Author Topic: new here, dumb username, enthusiastic to get fit, i like walking  (Read 750 times)

fatmanwalking

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tldr:

40 year old guy has been extremely self-destructive for many years causing a huge body weight explosion of morbid obese proportions, suddenly regaining control, happiness and purpose, which has lead him to reach out to other people passionate about walking and their health for friendship and mutual respect.
:)


hello


so, let me begin by saying that i find writing anything like this difficult but i will try here this time because ive started falling in love with walking and i know i have a lot to learn, besides it's a bit lonely not having many people to talk with about it.


i guess a bit about me will help, umm..


im fat, not as fat as i once was, but even now our scales at home scream get off with an error message.
ive been zero activity with binge eating rubbish, to over the past year or so learning and enjoying a sensible balanced routine of food. i dont like to say diet because i choose to eat what i love, feels great and i know to be healthy long term. its not a fad diet for trying to lose weight as the primary goal has been to eat properly and if i should lose some weight then thats a nice bonus. over this time ive learned what works for me and ive pretty much shattered the urge to binge like a pig. unless you have experienced the psychological torment felt when you see someone leave some food on their plate, then you couldnt possibly understand and for that i envy you i really do.

i have made the decision all along to solve my poor eating first. i knew that if i wanted to i could go to the gym work out and have an excuse to eat tons of calories. i reckon thats cheating and doesnt help to address the main issue. now that i can safely control my eating i began to explore getting out of the house more. working from home, mental health issues and just piling on the weight meant that i honestly didnt believe i would ever recover from the damage done. that said i did add walking to the local shops and back, every morning to my routine.

control of food

morning walk to the shop


thats cool, and i know logically thats a huge deal for someone who was in my position, yet it wasnt enough.
towards the end of the covid lockdown when it was okay to meet with another family at the park, my dear friends and their daughter came down to visit me, we spent a beautiful day at the park. it was super sunny, boiling hot, and i had missed them so very much.
from that i learned a couple of things, the joy from being with people i love was incredible but that wasnt the most important aspect to the experience. i relearned something about nature, the outdoors, the feeling of being away from computers and my 4 walls at home. i became acutely aware of the importance of being a part of the human experience, literally, i had cut myself off so much over the years i had completely forgotten something so fundamental and important about life.



my list of experiences has expanded:


control of food

morning walk to the shop

appreciation of nature



its been weeks since i saw them and at first every day i packed up my laptop, couple of cans of pepsi max, then took a walk to the park where i sat down on the grass by myself in the shade; enjoying the brilliant weather and feeling pride in knowing that i made it properly outdoors for a change.
one random day i left my bag of stuff at home, not sure what i was expecting to achieve, but i took some water and my phone out with me and walked.
unfortunately it was difficult to figure out on the map how far i had gone, i think initially it was maybe 2 miles, give or take. i did a couple of more walks furthering the distance to maybe 3 miles before i realised that i could log my trip digitally with my phone.
since then ive walked 3.3miles, 3.5miles, sometimes 5miles then falling back down to just 3miles due to being sore and losing momentum, but 2 days ago i did walk 6.5 miles and when i got home boy was i sore! however that 6.5mile walk was the first time i healed rapidly with far less discomfort than any of the other walks. for example that evening i was pretty capable of walking up and down the stairs with barely any bother which is phenominal when you consider the other walking sessions took me 2 full days to recover and i was still not 100%.

for many many years i have secretly coveted the ability to participate in ultramarathons. ive watched many documentaries of runners participating in 100+mile runs and other documentaries of doing dozens of marathons one after another etc.etc.etc.. i knew i had no chance of doing it myself but i wished for it and hoped for it and really wanted to believe that maybe somehow someday thatll be me too. i told no one of this. it was like a guilty embarrassing secret. i couldnt barely believe it was something i was so passionately hoping for let alone anyone else believing i could do it. so i said nothing, until about a week ago, where i told those friends that visited my deepest hopes and desires regarding fitness.

so im a big fat morbidly obese man who is about 40 years old, who has up until recently lost any hope of regaining a degree of good health, now fully committed to walking 10 miles tomorrow morning and continuing to push towards a full marathon distance soon. i know i can do it, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind because i know that i have overcome so much already. im even starting to believe that in 2 or 3 years i will participate in my first 100miles ultra, walking of course!


if you wish me to edit in punctuation i can do so, i tend not to as a personal style choice though, yet happy to oblige.



« Last Edit: 22:11:25, 29/07/20 by fatmanwalking »

cornwallcoastpathdweller

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Good luck with the journey, it all starts with just the one step.


My BIL was almost 25 stone three years ago, given some stern news by his doctor so started walking.  Now down to 14 stone and much healthier. 


maybe speak to your doctor about your plans before starting any strenuous exercise, and start slowly.



one step then another then another then a bench - please?

fatmanwalking

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thanks for the welcome, awesome work by your brother in law.


 i think as simple as it sounds youre right about taking that first step, likewise youre right at some point i would like to have a chat through some things with my doctor; he has been so incredibly kind to me and my family over the years, thankfully ive not experienced anything yet worth bothering him with because that man is very busy and important in his industry. ive been weighing up my need and urgency against wasting his time. so far ive been able to find answers albeit with many contradictions online and i seem to get a lot of pleasure from reading through data, reports and articles. bit of a nerd. lol


doh, i just re-read what you had written and realise i misunderstood slightly, "before starting any strenuous exercise", good point and i think i will act on that advice. thanks you.

before i forgot, i was wondering what kind of walking you like to do etc?

Bigfoot_Mike

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Welcome to the forum from Aberdeenshire. I have struggled with my weight most of my adult life and currently weigh much more than I would like. I need some form of exercise to be able to lose weight and cannot do this just by eating less. Due to various sports injuries over the years, I find walking is the best form of exercise and walking in the countryside is something I really enjoy. I am gradually trying to get myself back into the hills, hopefully for some long , hard days, but know from experience that I need to take it slowly to prevent further injury. I wish you well in your journey to better health and fitness. Those who have never had weight problems will tell you that it is easy. All you need to do is take in less energy than you expend - if only. Weight gain and loss is a complex subject with many influencing factors: genetic, physical, mental, environmental, stress, illness, etc.


Take it slowly as you build up your walking distance. Joints, ligaments and tendons take longer to adjust than muscles do and can take a lot longer to recover if you over stress them. Being overweight can make injuries more likely.


Who knows. Maybe one day we will meet, walking in the Highlands of Scotland as mere shadows of our former selves.

fatmanwalking

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i completely heard what you said but especially felt this to be beautiful "Who knows. Maybe one day we will meet, walking in the Highlands of Scotland as mere shadows of our former selves." and i really do hope so.


funnily after getting somewhat over the damage my calf muscles felt, i started to noticed smaller pains like in my ankle, etc. i presume those areas will too strengthen with time or is there a limit to the punishment they will take with this much weight do you reckon?

Bigfoot_Mike

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I think it is best to listen to your body to prevent injuries (I wish I had). There is a difference between post-exercise muscle ache and pain due to sore knees, Achilles’ tendons and other joints. Particularly while overweight, it is best to build up gradually and allow rest days for recovery. My natural tendency is to go at everything flat out and smash through obstacles rather than go through them (I used to be a prop forward in my school days). This approach has its pluses and minuses and I now have some longer term injuries that I have to work around, meaning it takes me longer to get fit again and I have a tendency for flare ups that set me back weeks or months. Please don’t be put off by any niggles, but just take the long view so that you can enjoy walking in the great outdoors for many decades to come.


You will find a wide variety of walkers on the forum: super fit racing snakes who never get injured and still run well into their 70s; those who have had illness or injury and are more restricted in their walking than they might like; others who were once overweight or heavy smokers and are now fitter than they have been for many decades.

shortwalker

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Welcome from another newbie. As others have said take it slow and build up your walking.  for me the biggest thing that has helped my walking is using poles. They have several benefits, not only do they help take the weight of your legs, but they also mean you exercise more of your body.


Read up on them and see what you think. There is an "art" to using them correctly, but they help my wife get out for walks and she has no system for using them.

WhitstableDave

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Skipping through the original post to the penultimate paragraph (I'm afraid your personal style choice is too much for me!), I would say you already have the most important quality needed... determination.

All I would add to what others have said is this: Go for your planned walks however miserable and uninviting the weather looks. Stick to your plan and don't allow yourself to find excuses. And remember, you can walk through aches, soreness and blisters, but never try to walk through injuries!

richardh1905

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Welcome to the forum from South Cumbria.


As others have said, don't overdo it. Start little and often, and listen to your body - if you need a rest day, take it.


Where do you do your walking, bu the way?



WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

ninthace

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Welcome from deepest Devon.  Remember walking is a pleasure, do not let it become a chore.
Solvitur Ambulando

Lee R

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As you know, you've made the biggest & hardest step already so well done on that.


From now on just treat it all as a long enjoyable journey. As long as you don't push yourself too much too soon & expect overnight miracles you be fine  :)





fatmanwalking

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... I'm afraid your personal style choice is too much for me! ...
I'm giggling to myself reading this comment because I truly hate poorly written large walls of text but ended up subjecting the nice people here with one of my own, oops.

I would say you already have the most important quality needed... determination.
I definitely feel that because it's unusual that I will latch on to a project or goal with such determination, in fact I can only think of a few occasions where I had it so strongly as usually I just stack hundreds of goals onto the back-burner and rotate through casually making minimal progress.




Remember walking is a pleasure, do not let it become a chore.
Believe it or not I accidentally reminded myself of that very thing today, I was feeling hot and a bit tired from walking when I remembered that I hadn't just sat on the grass like I used to in ages! So I sat down, took my shoes off, wiped my legs down and listened to the rest of an audio book I had on. I may have laid down for a while too. It was an incredibly pleasant half an hour which rejuvenated my attitude and energy allowing me to do a fairly decent walk in the end. Thank you, I will try to remind myself of this more often, especially when feeling less enthusiastic. lol





As long as you don't push yourself too much too soon & expect overnight miracles you be fine  :)
Thank you for the rational advice regarding pushing too hard, I've been having difficulty with feeling guilty when I fall short of my expectations, I do try to be positive about things but sometimes I worry about giving myself excuses as mentioned by other's already it's so easy for me to say "ahhhhh it's okayy". Seems to be one of the many things I'm learning as I go through this process, to deal with those little demons that try to derail me.




for me the biggest thing that has helped my walking is using poles. They have several benefits, not only do they help take the weight of your legs, but they also mean you exercise more of your body.
That's definitely something I have as of yet no clue about but I will do some research tonight, I like the idea of doing something about my puny arm muscles that's for sure, I was mulling it over recently on a walk trying to decide how I might improve my upper body but continue to avoid covid19 exposure at a gym. The idea of turning the exercise into a global all body event seems useful. Besides I think my ankles might thank me for it.




My natural tendency is to go at everything flat out and smash through obstacles rather than go through them.
Get, out, of, my, head! hehehe yes this is very much me too, I usually say I'm an 'all or nothing' kind of person. It's been painful lately pushing myself but I want to make progress so desperately.





Where do you do your walking, bu the way?
9QRQ+GH Morden

Around the park near me in Morden mostly, I usually do most of my walking through the park and then to add extra distance and break up the scenery a bit I will follow some random streets and get lost for a while until I find my way back. :P





Thank you all for for the encouraging words, thoughtful advice, warm welcomes and personal insights into this lifestyle. Whilst I didn't reply to every aspect of your messages I did take things on board and I noticed a common theme about how to sensibly approach things without breaking my body; yet still pushing towards my goal without putting up excuses as blockades.


Today I had hoped to reach 10 miles and I fell short of that goal, I had feelings of frustration, disappointment and also a bit of defeat. I had mostly dealt with those thoughts and feelings, yet somehow it was still very encouraging to have you all point out that it's nice to have goals and push hard but still take care etc.

Today I totaled 7.4 miles and it was 28°C / 82.4°F which really cooked me. I feel like all things considered I can go to bed tonight proud and unashamed, thanks!

cornwallcoastpathdweller

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thanks for the welcome, awesome work by your brother in law.


 i think as simple as it sounds youre right about taking that first step, likewise youre right at some point i would like to have a chat through some things with my doctor; he has been so incredibly kind to me and my family over the years, thankfully ive not experienced anything yet worth bothering him with because that man is very busy and important in his industry. ive been weighing up my need and urgency against wasting his time. so far ive been able to find answers albeit with many contradictions online and i seem to get a lot of pleasure from reading through data, reports and articles. bit of a nerd. lol


doh, i just re-read what you had written and realise i misunderstood slightly, "before starting any strenuous exercise", good point and i think i will act on that advice. thanks you.

before i forgot, i was wondering what kind of walking you like to do etc?


I like the challenge of covering distance at speed, not a huge fan of dawdling along but building up speed takes time, so as others have said listen to the aches and pains and dont ignore them.


im a bit of a cardio fan truth be told, ex competative cyclist, have never been a big guy (heaviest was 74kg) nor muscley but i used to eat an enormous amount of generally bad food for my size and used exercise to burn it all off, consequently my stamina was fantastic. 


Currently have the opposite issue to you, in that i struggle to maintain my weight now at 66kg, having had my stomach removed due to cancer at 48 - a big shock to a fighting fit energiser bunny i can tell you. 


Thats where determination to suceed comes in, making your walking a regular part of your life, rain or shine keep at it and you'll achieve whatever it is you want.  BIL can almost keep up with me now  ::)  and he is so much healthier than he was.  He has his MBA graduation photograph on his wall from his earlier days to inspire him, you wouldnt recognise him now.


As i said it took my BIL 3 years to lose his weight, so keep at it and dont expect miracles overnight, speed and distance (particularly distance) are your friends, but do listen to your body along the way.  Have every confidence in you, so,put the ipad down and get out there!





one step then another then another then a bench - please?

richardh1905

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9QRQ+GH Morden

Around the park near me in Morden mostly, I usually do most of my walking through the park and then to add extra distance and break up the scenery a bit I will follow some random streets and get lost for a while until I find my way back. :P
...
Today I had hoped to reach 10 miles and I fell short of that goal, I had feelings of frustration, disappointment and also a bit of defeat. I had mostly dealt with those thoughts and feelings, yet somehow it was still very encouraging to have you all point out that it's nice to have goals and push hard but still take care etc.

Today I totaled 7.4 miles and it was 28°C / 82.4°F which really cooked me. I feel like all things considered I can go to bed tonight proud and unashamed, thanks!


Morden - I was none the wiser until I googled it! Looks as if there are a lot of green spaces nearby, and some nice countryside to the south - good to have a bit of variation to keep things interesting.


And whilst it is no bad thing to have targets, you are right not to beat yourself up for not reaching them from time to time. I'm taking it easy for a few days as I cracked my knee against a rock on Tuesday, and it has been twinging - hopefully back in action next week.
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

Booga

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If you're in Morden you are quite well placed for accessing setions of walks like Wandle Trail, London Loop and Thames Path by public transport.  :)