One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

WEEKLY QUESTIONS

Where are you on your exercise journey?

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Where are you on your exercise journey?

I swear "journey" must be the word used most on my blog. Sometimes I think it’s cheesy but when you really think about it, everything we do in life is a journey, a process. You don’t just wake up one day with a new skill, a new habit or even a new perspective. Every day you learn and grow in the direction you decide to point yourself in. That’s right, YOU decide.

I used to point myself in the lazy, unhappy direction. I had a poor body image. I let other people influence how I felt about myself and I started down a path towards unhealthiness because of it. That was a journey too. I didn’t just wake up one day lazy and fat. It took some time to get me there.

Now I set my sights on a different goal. I point myself in a happy, healthy direction. I accept myself and everyday I do something just for me. Just as I didn’t wake up one morning fat and unhappy, I didn’t just wake up running marathons (a goal of mine) and doing push-ups (every chance I get I will link to that video – just preparing you!) :~)

So after showing you my exercise journey yesterday and then seeing Ellen’s comment I had to turn this into a question of the week!

I would like to know about people’s exercise routines. How did you get started exercising in a structured way? Did you focus on aerobic exercise or strength training or a combination? How did you find time in your life to devote to this activity? If you are not a “morning person,” were you able to transform and become one so you could exercise in the morning? (Ok, that’s a pretty darn specific question). How did your approach to fitness and exercise change as you got into more of a routine? Essentially, I’d love to hear people’s stories on their exercise “journey.”

I know that a great recommendation for exercise is to start by incorporating things into your life throughout the day — a walk at lunch, family play time in the park after dinner, hikes on the weekend, etc., and I do enjoy those things. However, I also really love the way I feel after a hard-core workout and am trying to figure out strategies to be more consistent with my habits and keep things fresh.

I am a lot like Ellen. I LOVE doing the active stuff in my daily life. That’s really how I started. That’s how I "pointed myself in the direction" of being more active. Then it snowballed. My need for more activity grew and grew. I started to like the way I felt, the way I looked when I was more active. So I sought more and more ways I could incorporate exercise into my life. I won’t re-hash the whole journey as I just did in this post and I think you guys have a pretty good idea of my specific exercise journey.

So now it’s your turn….

Where are you on your exercise journey? How did you get there? Have you even started?

Inquiring minds NEED to know! :~)

Oh! and to answer Ellen’s specific question…. I was NOT able to transform myself into a morning person! :~P




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Discussion

There are 45 comments so far.

    WannaBeSkinny

    November 19, 2008

    For me I have to listen to myself. I think a lot of people are like this. Start gung-ho and do too much and burn ourselves out. I do that all the time. This week I have not felt like doing my treadmill desk so I’m just doing a bit less and that worked. I have to listen to me to know when to push myself and when to let myself rest.

    Jennifer

    November 19, 2008

    I think I’m in the “trying to convince myself to get up and do it stage”, again. I was doing great in September and October working out 2-4 times a week. I had trained my body to get up and work out at 5 am, becoming a morning person out of need since that was the only time I could dedicate an hour to my self each day (working mom with two children).
    Then I decided to challenge myself to earn 100 AP’s in November, thinking it would help me be more consistent. Here it is almost 2/3s through the month and I have earned a grand total of 11. I haven’t worked out since the 4th, two weeks *gulp* but am trying to remind myself that working out will help me lose weight much better than not working out.

    Jill

    November 19, 2008

    I started with group exercise at my gym… it was motivating and fun. I was usually the one at the back of the class “cheating” on most of the exercises, but I still went regularly and eventually “cheated” less and less throughout the class. Then (recently) I took up jogging. I have a dog now and he needs to run every day for at least 30 mins… perfect motivation. It would be easy to skip a day here and there for myself, but I really feel as though I am letting him down when I do. I have now joined a running group that meets every week and runs 5K, plus I run 3 days a week on my own. I still try to go to group exercise throughout the week. I go to yoga, strength, and a bootcamp class my gym offers. This would be an “ideal” week though… usually I just make it to one or two classes.

    Melissa

    November 19, 2008

    I’ve been a fitness freak for as long as I can remember: dancing, cheering from the age of 4 … started running in high school, ran less during college and then became a gym rat after graduating and joining WW. I’d say for me, it’s been hard to work out LESS so I can live MORE. I’m at the point where I’m trying to figure out how to balance things so I don’t feel like a slave to the gym and my body … without running the risk of gaining weight. I have some work to do, as I’m up from my lowest (where I was for a year) and have been maintaining here for three years now — not happily, I might add. That said, I never lack motivation for the gym … I’m weird like that. But sometimes I wish I felt less guilty if I do take a day off. So now I encourage myself to take a rest day … but it’s not always easy.

    Kristen

    November 19, 2008

    I had to start out slow. Not get too crazy by working out every day. Once I built up to a couple of times a week, I did something crazy and signed up for a half marathon. I am still not overdoing it. Running three times a week and crossing training two days.

    I have always been a morning person more than a night person. Now that I have kids, I am not as much of a morning person but I do find that my workouts are better if I get them in earlier in the day. When I workout in the afternoons or evenings, it takes me longer to recover.

    It is a journey. A journey that I will be on the rest of my life.
    Best wishes on your journey!

    Maggie

    November 19, 2008

    For me it’s all about habit. Summer 2007 I would go swimming after work every single day. Then I moved and joined a gym in September. I started an intense weight training schedule for about six months and gained over 6 pounds of muscle. I would just go to the gym every day after work. This fall I went back to school and now make the gym part of my routine 4-5 days a week. It was tough in the beginning but now it’s just part of my day. I was at a really good place running 10 miles a week plus other cardio and then I got sick last week. I know I need to do strength training as well, so I am working back up to running and including weights. For me the assisted chin ups and dips machine is the best, it really works your muscles hard. Being a student makes it easier to incorporate exercise into your schedule, but hopefully these habits will stay with me.

    Maggie

    November 19, 2008

    I started off slow. I started walking on my lunch hour – first for only 30 minutes, then for the whole hour. Then I started walking on the weekends because I liked how peaceful it made me feel during the week. Then I decided I wanted to get more in shape, so I did a random workout video that was free with OnDemand from Comcast. Then I started doing a workout video every morning (they’re short, only 20 minutes or so) just because I could. And I still did the walking at lunch. Then one day I decided to go for a run to see if I could – and I COULD! So now I switch up running and exercise videos in the morning. My favorite videos are all yoga videos – but not just the stretching yoga, more cardio yoga.

    Luckily I was already a morning person, so I just cut down the time that my morning routine took and used the extra time for exercise. I try to pack my lunch the night before instead of spending 20 minutes doing it in the morning and there’s my 20 minutes for working out :)

    Great question!

    Nicole

    November 19, 2008

    I am in the “i know i need to get my butt in gear, but keep on procrastinating…..” stage. You’re right though, Roni….”YOU decide”. I decide if I’m going to point myself in the right direction. If fact I’m going to get out there and go for a walk right now. Thanks for that kick in the butt! :)

    Leslie

    November 19, 2008

    I also started off very slow. I went from not being active at all to just trying to get on the elliptical a few times per week… eventually I increased my time and the number of times I did that per week, added in some strength training and did that for awhile. Finally I decided I wanted to become a runner and started doing the Couch to 5K program (you can find it if you google it, it’s really cool) and from there I’ve gradually increased my distances and added in other forms of exercise. Now I’ve run a half marathon, am planning to run a marathon next year, and have lost almost 75 pounds–so that’s a long way to come from struggling to complete 10 minutes on the elliptical. It’s kind of crazy when I think about it.

    And I’ve never been a morning person, so I don’t even try. :) I’m an evening workout person no matter how many times I tell myself I’ll get up early the next day!

    Anne (Happy Fun Pants)

    November 19, 2008

    I am definitely not a morning work out person – I’ve tried it a couple of times, but I get dizzy and lightheaded. If I eat ahead of time, I throw up. Mornings, for me, are not much of an option. Also, I have a love/hate relationship with my alarm that involves a lot of snooze button hitting.

    I used to always look at exercise as something that I HAD to do to get thinner, to look prettier, to be more loved. And it was always something that I felt I SHOULD be doing.

    For some reason, when I started back this time (about 3 months ago) I decided that I WANTED to do it. I realized that me eating emotionally was not working – so I needed to do something else with that stress. And I turned to exercise – and the gym. I don’t have kids or a husband, but it is still MY time. MY time to not even hear a ringtone, MY time to not have to talk to anyone, and MY time to be able to listen to whatever I want. I use that time to destress and to make it completely about me.

    Because of that, it is so very helpful – and it became something I looked forward to…something I missed when I didn’t.

    After that, I wanted to push myself to do more in less time, to run more, to run at an increased pace. I went with those desires – and found that my simple sense of accomplishment was more than enough to keep me going.

    Find something you enjoy – it can be rollerskating, it can be step aerobics, it can be paddleboating. Whatever it is, do it and it will start feeling like a treat instead of a chore.

    kathy

    November 19, 2008

    I’m having the same issue as Jennifer….I am trying to get myself up early to get the time to exercise…not successful yet.
    All spring and summer I was doing well….walking/jogging for 40 minutes 5-6 times a week. Its the time of year my 6 year old is not in school…the days are longer…so I don’t feel rushed or like I’m missing something. Then the time change occurs (same thing happened to me last year) and I get off track. I really don’t want the same thing to happen as last year (didn’t work out till April!!!)
    I’m REALLY going to try to get my butt outta bed tomorrow at 5:30….anyone else want to try????? I could use the motivation!!!

    Jodi

    November 19, 2008

    I think the first thing anyone has to do, is find the time of day (even if it’s different each day) that works for you. For me it’s my lunch hour. My mornings are hectic, and my evenings are spent with my husband and kids. My lunch time is one hour I have everyday with no excuses. When I first began my journey, I could barely walk. So, that’s what I did. I walked. A little each day, further and further. Then I began to run. Slowly at first – in little intervals. Then, I joined a gym. Now I work out 5 or 6 days per week – and I actually feel a litted gypped if I don’t get to do it. My work day drags if I don’t get away from my desk, and I feel sluggish in the afternoon. I think it’s important to push yourself when you feel you need to, and be kind to yourself when you can’t. A slow walk is better than no walk, and a light workout at the gym is better than not going at all.

    Sarah

    November 19, 2008

    I started exercising in January by walking on a treadmill and riding the stationary bike a couple of times a week. Then I hired a trainer in April and added three sessions a week with her. Now, I work out just about every week day and try to get in at least one work out each weekend. My week: Mon – hour of cardio (AM); Tues – hour w/trainer (AM), hour pilates class (PM), half hour jog/walk after pilates; Wednesday – hour of cardio (AM); Thursday – hour w/trainer (AM), hour pilates class (PM), half hour jog/walk after pilates; Friday – hour w/trainer (AM), half hour or hour cardio on my own (AM)

    I absolutely wouldn’t have believed it if someone told me that I’d ever exercise as much as I do now. It was most definitely a gradual progression that started out as something I thought I should try to do and then turned into something I feel I have to do. I no longer worry about finding time or motivation to exercise because I just somehow make it happen. It became very easy to fit it in once it became an important part of my life.

    I hope my comments don’t sound too pollyanna-ish. I was 60 pounds heavier when I started and don’t know that I could’ve run if I had to, so I definitely know what it’s like to not know where to start. It’s hard to make a lifestyle change, but it’s so worth it to at least try!

    roni

    November 19, 2008

    Oh My! I love reading everyone’s responses! so cool! and Sara I know what you mean. I always feel a bit too, ummmm, optimistic. That’s why I’m always stressing where I started. I want people to know they can change if they try. I know “old roni” would be rolling her eyes at half the stuff I say now! LOL

    Christie

    November 19, 2008

    I am pretty much at the beginning of the exercise journey. I don’t really have an exercise routine. My husband and I are making efforts to do what we can to be more active. We do things like Roni’s 5 floor rule, taking the dogs for a walk on the weekdays (sometimes 2 walks), we usually go walking/hiking somewhere locally on the weekends, and also not being afraid to get up and go walk somewhere instead of using technology. For example, if you are at work, get up and go find someone instead of calling/texting/e-mailing them.

    Eden

    November 19, 2008

    Like just about everyone else here, I started my love affair with exercise slowly. At first we just flirted with each other. I’d go to the gym about 3 times a week and use the elliptical trainer for 20 minutes with very little resistance. I was fortunate that my gym’s elliptical trainers have built-in TV screens. I found I could work out AND watch my favorite shows–and somehow that helped me push through that awkward first date stage.

    Soon my infatuation grew and I found myself thinking about my “crush” a lot! I realized I felt so much better after exercising, and I really craved it, so I took the relationship to the next step. I no longer needed the “TV ellipticals” to keep me hooked. I got an iPod (a MUST for the gym!) and loaded it with great music. I was exercising longer and harder, and I liked what it was doing for my body.

    But I made the real commitment to my exercise habit when I started attending group classes. For me, they provided the interest, challenge, and motivation to keep me faithful. I push myself so much harder when I have an instructor to challenge me, and I started seeing major results.

    I’ve now been exercising for two years. I’d have never believed that this relationship could go for so long, but the truth is it’s the real thing; this one is going to last forever. I’m easily in the best shape of my life (a life which is much happier, by the way). I went from being the person who circles the parking lot to find a space close to the door to doing killer spinning workouts for hours. I lost 35 pounds, built tons of muscle, and reinvented myself. I changed my destiny!

    It’s love, pure and simple.

    Petunia

    November 19, 2008

    Great Question!

    I’m with Jodi (#12) in that I work out now during my lunch hour. It’s the best way to break up the day.

    Side Bar: I *have* lost weight (30 lbs on WW) in the recent past without doing ANY exercise, JUST by modifying my eating, and being fairly active in life, but not working out. (I am pretty sure that Roni said she lost her initial weight that way as well!)

    But exercise makes you feel so good physically and mentally, and it’s such a terrific compliment to a healthy, positive lifestyle. It’s hands down a great habit for life. We are all going to stay out of the doctor’s

    I don’t exercise to burn calories or to eat more. In fact my WW leader encouraged us *not* to count Activity Points — Because most people over estimate their activity and underestimate their food.

    Here’s the article she’s citing so you can see for yourself: http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/index_art.aspx?tabnum=1&art_id=20981&sc=806

    Of course for the totally hardcore exercise people, they can certainly eat more! They need to! I envy that, and would love to get there one day.

    Okay, so back to my routine, which I just started about 3 or 4 weeks ago. Since I’m doing this at lunch time from work I kind of have to “sneak out” and I don’t have unlimited time. I do cardio for 20 minutes and strength training for 10 minutes. I know that doesn’t sound like a lot of time compared to a lot of people’s routines, but I am going 4-5 days a week and am really pushing myself hard so I get the maximum effort in a little amount of time.

    Once I get a couple months in, I want to start trying to take classes, and do even more. And by the time spring comes hopefully it’ll be nice enough to do stuff outside!!!

    But for now concentrating on getting fit for the holidays! I want to feel good getting dressed for all my holiday soirees!

    Matt

    November 19, 2008

    These are interesting questions. I think it is good to look inside and really see where you are at with things and this is a great place to begin.

    Where am I at? Currently I am in rebounding from being a gym rat. I began hitting the gym in the spring and faltered in the later summer and fall when I started to train for a 5k. It has been a month since that 5k and I have been to the gym and run on all of 5 occasions. Luckily for me the 3 occasions at the gym have been within the last week.

    How did I get here? Well I am going to tell you how I got where I was when I was the gym rat who spent 5-7 hours a week in the gym. I just started. I know it sounds simple, but I went to the gym, I signed up and hit the elliptical. I could only muster 5 minutes that first day. Now my regular elliptical workout is 45 minutes. What I discovered was that I felt great after my workout and I had a ton more energy. I also found that as I am still in losing mode that I lost weight faster on weeks when I worked out more as opposed to weeks when I did not. So I got a bit off track. I started slowly. I made sure that the place I was working out was someplace that I had to pay for, because if it was free I might not go as often.

    Ask in a few weeks if I am back at the gym regularly and I will tell you how I got back too.

    Great post Roni!

    Brandi

    November 19, 2008

    I worked out ALL the time in high school because of sports. Then one day in college I realized that my body really really missed having that coach beat me into shape and without it I had become…flabby and overweight! So a friend gave me a Turbojam video and I loved it! I did that for a year or so pretty regularly and then decided to get certified to teach. I taught for another year, which kept me wanting to do other things. You can’t teach a high intensity cardio class and be overweight and flabby. Its the EPITOMY of hypocrisy. So I alternate my days now. I teach two or three times a week (btw getting paid to work out is great for motivation!). On the other days I run/train (working up to 1/2 marathon), or try other people’s classes. The next on my list is spinning!

    Ellen

    November 19, 2008

    Wow! What awesome responses :) Thanks again, Roni, for using my question for today’s post! It is great to hear that I’m not the only one who has tried to force herself to become a morning person, to no avail.

    Thanks to everyone who is sharing their experiences, I am getting some great ideas for myself :)

    sylvia

    November 19, 2008

    My exercise journey…hmmm…let’s see. I tried the gym thing but the idea of leaving my house in cold and rainy weather didn’t work for me because I’m not one of those “I love exercise” type people. I told myself if I can dedicate myself to working out for 30 minutes 5x’s a week then I might be in such a zone that I might consider joining a gym again. But until then I will be working out with my personal trainer Bob Harper (from the Biggest Loser) doing his exercise tape which is btw extremely brutual and one heck of a workout for a half an hour (Volume 1).

    Fitness Surfer

    November 19, 2008

    “How did you get started…?” Honestly a sister lent me Turbo Jam and I loved it and found I could do it during the kids naps. I’ve always wanted to learn how to surf and decided to make that my goal.

    “Did you focus on aerobic exercise or strength training or a combination?” I currently do a combination of everything and make sure it’s always something I enjoy.

    “How did you find time in your life to devote to this activity?” I didn’t, I made it a top priority and made time.

    “If you are not a “morning person,”…?” I am a morning person, but I’m already up early with a baby. So, for now I workout at night after they go to bed.

    “How did your approach to fitness and exercise change…?” I now approach it from more then just eating and exercise. I focus on 5 main fitness areas…Nutrition, Physical, Mental, Financial, and Social. Making healthy choices in these areas every day has changed my life. I’m serious.

    I’m starting to crave the “hard-core workout” as of late. It’s the best thing to help kick any cravings and keep my emotions and attitude on a healthy level.

    Jenny

    November 19, 2008

    Recently, I have become an exercise-aholic after years of having a love-hate relationship with exercising. The only exercise I used to enjoy was dancing. Due to financial reasons, joining a gym is just not feasible for me at this point in time. My exercise routine consists of rotating a few different workout videos 4-5 times a week, Pilates once a week, and getting a walk in 1-2 times a week. I am really wanting to start the Couch-to-5K program but it’s dark when I get home from work these days and I am SO not a morning person (though I have tried). I have found that Leslie Sansone has a Walk & Jog version of her WATP series and I am using that to gear me up for starting the C25K in the spring.

    The biggest motivation for me to exercise right now is that I have found my body is changing as I have entered my mid-30’s. Even though I have hit my goal weight, things are soft and squishy where they never were before. Plus, my overall health is something that has become very important to me and an exercise routine is a big part of that. I can definitely see and feel the changes even though I have only been doing this for a few months.

    I never thought I would say this but exercising is now something I look forward to rather than dread. I am not sure why this shift has occurred but I am going to do my best to make sure it stays that way!

    Biz

    November 19, 2008

    I finally came to the conclusion that I don’t have to set exactly 60 or 90 minutes a day aside for exercise – I definitely break it up!

    I was an athlete all through grade school and high school. Even got a partial athletic scholarship for field hockey to college!

    So the inner athlete was always there, I just had to bring her out again. So what I do now, is something. Anything. It could be walking the dog for 30 minutes in the morning, working out during lunch at my buildings fitness center for 45 minutes, then maybe a 15 minute walk after dinner.

    The important thing is it all adds up! And I don’t think you can do cardio without strength training, they seem to go hand in hand!

    Suzyn

    November 19, 2008

    I was always a walker and had managed to be a gym rat for up to 2 months at a time (after wasting tons of money on gym memberships that mostly went unused).
    This time, it started with doing Jillian Michaels 30 Day shred for a while, then losing heart. Then I decided to do C25K and am loving every tiring moment of it lol. I think that THIS is the turning point. I am also doing the 100 push up program and want to reintegrate the Shred into my non running days.
    The mindset has changed. I don’t just want to be thin, I want to be healthy and active. I deserve to have that feeling! But as Roni says, it doesn’t happen overnight. It happens as you find activity after activity that you enjoy and add, and that leads to new goals and challenges.

    Shannon

    November 19, 2008

    I am just getting started again after a good 6 months of not really exercising at all. I’ve had a lot of issues with my hips and feet so I am limited in how much I can do (right now – hopefully not forever). I’ve been trying to commit to a 10 minute walk once a day in the afternoon while at work. It’s not much but it is a start. Since I’m doing this everyday I can tell whether I am improving. The first day I was actually out of breath within the 1st minute whereas today I was a little out of breath when I got back inside but was ok during the walk. Eventually I’d like to turn this into a longer walk and add in other things but for now this is where I am starting.

    Annette

    November 19, 2008

    I do a structured workout for 30-60 min a day and then get lots of exercise keeping up with the 4 kids. This week I have added an evening workout to break through a plateau.

    Where am I? If I don’t exercise now, I feel like crap!

    Pubsgal

    November 19, 2008

    Great question! Let me preface this by saying that I’ve never considered myself an athletic person. I’ve always liked going on walks and bike rides and swimming, but not to the point of making them a regular part of my daily routine. Other than running cross-country in high school (and that only because it was the only sport that seemed to me to require more persistence than skill), I’ve never really been part of any organized sport. I would have laughed myself silly had anyone, at this very moment last year, suggested that I would be exercising regularly…or running? Hah ha ha ha ha ha!!!

    Q: How did you get started exercising in a structured way?
    A: Way back in the spring, I started getting this feeling like I ought to be taking better care of myself. I was tired of being so tired all the time. Via CNN.com, I started finding blogs about other people who had lost a lot of weight; they were very inspiring! At the end of May, I got started, gradually…but then mid-June I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and had a health screening that also made me concerned about my bone density. Ack my mid-life crisis had arrived! I was advised to exercise 30 minutes 5x/week (and told that it was just as important as taking medication) and had received some handouts about how to improve bone density. Running seemed like a good answer to both, and finding some articles online about getting started with running (Couch-to-5K and another one on Zen Habits) helped show me how to do just that. (I also did some bike riding over the summer to break up the monotony, but it’s too dark now.)

    Q: Did you focus on aerobic exercise or strength training or a combination?
    Both. Each helps to control insulin resistance and to develop bone density. I don’t do strength training for lower body currently; I focus on upper body and abdominal muscles–things that don’t get impacted by running. (I’m also finding that as I lose body fat, strength training helps give a bit of tone in some areas…others–alas, poor girls!–not so much.)

    Q: How did you find time in your life to devote to this activity? If you are not a “morning person,” were you able to transform and become one so you could exercise in the morning?
    A: I’m not really sure how I found the time: I’m a mom of two who works full-time outside the home. But it’s amazing what you’ll do with a big enough stick waving around behind you. Morning was my only option for a vigorous workout, since we don’t have showers at work and I’m too cheap to join the gym next door. ;-) I didn’t used to be a morning person, although with kids I’d already become more of one than I used to be. So fortunately, when I started, it was summertime and we didn’t have the school morning routine. By the time school started, it was habit, and I feel kinda cheated if I don’t get my time.

    Q: How did your approach to fitness and exercise change as you got into more of a routine?
    A: I got really gung-ho for awhile–running 5 days/week in the morning, walking 2 miles at lunchtime, and cramming in the strength training at night. I found myself getting really weary, so I cut back a little after the 5K. I’m currently alternating running and workout videos+strength training in the mornings. I need to get back to doing those lunchtime walks, though. I also need to register for another 5K race, having something like that to look forward to really makes it feel less like “exercising” and more like “training.”

    In summary, I like exercise for the “me time” and for feeling stronger and healthier. I like the feeling of having *something* I can control: monitoring blood glucose is a lot like monitoring the scale…you can control the inputs (nutrition/activity/medication) and *usually* get a good result, but no guarantees. And this is going to sound vain, but being able to call myself a “runner” or “athletic person” takes the sting out of labels like “type 2 diabetic” and “obese.”

    Runeatrepeat

    November 19, 2008

    After highschool I just started walking to lose weight. My grams had lost weight doing laps around our pool when I was a child so I remembered that working. I would go over to her house and walk on her treadmill. Then, I got my own treadmill. One day I just got bored of walking so I started running. The rest is run,eat,repeat history!!!

    Laura Jane

    November 19, 2008

    This is a great question. I’ve loved reading everyone’s responses.
    I’m not exactly sure how to categorize what stage I’m in, but here’s my exercise story. I have exercised in the past (by going to a gym regularly), but it never more than six-eight weeks. Life always got in the way. And honestly, more than anything, the whole all-or-nothing mentality got in the way. The thought, “Well, I’ve already eaten like a pig–what good is a workout going to do me?” or something along those lines. I’m really turning that whole mentality around (your blog has been a huge inspiration in helping me do that, btw), and it’s affecting everything about weight loss (and even other things) positively, including exercise. Anyway, I started this weight loss journey 12 weeks ago, and I have worked out a minimum of 3 days per week every single week. I kinda just jumped it with going to the Y regularly. However, the first couple weeks, I didn’t work out all that hard (just wanted to solidly establish the habit of going) or long, but I’ve been increasing the intensity of my workouts. I’ve also used the couch to 5k running plan, and I just yesterday completed the 20 minute run at the end of week 5. The key for me is to make the exercise non-negotiable (so I don’t have that internal battle with myself every time I go) and to see it more as “me time” rather than some dreadful chore.

    noelle

    November 19, 2008

    I am a morning person, but I just can’t motivate myself out of bed in the morning to get to the gym. When I do get there in the morning I never have the same energy or as good a workout as I do going afterwork or on the weekends mid morning. So I fit it in as best I can. I’ve recently decided that I want to become a runner, so I’m “training” to be one. Sounds funny to train to be a runner, but it’s hard for me to run for more than 5 mins w/o needing a walk break. So my goal right now is to run for 10mins straight no breaks. Sounds easy, but it’s tougher than I thought and it’s not like I’m new to cardio. I’m an avid fan of Spin and the Elliptical. Getting interested in running I hope will motivate me to get to the gym more. I know it’ll be a tough journey but I’m ready.

    Anyone have any advice for a beginning runner? My legs are really sore!

    Love your blog by the way, very motivational..

    Lauren / merrymishaps

    November 20, 2008

    I started running in February 2004, a month before my 29th birthday. There were a few things that got me started.

    My office was putting together a team for an 8K and I decided to do it. While I was not a runner, a non-athlete friend of mine had recently started running. If she could do it, why not me?

    I also realized I wasn’t getting any younger. I never really had to worry too much about what I ate, but I figured my good metabolism wouldn’t last forever!

    I trained on my own for the 8K, and joined a local running club for their 5K training class. And then their 10K training class. And kept running from there with my new running friends.

    I did a post a while back on my journey from a non-runner to marathon-runner over here. (Sorry for the self-promotion!)

    That post ends with a marathon. So far it’s my only one, but I think I’ll do another eventually. This summer I completed my first triathlon — Iron Girl in Columbia, MD. It was a lot of fun, and I loved having to incorporate cross training. I’m signed up for next year!

    Bob Blick

    November 20, 2008

    I started running 13 years ago just to try to help my daughter lose weight. Then I found myself doing a marathon and running in numerous road races. That is a recommendation I would make to motivate yourself. Not the marathon so much as entering local walks and runs.

    My grandson provides me the motivation I need. A very active 5 year old, I have to stay in shape to keep up with him.

    I actually started a website way back when on exercising, and now have an exercise blog you might want to check out at Exercise Digest.

    Lori

    November 20, 2008

    I started off slow – with the treadmill and walking DVD’s. I then added other DVD’s – both cardio and weight training. AFter becoming more fit (and less self-concious about how I looked) I started taking classes at the local Y. I fell in love with zumba – a dance fitness class which uses international rhythms. It felt like a dance party and I had SO much fun burning off those calories. I just became a certificed zumba instructor and will start teaching this January.

    For me, the most important principles were/are: (1) start off slowly so your exercise is a pleasant experience that leaves you feelng good about yourself, (2) don’t be afraid to try something new – you might like it!, and (3) find activities that you LOVE to do – it makes exercise something you look forward to, rather than a chore.

    Suzzan

    November 20, 2008

    Roni, I owe so much to you and to all of there community out there. So much of becoming healthier rests on the individual (as I like to say.. there is no one but me that can stop me from putting that Burger King Whopper in my mouth but me) That being said, it sure is nice to surround yourself with people who have or are going through some of the very same thoughts, struggles, emotions as you are.

    Anyway… I am 9.5 months into my new life, 70 pounds lost 15 to go. I found that I did not set ANY exercise goal in the beginning and I said I would never, because I did not want to commit to something I would not continue after I hit the weight I wanted. Never exercised EVER.. HOWEVER, long about 3 months (30lb lost) into it I said, well I think I want to exercise. So I committed.. to walking 1 day per week at my lunch hour for 2 mi. When I say commited, I mean, like I have to go to work every day. The guilt that the end of the week was coming and I had not walked, was enough to get me out there. Then I increased my exercising to 3 times a week. And about three months of walking I started running.

    So, my commitment is still one day a week. And I have only missed 2 weeks in 6 months. But I have been doing 3 times a week and though I did not truly commit with myself on 3 days, I have been doing it for so long that the guilt builds up and I get out there. I have slacked to only 2 times a week 3 times in the 4 months of running…

    I think it was the committing low that did it.. and I do not rely on exercise AT ALL for my weight loss. (I know it is helping and I feel awesome.. doing races and all) but I do not think of exercise being attributed to my weight… in that exercise is for my lungs, and cells and feel good stuff… and my weight is well.. needs to be within the guidelines they state it should.

    Please know, I personally “think” of it this way” so that I do not cheat myself… Oh I ** fill in the exercise** so i can eat ** fill in the food**

    Patsy Houghteling

    November 20, 2008

    Where did it all start? In May 2006 a couple of friends and I started up a Weight Watcher’s group at church. I went to my very 1st meeting on May 11, 2006 (258) and on May 12th I started walking on my lunch hour. I am married with 3 boys (all involved in sports), work full-time and very active in my church, so the only time I had without any excuses was on my lunch. Everynow and then something comes up but for the most part my lunch is me time. Even when it rains, snows or just really cold I am out there. Then a guy I work with told me that if I would start running I would see greater results. So at my lunch walks I started picking out spots along the way (a sign, a tree, a fence, etc) and running to that spot. Every week or so extending that spot a little further and then a little further until I actually was running 5 miles none stop ***It felt GREAT-I hope i never forget that feeling.*** Since May 2006 I still run everyday at lunch (3 miles each day -40 minutes to change, run, change back and 20 minutes to eat a SmartOne and Zuccini/Yellow Squash), still attend WW, lost 90/lbs but have put back on 15 in the last 4 months. Earlier this year I joined the gym (3 month membership) and was going 3-4 times a week at 4:30am and 3 days a week again in the afternoon for the whole 3 months and running at lunch and felt great but very tired. Since the membership expired I have just been running at lunch and every week at the WW meeting I have had small gains finally adding up to about 15/lbs. I have also been a little laxed on my points but I am trying to get back on the wagon. Running at lunch has become complete habit, the days that for some reason I don’t run at lunch I feel lost and have that deep feeling that something is missing and it screws up the rest of my day. For me exercising the same time and same time works because it becomes routine and I like routines.

    Nina

    November 20, 2008

    Hi Roni!

    Great post!

    @Ellen: I first started looking for a work-out which was fun and not unhealthy for me (like e.g. jogging which would hurt my knees). I wanted something to be better than chocolate – well, at least partly. And something I really look forward to regularly and something that is so good for me that it makes me do it even if I feel down. And something that would make me forget I was red in the face and sweating like hell. That’s why I started to do bellydancing and tribal style bellydancing four years ago, and I only joined the gym at the beginning of this year to do a little extra.

    And I also try to do as much daily activity as possible, like walking to work, etc. without constantly overstressing myself – you know, the gerbil wheel in your head that tells you you could save one calorie by using a spoon backwards or so. Sometimes I consciously treat myself by e.g. using the escalator in a shopping mall instead of the stairs. Just to remind me to relax from time to time as I am getting too ambitious and serious if I don’t watch it.

    Hope I could help you a little.

    Love,
    Nina

    Kate

    November 20, 2008

    I started running back in like 2000, but I wasn’t totally committed. I’d run a little here, do a 5K there, etc. This continued over the next few years, until this year. I did a 10 mile run back in May, and on Sunday, I’m doing a half marathon. I may even attempt a full marathon next year!

    Kim

    November 21, 2008

    I have pretty much always been on an exercise journey since the 9th grade when I knew I had to lose weight. I was 5’0″ and was a little over 120 pounds. It was alot of weight on my small frame and I didn’t want to get any bigger.

    So I started riding my bike more, roller skating more, going for walks outside with my mom.

    I was always a pretty active kid. I always roller skated whenever the weather permitted. I ice skated on and off for several years (I’ve been at the “on” stage of ice skating for quite a few years now, thank goodness. It’s great!). I loved to dance around in the living room in the evenings after it got dark. I never missed an opportunity to play outside alone or with friends.

    But I never ate well, until about a year ago…that’s another story.

    Right now, I think I need more cardio and I KNOW I need more weight training. I joined a weight loss plan in July of ’07 and I lost 18 pounds by October ’07. I was two pounds under my goal weight. I looked great (still do) and felt even better. I was also working out regularly (cardio and weights) because I know how important it is.

    In September, I started taking some college classes and I have 8 credits that I’m working on, plus work full-time, plus homework, plus husband and dogs and house….my schedule is full and oftentimes when I get home, I don’t want to workout…I have other things to do.

    So I make it a point to get exercise in throughout the day. I think I do better at it, but I’m not doing horrible either. I walk outside (on lunch break at work) with my friend Andrea. We motivate each other well to get out and walk. We walk when weather permits and log about 2 miles in about a half-our…not bad! I have also been ice skating 1-2x a week and I get a fantastic workout in then…I jump, spin, skate fast, and work on edges…I can’t say enough how great a workout it is for me. Takes ALOT of effort, believe me. And practicing is fun.

    The thing I need to work on is weight training. I can do this at home; I can’t do it at work obviously. There isn’t a gym nearby enough for me to go there during lunch. (But the skating rink is literally right up the street from work so that’s why that works) So that means doing weights after work.

    I realize that working out only 10 minutes is better than no minutes. If I could just set aside 10 min at home to do weights…and then add another 10 or 20 later if I have time and energy. And I can work just one muscle group each time. Thing is, I LOVE total body workouts and that takes me a good 45 min to do. I am not happy unless I can do a total body workout and when I can’t, then I don’t do it…and I need to GET OUT OF THAT MINDSET. I need to put aside 10 minutes (or more) at home to workout with the weights. I know I’ll be glad I did.

    Once classes are over, I get a break from school for about a month and then it’s back to 9 credits in the Spring! Ugh! But it’ll be worth it…just need to MAKE time for my workouts no matter what…even if it’s just a short amount of time.

    Joy (chinadolldx)

    November 21, 2008

    I find that I’m in a rut at the moment. Since 2001 I was a gym fanatic, seven days a week! After joining WW and losing 40lbs with diet and exercise, I was lifetime!

    I’m finding this year has been difficult for me to get to the gym and since I haven’t renewed my Bally’s membership… expired Nov 10.. I’m opting to buy an elliptical or arc trainer for home use.

    Could I just be burnt out or am I becoming lazy?! Roni, you have my energy that I had for YEARS and want to get back — just unsure how?

    Healthy Weight Loss Girl

    November 21, 2008

    I started out with cardio and after about 2 months I added a little bit of strength training to my routine. I think what helped me succeed was finding a workout buddy who never backs down. This way I don’t have to ever be tempted to skip a session.

    Brad

    December 5, 2008

    That’s funny how you think using “journey” is cheesy cause I couldn’t think of anything else to use in my domain name. Nice site. Keep up the good work.

    Rob

    October 19, 2009

    Good Post! I like to consider myself on the “journey”

    Spruch

    May 20, 2010

    Hello from Germany! May i quote a post a translated part of your blog with a link to you? I’ve tried to contact you for the topic Where are you on your exercise journey? — Roni’s Weigh, but i got no answer, please reply when you have a moment, thanks, Spruch

    roni

    May 20, 2010

    Hi Spruch,

    Of course! :)

    I didn’t recieve you prior email. As long as you link back I have no problem with it.

    Will you let me know when it’s up?

    -Roni