Wow! It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Due to having a laptop with a crappy keyboard, I gave up on trying to type a complete sentence, let alone a blog post. I don’t always hit the center of the keys, so when I hit the corners of the keys, it wouldn’t register that the key had been pressed, even though it did go all the way down. I could actually hold a key down by the corner, expecting that it would throw a letter on the screen and repeat it until I let up and nothing would show up on the screen! I did some research, and the chicklet style keyboard (the new norm) that Toshiba uses is rated as one of the worst keyboards out there. Forget trying to type accurately if you can’t hit the center of the keys… and even worse with long fingernails. And now for the real subject of the day….
Recently, I read an article about a woman who was overweight and out of shape. I don’t really know all the specifics like age, weight, height, etc., but the way she lost weight really inspired me.
I had been thinking about getting an elliptical for a while, and had discussed it once with my husband. This woman purchased an elliptical, plugged it in, and could only barely operate it! Turning the machine on put a little drag on the wheel, which was too much for her. So she unplugged it, and even then she could only go about 45 seconds at a time. She did this several times a day, working her way up to 5 minutes, then ten minutes. Once she got to ten minutes, she wrote that she plugged the machine in and started all over. It took 6 months before she could actually do a 30-minute workout.
After reading this article to my husband, we decided to find an elliptical that would hold my weight. Do you have any idea how low the weight capacity is on most exercise equipment? Most range from 225-275. I won’t say how much I weigh, but I will tell you that I definitely exceed those limits! I figured, though, that if I found the highest weight capacity that I could afford, if I’m gentle with it, maybe it will last a while.
The only one we could find in our budget was from Academy, the Schwinn 420. The weight capacity is 300. And while I still exceed that, it felt really sturdy in the store. And boy did we luck out!! The price online was $549.99. After we got to the store and decided it was the one we wanted, the tiny (and I mean TINY – like a size zero!) girl helping us came back and told us they were out, and only the floor model was left. We asked if we could buy and if there would be a discount. She checked with the manager, and came back with a 15% discount! That was a savings of $82.50!!!! Sold!!!
And the best part is that we didn’t have to assemble it! So we saved a bunch of time and money by buying the floor model.
So we get it home, and I give it a try. O.M.G. The girl who wrote that blog wasn’t kidding! Ohhh did my legs buuuuuuuuurn! I went about 30 seconds my time. Then later that evening I hopped on and did about 45 seconds. I played with keeping it at about a minute during the first week. I have a bad knee which I’ve limped and wrapped and taped throughout the last few years, and it wasn’t used to this kind of motion. I don’t know about other ellipticals, but this one makes you feel like you’re running. So if you’re going slow (yep, that’s me!) then you feel like you’re running in slow motion. And my knee just wasn’t used to that. It popped. It crackled. I was scared that I was actually damaging my knee. But I kept quiet and just pushed through it. I’m so glad I did! Now it still gets fatigued a little, but it’s getting stronger!
What I really like about the elliptical, is that it’s almost an impact-free workout. I say almost, because you’re still supporting your weight. I think the only real impact-free workout would be swimming, which only has resistance. Anyway, on the elliptical, you are running in slow motion without your feet slamming down, causing vibration through your bones and extra stress to your joints. I’ve tried using a treadmill before. But my weak knee/hip/back would really start hurting since I couldn’t change pace quickly enough to make a difference. It was also hard to change walking style without nearly falling off the treadmill. After only half a mile, my knee, hip, and back were hurting so much that I’d have to quit. I couldn’t seem to ever go more than that half mile either.
I’ve already made more progress with the elliptical in only a few weeks than I did with 2 months of trying to use the treadmill. So now I’ve found a workout that gets my heart rate up, makes me sweat, and I can actually still walk when I’m done, as well as the day after! :)
So I decided to do exactly what the other woman did, which was slowly work my way up to a full workout. We purchased the machine on Sunday, May 19, 2013. So we’ve had it right about 3 weeks now. The first week was spent getting used to the motion, taking it painstakingly slow, and just staying on it for about a minute to condition my muscles. And even after the first week, 1 minute was PLENTY. That next weekend, I didn’t use it much. We had a lot of family here for a funeral, and after hosting 20+ something guests that Friday night and about 30 guests on Saturday, I felt I had exercised enough for the day. Plus my feet just wouldn’t let me stand up any longer.
Then the next week, I graduated to 2 minutes, then added either 15 or 30 seconds each day, depending on how I felt as the workout progressed. The one thing I don’t want to do is over-do it. If I’m too sore, then I won’t get on it tomorrow, then I will lose my initiative. I AM DETERMINED TO LOSE WEIGHT. Then this past week, I’ve continued to work my way up. Wednesday night, I went 10 minutes. Thursday night, 10.5 minutes. Then tonight (Friday, even though it’s Saturday now) I hit 11 minutes. I am so proud of myself! I can’t believe I’ve come this far. When we first bought the elliptical, I was skeptical about being able to really work up to any type of sustained workout. Yes, I know, I was inspired by the woman I’d read about, and if she can do it, then so can I. But when you actually get on the machine for the first time, and feel the deep intense burn in your legs, it can be very intimidating!
Changes I’ve noticed:
After that first week, as I mentioned, we had lots of family in for the funeral. My parents came a couple of days early so we could spend some time together. One of the days, we went walking around downtown San Antonio, and I was actually out-walking my parents and my husband. I kept pulling ahead of them, thinking they were walking slow, yet they kept telling me to slow down and asking if I was in a hurry. My legs had been conditioned THAT MUCH by using the elliptical for 1 minute a day for less than a week!
I’ve also noticed over the last couple of weeks that I have more stamina and energy during grocery shopping. Between my back, hip, and knee, oh and let’s not forget plantar fasciitis in my right heel, I’m usually in some sort of pain while shopping. But things are improving! Even walking across the store or carrying the heavy groceries into the house doesn’t make me nearly as out of breath as it did only a month ago!
The first two weeks, I was still eating too much, plus the workouts were so short, it was more for muscle conditioning. But this week, even at 11 minutes and less, I’ve lost a whopping 3 pounds. Yes, I know, 3 pounds isn’t much. But it’s a start!! My weight has been fairly consistent over the last two years. Every time I weighed myself, the scale read the exact same weight. So for the scale to show a 3 pound loss IS definitely something, to me. I can’t wait for this weight to start melting away!!