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Morbidly obese - how to get started exercising?

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  • Morbidly obese - how to get started exercising?

    hI, Im new to this site but am loving what Im finding here! i have been eating primal for three days now, and have lost 4 lbs. i would like to start in incorporating exercise into my day, but am 100 pounds over weight and have very poor exercise tolerance. How do I start? Any ideas for the very obese?


  • #2
    Hi Sarah, I've lost over 180lbs now (about 50lbs of that on primal), so I know how you feel!

    The honest truth for me is that I've not found exercise to be hugely helpful as far as the weight loss goes. It certainly helps with muscle tone and energy levels, but I've not noticed that it results in more weight loss than clean eating alone does.

    That said, my approach was to find exercisey things that I enjoyed doing. Like hiking. So, the hubby and I started years ago by taking small little hikes. I think our first one was around a tiny lake near us, and I remember being so worn out after. Now we routinely do 15 mile hikes. We also love to explore cities. Just the other week, I walked from Union Square in San Francisco, wandered through Chinatown and North Beach, all the piers, the Palace of Fine Arts, down Crissy Field, over the Golden Gate Bridge, and into Sausalito. That's not something I could have ever imagined doing 180lbs ago.

    Just find something you enjoy doing and your endurance will build. And if you make sure to eat cleanly along the way, every pound you lose will help you to have more endurance.


    • #3
      Just walk for now. Seriously. It's excellent for weight loss and will get you moving. Walk everyday and try to work up your 'steps per day' to 10,000 (5 total miles throughout the entire day).

      I think the slow frequent movement part of Mark's recommendations are really key to weight loss.


      • #4
        The best thing you can do is walk. Walk as far as you feel comfortable, even if it's just to the mailbox and back or to the end of the sidewalk and back and then increase your distance little by little.


        • #5
          I also feel like I should add, take special care not to injure yourself while becoming more active. That can set you back big time. On one of our first big hikes when I was near my top weight, I pushed myself too hard, ended up tearing a calf muscle and was in a lot of pain for about a month.

          So be careful and work within your limits. Get good shoes if you need them, don't push yourself too hard, and most importantly, keep it fun or you won't be motivated to continue doing it.


          • #6
            walk. even super fit people should walk a lot.

            if you're resistant, try adding another project to it. i like the idea of taking a walk to capture a photo a day. head out with a goal to take a picture of something specific each day. so, for a week, take pictures that capture these things:
            the letter j


            • #7
              Isometric pushup attempts?
              In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.


              • #8
                Doing the first step of pushups and planks that Mark suggests would be pretty good starting point in addition to the walking. Wall pushups and the hands/knees plank are easy enough and you can increase the number or time as you progress.
                Male, 32y, 6'0" tall
                SW 306lbs (6/1/12)
                CW 244lbs (1/17/13)

                BP down from 120/80 to 110/74


                • #9
                  Walking is a great way to start exercising. I would also check out the book Body By Science and start working my way towards a strength training program. BBS very slow cadence makes it doable for almost anyone.


                  • #10
                    Walking and the modified pushups and planks that were mentioned. You could also add in the assisted squats that Mark shows on that youtube video that's out there. Sorry, no link.


                    • #11

                      Some help from Mark @ youtube.
                      "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine


                      Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.


                      • #12
                        Remember that body composition is 80% about nutrition and only 20% about exercise so at this point the most important thing is to make sure you are eating right. You should see awesome results early on by being careful about what you eat and making it a point to walk more.

                        Once you're weight loss plateaus even though you're eating correctly, ramp up the exercise a little bit to jump start things. I like this strategy for a couple of reasons:

                        1. Changing a lot of things at the same time is hard. If you just concentrate on changing your eating habits right now you'll have an easier time sticking to it than if you totally change your whole lifestyle.

                        2. I like to do things in steps and have "an ace in the hole" that I can use to jump start my progress when I start getting stuck. If you fix everything at once you'll get frustrated when you inevitably stall out because you feel like you are doing everything right and there's no explanation for your lack of success.

                        This would be my plan if I wanted to lose 100 lbs:

                        1. Start following the primal eating plan and walk more. Take the stairs a little more often instead of an elevator or escalator. Eventually my weight loss will stall, hopefully I'll be down at least 20-30 lbs by this point. So I'd...

                        2. Make sure I'm keeping up with Step 1 and add a little more exercise. Maybe on my walks I'd start to jog a little bit. Not too much, maybe just run from one telephone pole to the next and then continue walking until I catch my breath and feel up to trying it again. I'm mostly walking but just getting my body used to the idea that I'm going to run from time to time. I'd start doing some body weight exercises, calisthenics, or even some light weight lifting if I had access to that type of thing. Again, I'm not trying to kill myself, just get my body used to the idea that I'm going to use these muscles from time to time. This will get my ligaments and tendons in shape and get my muscles used to the stress of working out. This will help prevent me from getting too sore or injuring myself when I pick up the intensity a few months later in step 3...

                        3... The next time I feel like I need to pick things up I'd ramp up the exercise. Maybe start running a little harder on the running portions of my walk and see if I can shorten the walk intervals a little bit. I'd get myself on a basic weightlifting regiment. Nothing too fancy. Just start lifting heavy things. Pressing, pulling, and squatting on a regular schedule. I'd start with really light weights but push myself to improve and track my progress so I could look back and see how much improvement I've made if I ever feel like things aren't working.

                        4. From this point I'd have some pretty good life habits and I'd just need to figure out what's important and challenge myself continuously to get a little better. If I feel like I need to break through a rut, I might try a Whole 30 for a month where I am ultra strict about what I eat. Or maybe I'd concentrate on a more intense workout program. Or I could focus on running/sprinting to improve that aspect of my training. Or I could give up TV or internet for a month and challenge myself to be a little more active in my recreational activities.

                        You get overweight from having bad lifestyle habits, you fix it by changing those habits over the long haul. I think you'll have better success if you just work on one thing at a time.

                        I hope that helps.
                        Last edited by dgreenwood; 10-03-2012, 09:26 AM.


                        • #13
                          Thanks JoanieL!


                          • #14
                            Thank you all so much for your tips guidance and encouragement. I really appreciate the posts. Im going to focus on diet foe a little while then atart in gradually with the exercise.

                            Take care,


                            • #15
                              Hi Binti! It sounds like you're on the right track. Focus on eating right and eating enough! Make sure you get rid of all grains and absolutely do not replace them with any of that gluten free, processed stuff. Cut back on fruit and dairy (possibly cut dairy out entirely if you find that it bothers you). Don't be afraid of consuming plenty of fat. Finally, eat until you're full (not stuffed to the point of being uncomfortable, but full). That should be more than enough for now. As the other posters said above, you shouldn't really need to do any exercise other than walking at the moment. Go as far as you feel comfortable, and don't overdo it. If it is at all encouraging, I went from about 225 lbs at the end of May to 185 lbs even as of this morning by just eating right and walking. Good luck and welcome!