Hi Hayley,

I am an individual who is very overweight (I don't remember a time when I wasn't) and I am trying to become a healthier me (on the outside as well as the inside). I need to lose 100 pounds to be at a healthy weight. In the last couple of months I have done a complete overhaul of my eating habits and am feeling comfortable and confident with that aspect of my weight loss. I am following Weight Watchers online and I have shed 20 pounds. But I now need to move on to becoming more active. I currently walk to and from work and when the winter snow and cold goes away I plan to start cycling (something I use to do in the past). I am also looking into aqua fit classes.

Sooooo what I am looking for help with is an exercise routine that I can do at home. Something in the morning before I go to work and something in the evening when I come home. I am not yet comfortable enough to head to a gym. I do have an exercise ball at home and was thinking of getting weights but I just don't know what to do with them.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me!


Congratulations on the accomplishments you have made already as a 20 pound weight loss is no easy feat. However understand that the next 80 will be a lot of work, there will be a lot of tough times and there will be failures. It is important to stay focused and take this journey day by day.

You need to set mini milestones that you can strive for that will help bring you to your end goal. If you are to only focus on those 80 pounds, you can easily veer off track and lose direction. Continue with the Weight Watchers but I strongly recommend you start going to a Weight Watchers meeting in your neighborhood as you will benefit from the personal support and accountability you will receive from the leaders as well as other women who are in the program.

You also need to start working towards becoming comfortable in a gym. Training at home is great but more often than not after a few weeks into an at home routine people become bored and lose motivation. There are a lot of downloadable apps available that you can put onto your smart phone, computer or tablet that can help guide you through workouts and keep you challenged but without other challenges and support eventually the app is going to sit dormant.

Try starting with an inexpensive app such as Gain Fitness or Sworkit Fitness, which are two of my favourite apps. They are good for all fitness levels, they track your progress, they educate you on movements and are customizable to your fitness ability. If you are uncomfortable doing strength exercises this is a good way to learn how to do them properly and push yourself harder than if you were to do them on your own. However, I do suggest that you set a goal of getting into a gym within the next 8 weeks as by that time you are going to need more of a challenge.

Find a place similar to where I work, a studio that offers personal training as well as group fitness. I am a huge fan of such places as they tend to be smaller than commercial gyms or recreation centers but still offer cost effective ways to exercise. And because they are small they harbour wonderful people who create within themselves a fantastic, supportive community. Places like these are popping up everywhere so see if you can find one in your neighbourhood and sign up for your first class. I love spinning and since you are a cyclist I think adding a spin class is a no brainer.

Take a moment this week to map out your plan as to how you are going to lose those 80 pounds.  Download a fitness app and then determine what dates you will up the ante and step foot into a gym.  Start looking for a studio now by asking around and pop into a few a see what type of vibe you receive.  If you do not feel comfortable and welcomed immediately then it is not the place for you.
Keep up the good work and keep me posted.

Attached – Jeremy Renner gets in a workout before the Oscars.