Karen has been on her weight-loss crusade since mid-May, but the first two weeks you don’t do much except evaluate your current lifestyle so I say she started in June. This is the first article about Karen in case you would like to follow her progress from the beginning.
Speaking of progress
Karen’s starting weight was 228. Five days ago it was 185. Her weight loss has been steady with just a few minor hiccups. If you think she hasn’t accomplished much, Karen’s blog should be up-to-date with comparisons of her measurements. She’s accomplished a lot. Certainly more than anyone that hasn’t been exercising and watching what they eat.
You also have to take into consideration that long-time fat peoples’ bodies typically don’t work very well, and it takes a couple weeks or months to get things headed back in the right direction. It’s like recovering from an illness or addiction.
I call the first couple weeks going through reentry, and during that time it is easy to relapse. Most fat people are actually looking for excuses to fall off the wagon.
Sane rules of engagement
Karen has not had to do any crazy stuff like starving herself and running five miles a day. The program is easy to tolerate and intentionally kept on the soft side for beginners, but eventually each person has to step up and decide on their own that if they want to really get super fit and stay that way forever, they have to work like they mean it.
Anybody as out-of-shape as Karen was can not be dropped into the middle of a survival training boot camp. They don’t have the stamina to be force-marched to fitness.
The excuse factory
Most out-shape-fatsos have been whining and making excuses for themselves for many years, often to the verge of it becoming a personality disorder. They are big babies and most of them want to quit no matter how easy it is to make progress. They think wrongly that washing the car should be enough exercise to look like a model.
There simply is no way around having to exercise religiously and like you want to be demonstrably fit; that is, if you want to be demonstrably fit. Tell you what: It feels good when people tell you that you look amazing.
Karen is fortunate that she got hold of herself when she did. I don’t know how much she agrees with this, but I believe she was close to going over the edge with her health and getting into real trouble.
Delusions of the fat and out-of-shape
Chronically obese people have delusions about exercise that I’m going to talk about for the next few columns. I know that I need to be reminded of how easy it is to forget some of the basic tenets of fitness.
Karen has lost so much fat that loose and sagging skin is bothering her. I’ve told her that it can be helped quite a bit by working out harder and more often, which is sort of like my pat answer for what ails you. Nonetheless fat, shapeless thighs and butts will usually respond to the following exercise pretty quickly, but you have to want the improvement badly enough to push yourself to see if it works for you, because it’s very hard for some people.
Using your body weight, do a deep squat, try touching your finger tips to the floor between your feet. Now use your legs to push yourself up out of the squat fast and hard enough to make your feet come off the floor. Do ten and rest ten seconds before doing ten more. Start with two sets (or more if you can), and add another set next time you do them, which will be in one or two days. You will absolutely see (and feel) the difference within two weeks, and that’s progress, but you will hate me for telling you to do these. Add them to your leg workout, don’t replace something with them. Do these often. You can do them anywhere.
Unfortunately people who have no experience with fitness don’t believe the role exercise plays in how they look and feel, and so it takes them a long time to get serious.
Meanwhile they try to get by with the least amount they can, which yields the same least amount in return.
Truth is you will never look and feel your best until you learn how to exercise like that’s what’s driving you.
Exercise goes like this
You work hard for a while, and then you’re done. And you feel better not because you’re done, but because you genuinely feel better physically and emotionally.
Also, the more you exercise, the easier it becomes, which is why you keeping adjusting things as they get easier.
And when you really get it into the fitness lifestyle, you will continue living it even if you have the sniffles or are on vacation.
It is as they say — a lifestyle.
Remember to have an annual physical. Thomas Amshay articles are not meant to take the place of your doctor or health care team. Talk to them before starting any exercise program, diet, or supplement.