With Exercise, Start Where You Are

The other day, I was at the gym and I saw one of those boot camp-style classes going on. I watched a group of people, many of them 50 pounds or more overweight, doing burpies. They did this, and other crazy things they weren’t conditioned for, because the trainer was telling them to.

And all I kept thinking was, “Go for a walk. Get outside. Put in 20 minutes this week. Maybe bump it up to 30 minutes next week. Then build on your progress!”

Recently, one of our Half Size Me™ Community members shared she was starting a boot camp-style class. She said she hated looking at herself in the mirror while working out. She was in pain and she just wants to get the weight off.

I also have a coaching client who’s been sedentary for awhile. She asked me, “Should I go back to my boot camp class?” My answer: No!. If you recognize yourself in either of these example, please consider an alternative to throwing yourself back into an extreme exercise solution.

You want to condition yourself so you can workout, in a boot camp class or something else, without injuring yourself or burning yourself out. I hate burpies, I’m not doing burpies. I don’t enjoy them, I don’t do them for pleasure. I do weight training and I walk.

When I decided to finally lose the weight, and keep it off, I focused on walking. That’s all I was doing. At 280 pounds I was walking, and I when I went back to the gym I realized I wasn’t going to do the high-intensity workouts because they hurt my back and my knees so badly.

If you’re like me, then you have to ask yourself this question: Is this type of exercise something I can sustain? Is this something I’m going to be able to put my body through week in and week out? Will it help me reach my goals? For me, the answer was no. But walking was something I could do, consistently, and it was something that helped me get stronger over time.

I released a post called ‘If you can lift a fork, you can lose weight’ (click here to read it). And in that post, I talked about why so many people, myself included, have always believed we have to exercise in an intense way to lose weight.

I’ve learned  that if you have your eating under control, you can lose weight. Now, don’t get me wrong. Exercise is wonderful and important because of the many health benefits it provides you, but it’s not essential that you workout with the fevered effort of a triathlete if you’re trying to lose weight. Not even close.

If you make food your focus, you’ll get results. Don’t abuse your body. Don’t approach your weight loss and exercise from a place of self-loathing. In a couple months, if you’ve tortured yourself with exercise, you’re not going to want to stick with it.

If you’ve been sedentary and January 1st rolls around, so you start doing these high-intensity workouts, then you haven’t taken the time to condition yourself. You want to do this for the long haul. You want to lose the weight and keep it off. Getting injured or  having so much pain you don’t want to do this anymore is not the way to do that.

You can choose to walk away from things that make you feel bad about yourself. Walk away from the extreme, torturous exercise, focus on what you feel good doing where you’re at right not. You have your whole life ahead of you to take on boot camp classes and do burpies if you really want to. But remember, you didn’t put this weight on overnight, anmd it’s not going to come off overnight. It’s going to take time.

So be kind to yourself.

After losing 170 pounds by changing her mindset, developing healthier eating habits, and making exercise part of her lifestyle, Heather decided she wanted to help others who struggled along their weight loss journey. Along with her hubby, Joel, they founded HalfSizeMe.com and the extremely popular Half Size Me Show podcast.