So today I met two women in the locker room after my Body Pump class. They were just coming in from an aqua class. I'm not sure how we got started talking about the classes, but I mentioned which one I just was in and it turned into a very lengthy conversation about painful knees and the variety of classes at the fitness center.
One woman, who seemed slightly older than I and fell into the overweight category was talking about how she didn't do a lot of classes because of her knee. While it is true that you don't want to hurt yourself doing exercises, I also know this is a very HUGE excuse not to exercise as well as I should. And then I started telling her how she could fit it in, how I do it...so not to hurt my knees. She wasn't going to the Body Pump class because the squats and lunges hurt her knees. (this is less than 10 minutes of a 60 minute class) I told her to just go get a drink during these (I have done it on days where my knees were really achy) I too started out exercising only in the pool because it was "safe" and fairly easy. But like anything it gets BORING after doing the same things over and over. When I mentioned that I have lost 40 lbs just these last few months, she shockingly asked "HOW?". I told her by going to the classes and eating well. If you do it, the weight comes off.
The biggest key to my exercise success (currently) is modifying when necessary but getting out there and doing it. I ask questions of instructors about modifications when I can't do a movement they are doing. If I hurt a lot, I stop, then resume at what I can do. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. I sometimes think we set ourselves up for failure with an all or nothing attitude. Some days we will naturally give it our all. But for the days when we don't have it in is, some is enough.
This woman said she might try some of the classes I do, because it would be less intimidating with someone she knew (and another fatty - to be honest). I hope she does for her sake. Then she could open her world up a lot and perhaps be more successful.
I'm happy I'm in such a place right now that I can be an encouragement to someone else who needs it! Happy Day!