Sunday, August 15, 2010

Losing Weight - You Have To Walk Before You Can Run

A few weeks ago, I lamented about not seeing any fat people in exercise venues like walking and jogging trails.  My concern of course was that those who need it the most are the least likely to be doing it.

Ok, so now I'm out on a power-walking mission and come up on an overweight girl struggling to jog.  Barely loping along, body covered in sweat and face beet red, she was obviously having a tough go of it and looked as if she would pass out at any moment.  Initially, I wanted to applaud her efforts, but I quickly realized that if anything, she was probably wrecking her chances of succeeding in the long run.  If she didn't drop dead from the exertion, she would at the very least think twice about putting herself through that misery again.

Why is it that everyone thinks you have to 1) run to lose weight 2) endure great discomfort to burn calories.  I lost 70 pounds using walking as my main activity.  Sure I walk really fast NOW, but not when I started. (Of course I balance food intake with exercise as well).  My point is that you have to enter into the exercise routine gradually so as to have a pleasant experience rather than a near-death episode.  Walk before you run - literally! 

When I read the stats on weight-loss success, its no wonder that so many people fail to lose pounds in any significant amounts, and for those who do, a large majority gain it back.  Success is about adopting a lifestyle you can live with forever, not an aggressive workout routine that is not sustainable.

To date, I have maintained my weight loss for two years, which means I'm bucking the trends everyday.  But I never put myself in a miserable state that I couldn't live with, so its not too difficult to manage my bulk successfully, day in and day out.


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