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Exercise - what do you do?

Posted: Mon May 21, 2012 2:22 pm
by kladyelf
Hi all, Kladyelf here.

A little backstory for anyone not in the know... (which is everyone, but anyway)

For a while now I've known that my lifestyle is not the healthiest in the world, I have been overweight and chocolate tends to figure as a food group waaay too much, additionally there are items in my wardrobe that I want to wear but fall into the category of "must lose some weight before i even consider putting that on."

The clincher (or to be more accurately a bunch of clinchers) came last year when the following happened:

1) I read "The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl" a blog that became a book (i have the book) of a gal who went from 25 stone 1 pound (159.5kg, 351lb) to 12st 7.5lb (79.8kg, 175.5lb) - that's half her original weight people!!! She's funny and Australian and I recommend her for anyone seeking inspiration (she certainly inspired me!)

2) After a Doctors appointment for an unrelated health problem I found i weighed about 14kg over the proper weight for my height/age. My reaction was "Eep! Would weight-loss help?" (Answer: well obviously!) and a subsequent glucose test put me in the at-risk category for the big D (I'm not going to mention it here, i'm just going to huddle in a corner for a while and whimper)

3) Last October (on my birthday in fact) my Mum was diagnosed with the big D (but she's handling it well,) and I found out a family history of the disease that I didn't really know I had

So after a bunch of positive inspirations and scary "Do Something Now" moments I decided to change my lifestyle - cutting out/cutting down on desserts in general and chocolate* in particular as well as taking up regular exercise. (I was already part of a walking group, but now I knew I had to do more.)

I also managed to nab a short-term job (the Australian census) around the middle of the year, where I had to do a lot of walking - and boy do I mean a lot, most of Australia is flat but where I live, (and in particular where I had to go) was one of the hillier bits.

The net result of that exercise and self-restraint was that I lost over 10 kg! Yay me! And I kept up with the exercise, with a walking group, aqua-aerobics and spin class (or as I like to call it "oh no its spin claaaaasss!") and the kilos steadily decreased! :dance

However, that was last year.

That was before Easter (and the post-Easter bargains dangit!)

That was before a schedule change meant my spin class was too hard to get to. *pout*

I started to put on weight again, (a nasty shock I can tells ya!) and I'm trying to make it go down and it is working (albeit slowly...) but my resolve isn't what it was last year (and i don't want to think about this year's glucose test, yikes) and I still get cravings for snickers bars at weird times :D

But the knock on effect is that I've decided to dust off the saddle and try again. And this has made me curious .... what do all the scrawlers here do to be healthy? what is their favorite form of exercise/activity/oh no I've got [insert painful thing here] class? And how does living in countries where it snows or whatever affect what you do? Do you have a gym where you live? If so what is your favorite instrument of torture there? Is there a food you Dare Not Eat for fear of a feeding frenzy? (my weakness: Cadburys and Green and Black's milk chocolate)

(Egads another long post...) I'm curious and looking for inspiration here folks!

*except for special occasions (eg: Birthdays, Christmas, Easter) ... or at the very least be picky about the chocolate I eat (must be on special, must be fair trade)

Re: Exercise - what do you do?

Posted: Mon May 21, 2012 3:44 pm
by Angelique
Yes. As much as possible, I ride my bike or walk where I need to go. I'm also a sucker for a wide variety of outdoor activities and charity sporting events. Running for the sake of running can be nice enough, but when it's to raise funds for a child with cancer, a disabled war veteran, or a family that lost their home, for example, that just gives me more incentive. I also strive to meet weekly benchmarks in running and calisthenics such as jumping jacks, situps, crunches, flutter kicks, chin-ups, and pushups. We have a couple of health clubs in the area, and many in my fire district are enrolled in a new one that's opened up. I might join them.

Regarding eating, the most important thing has been to pay close attention to portion sizes and to not go over them. If I'm eating out at a restaurant, I will often order a half portion or I'll split my order with, say, my son. I only cook just enough to feed my family, avoiding the need to store (and the temptation to later gorge upon) leftovers. The most important thing I've changed, though, are my purchasing habits. Getting groceries delivered whenever possible reduces the temptation to pick up a candy bar at the checkout stand. When I have to go to the store (often by walking), I have a list and stick with it. (If I've walked to the store, I don't want to buy too much, because then I'll have to carry it home anyway.) And I always select my produce first, filling my cart or basket with fruit and veggies before I move on to buying bread, meat, and so forth.

The only foods I try to completely avoid are made with corn syrup. As for candy, I kind of treat that the way I do the cigarettes I'd sucessfully quit. I never went in with the mentality of, "I must never, ever, ever eat candy/smoke again." It's just that when I'm tempted to purchase any junk food or ciggies, I say to myself, "I don't really need this, and I don't feel like buying any today." Of course, if I lapse and light up (which I haven't in twenty years), I feel immediately ill. Overindulging on the junk food also makes me feel sick nowadays. Chocolate, though, is in a class of its own. I usually avoid chocolate candy. But a little bit every day in a light almond milk mocha keeps the cravings at bay.

Re: Exercise - what do you do?

Posted: Tue May 22, 2012 12:12 am
by kladyelf
Yeah Chocolate's my big weakness too, usually i like to get a block of Lindt (dark of course) and crumble it into little tiny itty bitty pieces and then if i feel a craving then nibble or suck on a bit the size of my pinky finger. A few pieces of that and the cravings are distracted for a while. :)

Unfortunately I found out that Lindt probably isn't all that fair trade (the lack of a logo should have clued me in) so the block I have now will be the Last Lindt, and I'll just have to eat Green and Blacks/Chocolo instead (o how tragic!) - the latter i can get at a shop that specialises at imported furniture and stuff, so its mostly G&B for me!

Now all I gotta do is figure out how to get it to crumble into tiny bits like Lindt :D

Re: Exercise - what do you do?

Posted: Tue May 22, 2012 3:03 pm
by Ult_Sm86

I can't stress enough how great Yoga is. Being sure to do it everyday, once when you wake up straight away in the morning and once again at night, will regulate everything from blood flow, energy in the mornings and evening, and even sleep schedules.
Also, biking. As a cardiac patient I don't get a lot of running. Swimming is great for heart patients but I don't have a pool pass for any local gyms (with pools).

So,... I bike. Biking is great. It gets you out in the world, moving around, great for your legs, great for everything really.

And it's easy. Like riding a bike!

Re: Exercise - what do you do?

Posted: Wed May 23, 2012 2:00 pm
by kladyelf
Well, i dunno about those Ult, but i did drag myself to my first spin class in about six months (um... yay?) and while I didn't push it I did come away red-faced and sweating so I figure I must have done some good*.

I kind of like group exercises/classes, if you know the people (and in some cases even if you don't) then there's chatting and camaraderie and of course, misery loves company.

Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever tried fitball or pilates?

*y'know, besides bruising my delicate girly-bits, those seats are hard I dunno how guys handle it, I have to find where I put my gel-seat ow, ow, owww...

Re: Exercise - what do you do?

Posted: Wed May 23, 2012 2:47 pm
by Angelique
Yes to both fitball and Pilates. I very much like them both when I have the time. What I like best, however, about setting benchmarks and walking or biking nearly everywhere is that I don't need to set aside a whole lot of extra time, and I can work exercize into my normal routine.