|The old Holly around September 2000.|
Four and a half years ago, I was a size 16 squeezing into size 14 clothes! Today, I wear size 4 and 6 clothes. At the start of my journey to lose weight and become healthy I wondered if getting to my current size was a realistic goal for me. Along the way I found some really helpful low-cost or no-cost resources that you may also find as helpful as I did.
|Me with my grandson in Sept. 2012.|
Bob Greene's book Total Body Makeover was a huge help to me. It gave me very concrete ideas of how to structure a workout program and also helped me to deal with the emotional part of my weight loss journey. This book came out in 2005 and I still go back periodically to read it and encourage myself to keep up my efforts in maintaining my weight loss. There are many personal stories in the book that gave me faith that I could do what the other people in the book did!
Planet Fitness was the gym I joined when I began my steps to fitness. It was a wonderful place to go for someone who hadn't been working out because it is billed as "the no judgment zone" and that is truly what it was for me. A variety of people of all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels go to Planet Fitness (www.planetfitness.com). It has a nice variety of exercise equipment there as well: regular and recumbent bicycles, treadmills, elliptical machines, stair-steppers, free weights, and weight machines, and a circuit training area. It is VERY affordable with no-commitment plans starting at $10/month!
If $10/month is not in your budget, I have great news for you! PBS stations have fitness shows on their line-up several times each week. In my area, I enjoy doing Classical Stretch workouts up to five days a week (http://www.classicalstretch.com) and Wai Lana yoga (http://www.wailana.com) from the comfort of my home. My husband bought me a pretty pink yoga mat, I found some really cute workout clothes at the thrift store, and I was ready to get fit! I started doing these exercise shows last year after I lost a job I had had for seven years and I could not afford a gym membership. I am still doing these workouts at home because I have gotten great results from them and enjoy them very much.
Last October I realized that I needed a little help as I continued reaching towards my goal weight. I read in Fitness magazine of a lady who used a free app on her smartphone called Lose It! I began using it and have lost 7 pounds since then. ; )
Lose It! allows people to track calories of the foods they eat and calories they expend through exercise. I had tried to do this on my own but found it very difficult to do. Another feature of Lose It! that I enjoy are the various challenges in which I have participated. The challenges are very motivating. One such challenge to weigh in daily just ended after 278 days! I have established the habit of monitoring my weight every day which helps keep me from getting too far off track in my eating and exercising.
One other fitness resource that I really enjoy using are the walking/running trails in neighborhood parks. Even in my small town, we have several of these trails. The hospital near my house installed walking trails all around it that are marked so people can track how much distance they cover. My husband and I enjoy walking on the trails at the hospital because it is
a safe place to walk, there are restrooms available, we can go inside to get a drink of water, and they have free Wifi to enjoy once we are done walking.
What have you done in your journey to better health and fitness?