Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Exercise Endeavor...Getting Started

By Tawny Weber

I’ve been riding this weight-struggle merry-go-round for quite a while. After having my first child, I carried extra weight for about 2 years before I got serious about eating healthy, and then to actually lose the weight, about exercising. Then after having my second child (and 4 months of bed rest, among other fun and exciting pregnancy issues) I carried twice as much extra weight as before, again, for about 2 years before I got serious about eating healthy, and then to actually lose the weight, about exercising.

Then I started writing. In many ways, it’s easy to compare writing to having a child. The thrill of conceiving an idea. The months of gestation and careful care to nurture that idea to birth, and the well-touted pain of getting that book out into the world (aka, sell that baby). And in that vein, I was amused to realize that since I started, I’ve gained as much writing as I did with my pregnancies. But given that I’ve birthed over half a dozen books onto the shelves, I guess I can understand why. But it’s time to get serious, and... (are you seeing the pattern yet?) get eating healthy and to actually lose the weight, get my chair-sized-tushie exercising.

And while healthy eating, focusing on getting those fruits and veggies in each day, cutting fats and watching calories are a vital component to lose this weight... I know the true key is exercise. At least, it is for me. It doesn’t matter how I handle the food, if I don’t add in the workouts, I won’t see progress.

So I’m making it a public statement here, and figuring this will work as accountability, I’m pushing myself to get that exercise in.

Because, unlike my pregnancies, I don’t plan on being through writing books.

How about you? Do you find that exercise is necessary to your weight journey? What forms of exercise do you prefer?

Tuesday progress:

Calorie intake: 1,590
Exercise: 40 minutes walking
Steps: 11,506

Wednesday progress:

Calorie intake: 1,490
Exercise: none other than running lots of errands, as reflected by the step number
Steps: 10,581


Anonymous said...

Exercise is my bugaboo, too. It was a lot easier for me to change to healthier eating habits than to form exercise habits, but I finally learned that I was never going to get back to pre-baby shape without it.

In warmer weather, I swim with my son as much as I can. Now that he's a better swimmer, I try to get him into deeper water so I can tread water while he splashes and jumps in off the side. In cold weather, my gym buddy and I motivate each other to get up off the couch and meet at the gym to work out. Since she's in much better shape than I am right now (at four months pregnant), it's even harder these days!

Michelle Butler on October 1, 2009 at 10:01 AM said...

I do my best with exercising regularly when I'm doing it for the value it brings itself - and not necessarily because I feel like I have to. I focus on the benefits - it makes me feel so good, I have more energy, I sleep better, (looking better and weight control are almost secondary).

I also have to find exercise I really like, and usually that's classes at the gym. I've never liked playing sports (and I did it for years bc I had jock friends.) I really don't like to run. But, I do like the elliptical. I can use the treadmill. And, I really enjoy the classes at the gym - step, latin dance aerobics, weight lifting classes, some of the yoga/pilates/body flow stuff. Really, the classes can be very fun, and some of them have gotten to the point that there is a feeling of community there. We all grin through the Zumba (latin dance aerobics) class. Getting into the habit of going is helpful too. You just go. You don't have this should I, am i too busy or tired, i don't want to conversation in your head.

But, the classes may not appeal to you. My friend Carol Elise Hayes has run consistently for 20 years. I think Laura has tended to enjoy yoga the most. Some friends are really into training for stuff like marathons/triathalons. It's what will work for you.

Kessler's statement in his book the american insatiable appetite that the only healthy feeling of reward close to the one you get from overeating is from exercise, and you can literally rewire your brain to want the healthy version and not the unhealthy version made a profound impact on me. When I first started going to the gym regularly again this year in May, I'd sometimes tell myself I'm rewiring my brain - and it is working some. Every time my body longs for exercise for its own reward - for stress relief - to feel good - etc. - I act on it.

I think the key is finding what you can enjoy about exercise.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on October 1, 2009 at 4:20 PM said...

We are in our very nature lazy, I think. So it's hard to motivate to exercise, even though we know we should. I'm not much on gym equipment, but I love walking and hiking. Someday I want to own a biggish plot of land that I can build walking trails on.

Tawny on October 1, 2009 at 7:01 PM said...

Laura, it sounds like you have a great exercise discipline going for you! I'm not a gym fan, but I do have all the gym equipment here at home. My challenge is using it daily, or even weekly at this point. I love the idea of buddys for motivation. The 'can't let my friends down' angle has to be a good push to keep going.

Tawny on October 1, 2009 at 7:04 PM said...

Wow, Michelle, what a powerful statement! I love the idea of rewiring my brain. Its an active, long term image that really appeals to me. I really enjoy weight lifting and step aerobics most, now that you mention it. I'm not a fan of dance (as Trish will attest *g*) or running since it stresses my knees, but Step? Love love love it. You know, after I've been doing it a couple weeks LOL

Tawny on October 1, 2009 at 7:05 PM said...

Trish, your love of walking inspired me to strap on a pedometer. I've been building up my steps this week (only had the new pedometer a few days) and am challenging myself to add more daily until I'm regularly over 10k.

Michelle Butler on October 1, 2009 at 9:37 PM said...

Tawny, I can say this now in month 9 with a straight face - I really am trying to change my life in this area. I'm pretty willing to at least try to do what it takes - as long as it's ethical, legal, moral, etc. :)

I definitely recommend reading Kessler's book. He's got some insightful, unique things to say - and has the science to back it up.

Step is an amazing workout - and a real fun one. Drag out that old step! Just last night I was chatting with a woman on the elliptical next to me - trying really, really hard not to pant - and she was a huge class fan too. She agreed that step was the best workout - it really kicks your butt in a good way.

Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) on October 1, 2009 at 10:20 PM said...

Yay on the pedometer, Tawny! One trick I use to get more steps in is to use the step when I'm watching TV.

Tawny on October 2, 2009 at 1:02 AM said...

The American Insatiable Appetite, Michelle? I'll go hit Amazon now :-) Thanks!! And you're right, Step is one of the best exercises I'd found. Its one of those all-body workouts that builds muscle while during intense cardio. I wasn't able to exercise today, but after reading your comment I went in and setup my step in the family room to do tomorrow morning!!!!

Trish, I only watch TV Monday nights for Castle *g* But I can totally see how that could work. Thanks for the tip!

Michelle Butler on October 2, 2009 at 9:23 AM said...

Here's the full title:

The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite (Hardcover) (Hardcover)
by David A. Kessler (Author)

I think he did go on a little too long about the practices of the food industry (restaurants), but I've found myself reflecting a lot on his tips.

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