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FORUMS General Discussions Fitness From Couch To Fit, what worked for you
TOPIC: From Couch To Fit, what worked for you
Created by: LisaNWill
Original Starting post for this thread:
In reading some of the posts here, I think that many of us face the same challenges.

We live and work in a hectic world, one in which we don't have enough time or energy to exercise, too many high fat, high sugar food choices, and lack of motivation.

As a reformed couch potato, I would like to share something that helped me with my fitness and my food choices. I became a triathlete. Now, before you freak out and say, "I can't find the time to do one exercise let alone three, are you out of your mind?!!" It's not what you think.

First of all people have an image of triathletes that they are extremely fit, and this is not true. I have seen all types of bodies at races, even a 70.3 Ironman event.

Part of the reason for its broad appeal is that training is interesting. You spend some time running, some time swimming, and some time on the bike. It isn't doing the same thing over and over again, where you find yourself in a rut and where many fitness plans go off the rails.

Second of all, triathlons create a sense of community. In many ways triathletes are like swingers, they are misunderstood by the population at large (I have overheard people observe that they "can't understand how anyone could do that" when speaking about swinging and triathlons) and they have a very supportive sub-culture, and finally you go out in public in brightly colored clothing that leaves little to the imagination. What's not to love?

Need to keep motivated, sign up for a race, that provides you a goal to work for. And speaking of races, most people think of triathlons as Ironman, a 140 mile endurance event. Actually, that is the smallest part of triathlon. They have supersprint races that are 200 yards of swimming (8 laps in the pool), followed by a 5 mile bike ride, and a 1 mile run/walk.

It really is a sport that anybody can do, I know I am anybody and I am a triathlete.

What sort of exercise helped you go from sit to fit?

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It took 10 years to go from 210 to 185. Started with walking, evolved to jogging

Now I do HIIT: (45s sprinting + 15s rest) x 15 every morning + 30 weight lifting at night. Sat, Sun - rollerblading 10 miles.

Diet: I eat everything I want for total of 1100 cal/day Used to use Noom but now I know how much to eat.

New York NY
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There have been some great replies to this thread, and I really like the personal stories that folks have shared. One thing you can glean from this thread is...find something that you will DO. For me, that means working out at home. I work (job) from home, and I hate leaving the house to go to a gym. For a couple of hundred dollars I bought a bench, some power blocks (adjustable dumbbells), and few other things. If I were to do it again, I wouldn't even mess with the weights...I have become a fan of body weight exercise (search Mark Lauren You are your own gym). Now I mainly use a pullup bar, some cheap TRX style straps, and an ab wheel.

The second thing that made a big difference for me was to get out of the 3 or 4 day a week thing. I work out every day. These workouts are not as intense at a once-every-other-day workout would be, but the daily system keeps me in the groove. No rest days. Every Damned Day!

It's been mentioned what a big component nutrition is. Bodybuilders say that competition is 80% diet and 20% workout. Paleo has worked well for me.

Many will argue this, but lots of cardio is not productive, in my opinion. Resistance training, done right, will give you sufficient cardio. Weight/resistance training is much more effective for overall health and fitness. Lots of research out there on the topic, Google is your friend.

Good luck!

Destin FL
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@peaceandlove: Your post is great advice for most people but not most women. There are a tremendous number of women who are carb sensitive, meaning, the "complex" carbs are hard to work off and turn into fat. I am one of these women. I "try" to eat more fibrous carbs....you know the greens, etc. I hear people say, Oh, I cut out carbs and I lost all this weight. It doesn't happen for me or for many women. We really have to cut our diet down to beyond clean which doesn't translate into eating less but eating good quality food in smart amounts, kick up the weight training and cardio and be patient. Also, don't compare your results to anyone else. Make the decision to get that ass off the couch and let the rest happen...good luck.

Vero Beach FL
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Eat before your workout and after your workout. Especially for strength training, you've got to tear into the muscle fibers in order see results. Carb load before getting to the gym. You will lift longer, and you will lift larger weights for greater results. Stay hydrated for cardio by drinking small sips during your routine. Dehydration is a killer! Be careful.

Pasadena CA
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Exercise alone isn't enough. You have to watch what you eat. It's best if you eat 5 small meals a day as opposed to 3 large ones.

The easiest way to cut calories is to reduce/eliminate your soda, chocolate, and candy consumption and reduce your carb intake. Never take seconds. Also, the more protein and fiber you eat, the longer you feel full and the less you eat as a result.

For exercise, running is best to slim down, but that's going to cut into your muscles (not desirable for men). If you're a guy, you need to balance it with strength exercises too.

Schaumburg IL
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Watching family members age. That was pretty much a wake up call for me. Fortunately I work in a military organization that values fitness so it was easy to get back in shape. Running and hiking for the cardio and free weights/TRX for body toning. Better shape now than I was 20 years ago. Just start moving people.


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Mine was a "mental" decision. Until you REALLY make up in your mind that you want to do it, like anything else in life, you won't. Case in point. I really hate cardio inside or outside, whatever. However, this morning, I decided to do the 30 mins of cardio first and then did my weight training. It wasn't a picnic but I got through it. The music in the gym helped as well.

Vero Beach FL
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Male half weight training and mountain biking, female has always done cardio classes, zumba, etc. but just started T25 and the results have been amazing for her.

Smithfield NC
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cycling. 25-30 mile rides with hills provide an amazing workout.

Philadelphia PA
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Trail running. It's all about stamina.

Huntington Beach CA
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TOPIC: From Couch To Fit, what worked for you