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Once you're fit... What changes?

dashaclaire Posts: 127 Member
I used mfp successfully in the past with little to no exercise because I had a highly active job...
I've gained it all back plus a little, many reasons but no need to make excuses here.

I'd like to lose it for good this time and learn to like exercise. Last time I reached my goal weight I needed some toning in a bad way. I was skinny fat.

So this time I'm set to sedentary (I'm not working (by choice) right now) and am concentrating on logging 400-500 exercise calories a day. Mostly walking, riding a bike, and going to the gym for a 30 minute weight machine/ step aerobic circuit thing. I don't eat my exercise calories back unless I'm desperate and I'm losing just fine.

Because I've just started, every thing except walking is hard AF. I'm very sore all the time (waddle to the bathroom sore) and drenched in sweat.

My questions: For you, how long did it take for you to feel "in shape"? Did you stop raining sweat at some point? When did the soreness calm?

I understand a little sore and some sweat are good things but this seems excessive. Maybe I'm just a sweaty person? I know I'm in terrible shape.
I know everyone is different, I just want to hear your experiences:)


  • GMAC2016
    GMAC2016 Posts: 249 Member
    Well, for me I have to admit not having a full stomach has already started to make me feel a bit better. I have a bad back and have constant back pain which I chose to ignore and live with (no meds etc) and after starting a week or so ago, I already feel a bit better, certainly not in shape but better. I would look for little wins you can feel good about. Does it seem easier to get up from a chair? Sleeping better? Anything you can identify is progress. I won't be running any marathons...ever...but the fact that my back hurts less is a start in my book.
  • 47Jacqueline
    47Jacqueline Posts: 6,993 Member
    I sweat when I work out. It makes me feel accomplished. The solution to it is to take a shower afterwards, not try to stop it. It means your body is working correctly. Sweat cools us off. Without that, we get sick.

    You should be a little sore after you work out. It means you have stressed your muscles. Muscles develop by getting little tears in them, that's what lets them develop. When the torn muscles heal (which may take a few days) muscle has been build up. Little by little that happens.

    You should be sore, not in pain. If you're in pain, you've done too much, or done the wrong thing.

  • mk2fit
    mk2fit Posts: 730 Member
    @dashaclaire, I started slowly with exercise and never got truly "sore", however I have always sweated like crazy. Buy a sweatband so it doesn't drip into your eyes and take a shower when you are done with your workout. Back to the soreness. Start slowly, maybe 15 to 30 minutes at a time with any given exercise. That way you won't burn out or get so sore you won't want to do it again tomorrow. You can build up your times and endurance. I also vary what kind of exercise I do - run or walk most days, elliptical just about every morning, strength training videos with dumbbells and aerobic/walking videos. I don't know when I actually felt "in shape", I think it snuck up on me. One day, I realized I could run as far as I wanted. I am a 57 yr. old woman who lost over 70# here. Good luck to you!
  • californiagirl2012
    californiagirl2012 Posts: 2,625 Member
    There are a lot of factors for sweating and that is certainly different for each person and different types of exercise. Most people sweat more with cardio style exercise.

    Muscle soreness can be pretty bad for some people just starting out for a couple of weeks. This is when your body is adapting the most. The muscles tear down, heal, get stronger, and repeats as you push harder. It subsides a bit, and it's never as bad as those first 2-3 weeks. As your muscle and joints become conditioned, it hurts less and it's just part of what you do. But if you stop, you have to go through that initial adaptation again. It is reason enough for some of us to never stop the consistency.

    Consistency fixes that.
  • charlieandcarol
    charlieandcarol Posts: 302 Member
    In chatting to my friends it seems that people who haven't/don't exercise much seem to view sweating as a bad thing. Its my personal view that sweating is the goal or the aim, otherwise I don't feel like I have worked hard. Maybe I am just used to it because I have always done some exercise no matter what my weight? The soreness will pass with time but again, I like being a bit sore, it means I have pushed myself just a little bit harder than I am used to, I consider it to be how I get fit. You will probably find though over time the things that make you sore now won't anymore as you get fitter.
  • LiveLoveRunFar
    LiveLoveRunFar Posts: 176 Member
    edited March 2016
    I sweat buckets. Have to wear a sweat band. Strength---always sweat, running- if I go all out or far yes sweat like crazy, if its just an easy short, but then that's not working out either.
  • gems74
    gems74 Posts: 107 Member
    Personally I like it when I'm a bit sore the next day after a good workout. For me its like wearing a badge of honor. And sweating yea, I sweat a lot too, always have regardless of how in shape I am.

    Good luck!
  • neldabg
    neldabg Posts: 1,452 Member
    I only stayed sore for about a week when I first got into fitness. Strangely, even after I went through a time where I did intense workout DVD's, I never was sore. Are you taking rest days? Your body needs time to repair.
  • CollieFit
    CollieFit Posts: 1,683 Member
    How long does it take to be in shape / fit...? That's such a subjective question. However many other people's responses you will read, it still won't give you any idea of how long it will take you to get "in shape". Also what is "fit" to one person is pretty unfit by someone else's standards.

    My return to fitness started 3 months ago after 3 years of time out (& 45lb weight gain). I can swim a kilometre again, I can run for about half an hour again, I recently did a 30 mile bike ride without problems, I can play squash for a hour and sustain a spin class... Pretty fit someone might think, but it isn't when you used to be able to swim a couple of miles, run a couple of hours, do 10 mile bike rides, squat more than your body weight, do 30 press ups on your toes, hold a plank for 5 minutes etc etc. You see what I mean, it's all relative. "Fit" can only be judged by you.

    Sweating I wouldn't worry about. It's just your body trying to cool you down. And DOMS is just part of the game.
  • girlwithcurls2
    girlwithcurls2 Posts: 2,276 Member
    I started on this site 3 years ago. I'm in the best shape of my life (which isn't fabulous, by the way), and I sweat buckets. It's just me now. One of my primary exercises is a cardio/resistance class that is held in the deep end of the pool. Best part is, yes, I sweat, but I'm in water, so it feels great. When I run with my sister on Sundays though, I have to bring an extra sweatshirt (a dry one) for our after-run-coffee-visit. Otherwise, I'd be sitting in drenched clothes getting cold.

    Congratulations on getting back at it! The best advice sounds cliche, but it's so true: find an activity you enjoy, and make that your exercise. I took up learning to swim. I'm still not very good or fast, but it's always a challenge, and it's a great workout. Progress is slow, but so what? All I have is time... ;)
  • dashaclaire
    dashaclaire Posts: 127 Member

    I guess I'm just a sweaty b-tch lol! I have thin short hair so I end up looking a red blotchy wet mess. I definitely shower immediately after the gym, I will try a sweat band.

    I think I am one of those people that just gets very sore. I do the weight machines/gym every other day to rest my muscles... is that enough? or should I wait until the soreness goes away completely?
    The soreness is starting to reduce to tolerable.

    Thanks for all your input, I'll keep at it!
  • robertw486
    robertw486 Posts: 2,392 Member
    For me the biggest change as I get more fit again is attitude and confidence levels. How much I sweat varies all over the place. But as I get more fit, I have confidence to keep raising the bar and push a little harder, because as you reach the level you thought you couldn't, you realize a lot of it is just driven by desire.
  • perkymommy
    perkymommy Posts: 1,642 Member
    I sweat a lot as well. The only working out I do is on my treadmill every other day but I alternate between the steepest walking and running on it. It's great for our cells to sweat out the toxins so it's definitely a good thing!
  • Shells918
    Shells918 Posts: 1,070 Member
    I've been working out steady since June. I always sweat and if I don't I figure I'm not working hard enough or I must be dehydrated. I feel really sore when I start a new program, and slightly sore as I go through it. I try to keep mixing things up so I don't get bored.
  • maasha81
    maasha81 Posts: 733 Member
    It takes a week to stop feeling intensely sore. I just push through the first 10 mins of workout ...if I am in pain the I stop. I always listen to my body.

    I am always a sweaty red faced mess after a workout. That had never changed and I have come to accept it. I have even slipped on my own sweat during an insanity vid :/
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 33,002 Member
    Sweat: By the end of spin class, my terry cloth sweat band is almost wet enough to wring sweat from, and my (very short) hair is absolutely wet, along with most of my t-shirt. Some others in class literally have small sweat puddles on the floor around the bike.

    Sweat is normal. Sweat is good. Though some people sweat less, this is not necessarily a good thing: Some of them have trouble with their internal cooling system, can't take as much heat, and are more likely to get things like heatstroke under extreme circumstances. If you continue, sweat will come to feel purifying.

    I don't see that you've said how long you've been at your new routine. For me, when I do something new, there's usually about a week or two of pretty sore muscles, tops (so sore you waddle, as you put it), then maybe a bit more of somewhat sore muscles, and after that - even if I progress the weight or intensity of the exercise, as long as it's in sensible increments - there's more like a taut worked-out feeling to my muscles that I've come to like. It's good to press yourself to achieve, within reason, but you can temper the speed with which you increase intensity, if necessary.

    It can be difficult to see the benefits of fitness as they develop, because it's such a gradual, incremental process. Within a few weeks, to 2-3 months tops, depending on your routine, you'll find yourself doing some perfectly normal activity that's part of your life . . . and you'll notice that you can do it longer, or it's easier to do, or you can reach/bend further, or something like that.

    Be sure to incorporate gentle stretching in your routine (ideally daily), don't be afraid to ice right after exercise for 10-15 minutes if you've worked some body part especially hard (the gel packs you keep in your freezer are nice for this), take a warm bath before bed (with epsom salts if you have it, and maybe something that smells lovely just for nice). Drink plenty of water during/after your workout, and through the day. Massage therapy (ideally with someone who does sports massage) is also helpful, if you can afford it.

    Fitness isn't a destination; it's a process. Over time, you'll get more of those moments where you notice daily activities are easier, that long-time aches or glitches or tightnesses have become less frequent or disappeared, you'll have more endurance & a spring in your step. At some point, you'll have to take a few days off, and notice that you feel more tense, maybe a little less cheery, and you'll be wanting to get back to your exercise routine so you feel great again.

    I've been very active for a dozen years, starting while I was obese (and staying obese, BTW, until the past year). Even without losing weight, I lost a couple of sizes in jeans, and had more stamina & strength. I see a big difference between what I can do (daily life), and age-peers (I'm 60) who are not active. You're doing a great thing for yourself - keep up the goodness.

    (Sorry I wrote a book.)
  • EvgeniZyntx
    EvgeniZyntx Posts: 24,208 Member
    Nice book Ann, nothing to add to that. It is spot on.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,865 Member
    Sweating when working out? Yeah...that's normal...the only people I know who worry about it are people who don't workout.

    As far as DOMs go, they last a couple of weeks when you're new to training...the best thing you can do for them is to keep moving. They do subside, but I'm always a little sore pretty much all the time. Also, make sure you're not doing too much too soon. One of the biggest mistakes people make is just diving in head first and working beyond their fitness level. Building up your fitness takes time and doing too much too soon is a good way to burn out for one, but it also invites injury. You need to make sure you're giving your body time to recover...the less fit you are, the longer the recovery days should be programmed into your fitness regimen. Note that rest days don't mean you have to do nothing...walking is a great recovery day activity.

    Also, if you're lifting you should really look into a structured program...most beginners and people in general do really well with a full body routine 3x per definitely do not want to be working the same muscles or groups of muscles on consecutive days...if you stick with your circuits, I'd still recommend having days in between to recover properly. Personally, I'd do that along with your walking and some cycling...increase your cardiovascular work as your fitness improves...go longer, faster, and further as your fitness warrants.
  • IGbnat24
    IGbnat24 Posts: 520 Member
    To avoid the skinny fat look, you're going to need a better focus on building muscle. Heavier weights, large muscle groups. I'd drop the machine/step circuit in favor of a good free weight program or you'll probably find yourself in the same boat again.
  • ForeverSunshine09
    ForeverSunshine09 Posts: 966 Member
    Be happy you sweat! I can't sweat due to genetics combined with kidney disease. My entire body instead gets overheated very quickly and all my fingers, hands, arms, legs and feet swell like a balloon. It makes exercise a real pain in the *kitten*!