was in my late 20's/early 30's that stopped being the case. Weight loss for me is 100% diet. Exercise is how I get fit. And I do not count exercise calories burned as a freebie to eat more, ever. Calculators that determine how many calories you burned through exercise are notoriously off, and you can easily eat more than you burned.

My suggestion on exercise is to do it for fitness, and start slow. Do half the program, or half the reps, to start with so you don't get too sore and discouraged. If you don't feel like doing the workout out at all, commit to doing just 10 minutes and give yourself permission to quit after that. Many times after 10 minutes, you will keep going. And if you don't keep going, well, you did 10 minutes instead of 0 minutes so it's still a win. Planks- start with 10 seconds, increase by 10 seconds per day until you can do 2-4 minutes. Or change the angle to make it easier - planks with your hands on a chair or a desk are easier than planks on a floor. Same with pushups- wall pushups are easier than chair, chair is easier than floor. Or go to your knees. Do exercise you enjoy and you'll do more of it. It's GREAT that you are interested in weight bearing exercise because you'll get a lot out of it, just try to find a trainer or a style you really enjoy so that you'll want to do it. Make a list of reasons why you want to be more fit and stronger. Personally I LOVE to feel strong. I love having functional strength. I love that I can carry all my groceries, that I can lift that heavy box, that I can carry our beast of a vacuum up the stairs, that my husband doesn't have to treat me like I'm weak and can expect me to carry my own weight when doing work around the house, etc.

If you want a good program, one I recommend is Jillian Michael's "30 Day Shred" or "Ripped in 30"- she mixes strength training, cardio and ab work in one half hour program (which includes the warm up, cool down and stretching- the hard work is about 20 minutes).
Oh, your message sounds exactly like what I wanted to hear - that my exercise need not be too hard in order for me to lose weight.

But nevertheless I have to point out, I'm accustomed to eating very less food only and unable to go down beyond a certain amount, to lose further weight.

Since my weight loss of 34 lbs three years ago, I am used to counting calories each day to maintain the weight, instead of relying on activities.

So now, I don't have too much calories to cut down.

That is my problem #1 -- which mandates, that somehow I burn at least 400 calories a day from exercise (and then maybe I can manage to cut down about 200 cal from food at the max since I already eat so less).

This morning I signed up for a free trial week at a gym near me, and took a 'Body work plus abs' class, and I nearly died at 1/2 hr of the 1 hr class, and EVERYONE besides me was doing the activities so casually...

I was also the only obese person in the entire class... Even the smallest amount of activity made me sweat and my heart rate went up, making it uneasy for me to continue!

Therefore for these reasons, I feel I'm not good at exercises yet. But I need them, as I mentioned already.

Like you said, I'll stick to my plan for a while without being discouraged, and then analyze my progress.

Thank you so much for the reply.
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
At the club, they did ask me to do all the compound strength training exercises you have mentioned and just that anything that causes my legs to hurt or my heartrate to increase rapidly, makes me stop immediately and not pursue any activity for the next 3 minutes or so...
Which exercises make your legs hurt? Are you able to walk up stairs without hurting? If so, maybe you can start with that.

If your heart can't handle running, try increasing gradually, for example begin by walking 3.5 mph, then once every few days, slightly increase the speed.

Quote:
If it is the easy enough walk of up to 3 miles a day, with some strength training for 1/2 hr 2 times a week, I'm ready. If not, if I have to sweat, my heart-rate has to increase to 165 beats per second, etc, then I doubt if I'll stick to my weight loss plan.....
I think that amount of exercise (3 miles a day + 30 minutes strength training twice a week) should be enough to make fast progress. You can even lose weight without exercising, but exercise will speed up your progress, especially strength-training, because having more muscle will make you burn calories faster.

If your progress is very slow, there might be a problem with your diet that you don't realize. If you want to post a list of foods that you eat, I might be able to give you suggestions on how to improve it.
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:09 AM   #7
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Hi BNM, I feel you on this. Have a look at my "plan" here. It more fun, at least for me.
http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/weig...hronicles.html
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Old 06-21-2017, 09:52 AM   #8
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You're doing all the right things so just keep going. It will take some time but you will start to feel stronger. I suggest you keep an exercise log of how far you walked, how much you lifted, how long you planked etc. A few months from now you'll look back on this and be amazed at how much more you can do.

Look, exercise may not contribute much to weight loss. It is however just as important as what you eat! Yes benefits cannot be underestimated imo. Having a small child and watching him play makes me realize how much a human body is capable of. He can jump, crawl, climb, and tumble without hesitation while I couldn't stand up from a sitting position without grabbing on top something. And forget about getting down and up from the floor without some serious maneuvering and hoisting. I don't want to hoist!!! I want to know that if I'm in danger I'll be able to scoop up my child and run to safety. I want to know that if I fall down I'll be able to get up. Heck, I want to be able to kneel down and tie my shoe without gasping for air and make my blood rush to my head. These are serious hindrances to quality of life and guess what, weight loss alone doesn't automatically make you fitter.

The good thing is that fitness can be achieved by anyone. It doesn't require you to lose weight to get fitter, as long as you are consistent you will become stronger, have more endurance and become more flexible. Put the time in and be patient. I know it's difficult when you feel you are the slowest or the fattest or the most out of shape of anyone there. Don't let that deter you from what you have to do. The truth is that nobody is watching you and nobody cares. The worst case is that someone is watching me at the gym saying "I bet that girl quits by the end of the month" but even then who cares?!
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Old 06-21-2017, 08:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by mjf View Post
Which exercises make your legs hurt? Are you able to walk up stairs without hurting? If so, maybe you can start with that.

If your heart can't handle running, try increasing gradually, for example begin by walking 3.5 mph, then once every few days, slightly increase the speed.


I think that amount of exercise (3 miles a day + 30 minutes strength training twice a week) should be enough to make fast progress. You can even lose weight without exercising, but exercise will speed up your progress, especially strength-training, because having more muscle will make you burn calories faster.

If your progress is very slow, there might be a problem with your diet that you don't realize. If you want to post a list of foods that you eat, I might be able to give you suggestions on how to improve it.
Nice mjf! Too much squatting, some pilate moves make my legs hurt. Also walking very fast.

Believe me, 3.5 is too fast for me at the treadmill! But I will try to go to 3.5.

Yes, I am heading to the advice to pay attention to my diet.
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Old 06-21-2017, 08:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by thirti4thirty View Post
Hi BNM, I feel you on this. Have a look at my "plan" here. It more fun, at least for me.
http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/weig...hronicles.html
That is very helpful, thank you so much!
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Old 06-21-2017, 08:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Palestrina View Post
You're doing all the right things so just keep going. It will take some time but you will start to feel stronger. I suggest you keep an exercise log of how far you walked, how much you lifted, how long you planked etc. A few months from now you'll look back on this and be amazed at how much more you can do.

Look, exercise may not contribute much to weight loss. It is however just as important as what you eat! Yes benefits cannot be underestimated imo. Having a small child and watching him play makes me realize how much a human body is capable of. He can jump, crawl, climb, and tumble without hesitation while I couldn't stand up from a sitting position without grabbing on top something. And forget about getting down and up from the floor without some serious maneuvering and hoisting. I don't want to hoist!!! I want to know that if I'm in danger I'll be able to scoop up my child and run to safety. I want to know that if I fall down I'll be able to get up. Heck, I want to be able to kneel down and tie my shoe without gasping for air and make my blood rush to my head. These are serious hindrances to quality of life and guess what, weight loss alone doesn't automatically make you fitter.

The good thing is that fitness can be achieved by anyone. It doesn't require you to lose weight to get fitter, as long as you are consistent you will become stronger, have more endurance and become more flexible. Put the time in and be patient. I know it's difficult when you feel you are the slowest or the fattest or the most out of shape of anyone there. Don't let that deter you from what you have to do. The truth is that nobody is watching you and nobody cares. The worst case is that someone is watching me at the gym saying "I bet that girl quits by the end of the month" but even then who cares?!
Ha ha... your ending line makes me think of what I've been doing at my new gym... I'm just outright quitting within 15 - 20 min of those core training body works class or the advanced Pilates class...! And the fitness instructor seems cool!

Definitely I will try to incorporate all that you have said here in to consideration and make fitness my priority and goal to pursue!

Thank you for the ideas and suggestions.
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Old 06-22-2017, 01:35 AM   #12
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I do most of my exercise in the water. HIIT, strength training, ect. You have to make sure you're actually pushing yourself, though. I do mostly laps using different tools because the water aerobics classes here look a lot like people standing in shallow water talking. I know I can't get a good workout with them. YMMV though, I've seen some more challenging classes.
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Old 06-22-2017, 01:36 PM   #13
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Nice mjf! Too much squatting, some pilate moves make my legs hurt. Also walking very fast.

Believe me, 3.5 is too fast for me at the treadmill! But I will try to go to 3.5.
A few squatting tips:
- When you squat, you should avoid letting your knees move too far forward past your toes. You can avoid this by separating your feet farther.
- Don't wear running shoes when you squat.
- Rest between sets (this tip is for any weightlifting exercise, not just squats).

If it still hurts, maybe reduce either the number of squats or the weight, or maybe replace squats with a different leg exercise. Have you tried lunges?

If 3.5 is too fast then just do whatever you're able to do comfortably, and try to increase by .1 every few days. Wearing shoes with cushioning can help when you walk (unlike squatting).
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Old 06-24-2017, 05:45 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mjf View Post
A few squatting tips:
- When you squat, you should avoid letting your knees move too far forward past your toes. You can avoid this by separating your feet farther.
- Don't wear running shoes when you squat.
- Rest between sets (this tip is for any weightlifting exercise, not just squats).

If it still hurts, maybe reduce either the number of squats or the weight, or maybe replace squats with a different leg exercise. Have you tried lunges?

If 3.5 is too fast then just do whatever you're able to do comfortably, and try to increase by .1 every few days. Wearing shoes with cushioning can help when you walk (unlike squatting).
Thank you very much for those useful tips! They will definitely come handy!
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