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Workout When Obese

momof2kdmomof2kd Member, Premium Posts: 5 Member Member, Premium Posts: 5 Member
Hi, I'm new around here. Well, kinda. I joined a few years ago, but it didn't stick. Anyways, I'm a rather large woman. 6' 1" in height and 336 pounds.

I just joined a fairly popular gym that promotes a non judgmental atmosphere. Even so, I've struggled a bit. Along with my obvious weight problem, the medication I take has the unfortunate side effect of muscle weakness. This manifests itself most notably in my legs. I've gotten to the point that I can no longer get back up from most seats, including toilets. That was probably too much information, but it goes to show that I can't currently use most of the gym's machines aside from the ellipticals and a couple others. My legs also tend to just give out on me, especially if I try to exercise them.

All this combined means that I can only do a little bit at a time. I have to take frequent breaks, and have only been able to top out at half a mile on the elliptical and a few shoulder presses. Those are the only machines I can use, and my body won't hold out to do more right now even if I could use others.

Other than my physical issues, I've already caught people staring and laughing at me while I'm trying to do what little I can. Yesterday morning, I left in tears after hearing a couple other women saying that I was just wasting space when I was having to go for a bit and catch my breath. They whisper and stare. It's humiliating especially since I bring my son with me. I don't know what to do.

I could try to walk, but I'm afraid I'll fall on the uneven ground. I don't have any equipment anymore.

Just ugh. Sorry for the rambling post.


  • ALZ14ALZ14 Member Posts: 31 Member Member Posts: 31 Member
    I’m so sorry you are having those experiences, you are trying and that is what is important!

    Are there any other medications your doctor can prescribe that would work without the muscle weakness as a side effect?

    Have you looked into using a cane/walking stick or a walker? Maybe having something you can hold onto will help with your stability.

    If none of those are viable options, continue to do what you can and focus on your diet. It is possible to lose weight on diet alone if it comes to that. Exercise is important, but not the only way to lose weight.
  • faithlovefitfaithlovefit Member Posts: 8 Member Member Posts: 8 Member
    What other people say about you says more about their character than yours! People still laugh at me for not being able to lift much but I know one day I will and that’s enough to keep me going.
    You are doing this for YOU, don’t let the heartless people stop you.
    Are there later times that no one is there ? Usually gyms here are empty at night time. I started out at night but once I got more comfortable with the equipment I went during the day. now I’m doing all at home because I’m more comfortable that way. Fitness Blender on YouTube has some low impact (no jump) no equipment workouts if you’d be interested in that. I lost 30lbs with their videos. Their videos are completely free but they do have $10 programs on their site. 😌 Good luck, I hope everything works out for you.
  • DancingMoosieDancingMoosie Member Posts: 5,540 Member Member Posts: 5,540 Member
    Caroline Jordan has "hurt foot" workouts, chair cardio, no-impact workouts, etc on her YouTube channel. Here's one example:
  • MuttiNMMuttiNM Member Posts: 98 Member Member Posts: 98 Member
    I want to second what @DancingMoosie said. There are all kinds of chair workouts, from yoga to cardio, on youtube. Maybe some of those would work for you. Also, would an exercise bike work for you? I have one knee that sometimes gives out on me. When I first started trying to get some exercise in, I used a recumbent exercise bike. That worked well for my knee problem. I understand it's hard to ignore those rude people but you're doing great. You're also setting a great example for your son. Keep it up!
  • DancingMoosieDancingMoosie Member Posts: 5,540 Member Member Posts: 5,540 Member
    I also like this lady, Miranda Esmonde-White
    Her workouts are good for almost anyone, and you can use a chair for balance. It's like a hybrid of Tai chi and Barre.
  • josh2452180josh2452180 Member Posts: 22 Member Member Posts: 22 Member
    I would ask if there is absolutely any way to be off the medication. I do not know what condition it is for, but if it is stemming from metabolic it necessary? Ask your doc, get a second opinion, see what you can do.

    There are a ton of meds out there, for just about everything. The least prescribed and/or adhered to medication is good nutrition and physical activity. That doesn’t make much money, so docs don’t like it much 😂

    If it is the only medication, or getting off of it would kill you or greatly harm you, then search for an alternative to the machines at the gym. If the meds are for a metabolic disease or disorder...research what it takes to get off of it. Let that be your motivation.

    Maybe an alternative gym. Recumbent bikes are fun. Swimming makes you weightless, while giving you a full body workout. See a private gym, if you have more moola.

    FWIW...weight loss and metabolic health starts in the kitchen. Eat less than your body needs each day, and over time you will see a reduction in weight. Work in physical activity when you can.

    Keep at it each day. Most days. Talk to family, tell them what you are doing. They will be your biggest support group. ✌️
    edited August 2
  • momof2kdmomof2kd Member, Premium Posts: 5 Member Member, Premium Posts: 5 Member
    One of my main goals is to regain leg strength so that I can be more mobile again. Is an elliptical a good way to work on that?

    Oh, and the medication is for very painful neuropathy. If I go off it, my feet get so bad I can barely stand it. I'm hoping weight loss will help with that too.
    edited August 2
  • GeneveremfpGeneveremfp Member Posts: 273 Member Member Posts: 273 Member
    You just turning up is amazing and you will notice as you lose weight and gradually work on your muscles and your body that things will get better and you'll be feeling better aswell.

    I know it's hard but ignore those whispers. I know when I first started doing couch to 5k I got a few giggles when I'd run for a minute and then be out of breath and sweaty - now I can run solidly for an hour... So some people will be ridiculous. I know when I see someone overweight or obese working out in any form (even just walking when you can see they're on an exercise walk) I feel loads of positive things. I think a lot of people feel that positivity too - there will be more people cheering you in in the sidelines than hoping you fall. They're just quieter about it. The headphones idea is a good one. I listen to podcasts when working out and it's been a game changer. I'm so gripped by my podcast I care so much less what anyone might be thinking.
  • AwesomeSquirrelAwesomeSquirrel Member Posts: 384 Member Member Posts: 384 Member
    I’m sorry you encountered women like that at your gym. I’ve had similar experiences. But I applaud you for showing up for yourself and reaching out to MFP for support and advice instead of closing the gym door for good.

    I second the idea of looking for a pool. Whether swimming, walking, running, water aerobics or playing with your son hanging out in the water will probably feel great.

    If you are hesitant to be around people in swimwear at your current size I know pools around here have a few time slots a week that are either adults only or women only. Those time slots may feel more comfortable to you, or call ahead and ask what the best off-peak time would be.

    When it comes to timing exercise it can be tempting to avoid the peak times. However I would actually propose that early morning while often a peak time tends to be bursting with people who truly attend to improve themselves. People don’t show up in the gym at 6am or even 7am to whisper and stare - they’d much rather be asleep :D

    I’ve also seen many people on these boards recommend video workouts with Leslie Sansone which is essentially walking in your living room. Could this be something for you? It’s a controlled environment compared to walking outside, I imagine you have a chair close by so you can sit down as needed.
  • kristingjertsenkristingjertsen Member Posts: 194 Member Member Posts: 194 Member
    Ignore them. Do what you need to do to get to better health. I have had a spinal cord injury and two big back surgeries and I know what an achievement it is to get back in the game, do what you can, and regain your health. You really should look into swimming for exercise. My legs, core muscles, back and shoulder muscles were really weak after my second surgery. Swimming offered me a safer way to get great cardiovascular exercise, rehabilitate my weak muscles and improve my stamina, strength, and flexibility. To this day I swim in the pool, stretch in the pool, do body weight exercises in the pool, and enjoy a pain free way to exercise safely. And no, I am not the fastest swimmer but it doesn't matter. Look for the people who encourage you, have survived and overcome struggles of their own, and you will find support.
  • kristingjertsenkristingjertsen Member Posts: 194 Member Member Posts: 194 Member
    Also check out The Eldergym blog and Youtube videos. Don't be put off by the name. Run by a physical therapist who works with older adults. Exercises are safe, straightforward, and effective especially if you are just starting out. What is the cause of your neuropathy? I live with it as well, so I understand how unpleasant the numbness and tingling can be. I quit gabapentin because I disliked the side effects. I have found that eating a low refined sugar and sodium diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fatty fish really helps to tamp down the neuropathy. Weight loss that comes with that eating style is a big bonus.
  • PAPYRUS3PAPYRUS3 Member Posts: 6,782 Member Member Posts: 6,782 Member
    I’m so sorry you’ve experienced that! I was once 355lbs so I know the feeling all toooooo well. Feel free to add me and to message if you need to chat!

    wow! there's some inspiration! Hopefully OP will add you - how and how long did it take you. Well done girl!
  • mjbnj0001mjbnj0001 Member Posts: 917 Member Member Posts: 917 Member
    I won't repeat all the advice about potential alt meds and exercises, etc., but will expand on an idea floated above about walking aids/walkers. If you can walk, try hiking poles. They help stabilize you, and take some of the effort out of your legs to your upper body. Might be helpful for you. Good luck no matter what you do. I've lost over 70lbs in a combined program focused on bicycling, swimming (ocean and pool), lite hiking/walking, seasonal gym work, and dietary moderation. It didn't happen for me right away, and beyond a quick drop, took a long time. I'm still working on it, could go another 50 lbs.

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