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Unexpected Weight Loss

Jennifer has been losing weight despite her lack of exercise.

Just as I thought, my exercising has taken a backburner while my sister is here. She’s only here for a couple more days, and we’re really enjoying hanging out together on our screened in back porch with our cat.

Despite my considerably more sedentary lifestyle this week, however, I’ve been losing weight. This is a huge contrast from the weight that I gain when I exercise (and it’s definitely not muscle being gained – trust me). While this is mind-boggling, I can’t help but feel that this is my body’s way of resetting so that my exercises can be effective again.

After my sister leaves, I plan on creating a workout schedule that alternates cardio workouts with strength training and flexibility-based workouts.

I will probably do cardio at least five times per week, but I am not used to strength training or flexibility workouts at all. I need to decide whether I want to try yoga or pilates, and I am going to look into whether any beginner’s classes are offered locally that are available to the public, as I have no interest in getting a gym membership.

I also need my mom to show me how to use the total gym that we recently purchased at a yard sale for $50. That should take care of all of my strength training needs, and give me the anaerobic exercise that I need to get into shape this summer while I have the time to devote to a regular workout schedule.

Karen Kay June 29, 2011 at 02:09 PM
These are excellent points, Molly! I too have noticed that this column has turned into a "How I Avoid Exercising" column. When I first started reading this column, I was glad to see someone want to take the initiative and start running. I too started to seriously run in January (I dabbled in running last year, but this year I turned serious). I am now an avid runner and run between 15 to 20 miles every week ... with no excuses. Jennifer - perhaps you should persue the Potomac River Running's training program if you really want to run. You can check out PRR's website for details. I don't work for PRR, I haven't gone through their training program, but, they have a training group that run in and around my neighborhood. Seems like a nice group of people in all shapes and sizes! Regardless, if you are serious about exercising, you need to be serious about not letting yourself off the hook. You just have to commit to it, keep doing it, and make it a habit. If you want something bad enough, you CAN do it.
Molly Field June 29, 2011 at 03:47 PM
Good for you, Karen! I run about 3+ miles each time I do which is about 2 or 3 times a week, depending on my mood; regardless I'm always trying to do something for at least 45 minutes. I also do other aerobic and strength-based work and recently joined a "learn to row" program. NoVa / DC is fantastic with all the adult sports leagues and softball teams and volleyball. We're very lucky. Jennifer, I hope I didn't come across as critical. I just see your column's title, "Journey to the Finish Line" completely differently now and sadly, Karen is right. I'd stopped reading because I found it very whiney. The way to beat a plateau (providing you're actually working consistently and vigorously for more than 6-12 weeks) is to confuse your body, change it up, add weight, speed up runs / add 4 :30-second sprints in a run. As for your mom's "total gym" purchase and your need for her to instruct you, I'm going to go there: REALLY?! go online. Watch a video; if it didn't come with the instruction manual, download it from the manufacturer. Better yet, don't use the system. Setting it up could just be another time waster. I read a great Nike t-shirt that I can't seem to find anywhere (not even at their HQ store in Seattle!): "If you started when you said you would, you'd be done by now. Just do it." So yes -- just go for a power walk and do some push-ups when you're done. I agree completely with Karen: if you want something bad enough, you CAN do it. Be your own coach. Good luck!
Jennifer Souther June 30, 2011 at 02:44 AM
You are all entitled to your opinions and I respect that, but please understand that it isn't easy being a 20 year old kid with the medical issues of someone typically twice to three times your age. My weight has been a fight since I was fourteen years old. Sometimes, working out and changing it up doesn't work because my thyroid levels are off. I am doing the best I can with the resources and time available to me. Just because something works for you doesn't mean it works for me, and I am doing my best to remain optimistic at present.
Molly Field June 30, 2011 at 03:03 AM
i wish you luck, jennifer. never meant to criticize, tried to motivate. perhaps you could talk about your journey with fitness regarding your thyroid and medical challenges as inspiration to others out there -- even to women 2x - 3x your age --rather than talk about your lack of exercise. i remember you talking about your asthma and allergies and challenges with the humidity. we all deal with those challenges. you're too young to be bested by them -- my thrust with you is to empower yourself, not be defined by your limitations. it's not in your best interest to let yourself be a victim to your maladies. good luck.
Mustafa N December 16, 2012 at 03:55 PM
I been in the fitness and weight loss industry for nearly 25 years. http://www.myur.com/ In my expert opinion mind set is the most important component of a "healthy and fit" individual. Many put too much emphasis on how they look, and there is a lack of importance on being healthy and fit is good for you. It's great that you lost weight, that weight loss could be a lot of water weight and little muscle and fat loss. Cardio is good for your body, but strength training is as important. In my 3 facilities I have total gyms that my client can use, but you need more than total gym to take care of all of the major and minor muscle and bones. I also recommend a heart rate monitor, after few weeks of cardio your body will get use to the exercise, unless you change the intensity of your workouts then benefits of cardio will keep reducing with time. Good luck.

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