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Very unfit, never exercised, heavy smoker- where do I start?!


New Member
S: 12st7lb G: 8st0lb
I'm new to this forum, so hello there!

I used to have a slim figure, but gradually over the last 6 years (I'm now 26) I've put on four stone, taking me from 8stone 7lbs to 12stone 7lbs, height 5"2. Needless to say, this weight gain has made me very unhappy, especially in recent months- I started university back in September and being surrounded by pretty and slim 18-year-olds all day long has really knocked my confidence! So, I've decided to do something about it, for real this time- I'm very determined and my head is in the right place, I think.

I'm losing weight by calorie counting, limiting myself to 1,200 or thereabouts each day. I'm finding that bit quite easy.

But the exercise part of my new lifestyle is something that does NOT come easily to me at all. I've never exercised in my life- I always found it terribly boring and uncomfortably strenuous, so I just didn't do it. I didn't need to, either- I just sort of stayed slim. What changed in my body, I have no idea- my diet has always been unhealthy! But now I find that I actually need to exercise, and I have no idea how to go about it. I'm about as unfit as a person can be without keeling over and having to crawl everywhere she goes; I smoke 20 a day- more when I'm sitting at my laptop working; and I don't like pain! I'm a student, so I can't afford to join a gym either.

What should I do? How can I go about increasing my exercise without overdoing it and putting myself off? I've started walking more- around four miles a day, briskly. I suppose that's better than doing nothing, but is it enough? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!:help2:
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Queen of Cats
S: 12st13lb C: 10st7lb G: 10st11lb BMI: 23 Loss: 2st6lb(18.78%)
Hi htrix, welcome to the Fitness and Exercise section. Lots of good info here, and really nice people. Good for you for posting here; the first hurdle is always realizing that you are ready to tackle your fitness (and weight goes along with that), and you've leaped that hurdle, which is great! I'm not a personal trainer or anything, just have my own experience (and a lot of reading) to go on.

From my perspective, the first thing I would say is that the smoking will not help you. (I'm an ex-smoker myself; quit years ago for several years, then started again, and quit again 3 years ago FOR GOOD.) I found it very difficult to stick to a good exercise program that really worked when I smoked; I just didn't have the cardio-vascular capacity to stick to exercise. So I would really, strongly recommend you think seriously about your smoking and what it's doing for you (and what it's not!). If you're at school, I would think there would be resources available for quitting; I had help from the NHS, I got free patches and a pill I took daily that completely took away the desire to smoke, it make quitting so much easier! So really, my first advice would be to think about your smoking. (Just think how much money you'll save!)

I do think any exercise is good; 4 miles a day of brisk walking is a great start! Do you have access to any fitness facilities at school, like a gym or pool? You might be able to use the facilities to vary your routine. If you want to keep walking, maybe plan out your program to increase your intensity and distance a bit each week or 2 so. I'm not sure if it's ok to post links here, but you can Google walking exercise and find all sorts of resources to help you figure out how to get the most out of your exercise time.


Full Member
S: 16st11lb C: 16st6lb G: 13st9lb BMI: 29.5 Loss: 0st5lb(2.13%)
Simple advice first is start slowly. Instead of sitting about doing nothing IE watching tv or sitting in front of the laptop for no reason spend 30mins exercising. Its easy when you have the time. When I had the time I wasted so much time doing nothing now I have no time but still managed to fit exercise in even though its a killer. Just make a target for your few week nothing big just something that will get the blood pumping and increase on that week by week.

Secondly 20+ a day and you dont have money to join the gym?? if you take your average into account £6 a day on smokes in a month your spending over £168 on smokes. I think the best thing you could do is just quit. Easier said then done I know I've been there and smoked about the level you did. But honestly its hard enough getting fit smoking wont help you. Plus think of all the money your save and things you can buy.


Is feeling the love!
S: 14st10lb C: 14st10lb G: 10st10lb BMI: 35.4 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
I was in your shoes when I started, but I was a lot haevier.
I dropped a stone and a half and then nothing happened for a month. I realised I had to do some exercise and give up the fags.
I couldn't afford to smoke and even giving up I still couldn't afford to join the gym becasue I couldn't afford the child care while I was at the gym.
I bought an exercise DVD and a bike and really stepped up my diet. Then I gave up the fags all at the same time.
I was so obsessed with my diet and trying to even balance on my new bike let alone keep up with the exercise DVD with out being sick that the fags were a very distant memory.
That was the begining of January and I can not believe how good I feel, it's a cliche I know, but I really do.
I sleep better, because I don't smoke I don't drink as much. I get up in the morning and feel as though I have the nergy to start the day.
I do 7.5 miles three times a week and my DVD for an hour three times a week and I always have Sunday off. I find the time to do it no matter what and I can feel my body becoming tighter and my mind clearer.


Gone fishing
I reckon you're doing brilliantly. I wont give you the smoking lecture as I smoke myself:p

You're having a sensible amount of calories and walking is a fantastic exercise and very underated.

There is no simpler or more natural workout than walking. It’s easy, inexpensive and a great way to get in shape. In fact, the evidence continues to mount that walking three times per week (not running or weight lifting) may be the most health conscious thing you can do for your body.

Walking for health and fitness can mean anything you want, from a mountain hike to a stroll along the beach. A walk with family and friends or a chance to get away from it all, think and unwind. It’s all up to you. You can do it anywhere, anytime. How about now?

Knicked from here

It's great and a habit that will be able to stay with me for a long time to come :)

Oh, and don't let those skinny 18 years old intimidate you. They are possibly half starving themselves to stay skinny, or naturally skinny but hating something else about themselves and wishing they were you ;)

Purple Hugs

Loves weight.. training!
S: 13st5.5lb C: 12st13lb G: 10st7lb BMI: 32.1 Loss: 0st6.5lb(3.47%)
I would also suggest walking :)

But would suggest getting some running trainers (really light airy for your feet and super soft/comfortable) to walk in :). This will ensure you don't put too much pressure on your back/joints etc.

Upping the intensity of pace for 10 / 20 / 30 seconds (increasing gradually) would help too, just to get your moving slightly quicker and your heart rate up. :)

Then in time, add a slight incline in.. try and walk it quicker each time you get to that point. :)

You are doing well changing your weight, and once you feel a bit fitter and are at your goal weight you will be able to work on cutting down your smoking. I'm not a smoker but do think we need to concentrate on one major thing at a time, dieting AND trying to quit smoking will likely lead to failing at both just because it's too much. I'm not saying some couldn't do it, but I personally think it would be a tough call.

Good luck! :D

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