Fitness: Getting Started


Anyone trying to lose weight should consult a doctor before making dramatic changes in their lifestyle.

Tracking Data

There are many reasons to track your data as you go though a weight loss or health program

  1. Accountability – You may hesitate to have that second doughnut if you know you’re going to have to write it down later
  2. Patterns – You may notice certain things that trigger weight loss or binges by looking at your history
  3. Encouragement – It’s exciting to watch that weight graph go down or to see that you’ve been eating healither meals.

There are certainly many tools that you can use for this type of tracking.

  • SparkPeople Website – This is the one that I am currently using and have for a couple of years now. It has tools for tracking your food, exercise, weight, measurements, and even the number of steps you take and how much water you drink. This site also has recipes that users rate and comment on. There is also a big community feature. Best of all – IT’S FREE! Oh, and there are apps available for smartphones – even my iPhone.
  • Weight Watchers Website – Though you must pay to be a member of Weight Watchers, this program offers a huge support system. There are online-only memberships available as well as local groups you can join. I’ve done it before, and now that I’ve used sparkpeople.
  • Excel – You can create your own spreadsheets and charts on your computer and don’t need an internet connection to access these.
  • Database – You can even write your own database if you’re a dork like me.

My tool of choice is Sparkpeople.


Are you new to dieting? A veteran dieter who is looking for something that works for them? Here are a few resources.

  • SparkPeople Website – On the SparkPeople page, you can set your dieting goals and the system will create sample meals for you. You can even enter special dietary needs. Also, when you enter your meals, you will see how many calories you have consumed, protein, carbs, fats, etc. At the end of the day, you can view reports on whether you’ve met your goals and what you can improve.
  • The Wall Street Diet – This is a great diet for people who are busy and eat out a lot. The author, Dr. Heather Bauer, helps you learn to make healthy decisions in a busy life. Stephenie has a copy of the book if anyone would like to borrow it.
  • The Belly Fat Cure Diet – This diet is about managing your insulin levels to lose fat by drastically reducing sugar intake. Jorge Cruise does a lot of video blogs and things online. He’s been on Oprah, Tyra Banks, and CNN. HERE is a link to one of his videos on YouTube.
  • Weight Watchers – The Weight Watchers Diet is a well-known and established program of eating well for life.

My goal is to eat a balanced diet of around 1500 calories. I’ll be tracking my nutrition on the SparkPeople website.


Are you new to exercising? Are you just looking for something more to do to change things up? Here are a few resources.

  • SparkPeople Website – On the SparkPeople page, you can set your exercise goals and the system will create a workout plan for you based on the equipment you own. Even if you have nothing at all. There are also tons of workout videos you can view on your computer and do at home.
  • YMCA – The YMCA has branches all over town, has great programs year-round, and offers Lex a discount.
  • Local Gyms – There are gyms all over Lexington – Gold’s, Urban Active, LAC, Curves… Check with the Lex Club for discounts. Also check AAA if you are a member.
  • Working Out at Home – You can certainly work out at home. You can work out with no equipment – jogging in place, jumping jacks for cardio, push-ups, sit-ups… People have been doing it for years. Or you can use a Wii Fit or Wii Active. You can use a treadmill or elliptical, or you can have a fully stocked gym in your basement. You can even hire a personal trainer to come to your house. What you do is up to you.
  • P-90X – I know several people who have started this program. It’s pretty intense. I’m considering it. If I end up doing it, I’ll put more info on here.

My current plan is to work out at home using the Wii Active. I’ll post more info on how that goes. I’ll also be tracking my exercise on the SparkPeople website.

Author: Steph

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