Sunday, March 27, 2011

Alternatives In Exercise

Here's a post on something I haven't written about in quite a while: losing weight and becoming healthier. As I work toward my goal of finally losing 65 pounds and reach my personal weight loss goal. I'd like to do it by Thanksgiving. I have been focusing on 2 elements. Eating the right foods, in the correct portions, with a limited number of calories, and exercise.

The nutritional  is very important. I mean it's true that you are what you eat. I'm trying to limit my daily caloric intake to under 1000 as my doctor recommends. The majority of those calories should come from protein (at least 60 grams a day) and very few carbs (under 20 a day). Also drinking at least 64 ounces of water each day is very important. Most days I drink more. Taking my vitamins and nutritional supplements is also vital.

Those are my personal daily nutritional goals. I must remind all my readers that I am a weight loss surgery patient and the diet I am on was set for me by my surgeon and nutritionist. If  you want to know what diet is best for you consult your personal medical professional. That's a good recommendation for anyone who is considering starting a diet or exercise program.

The 2nd part of my weight loss focus is exercise. In the 20 months since my surgery my means of exercising has been walking. Specifically, walking my dogs through the streets of our quiet little grove.

 Late last summer right before I went to Disney World I got a little "bored" with walking. I should have looked for an alternative way of getting exercise but I didn't. Once the clocks were turned back to standard time and I had to start walking my dogs after work in the dark I just stopped walking completely. 

At the start of 2011 I set a goal to begin exercising again. Because of the bad weather we had over the winter, the shorter days, and lack of motivation I didn't start walking again on a regular basis until the beginning of March. I never realized how much I missed it or how not moving had effected my energy level and attitude. I feel much better now. My weight is down and my dogs are very happy.

Also at the start of the year I decided that I needed at least one or two alternative means of exercising so I wouldn't get bored with walking again too soon. I decided on two things. One was to try roller skating again. I even found out what the operating hours were for the local skating rink. But after thinking it over I decided that because of the limited movement I have with my left foot and the balance problems it creates perhaps roller skating would only be a means of getting injured and not a good alternative exercise.

I was still looking for alternative exercise in late January my wife suggested we get an exercise bike. I was all for it. We made it our Valentine's Day gift to each other. Pretty romantic huh? Its taken me a while to start using but as of last week, I have. I'm using it to prepare myself for another exercise alternative.

I've always enjoyed bike riding. One of the first things I bought when I got my first full time job was a 10 speed bike. I used to ride to and from work on nice days in the summer.

More than 30 years later, I was reminded of how much I liked riding when I took my sister-in-law's bike for a trip one day last summer. Although it wasn't very long but it was enough to make me want to get a bike of my own again. Last week I bought one.

I had to special order it so I won't get it until April 20. But I'm excited about being able to ride around town and on some of the back roads in our area.

My third choice for exercise is what I call a "guilty pleasure". It's not something that we do and hide purposely hid from others because we know it's wrong. That's called "Sin."

Usually there's nothing wrong with something that's a "guilty pleasure." It's just something you enjoy but generally don't want most people to know you do. They exist in all areas of our lives. We all have guilty pleasures.

One of my "guilty pleasures" involves aerobic exercise. To be more specific aerobic exercise videos. I have a collection of Richard Simmons exercise DVDs. I've always found Richard Simmons products and encouragement to be helpful whenever I've seriously tried to lose weight.

Ever since I read his first book, "Never Say Diet" in my late teens, I have used his weight loss programs including "Deal A Meal" and " The Food Mover" to lose weight. At one time I subscribed to his website. I even met one of my best friends, who lives in California, in his chat room. I've actually met him in person.

So I guess you can say I am a Richard Simmons fan. I believe that he's been sincerely interested in helping people lose weight and get healthy for almost 3 decades and is still doing it today.

I own all the "Sweatin To The Oldies" DVDs and a dozen more of his exercise videos. I've collected them over the last 20 years. My sisters and I used to exercise together to these videos when I lived in Pennsylvania.

Recently I started exercising to them again. Over the last month I've worked out to "Sweatin 2" and "Sweatin 3"; my favorites. A still shot from "Sweatin 3" is at the top of this post.

Since I started doing them again I've discovered that I really don't have as much coordination and flexibility as I used to. I guess the wear and tear on my body from having weighed over 400 pounds and now being over 50 is responsible for that. 

Nevertheless I do enjoy the music and the moves of the "Sweatin DVDs." I will continue to use them as one of my exercise alternatives.

If I use exercise and diet as tools to continue to live my life as a weight loss surgery patient they will be effective. They will help me continue to get healthier, enjoy spending time with my wife and family, and most importantly find and do God's will for my life. And more specifically they will help me achieve my goal weight by Thanksgiving.  

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