Friday, June 14, 2013

11 Months and Counting - Fitness Report

Eleven months ago I joined a gym located right around the corner from me. It's not the first time I've joined a gym. I've tried before to get fit. I've never been particularly physically active, but now because I work from home and don't go out of my way to get exercise, other than going for walks, I knew I wasn't getting the exercise I needed. I knew I wasn't fit. I'd also gained some weight and I just didn't feel comfortable in my own skin.

So, on July 1, I began revamping my eating habits. They weren't terrible, but they weren't great either. I realized that all the other times I had failed at my attempts to live a healthier lifestyle, I was changing too many things at the same time. So, I figured that by changing my eating habits first and getting my body ready for physical activity, I'd be giving myself a better chance at success.

How have things changed over the past 11 months? Well, on July 11, 2012, I couldn't complete 20 minutes on the easiest level of the elliptical. I did do some weights, but then I went home and collapsed, reminding myself how much I hated to feel so tired.

I went six days a week for four and a half months. Friends were advising me not to go that often, but I know myself. I knew that if I didn't go every day, I would find excuses not to go the days I was supposed to. I've been there. I've done that.

Finally, in the new year, I cut down to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as my regular days. I could do extras if I wanted, but I had gotten into enough of a routine to know that I would stick with the three days per week thing.

Now, on June 11, 2013, I can (and do!) complete 20 minutes on the elliptical, with resistance, without any trouble. I do my weights and machine exercises, and then I finish off with 20 minutes on the exercise bike. When I'm done, I'm tired, but not wiped out. I've lost almost 30 pounds and several inches. And I have muscles! I also got back on my bike and am enjoying the feeling of being outside, riding along the canal.

Several people predicted that with this exercise, I would have more energy because that tends to be the way things go. My fibromyalgia doesn't allow for that, I'm afraid. I still am quite fatigued, but I seem to be able to handle it better and I do have more energy when I'm doing a specific task, like going for a walk.

So folks, don't give up if you've not succeeded at previous attempts at getting fit. I was an out-of-shape 51-year-old last year. I'm an in-shape 52-year-old today!


Van Waffle said...

Good work, Marijke! I had no idea about your exercise routine, but you looked great last week so it has evidently paid off. I've been working on establishing an exercise routine at home since April 1 of this year. It has been going pretty well but it's harder when I'm as busy as the past couple weeks. My 21-year-old daughter has fibro, so I know a little about the challenge.

Marijke Vroomen-Durning said...

Thanks Van. Very kind words!

Christine Peets said...

Marijke, I agree with Van that you looked great when we saw you in Toronto, and I enjoyed going for the walk with you.

I've been sticking to yoga and Pilates for my exercise because that was easier with my fibromyalgia, but my doctor reminded me how important the cardio is--so I'm back out walking. I also teach some strength training classes that are reasonably gentle, but a good workout.
I'm like you--if I don't do some "organized" exercise every day, I'll find excuses not to go. Signing up to teach ensures I get there too.
Your hard work and dedication is paying off!

Marijke Vroomen-Durning said...

Good for you Christine. I have tried yoga many times but I just can't get my mind to still long enough to enjoy it. I know I should try it again because I need to allow my mind to relax as much as my body.

Strength training is very important so I do weights for my upper body mostly, but some lower body too.

I enjoyed that walk too. I just wish I'd remembered to turn off my iPhone app when we finished so I knew how far we walked, instead of just yesterday, which then told me I'd walked for 84 hours or so.