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RABBLE-RABBLE SparkPoints: (11,507)
Fitness Minutes: (11,106)
Posts: 63
1/29/14 2:12 P

I ADMIRE people who have a lot of weight to lose when they come into the gym I go to. They have the courage and determination to change their lifestyle to one that is healthier and more rewarding. Don't let others intimidate you into not going in and improving your life. If YOU start exercising then after making some improvement how YOU feel about yourself is far more important than what a few judgemental total strangers do.

And as others noted, most people in the gym are far more interested in their own workouts to care about what others are doing or look like.

FIELDWORKING SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (64,745)
Posts: 748
1/29/14 2:04 P

I second looking into the YMCA. If there is one nearby, talk to them about memberships and explain your situation. I know that I just joined the YMCA and during the month of January the $60 joining fee was waived. Since it's just me, the membership is $50/month. I assume the prices are the same no matter which YMCA you go to in the country. They may be able to help with the cost if it's a problem. And ask about the fitness assessment at the YMCA. It's $25 (at least at mine). You get the fitness assessment plus 6 sessions with a personal trainer. The personal trainer could help you come up with strength training routines as well (ones you can do at the gym and at home). They are super nice there and the people I've seen at the Y do their own thing. Going back to the employees, they are definitely willing to help you figure out the equipment. I'd definitely encourage you to check out the rowing machine at the Y. It's hardly ever used and it's a fantastic full body workout that is low impact. I don't know if all YMCA's have the Expresso Upright Bikes but they are more fun than the traditional stationary bikes. Try out the recumbent bike too.

If you don't want to join a gym, start by going for a walk in your neighborhood or in a neighborhood nearby. I've walked in my neighborhood and I've walked in other neighborhoods (parked in the parking lot of a grocery store).

Check out the workout generator to create a strength training routine:
. Play around with it and see if there is anything that you like.

When I first started going to a gym (on a university campus), I just kept to myself. Eventually there were people that would speak to me when they saw me or would give a polite nod and wave (that may be a southern thing though). I still keep to myself at the YMCA. Many people that go to the gym are focused on their own workouts and don't notice others. For me, I prefer a gym with both men and women. Women tend to be chatty with each other and get in my way (although, I've seen men who are just as chatty).

In terms of food, what about crock pot meals. If you're like me, single and child-free/childless, then I'd definitely look into crock pot recipes. I can make a meal for a week out of 1 recipe (maybe not a week, but at least for 3 to 5 days). If you get tired of it after 2 meals, put it in the freezer. Try checking out crock pot recipe books from the library. Pick out several that you like and make copies of them. Most libraries will even scan it and have it sent to your email address. Some even have copiers where you can do that yourself (scan and email it to yourself). You could do that with any of the recipe books at the library. Get a three-ring binder and keep all of your recipes in one place (organize them by theme - slow cooker; low carb; low sodium; Italian/Mexican; etc.).

Another option is to go to the "diet" message board and start a topic there. List your favorite fruits, veggies, nuts/seeds/etc., and meats (if you eat meat). Ask for people to give you their favorite recipe using any of those things you listed. That way, not only are you getting a recipe but it helps others too.

BANDOMOM1 SparkPoints: (3,254)
Fitness Minutes: (3,530)
Posts: 337
1/29/14 12:46 P

I too felt that way! I joined planet fitness, I go in do my workout, I don't chat or really even look at other people. I am there to get fit and lose weight. If I sit at home, while others are getting fit, then I too will just get bigger. I watch biggest loser for great motivation. Once you keep going, you will seriously want to keep going! You CAN do it!! I have Faith in you!! Good Luck!!

GECKO722 SparkPoints: (35,288)
Fitness Minutes: (73,187)
Posts: 197
1/29/14 12:38 P

Regardless of if you decide to join a gym, workout at home or go on walks; I always find it inspiring when someone makes the conscious decision to change their life for the better. I don't think people who buy memberships do so with the intent to judge other people, they're all just trying to make themselves better. I guess some people do, but really those people are so awful they're not worth your time. This blogpost helped a friend of mine when she was beginning her weightloss journey, I thought it was inspiring.

MEMKEEPR Posts: 1,892
1/29/14 12:11 P

I just recently joined a gym. But first I spent the last 5 months just walking and have lost 30 pounds. Walking has increased my stamina and helped with weight loss. I decided that before I joined a gym I wanted to be sure I could commit to exercising regularly. I walk in my neighborhood, the local park, and even at the mall. It helps to break up the monotony. I also have more confidence.

I agree with the previous posters who advise to spend your limited funds on making good food choices and start walking for exercise. After a while, you may be ready to take the plunge and join a gym. My gym has people of all ages and sizes and that makes it easier to not be as embarrassed about my out of shape body

Good Luck! emoticon

Edited by: MEMKEEPR at: 1/29/2014 (12:12)
ONLINEASLLOU SparkPoints: (73,365)
Fitness Minutes: (57,011)
Posts: 4,787
1/29/14 10:51 A

I agree with some of the previous posters. If you are on a limited budget, it doesn't make sense to spend money on a gym membership -- especially if the gym culture is something you won't enjoy. There are plenty of ways to exercise that are either cheap or free. Save your money for things that are more necessary.

I've lost 25% of my body weight without going to a gym. I bought a few exercise DVD's to do at home ... and a few inexpensive dumb bells and resistance bands. But walking is free and there are free exercise routines online, etc. Explore some of those options before you spend money you don't have on a gym membership you won't enjoy. You don't need fancy, expensive stuff -- just get yourself moving in ways that don't injure your body or your budget.

Losing weight is 80% nutrition and only 20% exercise anyway. Focus more attention on that side of the equation to get yourself started on the right track. As they say, "You can't exercise away a bad diet."

Good luck to you!

JAMIRBLAZE Posts: 1,839
1/29/14 10:16 A

You don't need to join a gym to exercise. I've lost dozens of pounds at home with videos, dumbbells and (later) a treadmill which was a splurge, not a necessity. Walking is one of the best exercises that you can do, especially in the beginning.

That said, I recently maxed out on what I want to do at home and re-joined a gym. I honestly am so happy to see everyone there making an effort, regardless of size, and the only people I really notice in any sort of way are the ones that are making the spectacles of themselves and want to be noticed - teeny, tiny outfits, the excessive grunting, etc. Even then, it's usually only an eye roll and getting back to business for me.

If you're having a limited budget, a gym is probably not where you should invest your money. Weight loss is 80% diet, so if you need to stretch your income, that is where you should do it. First, limit eating out. It may seem cheaper, but it's really not - $6 for a value meal? I can make several days of healthy lunches for around that. Second, make a food budget - what do you really have to spend if you eliminate all but a handful of meals out? That's your base line. Three, plan all your meals/snacks for a week and buy only those items. To do this, I usually take a look at what is in season and cheap, what's on sale and what proteins that I have around. Then I pick recipes that will work with my nutritional needs.

Always keep in mind what is nutritional and cheap and great foods in moderation - brown rice, dried beans, peanut butter, oatmeal, eggs, tubs of yogurt, cereal, pouches of tuna, frozen veggies, popcorn (air popped) etc. Do you have access to a warehouse store? Does a friend have a membership? I buy my chicken breasts there for under $2 a pound, ground turkey for under $3 per pound, pork chops, pork loin, whole chickens, lean ground beef and all sorts of other meats at good prices (though they can sometimes be beat by sales elsewhere), large containers of oatmeal for cheaper than the generic at Walmart per ounce, canned chicken, reduced fat cheese sticks for far cheaper than in store, etc. I then portion my meat into 1 lbs bags and freeze. A bit of an upfront expense, but once you get going, it works out over the long haul., and Spark recipes are great places to start to look for recipes.

MICHELLE2969 SparkPoints: (125)
Fitness Minutes: (115)
Posts: 33
1/29/14 12:30 A

I use to be a member of a big gym and I was embarrassed so embarrassed I paid for a year and didn't go. Once I decided that's it I can't take being my size anymore I started to walk outside around my neighborhood I listened to music and thought about the weight I was going to lose just by walking. I have since joined a gym,I joined my local YMCA I love it so welcoming no judgment. I see the same 15 people everyday and you get to know some and they are there for the same reason to be healthy. The YMCA will help people with membership fee if income is a problem they will work with you. Food wise take little by little don't chop everything at once. When you have a sandwich have it dry load with veggies and on whole grain. Try and have a budget for food skip the drive thru's. Just remember that it takes time to lose and to change habits. Stay Positive!

STANDINGTALLER SparkPoints: (1,901)
Fitness Minutes: (905)
Posts: 9
1/28/14 11:49 P

SOON2BHEALTHY23--- don't let your embarrassment and fear rule you!

People will respect you for what you're doing. And chances are, they're more busy doing their workouts than checking out that awesome chick trying to be healthy over there emoticon

Do you have an all female gym in your area? You may feel more confident in one than in a co-ed gym. I suggest you take a few days in a gym to try it out. At first, you may feel a little uncomfortable. Then, little by little, you will get all the better for it. emoticon

I suggest you check the awesome resources here for good recipes on a limited income (sorry I can't be more helpful!)

Edited by: STANDINGTALLER at: 1/28/2014 (23:51)
JCOW84 SparkPoints: (9,041)
Fitness Minutes: (17,198)
Posts: 301
1/28/14 11:17 P

It sounds you have a couple of different questions here - what to eat, and how to workout. If you're on a limited income, why not go for walks? That's a great low impact way to get some exercise. Also, maybe try some of the Spark meal ideas. Basically, fresher food is better - veggies, fruits, whole grains - and packaged, processed food is not as healthy, mostly because it has high sodium contents and other preservatives, and less nutrients. Frozen fruits and veggies are great too.

Good luck! One thing at a time...

SOON2BHEALTHY23 Posts: 1,610
1/28/14 11:13 P

I am so embarrased and scared of joining a gym again,Seems everytime I go to one,I bail out and quit going because Im 350lbs overweight and only 25 years old and dont want people staring at me. Does anyone else feel what I feel? I wanna start losing weight but i dont know what foods to buy,im on a limited income.

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