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Haven't worked out in a few years


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So it's been a while since I've worked out. I've worked retail, where I'm on my feet walking around, carrying stuff. My current job isn't retail, but I'm still walking around, carrying and pushing/pulling things, climbing stairs. But I don't really consider that a workout.

 

I get worn out really easily. I think a part of it is due to my depression and how it's hard for me to get motivated to get up and do something. I tell myself that I should get into some sort of shape, but then sit on my couch for a while.

 

I'm female, 6' and 135-140 pounds. I want to get onto some sort of basic workout plan, but I don't have a lot of room in my house to work out in. My main area of focus is my stomach area, because I'm getting that "muffin top" from soda and sugar and what have you. I'm thinking of joining a gym in my area so I at least have the "Well, I'm paying for this thing, I might as well use it" motivation.

 

As I said in my introduction, I have a bad knee and tendonitis in my wrist and fingers, so I'm sure that limits me. It's hard for me to run because of minor asthma, plus I'm afraid of running somewhere and being too worn out to get home (hence going to the gym, at least I'll be on a treadmill or elliptical). I've looked at doing squats and weight training, but again, I'm scared of injuring my knee and arm further.

 

Ugh, I feel like a lost cause sometimes. I'm in decent health, but I know I could be better. Hopefully my limitations aren't too impossible for people to help me out with, but yeah, I could use some suggestions. I'm already working on cutting soda out of my diet and drinking more water, as well as cutting back and down on sugary treats. 

Weight loss 155 lbs-140 lbs

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One of the reasons I started lifting was to fight how down I was.  It's a weird feeling, isn't it?  Injuries you can grit your teeth and work around.  You can be determined and win.  But depression sucks the fight right out of you, and the fire just isn't there.  You feel like you can just fade into the bed and disappear.  It steals you.  How do you fight that?

 

So let's tackle that part of your post first: motivation.  I think motivation is overrated.  It's hard to find, and even if you do find all of it in the word, you still might not do a thing.  So I gave up searching for it, and I replaced it with something I owe a lot to: dedication.  Dedication is such a wonderful thing.  It doesn't matter how up or down you feel.  The smallest amount of dedication will always move you forward.  It was actually a relief when I stopped trying to find my "motivation" to exercise, and instead just said "yep, gotta go, every bit counts."  It was rough going for quite some time, and I'd be lying if I said those rough days are completely gone.  BUT!  Forcing myself to become dedicated gave me the fitness I have now, and ironically enough, that momentum has become motivation.  Realizing that I can accomplish a ton of things even when I'm feeling "down" and "unmotivated," so long as I still try, has had an enormous impact on my life far beyond exercise.

 

Secondly, medical concerns.  Nothing you listed precludes you from having the level of fitness you desire.  However, medical direction is not a bad idea.  Have you seen a doctor/physical therapist about your knee and wrists, and the kinds of exercises you should be doing?  Don't look for that kind of medical advice online, and no one browsing these forums should feel like they can give you true consultation.  But if you can tell us what you're allowed to do and what you can't do, then we can pitch in with some suggestions for you to discuss with your doctor further!  Remember, athletes can have plenty of injuries and conditions.  A bad knee and asthma included.

 

In particular, I want to note the depression - medically speaking.  I do not believe I was ever clinically depressed.  If you feel you may be, then the second paragraph (goodness I'm going to regret posting that bloated thing) is probably not all that you need, and you should feel perfectly mature for seeing a doctor.

 

Finally, the muffin-top.  Easiest thing in the world to fix.  Eat a little less!  If you did nothing else yet responsibly cut your calories (again, RESPONSIBLY, don't go paranoid on us), you would lose the muffin-top.

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 I think motivation is overrated.  It's hard to find, and even if you do find all of it in the word, you still might not do a thing.  So I gave up searching for it, and I replaced it with something I owe a lot to: dedication.  Dedication is such a wonderful thing.  It doesn't matter how up or down you feel.  The smallest amount of dedication will always move you forward.  It was actually a relief when I stopped trying to find my "motivation" to exercise, and instead just said "yep, gotta go, every bit counts."  It was rough going for quite some time, and I'd be lying if I said those rough days are completely gone.  BUT!  Forcing myself to become dedicated gave me the fitness I have now, and ironically enough, that momentum has become motivation.  Realizing that I can accomplish a ton of things even when I'm feeling "down" and "unmotivated," so long as I still try, has had an enormous impact on my life far beyond exercise.

 

 

Yeah, I have major issues with the focus on motivation. For me the real problem is that too many people have confused the idea of motivation with the feeling of "I really feel like doing  ______ right now." All motivation is is the driving force behind an action, and that doesn't need to be about instant gratification. People seem to be under the impression that motivation is supposed to always appear in the form of "man, I just really want to go run 10 miles right now, nothing sounds better than that." 

 

That particular form of motivation seems to be pretty rare, especially when you're depressed (I'm extremely familiar with that). I gave up on waiting for that feeling, and instead I focus now on my long term goals as motivation. But beyond that, I simply had to re categorize working out as something I do whether I feel like it right then or not. I started out with workout times that were set in stone, and a plan to follow. I was going to show up at 6:30 Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and follow that plan, whether that sounded fun or not. Just like I went to work at 6:30 AM every morning whether that sounded enjoyable that day or not, and I shower every night and do my laundry when I run out of clothes because that's what needs to be done to operate in public. Those are things I'm motivated to do, but in the "I need money to pay rent and I'd like to not repel people with my scent" way instead of the "this task sounds pleasant" way. 

 

Last notes: 1) don't stress over getting the perfect food or exercise plan in place before you start. In the beginning, anything that isn't a serious safety risk will get you some results, and you'll have time to adjust from there to improve your progress. 2)the absolute hardest - in terms of "motivation" - part of almost every workout, especially in the beginning, was getting my butt into the gym and starting moving. Once I was there I was fine.

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I'll tackle a few questions first. Yes, I have been diagnosed with depression a few years ago. I was on medication, but I left the job that gave me insurance and I haven't been able to see a doctor since. Which means I can't afford to see a doctor right now to talk to her about my knee/wrist problems, but after Medi-Cal goes through, I plan on going.

 

But are there any specific workouts I should be doing in the meantime? I figure for now I'd just walk around the block a few times or something. I also have a yoga DVD my mom bought a few years ago and a mat from when I took it at school, so I might take that up again. I do lift somewhat heavy stuff at work, but I also use my forearms to balance the box. I can't do that with weights, but I should be okay if I start light.

Weight loss 155 lbs-140 lbs

1%
1%
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