adayinaz

Low energy but definitely need to start exercising.

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I'm feeling funny about posting twice in two days in the same forum but I would really love some help.  A little background: I'm majorly overweight (need to lose somewhere between 100-140 lbs and yes those numbers come from a doctor and not a skewed sense of body image.)  :)  I've always been terrible at exercising.  I hate the way it makes me feel both emotionally and physically, and every program I've ever tried seems either too challenging, or not challenging enough to make any real changes.

It's day 28 of my first Whole30 and I still have really low energy most of the time, and the jury's still out as to whether I've lost any weight.  There have been some great NSV but I do feel bloated, and to be honest when you're as overweight as I am, even losing 10-15 lbs wouldn't visually make much of a difference.  So to some extent I know I just need to wait and see what the scale/measurements say in a couple of days.  But on the other hand, I know that if I could get up the motivation to exercise and pick a plan that works for me, I would be healthier and probably lose weight too.

So - how should I start exercising when I'm this overweight already?  It's incredibly hot where I live (over 100 degrees most days) and high impact is bad for me because of all the extra weight bouncing around on my joints.  Would yoga be a good place to start?  Would it actually help me lose weight?  This isn't really something I know a lot about, just what hasn't worked in the past.  How do I figure out what level of intensity is right for me?

Also - yes, I know the Whole30 isn't a weight loss program.  I am approaching it with a much broader picture of what health looks like for me.  But for someone who is over 100 lbs overweight, weight loss is a HUGE component of health, which is why it is one of my goals from this program.

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Have you considered looking up one of our Whole30 coaches that you might work with?  Between this and your wanting 'in the moment' coping strategies that are specific to your work schedule and context, a coach may be a good fit for you.  Coaches will work with you to help you specifically where on the forum, we can only give general advice as we don't have all your specific details... yoga may be good for you, walking is good exercise, swimming etc... but I don't know your context to know if these would work for you and you appear to want specific help.

As for the energy, my guess would be that you're not eating enough.  I know (from experience) when you're really overweight that it seems counterintuitive to eat more and socially we're programmed to eat less in order to fit in and lose weight but the body doesn't actually work like that.  Are you eating three template meals a day including fat?  

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Thanks for that response!  I'm not really looking for specific help, so much as just giving specific context since that seems to be what people ask for whenever anyone asks a question here.  I'm more just hoping to find people with similar experiences who can give me ideas of what's worked for them.  I'll look into coaching to see if that's a possibility for me though.

In terms of food, I try to eat pretty close to the template.  An example of a typical day might be:

Breakfast: 2 eggs scrambled with 1T coconut milk, cooked in olive oil, with some roasted kale mixed in and a piece of fruit on the side.

Lunch: A bowl of white chicken chili, or around 6 meatballs with some zucchini noodles and some kind of sauce, or some kind of shredded meat with lettuce wrap, etc.

Dinner: Similar to lunch but often includes a small potato, 1-2 cups of roasted veggies, and some kind of meat.  For most recipes I plan on about 1/2 lb meat per person.

No snacks, except for sometimes fruit after dinner or a Larabar if a recipe turned out to be less filling than I expected.

And, I'm always full until the next meal.  Sometimes it's 7pm and I'm just realizing I should have made dinner, but neither of us were hungry.

I'm scared to add more fats if I'm barely maintaining my weight as it is.  Do you think that's what I need to do?

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Regarding the exercise, this is going to sound utterly ridiculous, but hear me out: CrossFit. 

While CrossFit does seem like it would be actually the worst possible option for exercise, I would argue instead that it's one of the best. Most reputable boxes (aka a place where you do CrossFit, named because they usually just look like big boxes with equipment in them) will have a Foundations or On Ramp program to get you started with proper movement patterns and learning what CrossFit is about. And those same reputable boxes will allow you to adapt or scale a workout to what you can do right now. This includes reducing or changing high impact movements. 

I'm overweight and, at the moment, have patellar tendonitis so I'm not allowed to run or jump. If running is in the workout, I row instead. If there are box jumps, I do step ups instead. It really is a great workout, constantly changing, and there is a great community.

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@adayinaz YES, add more fats to your meals! I don't see any fat in any of the meals you listed (cooking fats don't count). It is totally counter intuitive to eat fat to lose weight, but that's what you have to do! So add an avocado and perhaps even a blob of ghee to your meal. Then add some mayo and olives to your next meal. And then perhaps an oil-based dressing to your next one! Eat fat! You'll need it to become fat adapted and you'll need it for energy! Honestly, you've probably gained that extra weight over time. You may have even been at the weight you've been at for a while. This program is 30 days. Trust in it and see what happens. It's only 30 days. You won't be set back. Add those fats to every meal and then see your outcome. If it's not exactly what you want, then consider making changes. But don't change it at the start without giving it a chance to work first! 

As for exercise, here are a couple of my personal thoughts...

First, don't underestimate the impact of walking. Commit to taking a walk for 30 minutes every single day. Try to make those 30 minutes not only about moving but about you. Find a pretty place to take a walk. Listen to a book on tape (join your local library and you get free audio books!). Or just self reflect. I know that totally sucks in 100 degree weather but it will make a significant difference. 

Second, try to make exercise fun. Rather than seek exercise, experiment, find a passion, and go out and do that! I hate exercise for the sake of exercise. But, after years of experimentation, I found my passion in outdoor activities. So now, I climb or bike or hike or paddle often and while I'm burning lots of calories and improving my physical fitness, I'm really just having fun. So go out and experiment. Try a local hike (perhaps you have groups in your area who you could join). Try a dance class. Try tennis. Just go out and try different things that can make exercise fun! And then do it often and the weight loss should come more naturally. 

I wish you the very best! 

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Thank you @kirbz and @laura_juggles - I appreciate the advice!

I honestly thought that cooking fats count as at least part of your healthy fats for each meal.  So, for example, I made a chicken sausage for breakfast that has coconut oil in it (like, a lot of coconut oil.  Probably about 1T/serving.)  And with it, I'd serve fried eggs and some kind of veggie.  We've gone through more olive oil and coconut oil in the last 30 days than we used in the six months before that.  So, I was thinking I was doing pretty good on fat.  Actually, my skin has been breaking out from all the fat, so I'm not sure how to handle that part if I should add even more.  Any ideas on that front?  I thought one of the side benefits of the Whole30 was supposed to be skin that looks great, not like a 16-year-old!

CrossFit honestly sounds terrible.  There is a place (didn't know it was called a "box") right down the road from me but it scares me, TBH!  But it's sort of a moot point because right now I can't afford to do anything I have to pay for.

@kirbz I'm right there with you on the outdoor activities!  When it cools down a bit (in another month) my husband and I will be out hiking pretty much every weekend.  In the meantime we have a pool near our apartment and I do like swimming, so maybe I will try that again.  Again it's hard to figure out how hard to be working so that I'm not going to be in pain for days on end, but I'm making a difference.  Maybe I just need to start SUPER slow and build up to it.

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I would agree about walking. It's such a great exercise, not only for your physical health, but also your mental health. I too find Crossfit intimidating, but enjoy working with some of the crossfit gear at my gym (the ropes, the contraption you load with weight and push, the tire flip thing, etc...) and working with weights. They're low impact, but increasing your muscle tone will speed up your metabolism and also help strengthen the muscles around your joints and prevent injury. I worked with a trainer for about 6 months to learn good form, and now I do group fitness classes for free at my gym (BodyPump is my favorite, but I've been doing a couple of new types of classes lately with a friend and it's been fun). Honestly, the best way to workout is to do multiple types of exercises - walking, yoga, and weights will all have different benefits and will complement one another in your journey. You mentioned having a pool near you - maybe you can go and walk laps in the pool? It'll keep you cool in the heat and make the walking even lower impact as you start out. 

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@____Emily____ thank you!  I'll try that.  I do enjoy walking but have a hard time with all the hills around here, combined with the heat.  Would feel silly walking laps in the pool but I think some kind of combo of light swimming/doing whatever it takes to keep moving might be what I need, at least to start!

I can't wait for it to cool down a bit so we can enjoy some more hiking too.  And we also have a fitness center with some basic weights/cardio equipment; I keep meaning to look for some kind of ultra-beginner routine to try there just to switch things up a bit.  Anyway, I appreciate all the support!

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