ASK A TRAINER: 'Do Obese People Need to Lose Weight Before They Begin Exercising?'


Hello everyone. Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July. Okay, back to work.

"Hi. Someone recommended I write to you with this question. I checked out some of your other posts and I noticed that a lot of people write you that used to be in shape and want to get back in shape. That is not the case with me. I was an overweight kid and a chubby teenager. I am now 25 and am technically considered obese. I've literally never been in a gym to workout and the thought of it terrifies me. I know I need to make a change and I started Weight Watchers and plan on starting to work with a personal trainer. I don't want to hurt myself. Should I wait to lose some weight before I start exercising?"-Ronald H., Greenville, South Carolina

Thanks for the email, Ronald. Man, it was tough to sit down and write this column. I took last week off to spend the holiday with my girlfriend's family in Ohio (all lovely people. We had a wonderful time, thank you.) My iPhone notified me throughout my downtime that my Ask a Trainer inbox was getting more and more full by the hour. As I procrastinated throughout the day, a sort of anxiety about the column built steadily as the hours went by. As my fingers hit these keys, I instantly feel some of the pressure lifted. This doesn't have to be my longest or best column but the fact is my readers have questions and I owe them answers.

My not-so-subtle analogy is in no way meant to be reductive. In fact, if putting off something like writing a single post can make me feel nervous and anxious and intimidated, I am positive that entering into a completely new endeavor that will affect your health and body, must be extremely daunting. Your hesitance is completely understandable but you have already taken some great initial steps (writing me, being one of them.)

I constantly have people tell me they want to start working with me but after they lose that "last 15 pounds." When I hear a phrase like that I know that the person speaking to me will likely never contact me to begin training. Waiting until you are at an ideal weight to begin exercising is like waiting until you have enough money in the bank to have children; it will never be enough.


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Michael Buckley Michael Buckley is an NASM certified personal trainer and fitness model. As an actor, Michael can be seen in a recurring role on the popular PBS children?s television show, ?Cyberchase FOR REAL.? Other acting experience includes roles in the feature films DELUSIONS OF GUENEVERE, HETEROSEXUALS, MONA, GYPSY 83 and national tours of GREASE and SOUTH PACIFIC. He is also a produced playwright and had two feature screenplays optioned.