View Full Version : New to forum: Desperately need advice

September 24th, 2007, 01:49 PM
Hi everyone,
I have finally decided to face the fact that I need to do something to help myself.
A brief history...
I am fat. *shock*
I always say that I'm trying to lose weight and I guess over the last few years I've managed to take a bit of weight off but not nearly enough.
Last year I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition Ankylosing Spondylits and it's gotten so bad that I think it's about time to face reality. I also have insomnia so everything I do, is difficult.
So, after thinking about it, I seriously need to get some weight off. The only thing that is so freaking ironic is now that I am willing to do something serious about it, I'm fighting this degenerative disease. It's progressing so rapidly and I do realize that if I don't get some of this fat off of me, I'm not going to be able to carry it much longer.
So, to be totally honest, I've taken a long hard look at myself and came to this conclusion:
I'm fat. I'm tired. I'm sore and I'm 40. LOL The fact still remains that I have to lose some weight. I already do the no sugar, nothing white and my diet is pretty clean. I can't be too hard on myself because I have lost about 25 pounds just with diet alone.
Now, the weight isn't budging and at 230 pounds, this is not okay.
My question is this (sorry it took me so long to get to it) Will swimming for an hour 3 times a week help? I don't think I can still work and swim for more than that. I cannot walk any distance due to my condition and weights are absolutely a no go.
All that's left is swimming. Please be brutally honest and tell me what you think I can do.
Thanks so much,

Rob Copeland
September 24th, 2007, 01:55 PM
Will swimming for an hour 3 times a week help?YES!!! And the sooner you get started the better.

September 24th, 2007, 02:04 PM
Will swimming for an hour 3 times a week help?

I started a year ago with a short swim 3x a week and built up to 1 mile. My transformation over a year is very satisfying to me.

If you can swim for 1 hour 3x a week with the minimal amount of rest you can handle...you'll see results. Don't go crazy too soon. Add a bit of distance/time over a couple of weeks.

September 24th, 2007, 02:45 PM
Yes you can do it. When I started it took me only 4 months to move out of the plus size suits. That was swimming 4 days per week for me.

September 24th, 2007, 06:50 PM
Yes you can. But be careful. Swimming will make you hungry, so stick to your diet! You don't want to eat the calories back that you burn swimming. :fish2:

September 24th, 2007, 07:13 PM
Start slowly and build up. An hour is too much to start with - you'll be exhausted. Try 20 minutes at first, then work your way up to 30, then 40, and so on.

Anna Lea

September 24th, 2007, 07:36 PM
Please start slow so you don't get discouraged. I started with no swimming experience. I was in OK shape and not overweight. I could swim five minutes before being exhausted and discouraged.
After awhile five minutes became 10, then 15. Three years later, I swim an hour 2-3 times a week. No way I could have started at that level.
Also, though this is a swimming forum, I'd suggest changing up your routine every month or so to keep things interesting. Try walking for a month, swimming for a month, biking for a month, weights, etc. It's easy to get bored, then quit.
Good luck!

September 24th, 2007, 08:41 PM
For the past two years, I've participated in the Forester's BIG Swim For Arthritis, a fundraiser for the Canadian Arthritis Society. (2006 was the inaugeral one). This fellow:
Vince Richer, was/is an inspiration to all us participants. He had such bad arthitis he could barely get out of bed in the morning, took up swimming, lost 100 pounds, and now swims in open water and masters races.
Be gentle with yourself, but be consistant, and I'm sure you'll soon notice and improvement.

Allen Stark
September 24th, 2007, 08:47 PM
As Rob said YES. Swimming is a great exercise for people with bone and joint problems. I agree,start SLOWLY.

September 27th, 2007, 03:17 PM
... Last year I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition Ankylosing Spondylits... Will swimming for an hour 3 times a week help?
I have a rather severe case of Psoriatic Arthritis (another whacked out autoimmune condition) and if I did not exercise on a regular basis Iíd probably be in a wheelchair now (I even got a MD to tell me this, unsolicited). Mostly I swim, and occasionally do Yoga.

Iím confident that swimming 3x/week will indeed help you a great deal. Like the other folks said, be kind to yourself and take your time.

In 1995 I had to relearn to swim due to loss of mobility. I started out in the water for 45min, and went as far as I could go in that time. I went to the pool 5x/wk, every morning before work. People who knew me in '95 and see me now can't believe it is the same person.

So my suggestion is to pick a time, do as much as you can in that time, rest as often as you need to. If you track your distance, you will likely see improvements in just a few weeks. Over months and years (if you stick to it) you will continue to improve, just not as fast. Unless you have a really strong background in swimming (or even if you do) it is likely that some coaching or instruction by a qualified person will help you a great deal, even if you only get one session a month.

Iíve never had to deal with severe weight issues, so I canít relate a lot to your situation there, but I have lost weight because of my swimming practice. If I am exercising regularly and paying attention to my body, I find it difficult to eat a bad diet. I know there are a number of folks on this message board who have been successful in using swimming as a way to help them shed weight, so you will likely find some kindred spirits here.

In the beginning of my swimming practice I could not lift my arms out of the water, could only do breast stroke (probably 30 of them) to get to the other end of the 25yd [scy] pool. Iíd cling to the wall to catch my breath (fatigue is still my #1 problem), breast stroke back, stand up and rest, repeat. At first I could only do 300yds in 45min. I was absolutely miserable, but I was even more determined to regain at least some of my lost mobility. At the time I could not lift my elbows above my shoulders, even floating in the water (so I could not put my arms straight out in front of me, over my head).

It took nearly 2 years of 45min, 5x/wk, before I could consistently do 25yds of front crawl (in the beginning I thought Iíd never do ďfreeĒ again). Around this time Iíd also improved my distance to about 1K+yds per day, was doing a lot of back crawl, and adding a bit of front crawl. It was about 6yrs before I even thought about butterfly, but now (12yrs later since Ď95) Iím really enjoying it, and am even pretty good at it.

These days Iím in the water about 60-75mi, and typically do 2K+yds, usually 3-4x/wk. I still rest frequently, and now do almost equal amounts of all 4 competitive strokes during my routine. I keep my diet pretty clean and healthy. I donít have any significant weight issues. Iím 49 (6í2Ē, 190#), and all things considered, exceptionally fit (even though my condition is still progressing, albeit very slowly). I owe pretty much all of my recovery to swimming. It is not just the diet and exercise that helps, it is also the discipline. As I tell all my friends: In my life, all else serves swimming.

It dawned on me the other day that Iíve been doing about the same distance (6Kyds/wk) since 2000. I can go more distance per day now, but in fewer trips per week. Seems 6k is my limit, which is perfectly OK with me, I like the way I look, and (relatively speaking) I feel great.

I encourage you to be patient and do whatever it takes to get out there and swim. Iíve always practiced swimming alone, but many folks canít do without the coached team practice. Find whatís right for you and just do it.

Iíll tell you this though (based on my personal experience): You have to set goals, and you got to really want it. It takes a lot of courage and determination, but the rewards are well worth it.

Don't forget to make it fun, at least once in a while.


September 27th, 2007, 05:12 PM
It sounds like you really don't have any choice, so just do it. Stop focusing on your health problems and giving yourself permission not to do what you know you have to do for yourself. And get some perspective by remembering that there are millions of people in the world who, at this very moment, are in much worse situations than you are in. Unlike many of those souls, you can make a choice to better your situation. No more talking about it or "psyching yourself up," which simply dilutes your willpower. JUST DO IT.