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Old 01-04-2010, 11:29 AM   #1
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Default 20 minutes a day and perfection

I have two questions.

1) Has anyone ever had great success by starting and keeping their exercise level around 20 minutes a day, even though the intensity may improve? Last time I did this I found that I cranked things up a little too much with exercise and got somewhat overwhelmed by what I was expecting of myself. But I KNOW I can do 20 mins a day four to five times a week and maintain that. But is that enough or I am just being lazy?

2) How have you overcome -- if you've had to deal with this -- the idea that you're either perfect with exercise and food or not. Period. No in between. Like if you don't exercise for an hour a day and stay on plan it's not worth it because you're not doing enough. Which I KNOW is not true. But those thoughts always seem to creep up and I'd like to kill them.

Advice on either point would be much appreciated ...

"Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen." - Conan O'Brien
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Old 01-04-2010, 11:55 AM   #2
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I think a 20 minute run is more effective at burning calories than a 20 minute walk. So I'd say yup as long as you increase intensity 20 minutes should be okay- and maybe once you get to a certain point you'll be more likely to work out longer- at least get a 20 minute routine going- and even if you don't up the workout time for a month or so- you STILL did 20 minutes a day a few times a week

I have told myself that I am only human. Perfection is not a feasible goal IMO, there are days where I am good, I workout, I eat well, but then the next day I may have some ice cream- that doesn't mean I'm going to binge like mad and give up. It's just some ice cream- it tasted good, I enjoyed it, now I'm back on plan

I just keep telling myself it's about progress, not perfection.

For example- before the holidays I was down to 205.5, after the holidays I'm up to 209. Instead of throwing my hands up in the air I can see that last year at this time I was heavier, this is the first year I'm starting the year lighter and healthier than the year before, AND 3.5 is NOTHING compared to what I used to gain over the holidays (usually at least double).
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:09 PM   #3
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If 20 minutes is a reasonable goal to you, I say do it. I think that sticking to a reasonable, smaller goal, is much better than halfway sticking to one that is undesirable. And it's not lazy at all. As you do it more regularly and lose weight, you'll probably find your stamina is improving and that you naturally want to bump it up a little.
We're fat chicks, not doctors. Please see your physician before taking advice found on the internet.
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:18 PM   #4
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I can't comment much on #1, but on #2!!! Chickie, I could write a book about #2! There are so many things I want to work on, regarding my diet and exercise..and just life in general. And, I plan and plan and plan, and decide to do it all at once...and fall flat on my face.

Then, of course I decide that I'm just not strong enough...and throw in the towel for another six months or so. Or, best case scenario, I just throw in the towel for the rest of the DAY...and of course spend the rest of that day binge eating myself into a simple carb coma.

This time around, I've decided to let some things slide. I'm focusing on one thing. I bought a treadmill and I have a laptop and a netflix account. I've decided it's just as easy to walk on the treadmill and watch tv as it is to sit on my butt and watch tv. I'm gonna be working on my diet as well, but if I can at least focus on the walking.........I'll feel like I've achieved something.

I guess what this rambling of mine is trying to say is this: Don't try for perfection. No one is perfect. Perfection is actually kinda boring. Shoot for change. Any little change. Even if it's only choosing water over soda for lunch. That's SOMETHING, and better then what you would get trying to shoot for perfection. Don't stack the deck against you, set the rules up so YOU CAN'T LOSE! (Or actually....WILL lose....pounds. )

Sorry, I tend to ramble, but I really know what you mean....I've been there... am still there..and it sucks. Here's to hoping that this time around is better for the both of us!

I'm at work, or I'd go back and edit this post for clarity.
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:18 PM   #5
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I think that was very good advice beerab. Twenty minutes is twenty minutes more than what you would get if you didn't do anything! I just started the 30 day shred, with Jillian Michaels. I tried working out in the gym and I felt like I was doing something but it wasn't a good workout. I did the 20 minute dvd and felt like I got more of a workout then than at the gym. Make your workout count and you will feel better about it.

And I agree we are human! We can't be perfect and if you strive for perfect or nothing you will just keep letting yourself down. This is a gray subject not black and white.
"diet makes you look good in clothes, but exercise makes you look good naked"

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Old 01-04-2010, 12:31 PM   #6
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Being a reforming perfectionist (and a failed one at that), you absolutely need to discard the notion that this is a black and white, all or nothing process. First as you know, no one is perfect. It's an unattainable goal. And even if you manage to be "perfect" for a little while, it's unsustainable.

I've had to learn to live in the middle ground. Perfect is not an option. But I can have good days. And not so good days. But when you live in the middle ground, you learn that you can still get to your goal so long as your good days out number your not so good days. You're absolutely, positively going to make mistakes and slip up. We all do. A perfectionist will see those mistakes as having blown the whole thing, so they might as well eat whatever they want. If they can't be perfect, then their efforts mean nothing. Someone who lives in the middle ground acknowledges their mistakes, learns from them and keeps right on going toward their goals. They realize that a slip up in the grand scheme isn't going to keep them from what they want. It's a much more comfortable place to be, I assure you!
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:28 PM   #7
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Any number of minutes that you feel you can do that will develop an exercise habit is good. The ladies at the Y used to think that I was losing weight simply because I was in there 5 days a week for my 30 minutes of cardio (I wasn't). I wasn't doing it to lose weight at that point, just doing it because felt like I needed to develop the habit. However because I had the habit, once I decided I wanted to lose 100 lbs, I only needed to ramp up the amount and intensity of the exercise, not the mental block of getting myself moving.
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:13 PM   #8
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Thanks for all your feedback and wise words ladies -- much appreciated!

"Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen." - Conan O'Brien
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