jeneralities

Posts Tagged ‘exercise

I really don’t like working out. I hate sweating, and it makes me hungry and tired and thirsty. It usually makes my feet hurt and/or makes me sore, and I’m always tired as it is. And it takes up time and doesn’t seem to give a lot of gain — I feel like I should lose like 5 lbs per workout, which of course doesn’t happen. My stupid elliptical doesn’t keep track of my workout very well. It takes up too much time. And all this is just focusing on cardio here.

And while all that sounds like a lot of whining and excuses, it’s also a list of obstacles, some of which can be overcome. 

I’ve already overcome a lot of them. I had a treadmill once, and found that 5 minutes on the treadmill, even just briskly walking and not running, felt like foooorrrreeevvveeerrrrrr. Ellipticals, however, are not nearly as bad to me. Running hurts — every step feels jiggling and jarring, and I can’t see why so many people love it. But ellipticals (when in good repair…) are smooth, and much easier to tolerate, so that’s what I have. And the last time I used a regular exercise bike, the seat left me feeling a seat-shaped bruise for days afterwards (and I’m scared of riding regular bikes because of this), but I picked up a recumbent exercise bike at a garage sale for $20 last summer. Need to start using that one more, and also need to fix the foot strap that is broken — I didn’t notice it until I went to start using it, and it had been duct-taped once. I may see if I can attach zip-ties or else just re-tape it. 

My elliptical is supposedly a $1,600 machine, which is BS. It does have a long stride length, which is important to me (and I’m short… not sure how taller people use smaller machines!). The thing I don’t like about it is the “computer”. It does have a lot of different modes, but if I slow down too much or try to vary my workout by going backwards, it resets my workout, which is hella irritating. It’s supposed to remember this kind of thing, but so far, it doesn’t. (Supposedly if I use it enough, the batteries will keep a charge and remember settings, even between workouts. But I have used it as much as it supposedly requires and it still didn’t remember). But, I finally replaced the battery in my heart rate monitor this morning, which is a big improvement — it keeps track of my time and heart rate for me, so if the machine resets, I only need to reset the resistance level. 

So, I’ve got some acceptable equipment. Other arguments?

Tired. I’m so tired. All the time. If I go to bed earlier, I wake up before I’ve gotten enough sleep, which sucks. My little monkey has been waking up crying more nights than not lately, which doesn’t help. However, a lot of how I feel may be due to my recent eating and exercise habits — eating cleaner and exercising may well improve my energy level. I just have to GET there. And there’s no help for that other than just pushing through it.

Sweating. I hate being sweaty. It’s so gross, and makes working out feel even more like a punishment. Maybe this is because exercise was used as a punishment for me as a teenager, maybe not. I’ve been in regular working-out habits before and still hated the sweating part. Working out in January helps, though — next time, I should remember to crack the door next to the elliptical for a bit of outside breeze. I also have a small fan I could possible set up somehow, though I’m not sure how yet. Other than that, I just have to tolerate it. 

My shoes. I have bad feet in general — standing for any length of time hurts after about 10 or 15 minutes and becomes excruciating after about an hour. Walking or moving isn’t too bad, but shopping still starts to hurt after about an hour or so. Hopefully, this is in part due to my weight, and if I lost a enough, this could improve. Anyway, working out isn’t too bad, except that my current shoes, which I have only used for working out, hurt. One side of one of the tongues really digs into my foot, my toes feel pretty numb after a while, except for the right baby toe which feels blistered. I think the only solution here is to buy new shoes, and be more careful about choosing comfortable ones — though I did try these on and I swear they didn’t hurt when I bought them, and they weren’t cheap, they’re just not working. Soon.

Finding time shouldn’t really be that bad, considering how not productive I have been lately. The last couple of workouts, I’ve gotten up when the little monkey did, gotten into my workout clothes, gotten her situated eating breakfast with the TV on, and put my iPod on while I work out. She plays on her own while I shower most days anyway. My ideal would be to wake up before she does and be exercised and showered before she gets up, but I’m just too tired to do that so far. Hopefully that will happen.  

The other piece of equipment I find essential is that iPod. Putting music on and dancing on the elliptical makes it a lot more fun. The iPod itself is practically vintage — it’s a first-generation Nano from 2005. It does its job, though the battery only holds a charge for a couple of days. I may look into getting a newer model or some other mp3 player… I’d really like an Apple product that can do apps, since there are a ton of apps available for their products that are not available for my Android products… but that’s rather beside the point. (Though there might be some good workout apps for iPods…)

Anyway, it’s a work in progress, but at least I’m getting started. 

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This blog is here for many things.  I plan on writing on a wide variety of topics, including food and recipes, DIY projects, parenting and activities for kids, and weight loss. 

This post is about that last one.  It is January, after all, with the time for fattening holidays behind us and New Year’s resolutions here.

I didn’t specifically resolve to work on losing weight, because I make that resolution almost every day.  Or I resolve to make that resolution.  Sometimes I resolve to work on it in a week or a few days or whenever I’m not tired, which is never.

People seem to think weight loss is some big secret.  I am no medical expert, but I have been on various diets since I was 12, and I’ve learned a few things.  

“How do I lose weight?” is not the right question.  The questions are, “How do I consume fewer calories?” and “How do I burn more?”  Other good questions are, “Why should I lose weight?” and “How should I measure my weight/loss/fitness?”

First of all, I think the main question to address is why, because this will guide you through what you wish to do.  I think the main emphasis with weight loss should be improving our health, but every person is different… some just want to look good in their wedding or on the beach (note that this can apply to any gender, it is not just women).  Being healthy, then, would place a lot of emphasis on exercise to burn fat, not muscle, and eating a balanced diet, preferably low in processed foods.  

Measurement should rely on how you feel.  Right now, my jeans are so tight that I am uncomfortable in them, even if I leave them unbuttoned and unzipped.  I could buy larger ones, but wearing them tight is a constant reminder of how badly I’ve been eating.  Some people monitor the scale daily to check their progress… others do it weekly, or monthly, or don’t even own a scale and prefer to go by how they feel and how their clothes fit, especially since some people find they can lose inches without losing weight.  

As far as the big questions, well, there are some easy answers.  Eat fewer calories.  Exercise.  But is that it, and how?  

Consuming fewer calories is generally easier to understand.  Eat foods containing fewer calories, and/or eat less of them.  Eating foods that keep you full longer will help you eat less often.  Being a little hungry now and then is okay.  

Burning calories is a bit tougher.  Exercise is the obvious, including both cardio and weights — not only does cardio burn calories but it is good for your health, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn all the time.  Some of us have an easier time burning calories than others for genetic or other biological reasons.  My body seems like it could gain weight on nothing but veggies, even with working out…  There are little things you can do — I’ve heard that drinking ice water burns more calories than room-temperature water, because your body has to expend energy warming the water, which makes sense.  Probably not a big difference, but every little bit can help.  

And I’ve heard a ton of other things too… there’s a lot of confusing information out there.  Eat before you work out.  Don’t eat before you work out.  Eat this magic food after you work out and nothing else.  Sugar substitutes are great.  Sugar substitutes are garbage.  I think there are so many conflicting ideas out there because either they don’t make that much of a difference, or they work differently for different people, or both.  

And, there are a few ways to eat food but not get the calories from it.  Three that come to mind are the weight loss supplement Alli, which blocks the absorption of some of the fat you eat so your body doesn’t consume the calories, laxative abuse, and purging — as in bulimia.  The last two are definitely not healthy choices.  

The bottom line, I think, is to aim for a healthy lifestyle.  Fads and crash diets are not only generally unhealthy but hard to maintain, because you go crazy feeling deprived… the best diet is one that you can maintain, which may involve a “cheat day” or meal every week so that you don’t feel like you can’t enjoy life too.  Generally, eat healthy foods and eat them sparingly, make time to exercise, work in little ways that you can burn a few extra calories, and watch what happens.  

I’m starting today.  I’ve got quite a bit to lose, actually.  And if I give up?  I have to start again.  And again, and again.  

Right now, I have to get off the couch… which is a little challenging right now because I worked my legs pretty good this morning!