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Old 10-07-2007, 06:44 PM   #21
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Weight is really tricky. I used to weigh 260, but have been in the 190-195 range for the last few years. In my case, it was simple lack of control and lack of focus on eating more healthily. Now, even when I'm overeating, I'm still mentally chalking up calories. I'm never not aware of what I'm doing to myself in regards to weight. And I weigh myself every morning.

But then I have a friend who is built along much smaller lines. He eats when he's hungry and doesn't make a big deal of eating. He can chow down with the best of them, but doesn't feel the urge to chow down frequently. Which, of course, I do.

So, I'm different than my friend (no surprise). But the tricky part is regarding weight prejudice. I personally am proud of losing 65 pounds and am pleased with myself for having done that. And, knowing the hard work I put into doing that, I tend to have more respect for those who keep themselves fit than those who don't. But, again, the tricky part is that everyone has different chemistry regarding food, and certain overweight people might have more strength of will than I do. Still, people make snap judgments based on appearances. And overweight people, unfortunately, tend to be lumped together as people lacking willpower.

I'm rambling, but it isn't surprising that weight prejudice exists. Not proud of it, but I've got a little in myself.
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:40 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
I think that you are judging both me and my son, while piously claiming not to.

_ _

Ha
HaHa - not to judge you or your son as "bad". I just wonder if there is more information out there that you or I or anyone else is not aware of. We may each be trying our best to do something, but we just don't know the whole truth. Based on what you said, you and your son are trying to be keep the weight off and work on nutrition and exercise. That's excellent, not many people make that conscious decision. But I wonder if there is more for us to learn. I hope I did not offend you as I do not mean to do so. It's the both-and part of it. We are trying to be better - AND - there are more ways for us to learn.

Where was I when I thought I knew what saving for retirement was... and what do I know now after much much more reading and learning from this forum and other books.
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:44 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by CyclingInvestor View Post
I do not entirely agree. I have always had excellent financial discipline (retired at 48 ), and
have always enjoyed exercise, averaging about 8000 miles of cycling plus lifting and some
hiking for the last 25 years. I am able to recite calorie tables for all the foods I eat. Lack of
knowledge about food / exercise / weight is not a problem.

However, I have also struggled with weight my whole life, because I eat too much. I tracked
my exact eating for over 10 years, and (surprise) found a close correlation between
(food in minus exercise) and weight change. Simple lack of will power in this one area.
One year when I rode over 14,000 miles I gained 9 pounds.All those little snacks
late at night add up.
Ok, so it sounds like you realized you still eat too much. That's ok. You realize that and that's the one thing keeping you back. The little snacks late at night. But you realize that and that's the thing. It's simple but not easy. That may be more than other people who do not realize what is causing what they do not want.

Now it is your choice to eat those late nite snacks or not... It is your choice to spend money on those lavish vacations or buy that new car or larger house than you need. And it's ok. It's your choice what to do and no one will judge you based on your decision, except that you made your choice and where you are now is based on your decision.
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:44 PM   #24
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Remember when those "No fat chicks" bumper stickers came out? You still see them occasionally. It doesn't give me a warm fuzzy, being a fat chick myself.
I've struggled with weight all my life. My DH is one of those "thin people". We look like an illustration from "Jack Sprat can eat no fat, his wife can eat no lean", despite the fact that it seemed like he was constantly eating and I was starving, and we were eating healthy food cooked from scratch.
A couple of years ago I tracked every calorie in (food), exercise, and weight for both of us on USDA - CNPP - MyPyramid Tracker. Him for a week, me for several months.
It's tedious but not impossible, especially if you're an obsessive-compulsive nerd which I suspect many of us on this forum may be.
Turns out I need about 400 fewer calories every day than it says I should for my size and exertion. My DH needs every single calorie it says he should and more. So he absolutely needs to eat lots more than me every day. At that time I was exercising significantly more than him, and he still needed 800 more calories a day than me.
With the healing of some injuries and a knee brace, etc, so that I can once again exercise vigorously on no-impact equipment at the gym, and lifting weights, counting calories, and avoiding high-calorie foods like nuts that normal people can eat, I'm "only" twenty pounds overweight and struggling to hold it.
We have to keep lots of snack food (nuts, dried fruit, etc) around the house for him, or we couldn't eat meals together. He'd literally starve.
So the calorie tracking does work, but some of us DO have a harder row to hoe. With injuries limiting physical exertion, it's really really tough for some of us. Not impossible, mind you, but it does have to take a significant portion of your day. Thank heaven I ERed or I would no doubt still be much more overweight than I am now.
Hold your head up! In a famine, we'd be the hotties!
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:51 PM   #25
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So the calorie tracking does work, but some of us DO have a harder row to hoe. With injuries limiting physical exertion, it's really really tough for some of us. Not impossible, mind you, but it does have to take a significant portion of your day.
I'm not saying it's the same for everyone. We are all in the situations due to our own choices and some due to luck. Luck of being born with specific genes, or to specific lifestyles, or specific families... But we each have the ability to see where we are and see what we can do.

Personally, I myself will not stop where I am and say, because I wasn't born to an affluent parents and affluent raising, I cannot be FI. I see where I am and choose where I want to go. Yes it will be easier for some and perhaps harder for me due to where I am, but I have the ability to choose where I want to go. There are obstacles and it's not easy. But I am learning what those choices are and what options I have. Thats education.


Now here's a kicker... What you "think" is "proper nutrition" may be the same as "proper personal finance" that most of the world believes in, which is not entirely correct based on what we believe here. How about that analogy? (Proper = what we here on this forum believe as core principles to FI or RE. Which may be different to different people.)
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Old 10-08-2007, 06:12 AM   #26
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I think the analogy is unhelpful.

"Luck" in the FI equation requires just one instance of a money-generating event.

"Luck" in our current view of the genetic lottery means one's metabolism more easily burns off the fat (wealth) that most people's bodies inherently want to store.. every day, every minute, every second, on a molecular level.

To draw any analogy here, you would have to be saying that the "lucky" people are those who have someone who sneaks into their house at night, takes $100 out of their wallet, and burns it. And they wake up magically "lighter" the next day!
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Old 10-08-2007, 09:13 AM   #27
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To draw any analogy here, you would have to be saying that the "lucky" people are those who have someone who sneaks into their house at night, takes $100 out of their wallet, and burns it. And they wake up magically "lighter" the next day!
Yes.
And if we had two people who were working toward ER and one was losing $100 every night, it might still be possible for both to meet the ER goal. One would have an easy time of it and would "Tsk, tsk" about his struggling neighbor who apparently just lacks discipline.
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:01 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by CyclingInvestor View Post
I do not entirely agree. I have always had excellent financial discipline (retired at 48 ), and
have always enjoyed exercise, averaging about 8000 miles of cycling plus lifting and some
hiking for the last 25 years. I am able to recite calorie tables for all the foods I eat. Lack of
knowledge about food / exercise / weight is not a problem.

However, I have also struggled with weight my whole life, because I eat too much. I tracked
my exact eating for over 10 years, and (surprise) found a close correlation between
(food in minus exercise) and weight change. Simple lack of will power in this one area.
One year when I rode over 14,000 miles I gained 9 pounds.All those little snacks
late at night add up.
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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
Yes.
And if we had two people who were working toward ER and one was losing $100 every night, it might still be possible for both to meet the ER goal. One would have an easy time of it and would "Tsk, tsk" about his struggling neighbor who apparently just lacks discipline.
Sure. I hear your perspective. I wasn't aiming for any judgment on discipline, but rather knowing the "greater knowledge."

(Also, wasn't intending to create a parallel between those who are financial disciplined are also nutrition and exercise disciplined. That may or may not exist and is probably not directly related)

The financial analogy I was going towards was, what we once knew was "good" personal finance, we learned wasn't as efficient as we once thought. After we learned and gained more and more knowledge we learned a better approach. What if that's where we are with our personal nutrition and exercise knowledge? What if there is a better knowledge out there for us to follow?

No judgment on discipline at all.

And I understood that some are luckier than others.
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Old 10-09-2007, 09:40 AM   #29
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?? ER can be achieved through knowledge and discipline. Luck helps, but many people here did it the hard way, they "eahrnned it". (John Houseman voice here).

Meanwhile, I weigh exactly what I did in high school, through periods of "better nutrition" and "worse nutrition", more exercise and less. Good nutrition and better fitness through exercise are desirable in their own right, and not linked as closely as many assume to actual weight, which is lthrnckpa's anecdotal point. More attention to nutrition and fitness is Good and Worthwhile, but does not often solve the weight equation in a way that is politically correct.

The excess pounds my body works mightily to keep are like the "2-3 years' living expenses in cash". If I ate just 50 calories extra per day, that means almost 6 pounds extra per year. Over 30 years that means I should weigh more than 300 pounds over and above my current weight. Obviously that doesn't happen except to a handful of individuals who are really hormonally out-of-whack.

Conversely, if I ate 50 calories fewer each day, I'd have died at some point in the late '80s, and would have completely disappeared at some point in the '90s. Since I am happy to be here now, I will relax and take my chances, no matter how much I might clutter up the landscape with my inesthetism.

Yoga 2x/week; dancing 1x/week. Feeling good and working up a sweat.. but really nothing to speak of on the thinner front...

I'm not sure it's possible to go through life with the emergency cash/fat/wealth account at $1000 instead of $100,000. Maybe for some it is, but not for me.

Just to add another anecdote: paternal grandparents were the canonical Jack Sprat & wife. Grandma weighed easily double my wiry grandpa, but he had the heart attack while she ate straight butter by the spoonful and died in her mid-80s from other causes.

I'm not saying being a couch potato is Ok, but memorizing calorie tables like CyclingInvestor is too much w*rk. If I rode 14,000 miles -- good for you! and I'm thrilled to death that you ENJOY it!!!-- I'm pretty sure I'd be down way more than 9 pounds, rather than up (but wouldn't keep those pounds off).

I'm sure science will eventually find a safe way to short-circuit our natural physical hoarding tendencies. CyclingInvestor shouldn't beat himself up too much.. these processes are tantamount (as far as your body is concerned) to sheer survival. Your body doesn't read Cosmo or GQ, nor has your body historically "thought" along the lines of keeping you going into your eighties; it's been more concerned with keeping you alive through your peak reproductive years. Program yourself 40+ years of (what your body perceives as) continuous starvation beyond that? I'm not sure that's what I want to spend ER doing.

It's hard to figure out anyway what the real negative effects of being minimally or moderately overweight are when you have this:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/20/health/20fat.html
Quote:
People who are overweight but not obese have a lower risk of death than those of normal weight, federal researchers are reporting today.
vs. this:
FOXNews.com - Body Fat: Even a Little Bit Can Kill You, Study Says - Fitness | Exercise | Nutrition | Physical
Quote:
Being a little overweight can kill you, according to new research that leaves little room for denial that a few extra pounds is harmful.
The table here was kind of interesting:
http://www.thefactsaboutfitness.com/...h/fitorfat.htm
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Old 10-09-2007, 10:57 AM   #30
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My dad told me a story about a guy that he was in the Navy with. The guy was a bodybuilder, so he was big but lean. He kept running into issues with the Navy weight/height requirements, and they kept trying to put him on a restricted diet. He eventually was able to appeal to some sort of committee review of his case.

He went to the review in a speedo, and he never had any issues again.
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:54 PM   #31
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He went to the review in a speedo, and he never had any issues again.
Lucky for him, "Don't Ask, Don't tell".

Ha
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Old 10-09-2007, 05:02 PM   #32
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Hmm.. wonder how much of the weight was..

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Old 10-09-2007, 07:33 PM   #33
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The excess pounds my body works mightily to keep are like the "2-3 years' living expenses in cash". If I ate just 50 calories extra per day, that means almost 6 pounds extra per year. Over 30 years that means I should weigh more than 300 pounds over and above my current weight. Obviously that doesn't happen except to a handful of individuals who are really hormonally out-of-whack.

Conversely, if I ate 50 calories fewer each day, I'd have died at some point in the late '80s, and would have completely disappeared at some point in the '90s. Since I am happy to be here now, I will relax and take my chances, no matter how much I might clutter up the landscape with my inesthetism.
Good points all the way through. I find these two points interesting. Perhaps it's the scientist/engineer in me. And yes science is not 100% correct. I think the simplest way are those measurements exactly.

From my understanding (and I could be wrong) your body exerts a certain amount of energy equal to a certain amount of calories. Everyone is different and every day is different. (some days you sleep all day, other days you have more stress, others you exercise, etc.) So if you consume more calories than you expended that day (breathing, sleeping, exercising, working, sitting in front of TV, all of that combined), then you will have gained weight. Keep doing that over the course of so many days/years, you will gain and become 300lbs over and above your weight. That's if you eat that many more calories than you expended each day... However as you gain more weight, you also expend more energy and you'll need to consume even more calories to keep up with that pace.

On the other end, if you eat 50 calories less, you will start to lose slowly and slowly. Up to a certain extent, which your body will probably go into emergency mode and start doing abnormal things with your body to preserve itself.

So 50 calories more or less than you expend each day. What you expend each day is not 2000 calories, but exactly what YOU expend on THAT day. I think from a basic point that should hold pretty true. To get complex you can look at WHAT you eat, (and maybe when you eat) to understand how the body digests and uses those foods (which still goes back to how much it expends).

new weight = old weight - energy expended (what you did that day) + energy from food (what you ate that day).

so if you ate 50 more calories than you expended that day, you gained 50 calories worth of weight.

That's the logic i'm looking at... I'm not sure if it's correct or if there are any doctors here that might have a more medical explanation of how stuff works.
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:40 PM   #34
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Not an expert, but the bigger you are, the higher your basal metabolism, so it should be easier for bigger people to lose weight (up to a point). Different foods also cause you to be more or less satiated.

And then there's the bacteria in your gut:

Fat Factors
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Old 10-10-2007, 07:49 AM   #35
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Not an expert, but the bigger you are, the higher your basal metabolism, so it should be easier for bigger people to lose weight (up to a point).
Not quite. In "most" cases, morbidly obese persons have very low basal metabolism rates because they are primarily very sedentary in their lifestyle. Heavy exercise for many of them is walking from the parking lot to Wal-Mart. And it's a self perpetuating circle because the more weight they gain the less they do, and therefore the more weight they gain, ad infinitum.

For instance, I have tried walking my dogs daily. By day three my ankles are in such rough shape that I can't walk day four. My solution is to use a rowing machine and a LifeCycle for my cardio work. This keeps me fit enough to run to a body alarm and fight when I get there, but then it's time for "good drugs" for three to four days after. And it is also taking weight off, at a nice slow steady rate of about 1-2 lbs per week.

I know my weight is a contributing factor to the demise of my ankles and knees. Unfortunately, my ankles and knees are a contributing factor to my weight also.
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Old 10-10-2007, 08:09 AM   #36
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And then there's the bacteria in your gut:

Fat Factors
Fascinating article! I know some people who seem to gain weight simply by smelling food...no easy answer for many.
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Old 10-10-2007, 11:57 AM   #37
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twaddle, that is me! (well, let's say divided in 1/2):
Quote:
During the three months of presurgical study, the dietitian on the research team calculated how many calories it should take for a 5-foot-6-inch woman like Janet to maintain a weight of 348. They fed her exactly that many calories no more, no less. She dutifully ate what she was told, and she gained 12 pounds in two weeks almost a pound a day.

I dont think Id ever gained that much weight that quickly, recalled Janet, who asked me not to use her full name because she didnt want people to know how fat she had once been. The doctors accused her of sneaking snacks into the hospital. But I told them, Im gaining weight because youre feeding me a tremendous amount of food!

Quote:
However as you gain more weight, you also expend more energy and you'll need to consume even more calories to keep up with that pace.
vvsonikvv: You need to expend more calories to tote yourself around.. but you will find yourself (consciously or not) expending less in other activites. I remember reading somewhere about different metabolism "types".. and I realized how in a million micro-activities I try to conserve energy (unconsciously) where others don't. I'm pretty sure my calorie intake is much closer to average than is my weight.

Just a bunch of random and perhaps silly examples:
-I'd rather buy an extra sponge and bottle of cleaner for each bathroom than run to get them from a central location. Same with scissors, staplers, pencils, etc.
-I've taken to wearing comfy clothes and just sleeping in them, rather than having separate PJs. So I only change once a day instead of 2x.
-I like to prepare batches of food that can last for 2-3 meals so I don't "waste" time in preparation every day.

I could go on and on.. Every little whittling down "saves" energy (calories) but my tendencies hardly developed with weight gain in mind!! I wish it were the opposite!

But you'll see other people who in their daily lives are just unconsciously restless, pacing, busy, duplicating effort, and so forth. They're not conscious of burning a lot more than 50 calories more than I do a day (more like 500). This doesn't have to be overt exercise, whether they like exercising or not. It could be running around shopping or other dithering.

My predisposition COULD be chalked up to "laziness".. but I wonder what is the true nature of "laziness". Some people give themselves tasks that have to be done: making the bed (why?), ironing sheets (why?), using a tablecloth at every meal (why?), that they then have to clean. Is foregoing those things "lazy" or sensible? Cutting out this extra work is certainly more efficient and (for better or worse) calorie-saving.

There's also a "procrastination = efficiency" factor: putting off a trip to the store because it could be combined with some other errand the next day. Save time, gas and (unconsciously) calories. Like with cash.. it's almost like I have an irrepressible sense of "why expend now?" if that expense can be postponed to the future. When it comes to planned exertions ("expenditures") like an evening's dancing or a morning's gardening, though.. I get through it without difficulty because I've decided consciously or not that it's a valid "expense" in that moment.

vvsonikvv, I understand you are looking at the "50 calories here, 50 calories there" as discrete episodes and not a linear continuum. But through ups and downs over 30 years I am at square one with ZERO net change. What are the odds of that happening casually? Despite some junk-food years. Despite a couple of week-long juice fasts (to see what would happen health-wise, not in particular to lose weight). Despite periods of working a lot vs. periods of couch-potato-hood. Despite university years of living on Tab. Despite periods of traveling and walking a lot. Magically, the gains and losses have always exactly cancelled each other out. And I am not a person who tracks these things, obviously, nor have I yo-yo-ed drastically.

The juice fasts were interesting. Beyond a little bit the second day I really felt no hunger at all. In fact, I rarely have definite hunger. I can wake up in the am, have a cup of coffee, and be good until 5-6pm. I have had to work to include breakfast (piece of toast w/cheese or ham for protein - I really don't do well with cereal, muffin, or anything sweet). That has lasted recently about a year or two, but I've once again fallen off the breakfast "wagon". Even on days when I skip breakfast, when DH comes home for lunch, it always seems "too early" for me! I have no problem passing up desserts, cookies and the like; they don't interest me; I do tend to prefer savory foods. I could go a month without a single sweet and not notice.

I enjoy food per se, but also feel imposed mealtimes are often a kind of tyranny, and sometimes have the sensation of the lady in the NYT article. [Other times I like to be left free to graze.] I'm also a person who left to their own devices would probably run on a 25-/26-/27-hour daily clock. I've always the tendency to go to bed ever later and wake up ever later. I could easily "lose" (or "gain", depending how you look at it) a day every couple of weeks with no trouble.


The focus on microbes is interesting given the relatively recent discovery of ulcers being caused not by diet or stress but by bacteria.. and I think I have read cholesterol studies in which the premise is no longer that excess cholesterol itself is some kind of disease, but a symptom of cardiovascular damage/infection that the body is trying to repair using cholesterol. Reducing cholesterol alone may allow the damage to continue nontheless.

(Sorry for the long post but) I'm convinced there's a lot of study that remains to be done beyond the simplistic "calories in - calories expended = fat retained" equation.
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Old 10-10-2007, 12:12 PM   #38
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This is for the OP in particular:

lthrnckpa, that's the unfortunate downhill-spiral syndrome my MIL and SIL have gotten into. The weight affects the joints, which in turn only exacerbate the weight issue.

I am really psyched about the yoga practice we have been following. Despite not being markedly thinner after a year (which was never exactly the point).. I see that breath-wise, resistance-wise, and flexibility-wise we are already, in our modest way, far ahead of the far thinner and (apparently) more fit newcomers who moan and complain throughout the hour-and-a-half, while we soldier on.

I don't care how much I weigh, I just don't want to be that old lady who can't bend to put on stockings or can't get her hands behind her back to fasten her bra or take off her coat, or can't reach to the second shelf to get the pasta. I want to actively stave off that day.

I'm not a physiotherapist, but I would recommend trying to confront your knee/ankle issues simultaneously, rather than sweep them under the rug by focusing solely on other types of exercise that don't engage them. I'm not saying abandon the cardio, but just don't neglect the joints until "later" when in theory you'll have lost weight.

I really get a kick out of coming up smoothly and easily from forward lunges while people weighing less keel over.. and this is from a person whose knees were so weak she collapsed during HS gym... when the exercise was GOLF (just the twisting made my kneecaps disengage and down I went in a heap).

Bent-leg lifts with ankle weights (and other various leg-lifts) should help strengthen the muscles on either side of the knee. Not sure what to recommend for ankles except squatting postures (imagine you are at a campsite; a tribesman) with feet in different positions, but I'm sure there's more.

I recently got a fascinating book, "The Anatomy of Hatha Yoga", which goes into most of the practical whys and wherefores of the various exercises; no chakras, just diagrams of bones and tendons and pix of positions. Someone with more knowledge of physiology than I would get way more out of it. Still, it's interesting to comprehend what the body is capable of, and what one can achieve with practice. It's not without caveats (included), but worth a look.

What draws me into yoga as opposed to other forms of exercise (which I tended to abhor), is the emphasis on understanding and working WITH one's body as opposed to battling against it.. and the lack of competition and quantification. Every day we go to our limit (on that day), recognize it, question it, examine it this way and that , adjust it.. etc. It's an ongoing open question without a defined goal. I feel like studying my own body in this way is more akin to studying literature or philosophy, rather than a "hard" science. It's the only exercise I've ever done where, even after an hour+1/2 and I'm sweaty and a little wobbly.. I could start right in again and do an hour+1/2 more with pleasure. (What I need to get cracking on is how to set up a self-guided home practice for the days w/o lessons.)

Best of luck lthrnck.. I hope you can address the joint issues via whatever means--don't let them get to the point of sidelining you!!
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Old 10-10-2007, 12:21 PM   #39
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Mike, ladelfina made me think of something I didn't ask before, but have you considered using a (certified) personal trainer (think strength and conditioning coach)? My mom is very heavy, is a kidney transplant recipient, and has some major mobility issues. She has started going to our trainer and has seen a marked improvement in her flexibility.

I know you are getting around really well, but I wonder if a trainer might be able to help you develop an exercise regimen that would build strength around your injuries.
I know I have bad knees, and the trainer has done wonders to help compensate for the weakness--ie we do an awful lot of squats!

The yoga would be fun, too, and offer a different sort of environment than your regular work environment, that is for sure!
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Old 10-10-2007, 01:12 PM   #40
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Williamsport
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Sarah I'm not sure that's really an option at this time. Maybe once I retire. With a 70 mile one-way drive my time is pretty well full right now. Starting Friday I'm going to start hitting the rower and the Lifecycle again before going in to work. Lucky for me we have a staff gym on the property. But I really have to schedule carefully because with all the time taken for prepping and commuting I don't have much time for anything around the house and Cindy has only so much patience.

What I was doing in the winter was working for me. I've just had too full a schedule (refereeing races, teaching motorcycle safety, and getting teacher certification) to follow through this summer. Now I can start that all again. surprisingly, I'm looking forward to the sweat and pain?!
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