From: Portsmouth RI
The first 3 weeks were tough, but the 4th week the needle started to move for me and that got my motivation up. I have to admit that I started several times in the past and got demoralized in that first month and gave up. One of the best things I got was a body composition measuring scale
It gives your weight, and sends electrical impulses (you can't feel) to estimate your %body fat, basal metabolism, %body water, and % muscle mass. Its about 5% accurate in absolute terms, but the difference it measures is accurate to less than 1%, so if it says you ar 17.4% body fat, that may be a little off (becasue it uses index tables based on your height, fitness leve, age and sex) but the change you track is VERY accurate. I got it about halfway through and I've gone from about 23% body fat to under 16 and my muscle mass from 37 and change to over 41. I would say a regular scale is fine when starting off, but as you get into it and start smelling success, - and especially for maintainance - a scale like that is great becasue once your weight is stable, you can still measure the transition from fat to muscle.
The big thing is combining diet and excercise, but in moderation. I started off doing 3 days of limited calorie intake and excercise and then taking a day off. After the first month I cut that back to 1 day a week, but frankly if you are eating in the 1500-1750 cal/day range and working out 500cal per day, pigging out one day (even if you eat 6000cal) your body can't metabolize all of it into fat in one day. I found working in weekly rates worked better than daily rates. 12,000 cal per week in food intake is 1500 cal per day six days a week and a 3000cal "day off".
I proved to myself that the laws of physics do indeed work. If I limited myself to 12,000 cal per week with a basal metabolism of ~1800 (and assuming a "general sitting around" expediture of ~400 per day), then right there is on the order of 15,500 and 1 lb per week (3500cal/lb). 600cal of exercise (That is about an hour walking fast with hand weights, depending on your weight) 6 days a week knocks off another pound AND feeds back into the metabolism...
The other big thing is a "just do it" attitude and not being overly competititve with yourself. I failed in the past becasue I would twist or strain something trying to reach a goal I was not ready for. So i went VERY slow and adjusted my speed and time goal after two weeks of "boring" myself with "easy" workouts.
In March When i went to Japan I started using the gym and doing 20 min on the Rowing machine, 20 on the bike and 20 on the elliptical. Not pushing myself too hard, using the heartrate monitoring features to get my heart rate up to 125-130 for at least half of each interval. I do 15 min of complementary weight excersices between (pushing with my arms after the rower, working my 'pulling' leg muscles and abs after the bike.
Now I once a week I do my "aerobic tri-athlon" 40 min on each try to better my total calorie expenditure in 2 hours - I'm over 2000! I have a running 20$ bet with my 16 year old son to beat me - so far he got about 10 minutes on the rowing machine and declared it "way too boring"... At least 3 other days a week I do 20 min on each, and twice a week (sometimes 2) I run 5 miles (down to 44:40) training for a 5 mile race in August. My goal is to break 40min (8min miles). ANd still make sure to take at least 1 day off (often its 2 just becasue of schedule.)
Amazing where I've come in 4 months - and I was a certified excercise hating couch potato... Just took the 2 hours I used to spending sitting wasting time around after i get home from work and spend it at the gym. The family likes eating later (7-7:30) and there is still time to putz around or watch prime time TV (Or the Red Sox). Its just a question of habitulizing devoting 2 hours a day to yourself (just 1 starting out).
< Message edited by Paul Vebber -- 7/7/2008 9:43:14 PM >