I'm sorry for not replying earlier - had the flu AND midterms at the same time... oh so pleasant.
Ok here are my stats: 5'3" / 270 / 26
I don't want to do a gym because I live in a small town and the nearest gym (non-Curves, to be honest, I hate Curves and refuse to join for many reasons that I won't go into here) is about 45 minutes away. My room mate owns a stationary air-resistence bike, lots of small free weights of various amounts, a jump-rope and a gazelle, and she said I could use them. I may join a gym later, when I move into town hopefully this summer.
According to the american heart assoc.'s website, I should have a target heart rate zone of: 98-146 beats per minute and a maximum of: 195 beats per minute. My resting rate is 84, and it seems to shoot up (when doing something I consider vigorous, like running) to near-max after 5-10 minutes, though I have not actually timed this, this is an estimate..
When I use the gazelle, my lower back hurts after about 10 min., so I usually switch to the bike & then back and forth. I don't have pain with Richard Simmons, but the dvd of his I have is seriously way below my level. The one I have is for people who are bed-ridden I think.
Despite my size, I am a geologist, and so I have to occasionally go out and do work in remote places. Last summer I climbed 3000 ft up a mountain in Montana (already at 6000 ft, where we ditched the vans) every day (8 hrs) for 3 weeks. I CAN force myself to continue if I feel pain in my back, I just have to take breaks and take my time.
I am working on my diet, but I think that every time I've worked on my diet before, weight loss had stopped because I did not incorporate a vigorous exercise routine. I am currently on a low-fat "diet" (actually it's not a diet, it's just being fed up LITERALLY with eating poorly) that takes me down to 1500 calories a day, and I am probably going to join WW next week just to reinforce & strengthen these habits.
My doctor says that as long as I feel comfortable, it's fine.
Thanks for the replies.