Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I Did It!

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We should be taught not to wait for
inspiration to start a thing.
Action always generates inspiration.
Inspiration seldom generates action. ~ Frank Tibolt

Guess what I did yesterday?


I know some of you are probably going, "Ho hum - I go to the gym all the time." That's what I used to say, too. But I haven't been in almost a year. I was afraid the roof would collapse when I walked through the doors. :-)

Things have changed since I was there last, of course. But I was happy to note that all my favorite machine were still there. I did a five-minute warm-up on the treadmill, then worked all the major muscles in my body. Nothing strenuous, and I used light weights. It was hard to start over, but it felt great!

I am on my way once again to becoming a calorie burning machine.

Can I put on my former Weight Watcher Leader's hat for a minute?

If any of you out there are looking for a way to ramp up your weight loss or to change the shape of your body, please check into strength training. Unlike popular notions, you will not end up looking like Mr. Schwarzenegger. We women just don't have enough testosterone in our bodies for that to happen. The women you see who are body builders, with large, chiseled muscles, have to work out a LOT to make that happen, a lot more than you and I ever will.

Muscle burns calories: it's as simple as that. Increasing your muscle mass is the one true way to boost your metabolism. If I could find a way to bottle that benefit, I'd be a rich woman!

And let's quell another misunderstanding, one that stops a lot of us from strength training: muscle does not weigh more than fat.

I know -- you read that everywhere you turn. But think about it: a pound is a pound is a pound. A pound of lead and a pound of feathers both weigh a pound, right? The difference is in the volume, the space they take up. A pound of lead would fit in the palm of your hand. A pound of feathers would fill a room.

It's the same with muscle and fat. A pound of muscle is very tight and compact, but it still weighs a pound. A pound of fat is very loose and takes up lots of space on our body, but it still weighs a pound. That's why two women standing side by side, both the same height and both weighing 200 pounds, can look very different. One can even wear smaller clothes. The 200-pound woman who looks smaller has more muscle mass, so she's more compact, even though she weighs the same as the woman standing next to her.

Yes, there can be some small weight gain when you first begin to build muscle. It has to do with the water held by the muscle cells, or some such thing (this is where my knowledge ends - I'm not a physiologist!) Don't let that deter you from strength training, however. It will go away and you will become a much more efficient calorie burning machine.
* * * * *
Ok, I'm going to take off my Leader's hat now, and speak as the humble, overweight woman that I am to tell you that it feels SO good to have gone to the gym! I have lots of information in my head about how to lose weight. It feels good to have taken action. As my friend Eve says, we need to get out of our heads and stop thinking so much, and just do it!

Until next time...


Felicia said...

WOOO HOOO Congrats on making it to the gym! That is AWESOME!!!

Keep up the great work! YOU ARE DOING IT!


Rose said...

Yay Gym!!!

First, I'm so proud of you/inspired by you! Way to go!

Second, thanks for the good advice on strength training!

Linda said...

Popping by to say "Hi" and well done for getting to the gym!

Grumpy Chair said...

Walking into the gym that first time in a long time is the hardest part and you did it. Congratulations and I hope you enjoy your gym.

I'm going to start strength training tonight (had already planned) but enjoyed reading your info on it.

Have a great week Pattie.

RunningNan said...


Erin said...

I now love going to the gym, even though I've only been going for a month or so, it makes me feel so much better!


Lora said...

You're so right about the muscle vs fat thing. When my cousin stopped going to the gym (she'd gone for a few years and was in great shape) she actually lost weight - but her pants got tight! (Replacing that muscle with fat.)

Manuela said...

The hardest thing is actually GETTING to the gym. Once you're there you're pumped and ready to go.

Good for you for taking that important first step. Keep it up!

briy said...

Wow! CONGRATS! That definitely deserves your NSV badge!

I agree with manuela... for me the hardest thing is getting to the gym. Once I'm there I get focused and sweaty and I forget almost everything else gasping for the next breath on the treadmill. (Okay, it's not quite that bad, but still...)

And thanks for the excellent advice about strength training. I've only recently started doing it myself, but it feels great, and I'm really looking forward to seeing some awesome results!

I hope you have a GREAT April, and this gym visit is the first of many.

Take care!

p.s. And thanks for your Pattie-tude. Your posts always seem so thoughtful, and are always uplifting. I really enjoy reading them. :)

Cammy said...

Woo-hoo! Pattie's in the house! Sounds like you had a GREAT workout, and you should feel very proud of yourself! Keep it up!

And thanks for the muscle/fat info! I didn't know that. :)

Scale Junkie said...

YAY YAY and WOOOHOOO too!! I'm so proud of you!! Great job!

Hanlie said...

Thank you, Pattie! You've just inspired me to get back to gym tomorrow!

Great post and I loved how you explained the muscle/fat thing properly.

But seriously, thank you!

Kathy said...