This is a great place to get healthy! There are so many tools, resources, and encouraging people to help you on your journey to "Health & Fitness". Be sure to poke around the site and try the nutrition and fitness trackers, Spark Recipes, Daily Spark, health articles, and secrets.
Joining a team will help you meet like-minded people that share similar life situations or goals. Be sure to read member blogs as there is a wealth of information there. You can start with one of mine on "fighting the fire":
Running outside is so much better! For me anyway. I find exercising inside insanely boring. I have an exercise bike at home, and use it while watching TV, but I find it's too easy to just stop what I'm doing and watch on the couch. Plus I usually watch TV laying down so I think I'm conditioned that way to want to do that.
Plus if you run somewhere - you have to run back! Can't quit early.
Fitness Minutes: (21,594)
6/17/12 9:32 P
Welcome back to SparkPeople!
I don't need to tell you how great it is here. You know the ropes & what you need to do.
It is so cool that you are running! I want to get off the treadmill & start running outside. Not sure what is holding me back, but reading about your running is really very motivating.
You are going to see great results! You are already eating better & doing amazing with your workouts. Keep up the great work!
6/14/12 6:06 P
It sounds like you are making progress - good luck on your journey!
Thought I would tell my story, which is probably quite typical. I came on here in 2008 looking to loose weight, and I lost interest. I find it easy to loose sight of the bigger issues sometimes when results don't come fast enough. I weighed 200 pounds back then, according to the goals I had set. I've always had self image problems. Back in college I weighed 120 pounds as I was taunted in junior high / high school for my weight, and coupled with some depression I just didn't eat enough because I didn't feel like it. Plus the college I went to was really intense. I think being submersed in my studies helped me forget about my other problems. Then when I started working, I started splurging on unhealthy food that I couldn't afford in college, and that I didn't eat often while growing up. Coupled with a desk job, I started gaining. A couple years after I started taking antidepressants which made the weight gain worse (off them now, thankfully). I vowed to do something but always lost interest.
Fast forward to 2012. Not much had changed, except I now weighed 215 pounds. On Saint Patrick's day while at a bar, some drunk girl that was hanging around with my friends called me a fat slob. Having dealt with depression for some time I'm better with dealing with things like that. Yeah, it made me feel down - but she was drunk. And in my heart I kinda felt that way too about myself, and thought that instead of wallowing in self pity it was about time to do something about it.
A friend of mine at work started jogging, and I thought that was something I could try. Or at least start walking. After all I bought cross training sneakers in 2008 and only wore them like regular sneakers. He was building to a 5k marathon, so I used that as a nice number to strive for. Maybe I could do one one day. My first few 5k walks, I averaged around 55-60 minutes. After about a week or so I though "this is boring", so just started jogging in my jeans. I felt like an idiot, but felt good - like I was doing something. The next day I went out and bought jogging shorts and a breathable shirt, and I got hooked.
I never in a million years did I expect I would stick with jogging, let alone enjoy it. It's exercise, but it also gets me outside in the fresh air. It's a good stress reliever, and I feel less depressed and anxious. "Bad day at work? Run it off!" "Look, it's nice out! Can't wait to get outside and jog after work in the beautiful weather." Plus the feeling you get after a run is indescribable. It's like euphoria.
Not only that, it's made me eat better. Some of it is probably subconscious, in that I don't want to ruin my exercising, but also - do you really want to eat a greasy hamburger after jogging 5k? I end up craving something fresh, like a salad or an apple. I'm hoping to loose a chunk of weight and improve my cruddy self image while I'm exercising and eating better. I'm sure I was gaining muscle initially, and I finally seem to be dropping some more rapidly now, although I'm only down to 200 from 215 as of Sunday. I'm hoping to loose another 20 pounds by September, which is probably optimistic. Even if the weight loss hasn't been dramatic (and no one has really noticed that I'm loosing, or at least they haven't commented), I personally feel it's affects. My gut is still there, but my ass and waist have shrunk a lot. Down a belt notch, and the seat of my pants fit differently.
And lastly - I still do feel that sometimes it's not "working", or that I'm not loosing anything/enough. Luckily I like it so I kept on going regardless. But if you don't feel it's working just stick with it. Last week I felt as though I was fatter. Went out for wings, and my gut seemed bigger. But lo and behold - the scale said I lost two pounds.
I guess in closing I want to say if you haven't tried jogging/running outside, I recommend it. I can't describe the pleasure I feel from watching a sunset as I jog. Or feeling rain fall on me just as I enter my 5 minute cool down walk. Every time is different, but rewarding it's own unique way.
PS: Writing this on the high after getting in from a run. I'm down to 41 minutes for 5k (well - 4.8k), in 2/2.5 minute jogging intervals broken by 1.5 minute periods of walking. Sparkpeople's Map Your Route function rocks. :)
PPS: Sorry for the novel. I tend to be long winded, and I wanted to share how much this has changed my life.