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From fat to fit - where to start?

(44 Posts)
Tomorrowiscancelled Mon 06-Aug-18 08:28:52

So I'm not on a diet I'm 'making life changes' and as well as loosing the weight I want to be fitter. I began by walking more and I've got an activity tracker that encourages me to go for another walk if I've not moved enough. I've set target at 8000 but I'm happier at 10,000. And yesterday I joined the gym. Today is my induction and my first session.

I've lurked on a lot of threads and seen people say they were big and are either at target or are still on their journey, also that they struggled to go for a walk but now love to exercise. Aside from keeping up the walking, I'm not sure how to approach this. Do I go in there and do a full hour jumping from machine to machine? Stick to one thing? Do that couch to 5k thing on the treadmill?

What exercise did you try when you were at your biggest to start you off? Where should I start so I'm not going to overdo it and not go back?

Mid 30's, size 20/22, almost 16 stone.

OP’s posts: |
Lokisglowstickofdestiny Mon 06-Aug-18 08:34:43

If you are going for an induction tell the trainer what you want to do and they can show you what's best. You need a mixture of cardio and weights. It will stop you getting bored as well if you can mix it up a bit. Most of your weight loss will come from changes you make to what you eat rather than exercise.

RDeWinter Mon 06-Aug-18 08:35:01

I would be led by the gym to begin with. For instance I joined a gym recently and had lots of ideas.

The owner of the gym spent 30 mins with me and decided that before I did anything I needed to stretch, a lot, otherwise I would just get stiffer and stiffer. He works with me twice a week (free of charge) on specific stretching, I go to the yoga class there twice a week and use the rowing machine and a bike.

Thats it for now and it is perfect. So I would definitely be led by the people (hopefully knowledgeable) at the gym.

Tomorrowiscancelled Mon 06-Aug-18 08:35:57

Oh. I was told the induction was just to show how to use the machines safely and fire exits etc.

OP’s posts: |
CantankerousCamel Mon 06-Aug-18 08:36:49


Lokisglowstickofdestiny Mon 06-Aug-18 08:42:52

If it's just to show you the machines try to book a separate session to get a programme - any decent gym will offer this (sometimes for a charge). Until then I'd suggest a walk on treadmill for 5 mins to warm up, some stretches and then 10 minutes on each of the elliptical, cycle and rowing machine. Then stretches to cool down. You need to get to the point where you are working hard but can still talk. I'm not a great fan of running on a treadmill as the belt effectively pulls your legs backwards which is counter a natural movement so can be bad for your hips.

RDeWinter Mon 06-Aug-18 08:43:26

I think that is the basic requirement (of their liability insurance) Tomorrow, but most help you to work out what you can do safely and what is the right thing for you to be doing at the minute.

I hope you enjoy it grin and you get a good person to help you. My guy used to be a PE teacher and then taught in Further Education Colleges and is really keen to help.

Tomorrowiscancelled Mon 06-Aug-18 09:00:01

Until then I'd suggest a walk on treadmill for 5 mins to warm up, some stretches and then 10 minutes on each of the elliptical, cycle and rowing machine. Then stretches to cool down. You need to get to the point where you are working hard but can still talk

That sounds like a good start. I'm hoping I will manage it. Bit worried I'm even more unfit then I thought and I'll make a fool of myself. But then, I'm there, I'm doing something about my weight, I'm improving my life. Looking a fool now won't matter when the weight continues to come off smile

OP’s posts: |
EnormousDormouse Mon 06-Aug-18 09:04:09

Are there group exercise sessions (spin, HIIT) at your gym? I find them very motivating (...or rather I get bored on the machines so don't stay very long, it's harder to slope off early with an instructor in front of you)

Verbena87 Mon 06-Aug-18 09:07:40

But then, I'm there, I'm doing something about my weight, I'm improving my life.

Hang onto this attitude and you’ll be fine.

Couch to 5k is great and I’d do it outdoors somewhere beautiful and green if at all possible; you then get mental health benefits as an extra bonus.

Tomorrowiscancelled Mon 06-Aug-18 09:40:31

The gym I've joined is at the local swimming baths. As part of my membership I can go to any of them in my town (six different ones) and I can also swim, do classes, sauna etc included. The one near me that I'll be using is just a small gym, one pool and one class (aqua fitness). I'm going to this one for the first couple of weeks until my confidence improves then I'm going to sign up to a couple of classes at the bigger site that's about 20 minutes away.

Now I'm wondering what to wear. I have bought some grey workout leggings but now I'm worried if I should have got black so I don't end up with a sweat patch 'down there'. Do I wear an oversized tshirt to hid my flab/sweat or air out a bit in a supportive vest top?

OP’s posts: |
Tomorrowiscancelled Mon 06-Aug-18 09:41:39

Google says to take a towel. Should I take a towel?

OP’s posts: |
riojaandcorrie Mon 06-Aug-18 10:04:33

If the leggings are sporty ones they are moisture wicking so you won't see the sweat. My gym has paper towel roll for sweat wiping (lovely), but some gyms don't have that so stick a small hand towel in you bag just in case.

Just give it a go and see what you like, try everything, classes, running on treadmill at 1% wipes out the hip problems (so my physio reckons) and is easier in your joints than running on pavement but not as lovely.

If you find an activity you enjoy you will stick to it. No one will be judging you there too worried about people looking at them.

PS Don't try everything today though or you'll be very sore.

Threehoursfromhome Mon 06-Aug-18 10:36:01

I agree with getting a session with an instructor to put together a programme, if only because it stops those feelings of "I'm not sure what I'm doing." Once you become more familiar with the machines you'll learn which ones you prefer and can put together your own programme.

Also, start slow and build up. Firstly, because it's really easy to overdo things at first - end up with muscle soreness and not be able to go and lose momentum. Secondly, because if you start with too much then it's easy to get in to a mindset of it only 'counts' if you've done a two hour session which includes a warm up, half an hour cardio, weights, stretches, warm down etc - and if you can't do the full session, it's not worth going. It's better for building up general fitness to go three times a week and exert moderately, than to go once a week and absolutely cane it.

Don't worry too much about what you're wearing as long as you've got a supportive bra and decent shoes and aren't in jeans, - no one is going to pay much attention.

runnerbean39 Thu 09-Aug-18 12:53:46

Would also recommend couch to 5k, it's a great way to start running. If there's any way you can get and start using a bike eg to work every day or the gym, I have always found it a good way to lose weight by accident!

I have also never dieted as I believe it is unsustainable and I'm rubbish at it. But two things I did do with food that were tiny life changes were firstly measuring portion sizes of things (as a one off just to see) like cereal - realised I had about 3 in one bowl! So I swapped some for fruit. Also bought slightly smaller dinner plates to reduce portion size at meal times - honestly never noticed that I eat less food. Both these tiny strategies help quite a bit.

Good luck!

ShirleyPhallus Thu 09-Aug-18 12:58:46

I really recommend working out with a PT. I have had a few in the past to give me a boost, and I always worry that they’ll judge me because I’m not an Olympic athlete or sometning but they’ve all been fab - asking what your goals are (saying you want to look good in a bikini is no bad thing!) and they can make some good recommendations for you

Weights will really help you though - and for that, it would be good to get some pointers so you don’t injure yourself

The biggest change has to be your diet though, and the best tip I could give is to remove all crap food (cakes crisps etc) and replace with square meals, and if you need to snack then focus on protein. Avoid avoid “diet” food like diet pizza, diet cakes etc cos they’re still full of crap.

Loads of luck OP, starting is always the hardest bit so you’re doing fantastically already

FATEdestiny Thu 09-Aug-18 14:56:44

How did the gym induction go Tomorrowiscancelled?

I started my lifestyle change in January 2018 when I was 17st 8.5. I'm now 11 stone. 1 stone to go to be a healthy BMI.

Most of your weight loss will come from diet. But part of "being healthy" means exercising, it's good for your heart. I exercise every single day.

I'd recommend running. It's free and you can do it whenever you want to.

I started walking every day. Then I did C25K, but doing a run every day. Then I started doing a 5k run every day (with a warm up/down this took no more than an hour). Then I started doing longer runs and managed 10k (initially in 90 minutes, now in 70 minutes).

Hamiltoes Thu 09-Aug-18 15:04:07

If you plan to use the treadmill I'd avoid running and instead do a brisk walk at an incline. Running does nothing walking can't do, except puts extra strain on your joints. There is such a focus on cardio but getting in shape doesn't have to mean 45 minutes doing one pace on a treadmill, HIIT and weight training do the same, if not a better job for weight loss.

Verbena87 Thu 09-Aug-18 22:32:37

Running does nothing walking can't do physically that might be true, but it regulates my mood in a way no other exercise can touch.

I think all movement is good movement really, though.

Tomorrowiscancelled Fri 10-Aug-18 13:20:05

Just back from my first gym session. I didn't get chance to go the other day (chickened out & allowed myself to be distracted). I didnt need the induction after all as I'd signed up about 12 years ago so just needed a tour and safety briefing. It is as quiet as I'd hoped, although this may be because half of the settings on the machines don't work - more money spent on the larger gym in a better area me thinks.

My aim was to try the machines, see what I could do, what I liked and test my 'limits' with the intent of staying 10 mins on each one.

Well. It turns out I can't do much. I started on the treadmill. I did the 10 mins on the 1% incline as suggested, alternating between walking and jogging every minute but increasing the speed each time, then pressed the cool down button which gradually slowed the speed down over 3 mins. Sweated like a fool but managed it.
Then tried the exercise bike. Settings didn't work so I just cycled randomly for about 8 mins but the seat was angled forwards and I kept slipping down which made it hard to peddle.
Then the cross-trainer. I hate that machine. Managed to peddle for the first minute going backwards like an absolute dipshit then corrected. Wow its hard. Two minutes and my legs were shaking. Stopped and allowed my heart rate to slow for a minute and tried again. Managed another minute. Stopped again then tried for another minute, managed it but honestly, really struggled to get the thing going, my legs didn't want to.
Onto the rowing machine. I like this one but didn't manage the 10 mins, only did 5.
Tried the bike again but a different one to see if it was more comfortable. Did 8 mins, same slipping problem but did at fast speed for the middle 5. Feel like the bike could be my warm up though as it gently gets my heart rate going but only a light sweat.
Finished off back on the treadmill to properly cool down. Same 13 mins as before including the cool down setting.

I did pretty shit really but I was on my feet and moving rather than spreading my ass on the sofa. Tired but not too much. To some it is far from a work out but i wasmoving at least. Pissed off because my activity tracker battery died on the walk home so I've lost all the data. Got that 'done exercise' feeling in my chest, like when you're a kid and you run faster and further than you thought possible and can feel it for a while afterwards. Not explained that well.

It's ok to cry at how rubbish I am right? As long as I go back?

OP’s posts: |
ShirleyPhallus Fri 10-Aug-18 17:43:52

It’s ok to cry at how rubbish I am right?

Oh op, you’re not rubbish at all! Starting is the hardest bit and you deserve real kudos for trying all those different machines.

Those classic exercise bikes are crap really, but the problem may be that you don’t have enough resistance on. Did it feel like your legs were doing the work / almost heavy to work, or were you going very fast and you could feel it in your chest?

What can be a fantastic motivator is keeping a note of what you do, every time.

Buy a diary especially for this and write it down - ie 7 mins bike, level 8, 2 miles achieved. Then, set yourself a goal based on those factors. Ie, next time you’ll do your 7 minutes at level 8, or do a bit faster so you do 2.3 miles or you do 8 minutes instead of 7.

Setting yourself small goals will make you feel much better.

Try and also have an idea of what you’ll do before you go in to the gym so you have a real target to work towards.

At the start it will be really hard so don’t worry about how many rest breaks you have.

Lastly, find something you love. I hate jogging so you could never get me doing that.

Oh and really lastly, do think about getting a personal trainer - they can put together a full plan for you and it’s great having your progress measured.

ShirleyPhallus Mon 13-Aug-18 20:49:11

How are you getting on OP?

riojaandcorrie Wed 15-Aug-18 18:15:20

I think you did too much for a first visit. Were you sore the next day?

Don't give up OP! You've taken the first and hardest step. Please keep it up.

2morrowiscancelled Fri 17-Aug-18 13:47:40

Hi, I'm the OP I forgot my log in details when I switched to a new phone blush

I was a bit sore but just slight aches really that went away by the next morning.

I went back on the Sunday, felt it went a bit easier. Aimed to go back on the tue/Wed but I'm decorating at home so didn't make it. Very actively moving though and chucking furniture around while achieving 13,000 steps so think I did ok.

Went today and I wish I hadn't had those days off. I struggled. Legs felt heavier and shins hurt while jogging. Doing ok on the treadmill and bike but can still only manage 5mins on the rowing machine. Cross trainer was just as hard the second time and today it's out of order. I tried the stepper instead but that's even harder than the cross trainer.

Almost had a little cry while there (alone in the room) as it's obvious how weak and unfit I am. Didn't help that I weighed myself while there and I haven't lost anything. I'm sure the staff could see my pathetic 'workout' on the security cameras and had a good laugh.

Came home and googled leg strengthening exercises that I'm going to try at home to help strengthen my muscles. Was advised to try Pilates too and I've got a DVD somewhere so will dig it out and have a go.

2morrowiscancelled Sat 18-Aug-18 22:48:01

Got weighed today at my usual weigh place instead of the gym scales, ive actually lost 2lb. Not bad.

Went to holland and barrat today for some natural remedies (for depression - another story) and got into a chat about my general health, diet and improvements I've began. She game me some really good insights in how to improve my overall mood and how to improve weight loss & boost exercise without trying to sell me anything - she actually talked me out of buying stuff for my depression! I'm going to take the time to do some extra research tomorrow along with a proper meal plan to secure the diet side of it.

Today was 'rest day' from the gym but I tried a few of the strengthening exercises from my research. Well, I never knew squats were so fucking hard! And a plank? How about frickin No!! Guess I'll be slowly building up with basic exercises as well then confused

Oh, the H&B lady did show me one thing, she said not to buy it today, to start with Diet, supplements and exercise first... .protein powder. I thought it was just for the body builder types who wanted muscles everywhere or the little pretty boy's who like to show off to their mates. The one she showed me was called USN diet fuel. She said it's good for upping protein levels, boosting workouts/energy levels and helping with the weight loss. The sceptic in me thinks its kind of a placebo and drinking it will make you think you feel more energetic so will do more/eat better and therefore lose fat/gain muscles and become more toned. Its a lot of money to try on a whim. Plus, im a fat bird in my 30's, if I'm gonna look an idiot buying something then I want to make sure it will work first. Anyone tried it? Does it give results?

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