I'm gonna PUMP YOU UP!

I no longer hate the idea of exercise!
Fitness and the whole world of people who enjoyed exercise and being in shape was a place I never thought I'd fit into, understand, or want to associate myself with.

I've been overweight pretty much all my life, and all I ever thought exercise was consisted of was the horrors of elementary and high-school gym. Running fast, jumping high, being bendy, keeping your eye on the ball. I was awful at all of these things. And, convinced that I was No Good At Exercise, I never got better at any of it, only worse.

Now, several decades later, I took the step of signing up with a local gym. The director who signed me promised there would come a time when I would actively *want* to come work out. I laughed at him. But he was right.... I've discovered resistance training, which I am getting good at. I've discovered that I can get better even with dreaded cardio. Slowly, slowly, I have seen improvement. I see that I can change - my strength, my wind, even what I want to eat. I have wanted to go to the gym.


If only I'd known this 15 years ago!

I've been going to the gym since late July, 2001. I train 2-4 times a week, twice with a trainer, and do cardio 0-2 times a week and swimming 0-1 times a week. I took a break of about 3 months in Sept-Nov 2002 because of a move, but am back in the swing of things again now. I've only lost about 20 pounds, with a lot more still to go. But my body composition, which is a MUCH more important measure of progress, has changed drastically. I've dropped my body fat by 13% and gained quite a lot of muscle. And more importantly, I've found healthy, active exercise I ENJOY! Life will never be the same again.

A sample workout from 3/10/02:
10 min warm-up on the stationary bike
Calf pedals 3x15 @120
60 degree leg sled 3x15 @110
Calf pushups 3x15 @45
Leg Sled 3x15 @100
Hamtractor 3x15 @ 105
Hip Abduction 3x15 @60
Hip Adduction 3x15 @60
Seated Leg Curl 15 @35 15@45 15@55
Front and Side shoulder raises w/2.5 pound weights, 15 (I needed to kill some time)

So far, I've found two really great resources for those who are new to fitness:
The LifeJournal "gymrats" community, where there are experienced lifters and trainers who are always willing to give good advice and support.

Krista's SMASH! web-site has a lot of great information on nutrition and lifting, which is applicable to both men and women.

web AT dragonsfire DOT com