Help! I'm Fat! (Workout)

OK, T-Ball season is over (finally) and I have time to read (and post) again.

I don’t want to steal any thunder from this thread, but it made me think that maybe here is the best place to go for some advice.

OK, I’m overweight. No, that’s not really true. I’m fat. I can admit it. My 5-year old daughter (lovely honest child) will occasionally stop in front of me as she is walking by, pat my stomach, and say, “fat belly, fat belly.” When “Finding Nemo” came out, some of the kids in my Youth Group started calling me Jelly Man (fortunately that one didn’t stick).

Now, the time has come to do something about this, er… well, … expanse. Gritty details. I’m 35 years old, and most of my waking moments are spent in front of a computer or tv. At last count (earlier this week) I was a bit over 300 lbs. and I stand about 5’10". I have dumbells and a treadmill at home.

So, I’m going to get started back into a workout (along with a diet). I’m determined to lose the weight, and hopefully not find it again. I need some help designing a workout that will be the most beneficial. After reading the thread above, I think I have a few ideas, but I wanted to see if I could elicit some advice first.

I can probably work out for about 30 minutes - 1 hour each day, depending on whether I do it in the morning or at night. I could do both, but I don’t know what will be most effective.

(I’m thinking of getting a simple weight bench. Not a barbell bench, just a flat bench.)

So, give it to me. What should I do and where should I start?

The thing that worked for me (~215 lbs to ~154 lbs; have kept the weight off for 5 years and counting…) was taking up an endurance sport (cycling) and being serious enough about it to get competitive and participate in races and my college’s cycling team.

So my advice is to pick an endurance sport (running, rowing, swimming, cycling, etc.) and get serious about it. Concentrate on getting good at whatever sport you pick; buy books on training to be competitve in that sport and follow the advice and training regimens. If you’re serious about persuing an endurance sport, fitness and weight loss will follow.

Oh, and join a local club for the sport. The social dynamic is a HUGE help in getting you to stick with the sport, as well as making it more fun and being a source of advice and help.

Along the lines of Metacom’s advice, you might check out the local Master’s swimming club, if there is one. The name sounds intimidating, but usually the club’s are made up of all ages and sizes. There’s also a coach to help you with technique and designing workouts. My husband was in the best shape of his life when he was doing that.

I’d also recommend Weight Watcher’s. Not enough men take advantage of it, but it’s a really good program.

I second the nod to WW - it’s how I lost my weight, and I have maintained the loss for 3+ years now.

I agree about finding a sport/activity to get involved with. But shop around before you seriously commit - find a sport that you enjoy. It’s gotta be something good to make you get off the couch on the days when you just want to veg.

As the girly girl that I am, I work out with hand weights 3 times a week. Some days I just don’t want to do it. Rationally, it’s a half hour, I know I need to do it, but I just don’t want to. But then I remember how good I feel physically & mentally when I do - and I do it.


You’ll receive lots of good advice here, I’m sure. I want to address this though:

Don’t. I advise against working out every day, specially two times per day. Keep it short, around 45 minutes, a maximum of 5 days per week (for a beginner, I’d recommend starting with 3). You don’t want to stress your body too much, it will store fat as a consequence (and many other nasty things, including deppression-like symptoms due to overtraining). Yes, I know pro swimmers and pro -sport of your choice here- train vigorously for 8 hours per day. They also eat 5.000-6.000 calories to do it. :stuck_out_tongue:

The truth of the matter is you want to get the fat burning. That’s all. Past the 20 minute mark (allegedly) you start burning. Keep it up for a maximum of 1 hour. You will see results.

I strongly second The Hook’s advice about not working out every day. It only makes sense for the very best, super-fit professional athletes and is counterproductive for pretty much everyone else. Most training programs for amatuers are based on 3-5 days a week of excercise; the specific program and how the workouts are structured depends on the sport and the program you’re following.

Spend your off days reading about, thinking about, and dreaming about your chosen sport. Get psyched about it. :slight_smile:

OK, I’m all for less, but that’s because I’m so out of shape. :wink:

What about cardio? I don’t currently have high blood pressure, or cholesterol problems, but I know that my “wind” is probably at an all time low. My normal exercise routine is walking to the “cube” which is on the second floor. If we have a meeting on the 4th floor, I’m winded when I get there (I hate this more than anything else). So can I (or should I) walk on the treadmill everyday. If so, how long is best? (Oh, BTW, I know I said everyday, but I generally take Sunday off regardless.)

As to the sport, does golf count? Unfortunately, I have 4 kids, so I don’t have a TON of free time for any sport. Golf fits in well because one or more of the kids will come with. I generally walk when I go, so I get some exercise and I get to spend time with the kids. Also, my son (10) is just getting to enjoy playing. I know it isn’t an ACTIVE sport, and I don’t expect to make Pro any time soon, but I could live with a single digit handicap :smiley:

BTW, Thanks for the advice.

The best advice I could give you would be to wake up 30 minutes early and hop on that treadmill first thing. You don’t need to run really fast, either. A good brisk walking speed that gets your heart rate up will do wonders. Set it up in front of the TV so you can watch the news (or whatever).

Also, drink lots of water. Keeping your body hydrated will make all your systems (including your metabolism) work better.

Here’s what I use for Cardio, it’s a site called and it’s good cardio workouts in cd and mp3 format. It’s got composed music which I enjoy while working out and the guy who does it does it really well, in my opinion at least. Check it out and see if it is what you’re looking for.

Anything you do that’s physical is good man. I’ve been walking to work this summer (1.5 miles each way) and I can already feel the improvement from when school let out for the summer. Just walking everyday or nearly everyday is exercise for your body. So yes, Golf does count. :slight_smile:

Here’s a good beginners training plan from Runners World. Pay attention to point #2 on their list: you definitely want to invest in a good pair of footware if your serious about running.

And I strongly recommend running over walking. Walking is certainly better then being sedentary, but a half-hour run is SO much more excercise then a half-hour of walking. There’s just no comparison. You want to get your heart up into the aerobic zone and keep it there for at least 20 minutes (although you probably won’t be able to do this comfortably until you get into shape–hence the need for a good beginners training schedule).

No. If you’re not sweating and breathing hard (although not so hard that you can’t speak :)) for at least 20 non-stop minutes it doesn’t count.

Golf is better than say, watching TV, but it’s expensive and time consuming. Who can go golfing every other day? Plus, you keep stopping so it’s not as good as doing a straight walk. Your heart rate will not stay elevated for as long.

The trick is to find a cardio activity you really like to do. Is there such a thing? If not you can set up a treadmill or exercycle in front of the TV and watch while you work out or you can listen to an iPod. Whatever floats your boat. Make sure you have decent equipment. Some super cheap treadmill won’t cut it. It needs to have a computer on it so you can measure how far and how fast you are going. You will want to see steady improvement in you performance. Don’t be afraid to spend money on this. Think of the cost of not doing it.

And if you run in the great outdoors, as God intended ;), look into getting one of these. I love mine.

But don’t get inundated with equipment–for now, just go out and do it (or run on your current treadmill). Today is as good a day as any to start.

Maybe by yourself a neat gizmo when you reach a milestone, like running 2 miles non-stop.

I would definitely try to go for at least 5 days a week what ever you are doing for cardio. Unless you are lucky enough not to have a desk job, you’ll benefit by getting some moving around every day. We were designed for it.

I do a basic cardio-resistance workout each day–simple arm exercises with dumbells, and then squats, lunges, and pushups, with no rest between sets. What I’ve found is that, when it comes to weight loss, your diet is going to make a much bigger difference than your workout. I lose weight easily when I’m dieting, but once I let my eating habits slip the loss stops. Regular exercise has helped me avoid regaining any weight, but I’ve not lost *any * during those times when I wasn’t eating well, even with the daily workout. So definitely focus on both, it’s worth it.

As for my suggestion–go to the library and get a bunch of home workout tapes. Get a feel for if you like one and then buy it. It makes it really hard for me to skip my workout when I know the only thing involved is pushing a button and doing it.

Don’t get hung up on what is the most efficient workout. Just… don’t. You won’t stick with it, I guarantee it.

The best workout in the world is the one you will keep doing. Period.

It’s been said here over and over again. Here is how you lose weight:

Eat better
Eat less
Exercise more

Eating better doesn’t mean you have to have the perfect balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Just better. Trade water for soda or maybe just diet soda for the full sugar stuff. Cutout desserts. Start with something small. Once you gain some momentum, the rest will probably follow. Or not. Any improvement will help.

Eating less doesn’t mean starve yourself. If you are hungry, by golly eat something. But make it a good something. On the other hand, if you aren’t hungry DON’T EAT. Over time you will learn to read your body signals much, much better and you’ll naturally find yourself eating less. More to the point, you won’t be “denying” yourself lots of things and therefore you’re much more likely to stick with it. No will power is involved; just being smart.

Exercise more doesn’t mean you need to exercise “in the zone” an hour a day with just the right balance of cardio and weight training. Just find something to keep you moving and then keep doing it. If you get bored with it or don’t like it anymore, find something else. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t optimal. Moving is better than not moving.

I vote for golf being good. It sounds like you enjoy it and it fits into your lifestyle. This is about the most important aspect of working out. I lost weight by watching food intake and walking to campus and back, about 5 miles per day 4-5 days a week. I didn’t do any ‘cardio’ and didn’t lift weights. I’d save the treadmill for crappy weather and try to get out when you can.