This lovely post is inspired by the inspiring Heather. Talking about being fat is hard. No matter what kind of person you are, your life and your values are judged by the size of your waist. No matter how open minded you are, I would bet that just about everyone has judged someone else for what they perceive is their relationship with food. There are people that think we shouldn't get health insurance because it is our fault we are fat. There are people who don't understand who fortunate genetics have been to them. There are also people like Heather who are willing to talk about something that too often isn't talked about. So this is for Heather.
Doing the Shred, or any exercise, when you're obese is hard. If you work out, consider doing it while carrying around your 32 pound toddler. Wouldn't be easy would it? Now consider trying to do it with three of them. That is what it is like to exercise when you're obese. (for this example, we're going with what I was overweight by when I started, around 100 pounds)
Your knees, while admirably (maybe) supporting the weight you carry, do not like extra impact. Your lungs, while hopefully successfully supplying your body with oxygen, likely don't have much extra capacity for things like jumping jacks or butt kicks. It feels incredibly defeating to realize that you can't do the things that seem to come so easily to other people. It can make you want to give up.
I was really lucky when I started doing the Shred. While I have never been awesome when it comes to cardio, I knew that my body was capable of doing a lot. Granted, I was twenty-three the last time I really made it do anything, but I knew I had it in me. The thing I learned very quickly is that you have to start somewhere when going from here to there. It is a path of small steps, especially to start with.
For my knees, I started taking glucosomine. I'm not sure if it did anything to help, but even if it was all in my head, it was worth it. I also took every low impact modification on the Shred that I could. I replaced higher impact cardio exercises with the low impact ones when I just could do it. (god I love punches) I almost immediately went out and got new shoes. I realized I couldn't do some of the abs stuff because of my flabby stomach, so I repeated the exercises I could do when it came to the ones I couldn't (I still do that some). I stuck with it long enough to see that the third time was easier than the second time that was easier than the first time.
I got a good sports bra (well, I had one, but had never used it). I got mine from Title 9. They have great options for the big boobed, or just floppy boobed. If you aren't getting hit in the face by your boobs, exercise is a lot more fun. I also got good wicking pants. For me, I could do XXL from Target. If larger than that, I found a great site in JMS.
When it came to walking and eventually running, it wasn't any different. I started walking half a mile at a time. That is like five blocks. That is nothing to people who are remotely in shape. However, it was huge for me. Every few days I pushed myself farther. I pushed myself faster.
The most important thing I did was get myself a cheering squad. I participated in the Shredheads. Real life, online, it doesn't matter. I have nearly completely given up, but I didn't because I had the support of a community. Last fall was hard, and I quit for awhile, but I am back here, getting up at 5:30 in the morning (two days and counting) because I know that when it gets hard, there will be people here to help me.