The whole gym and fitness program part of your question...
I don't go to gyms because I've always done this sort of thing on my own. I grew up on a farm so kind of never needed an exercise program (and I'm a lot stronger than guys a lot bigger than me too, most girls my size struggle to lift 50lbs and I sling 75lb bags of grain over my shoulder and walk off like it's a 2lb kitten - it shocks people because I'm just an itty bitty girl, guys always think they need to carry stuff for me, see me lugging stuff around, and they'll say "I'll take that, it's too heavy for you." than they can't lift it at all. LOL!)
I walk a few miles a day.
I aqua jog on the beach.
I belly dance and hula.
I have some serious allergies, which resulted in my monitoring my food as a kid, and I just grew up knowing everything I ate and keeping track of all the nutrition stuff, which lead to me cooking most of my food from scratch and led to be becoming a chef on a food truck, now moving on to start my own food truck.
The whole exercise and diet thing, just became second nature to me and so I've never thought about. I mean I can see how it'd be useful for people, but I never really thought about it before so I have no idea what sort of price range a program like this would go for.
I know several people who have some weight issues, complain of wanting to lose weight, and say they can't afford gyms or diet programs and I remember always thinking "Why? Why do they need gyms and diet programs?"
I forget other people don't live on big working farms and doing all the heavy lifting every day that I do.
I guess I take it for granted that my lifestyle keeps me very healthy.
Do not judge my size by the pictures on me in kimono or tunic either! I'm a lot skinnier than those pictures make me appear, because in most cases I an wearing as many as 10 layers of clothing. Me in full kimono = a slip, an under dress, an over dress, an under kimono, a middle kimono, a double layer outer kimono, and that's just in the summer. In the winter each of those layers doubles. I'm already in my body-weight-index, so no need to lose weight and I'm already eating a very healthy diet (most of it grown on our farm)
What do I like most about a wellness/weight loss program?
I'm not sure. The only one I know is Richard Simmons dance videos and cookbooks (I use both). I like Richard Simmons (he's cute), dancing is fun, his cookbooks make sense to me. I'm doing the whole gym thing on my own.
I especially like Richard Simmons because of his cheerful, happy, bubbly personality and the fact that every few minutes he tells you how great you look and to not forget he loves you. Being alone and not having any family or any really close friend, I don't very often hear the words "I love you" which results in me doing things like THIS.
I kind of, actively seek out anything that has someone saying out to the audience "I love you" simply because it's the only way I ever get to hear anyone say those words to me.
Besides Richard Simmons there's Pussycat Dolls dance workout videos. IslandGirl dance workout videos. All sorts of belly dance videos.
Remember too that I'm all about food. I'm a major foodie. I've 400 cookbooks. I'm a culinary arts student. I'm a chef, I know food. I'm also a food critic, I write 2 advice columns AND a food review column that does impromptu (unannounced) eating out at than reviewing local restaurants.
I just plain love food. I am one of those people who would be very
happen to eat all day long if I didn't get full and have to stop. LOL!
I'm known to drive 5 or 6 hours just to eat at a restaurant I like in Boston or Bar Harbor or Vermont. I'm like that. I drive an hour to get to food trucks in Portland.
I like food and I like driving. If I really like the food, I'll drive there. I drive all over the state to festivals and events just so I can eat the local foods at them. I'm a major foodie, of course I'm also a chef and a food critic (one of the columns I write is a local restaurant review column that also awards "best of Maine" plaques to the best restaurants of the year), so you know, chefs and food critics both tend to really love food, and being a food critic it is my job to drive all over the state seeking out new places to eat.
I eat a lot. Seriously. When I'm eating my normal (non-Hurricane Katrina effected homeless) diet I eat on average 3,500 calories a day. And I'm a 5'6" girl who maintains a weight of 130 to 150lbs (after 40; in my 20s and 30s it stayed 120 to 130lbs). I am less active now in my 40s than I was in my 20s/30s, since having broken my hip in 2010 and not having medical insurance was not allowed access to medical assistance, thus it never healed properly and my mobility has been greatly effected by this.
Yes, it has been pointed out to me that I eat a lot and obsess over food to the extremes I do because I am incredibly lonely. I agree with this observation. It's doubtful I'd have time to think about food in the way I do, if I had someone to love and focus my attention on. It's also be pointed out to me if I had a husband who cared about me I wouldn't have time to glue 2.5million beads to my car one bead at a time. Yes. I know this as well. But I don't have anyone to focus my attention on, so all my attention gets focused on the family I do have, and as my family consists of 13 cats, a bird, a dog, and a bunch of strange little (and not so little) cars, they are the ones I focus my attention on.
My family of cars and pets, and you my readers and my deity husband Damballa, are the ones who get my attention. You my readers are the only humans in my family whom I have to talk to and I don't get to talk to you face to face, which is why my articles get as long as they do, such as this one has. But yes, I am very lonely and thus I drown my loneliness in eating huge amounts of food, but than I dance myself into oblivion and lose all those 3,500 calories as fast as I eat them, so my eating large amounts of of calories is offset by my being a highly active person.
I like to dance: belly dance, hula, zumba, wild random Voodoo dancing that makes no sense to anyone outside of Voodoo...I don't have anyone to dance with so all the dancing I do is solo dancing in the swamps of the Ross Forest in Old Orchard Beach, Maine... just dance, you'll lose enough calories dancing to eat 3,500 calories a day. Dance, dance, dance... all you need is love, but when no one loves you, dance and pretend you don't care. The only happiness in life is to love and be loved in return, but when you have boundless love to give and no one to give it to and no one to return love back to you, you learn to dance in the forest and channel your energy into waves of love flowing out to the universe, so at least the universe will love you in return.
Also yoga, meditation, geisha girl fan dancing...a girl needs her down time after working up a sweat spinning round a bonfire. I meditate on average 4 hours a day.
If you are looking to do a weight loss workout and keep your body healthy in the way I do, than I recommend the DVDs I have linked to on this page, as they are the ones I use.
You wanted to know what I do for exercise: walking.
I walk anywhere from 1 to 13 miles a day. You can tell my mood by how far I've walked. If I walked 1 to 2 miles I'm in a happy mood. If I've gone to 5 miles I'm upset and need comforting. If I've gone over 7, something is seriously wrong, someone died or something and I'm not going to calm down no matter what you try, but as there is no one in my life to try it doesn't matter anyways. If I've reached 10 or more miles, I'm suicidal and really, really, really, really need someone to talk to and having no one to talk to I just keep walking as a way to not think about how much I don't want to be part of life anymore, because walking is kind of the only think keeping me going and once I've reached this point it's generally dangerous for me to stop walking until I have someone with me, so I will keep on walking until I find someone, anyone, total stranger, anyone who is willing to sit down and talk to me face to face.
But it's not regular street walking. It's walking up sides of steep hills - too steep to drive a car up. It's walking waist deep in the Atlantic Ocean for 7 miles to a time, while the tide is turning. It's walking through forests littered with craggy outcroppings. I'm not talking leisurely saunters though the park. People will often try to walk with me o these daily hikes and they'll be winded and stop within 10 minutes, healthy fit people, who simply had no idea the amount of physical exertion was required to "just walk through the woods" or "just walking on the each".
Yeah, but I ain't just walking in your average wooded path, and I ain't exactly walking on the beach when I'm several hundred feet off the shore and wading along side the fishing boats am I? Do not under estimate the locations I where I "walk". This ain't walking for beginners, you have to work up to this level of high powered "walking". Hurricanes and blizzards do not stop me from walking in the ocean. You want some exercise? Try walking waist deep in the Atlantic Ocean with 70MPH winds and 20 foot waves. Do not for a second, underestimate what I mean, when I say I lose weight by "just walking." What you got to understand is I lost the will to live many years ago, in 2003 and it was very hard for me to want to stay alive during the whole Hurricane Katrina homelessness ordeal. And I've kind of come to the conclusion that God really wants me to stay alive for some unknown reason and no matter what I do he's not going to let me die, so aqua jogging during a hurricane doesn't scare me because I know God's got some weird purpose for my life and he ain't gonna let me die. I should have died dozens of times now, and here I am still going, for no logical reason other than God refuses to let anything kill me, or perhaps he has simply forgot that I exist at all, and my inability to die is caused by his completly abandoning me on all levels.
You got to understand I lost everything. My baby died in 1997. In 2003 I was told I had cancer and wouldn't live 2 years, that was 10 years ago and having no medical insurance I have not yet recieved any treatment. I lost my husband in 2003, my home in 2005, again in 2006, and a third time in 2007 at which point I gave up living in a house and remained "willfully homeless" ever since, I lost my human family and my pets at various points, and in 2010 I was excommunicated from my church. Being excommunicated from the Mormon church means God has removed your name from the Book of Life and you are barred from Heaven, condemed to walk eternity alone in Outer Darkness, thus there is no point in my dying as there is nothing for me in the afterlife, and yet being alone nothing I do in life feels like it matters any more. I have nothing to live for yet death is worse. I have literally reached the point of having absolutely nothing left to lose.
That is why I walk. I don't really walk so much as drift mindlessly from one place to the next, hoping to discover something that will end the mind-numbing nothingness that fills my life. Walking on the beach on a bright sunny day is more nothingness of every day sameness, walking in the waves during a hurricane is at least something to break up the monotony.
This is also why I turned to Voodoo. I knew the Voodoo traditional, it was part of my culture, but so was Mormonism and in a family of 300 people 97% of them Mormons you tend to follow the majority, more out of feeling they must be right otherwise why would so many of them reject the alternative? But than they rejected me. When you are excommunicated, they erase everything: your marriage becomes a divorce only worse, it is like it never happened, they go so far as to fully deny you were ever his wife, he even denies you were ever his wife; your family shuns you and speaks of you past tense as though you were dead, so do your friends, and your fellow church members, they see you with blind as as though you were invisible. They do not speak to you, they do not look at you...they don't even acknowledge you, if they looked away, that would indicate they saw you, but they don't even do that, they look right through you, walk right into you, act fully 100% like you are not standing there. When you are a Mormon you are not allowed to have friend outside of the church, all your family are Mormons too, and when they excommunicate you, they and their god all abandon you, turn their backs on you, and act as though you were never born, which is worse than if they acted as though you were dead.Which is why a year later in 2011 I did this to my car, more as a way to convince myself I was still alive and not a ghost which was how they made me feel. I needed to know that there was someone in the world who could still see me.
My grandmother had been dead 14 years, my other grandmother having died 20 years before her. They were not Mormons. When the Mormons abandoned me and left me alone I walked for 13 miles and ended up at the graves of my grandmothers. Mormons teach that your ancestors keep a strong connection to you and I believed that, but looking at the graves I remember that Voodoo believes this too. With a jar of graveyard dirt in my hand I turned to my grandmother's for guidance and was set on the path of Voodoo, where I have found much peace. It has changed my life and made me a very different person than who I was just 3 years ago when I was excommunicated (October 19, 2010). Niether of my grandmothers drove cars, both walked many miles each and every day, and when I walk I feel their spirits close to me. I feel their love. It is the only time I feel love. And thus I walk, many miles, every day.
So when I tell you all I do for exercise is "walk", don't think you can just walk to the end of the street and back and assume you'll have the same results I have. I lose 600 calories on one of my walks, most people have to walk circles round their block for a week to lose that much. So, if you are just sauntering along walking along side the road, you are going to have to walk longer, and more often, to lose the same amount of weight I lose. It's not just walking you have to figure in, but also where you walk, how you walk, and how fast you walk. Each change in your walk is going to change total amount of weight loss.
I live in a motorhome on a farm, hike miles a day, I live off the land, bath in the ocean (I don't have running water or electricity - I don't even use a tiller for my garden, I "till" the whole 1/4 acre by hand with a spade shovel.).
This is just how I've lived my life for the past 40 years, I've never really had any experience in any sort of a wellness/weight loss program other than what I just described, I live a fairly healthy lifestyle, so I think I'm not the right person to be asking these questions to, because I just don't have an answer for you here.
I don't go to gym type places.
Sorry I couldn't be of more help to you.