Getting in Shape

GIS Intro


This board was dead when I first joined TK and I'm glad to see it is way more active now.  I'm sort of recommitting myself to my health so I think I'd like to start hanging around here more if that's okay with you ladies.  :)

I am a few pounds into the overweight BMI category and I would really like to knock off about 10-15 pounds.  Not really for the wedding, just for life.  

Greater than that though, I'm working on injury recovery right now and finding alternative ways to exercise-- and realizing that I need to eat cleaner to make up for it-- is a challenge.  I'm working on getting more comfortable with strength training.  My hip injury (dancer's hip, one more reason I AM Marshall Eriksen) stems from joint hyper mobility, so increased strength will provide stability and help me keep from re-injuring myself.  I have an appointment coming up to start with a personal trainer and I am really excited about that.

Fi is also trying to be healthier.  He's obese on the BMI scale and has about 30 pounds to lose.  He has a pretty serious fear of the gym and loves pasta so weight loss is a big challenge for him.  I'm really trying to be supportive and not pushy.

We are both on Fitbit.  I'm thinking about getting back into MFP tracking and asking him to join me with that.  We like to be kind of competitive with each other so I'm hoping that if we are both using the same systems we will keep each other accountable.

Anybody have tips for a very beginning weight trainer?  What about working with your partner to be healthy?
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Re: GIS Intro

  • DH and I work out together for accountability. Whether its working out at home or going to the gym.  We push each other to go which works because once we start working out, we don't stop until the workout is completed.

    I've been working on changing the diet for the both of us, but he has been a little bit more harder LOL.  I've slowly been changing our white carbs to brown carbs, like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, even quinoa pasta.  He uses the FitBit Charge HR and I use the Polar FT5, but just for my heart rate for the calories burned during a workout.  I track with MFP and he uses the Fitbit app to track.

    For beginning weight training, there are tons of DVDs out there.  I am partial to a few, like 21 Day Fix, which also helps with portion control because of the containers.  Jillian Michaels DVDs are fantastic too.  If you have On Demand with your cable provider, they also have free programs you can watch.  There is also an app called Pump It Up which creates a workout plan for you based on what you want to do.

    Cardio though is also important, so don't forget that!  

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  • @ohmrs2014 Thanks for those recommendations-- I'll look into those programs!  I prefer to work out at the gym rather than at home, so maybe the app is a good idea for me.  We have discussed always telling each other when we work out and making sure if one of us does, so does the other one (even if we aren't together).

    Fi is actually pretty good with the alternative grains.  He likes Barilla Plus pasta, quinoa, and brown rice.  I think his problem is portions, and his eating throughout the day at work and when we aren't cooking at home.

    But we just agreed that we will both use MFP and he put in his breakfast already!  At least the tracking will help, I think.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker

    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

  • ohmrs2014ohmrs2014 mod
    Moderator 500 Love Its 1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    edited January 2015
    The tracking will definitely help!  And you don't have to work out everyday either.  The great thing about the Pump It Up app is that you customize it for yourself.  Even working out 3 days a week is better than none at all.  

    When you go out to eat, make it work for you.  Ask for the meat to be grilled and the veggies steamed.  It makes a huge difference and the great thing is that many of the chain restaurants are adding the calories to the menu and they are adding more healthier low calorie and low carb options as well.

    When cooking I live by the following books and websites:

    The Skinnytaste Cookbook
    10 Days of Real Food
    Comfort Foods Makeover (takes your favorite foods and makes them healthier)

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  • And if you need workout buddies, DH and I don't live that far!  LOL @JCBride2015

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  • I'm such a broken record on this, but remember that from a purely weight loss perspective it really doesn't matter where your calories come from as long as you're eating less than you're using in a day, so if your partner is more into pasta than broccoli he can still eat white carbs (even processed ones) and lose weight as long as they are appropriate portions, you know? Easier said than done on the portions sometimes, I know, but all the "eating clean" in the world is ultimately irrelevant for weight loss if you're still eating too much food. (Obviously there are lots of non-weight-loss health benefits to eating lots of whole, nutrient rich foods, though.)

    A food scale was, for me, the single most effective weight loss tool I had. Better than weights, better than a trainer, better than a treadmill. Accurate tracking is a pain in the butt until you get used to it but it makes weight loss so straightforward. Weighing all my solid food (especially calorie-dense stuff like nut butter, meat, cheese) and measuring all my liquids (especially cooking oil, cream, etc) was the hugest wake-up call ever to how much I was actually eating and how much I'd need to cut to lose weight.

    Working out is super important for your health, obviously, but it alone isn't going to create weight loss unless it's also creating a big enough calorie deficit. For me it doesn't because I'm pretty small and a 5K run only burns like 200 calories for me....which is only a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter or a big glass of wine. However, strength training especially will help you to retain as much muscle as possible when you're losing weight, which will mean a better looking body at the end.

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  • I second some of the comments already- slowly start replacing white carbs. It's difficult, but you can get yourself weaned off of the white carbs. Every once in a while I will have them during a cheat meal, and I get so bloated that I don't even want them anymore!

    Skinnytaste is awesome for recipes. I love the Crockpot Balsamic Pork Roast and the Crockpot 3 Bean Turkey Chili. 

    Eating is the most difficult part of losing weight and getting healthy, IMO. It's easy to say you're going to eat healthy, but that has to apply to snacks and all of your meals. I've noticed that preparing my lunches on Sunday, ahead of time, is really helping me to stay on track. I've stocked my desk and fridge at work with some healthy snacks so I'm not tempted to eat empty calories. My FI has even requested that I prepare food for him too. I usually do one cheat meal a week so I don't completely binge out and lose track of my eating. If you get off track, though, don't beat yourself up. We're human. I saw something, somewhere, that said "For every bad thing you eat, eat three good things." Obviously not an exact science, but it acknowledges that you haven't made a healthy choice and you can still be successful. It's all about balance.

    If you can, have your trainer also show you some of the machines at the gym. I know I was intimidated by them when I first started, and FI showed me how to use them. Your trainer could probably also show you some different exercises too, which will help you when you're by yourself working out. 

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  • FI is my biggest 'cheerleader'. When we first started dating he was about 20lbs overweight, simply from eating ridiculous portion sizes. Once he got his portion control figured out the lbs melted away. I, however, have an underactive thyroid and have a heck of a time losing weight. My BMI pushes me just into the overweight category but on a 5' frame, I feel rather pudgy.

    During the week I do at home workouts. I have Jillian Michaels 30 day Shred and another bootcamp type one and I like to try and alternate to keep from getting bored. FI has the DVD and my weights and yoga mat set up for me for as soon as I get home from work. If I sit on that couch, the workout ain't going to happen. While I'm working out he makes supper. Its a really effective use of time for us. I don't feel guilty about monopolizing the TV and living room because he's busy, and he loves to cook and create and i'm a mess in the kitchen so it gets me 'out from under foot' haha.

    On the weekends we 'workout' together. There is a series of hikes in our area which are about 6km in length and lots of hills etc. So we go every saturday and sunday no matter the weather. Getting outside together and getting fresh air have done wonders for my levels of alertness! And its just way more fun to go hiking through the wilderness in the snow with my FI than to spend hours at the gum. 

    I definitely suggest finding something like that that doesn't feel like a 'chore' the more that you enjoy what you're doing, the less it will feel like an inconvience and the more likely you will stick to it.
  • Working out with an SO makes it so much easier. We both motivate each other, don't keep crap food in the house and are accountable to each other. We made up a bet of sorts, haha. So we printed out 4 months of calendars (as we are going on a vacation in mid april), and write down every day if we workout, drink, eat healthy, etc. It's a nice reminder and it keeps us both accountable as we can see each other's 'calendar'. So far it's been working, and I feel more motivated when I see I haven't worked out in 3 days haha.


    Anyways, good luck!

  • Sorry I have been a bit MIA-- traveling a lot for work lately (which makes being healthy much harder!)  Thanks all for the great tips!

    I recently bought the Skinnytaste cookbook after seeing the raves on TK about it and so far I'm really happy with it.  Fi is starting to take some ownership over grocery shopping and cooking which is wonderful.

    Now I just need to get better at making good choices when work is providing the food.  Fortunately they are great about having fruit as a dessert option, but it's so hard to control things like sauce and cooking styles when you're always eating out, as I am this week.  At least I've been able to exercise in the hotel.
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    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

  • If you like going to the gym, I'd recommend StrongLifts5x5. I could actually feel myself getting stronger each week. I also noticed my legs toning up. I unfortunately haven't kept up because of a shoulder injury. I am going to start back again and use some of the machines for assistance and just lower the weight so it's manageable. I also use MyFitnessPal to keep track of calories. I just downloaded Blogilates app, which is more for at home workouts, but it has a workout calendar I want to eventually incorporate. I do Zumba at the gym, too. I also have the C25k app that I'm not using right now because it's cold out and I hate running on the treadmill (hence the Zumba for cardio) lol.
  • JCbride2015.  Love all the comments so far.  As a fellow gym lover I thought I'd add one more.  Cardio machines have gotten a bit of a bad rep in the last few years.  My crossfit obsessed sister likes to say that people who use them are just "zombies who don't get enough out of their workouts".  This can be true... but it doesn't have to be! 

    As you learn how to feel comfortable on a variety of machines and get used to them, really USE them.  Don't lean on the handles, don't do the bare minimum with your legs.  Really get your whole body into it.  I've had some great results improving my core strength by basically incorporating a standing ab/core workout (think that old Shaun T "Hip Hop Abs" workout dvd) into whatever I do.  Doing cardio on an elliptical today?  Make sure you flex your core and do standing ab-work while you do it.  Sneaking in 5-10 mins on the stairmaster at the start and end of your workout?  Make sure you flex your core and do standing ab-work while you do it.  You get the idea...  :-)

    It feels like weird at first but it's totally doable.  I'm at the point now where I literally feel like I'm only doing half a workout if I don't do it.  It's great.  AND you're sneaking in a whole extra 30-45 mins of ab-work every time you do a workout!

    Good luck with things!!!
  • Thanks all for the great suggestions!  @Becky18 you are so right about really USING the cardio machines.  I see women hanging on the handles and just think, you aren't really working out at all.

    Fi has become a beast in the past week or so.  He actually made a meal planning spreadsheet and has been using the slow cooker!  Tonight we are having quinoa and black bean lettuce wraps.  Which he is making in the slow cooker.

    I also just took a personal training class on the Pilates Reformer machine and holy hell, what a workout!  The resistance added a fantastic weight training element to it that is just missing in mat Pilates.  The one on one time is expensive but I'm going to try to work that in to my routine a little bit.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker

    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

  • Hey @JCbride2015, I can address the travel part.  I fly a few times per week and am in hotels an average of 80+ nights per year.  Just a couple of quick tips I've adapted for staying healthier on the road are:

    1.) Using disposable tupperware containers to bring homemade salads & veggies on planes.  It's a way to squeeze in one more meal that you can control on a travel day.  I'll bring fresh cut fruit as well.  I premix quinoa salads, tofu salads, wheat berry salads, kale salads, etc. The more filling, the better.  They don't smell gross, which is a plus on a plane. Bags full of cut veggies will last me an entire travel day and have earned me the nickname "The Squirrel" from my colleagues. 

    2.) I hate hotel gyms but sometimes it's the only option.  To minimize my time in there and maximize my calorie burn, I do mostly interval workouts.  For example, I can burn more calories in 25 minutes on a treadmill than I would if I did a longer, slower run.  One of my example quick treadmill runs is an 8-10 min warm-up at a slow pace (ex, 6 mph for me, but this is obviously variable), then 2 minutes each at the following increments: 6.3, 6.6, 6.9, 7.2, 7.5 (if I'm feeling good, I'll do one minute at 8.0 or above), then cool down at your own pace for 5-10 minutes.  If you're really pressed for time, you can do this workout in about 25 mins or less and still get a major calorie burn.  
  • Does your gym have classes?  for me that is the best way to get in a good strength workout.  Otherwise on my own if I make it 20 minutes I consider it a success because I get bored.

    Like you I have to work around injuries, which sucks, but at least I know how to adapt my workouts to fit my injuries. I'm trying a new place tonight that I got through Groupon so I can get in some good strength classes to hopefully jump start things.  I slacked off a bit over the holidays and my eating is terrible.  it's true what they say, can't out exercise bad eating.

  • hey @JCbride2015, I'm not sure if running outdoors works for your hip, but my FI and I signed up for a half-marathon last summer and trained for it together. If you (or anyone else reading), wants a great half or full marathon training program let me know! I can't remember the site now but have it at home. If you aren't up for a half, maybe a 5 - or 10k... signing up for a race gave me accountability and pushed me to stick to the program. I'm not much of a weight trainer, I'd love to get better at that! But I do love barre and running... Plus I realized that running some miles after work REALLY took some stress out of me and gave FI and I a chance to chat and catch up with each other about our days, rather than eating in front of the TV or finishing up work, etc. 
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