Swimming away the pounds
Friday, April 12, 2013
For the last 4 months I have been taking my 300 lb plus body to the pool.
I didn't want to. I was horrified at the thought of putting on a swimsuit and getting into a pool -- I assumed that everyone would judge me.
The first day I put on the swim suit and nervously walked out of the change room and over to the "kid" steps (I had checked to make sure that there was an alternative to getting in and out via a ladder) I weighed 328 pounds.
Today, I weigh just over 300. I've lost weight much faster in the past, but I haven't been counting calories this time around. I added things in--like 5 vegetable portions a day--and stopped buying pop, lunches and snacks from my work cafeteria and any food that came in a package (like chips, cookies, etc.).
I'm averaging a bout 1.6 pounds a week, which is pretty good. Keep that up and, in two years, I'll hit my goal weight.
Swimming is a huge help--maybe not so much in the calories, but in making me feel good. It's also had the benefit of strengthening almost every group of muscles in my body. A few weeks ago, when I went on holiday with my husband, I was thrilled to find myself able to walk at a good clip and stand all day, even though I hadn't been doing any walking or standup exercises for almost two years. Last summer, he hated walking with me, I was so damned slow and my breathing scared him.
Because swimming has built my core muscles, stuff like getting out of a low couch or getting in and out of bed has become easy. And so has shaving my legs (sorry, guys, but us 300+ gals can have a tough time lifting our legs to get to the back of the leg, etc.). I got into a friend's Hummer last week and he commented how fast I was now. The last time I got a ride with him was around Christmas, and it was hard to haul myself in.
I can run for the bus, go up a hill without panting, and I have MUCH less knee, hip, and ankle pain. All this because I was able to overcome my fear of getting in front of people in a swimsuit.
Oh, and those pool regulars I thought would judge me? A couple of them were extremely welcoming, most of them just ignored me (lost in the world of ear plugs, nose plugs, and goggles). I could swim a very slow 15 minutes when I started. Now I swim for 45 and I've event started to overtake some of the regulars!
My 4X swimsuit is falling off me, and tomorrow I plan to treat myself to a 3X. One without a skirt, because who cares about my giant thighs? I want less drag so I can swim faster ;0!!!
If you are 300 plus and it hurts your joints to exercise, get your asterisk down to your local pool. You'll feel horribly self-conscious the first couple of times and then you'll feel AWESOME!
And I haven't even mentioned one of the best parts--feeling light. It's lovely not to feel the dragging weight of your pounds on your knees and feet. When I get out of the pool and gravity reasserts itself, and I feel my weight again, I use it to encourage myself... some day, I'm going to feel this light because another 160 pounds have been used up and aren't putting pressure on my body.
NOTE: I was delighted to find that prescription goggles (roughly your prescription) can be ordered very cheaply online. Less than $20, which is a big deal for me as I am almost blind without my glasses.