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Weight Loss
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I can't walk. I am so out of shape. I feel pathetic

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Hi everyone Smile

I need some help. I am 5ft tall, 32 years old, and weigh 183lbs. I found out i had diabetes 2 years ago. The first year i did great. I lost a ton of weight and felt great. Then i fell off the wagon i guess.

So now i'm ready to make a change. I realize that i have to do it for myself...but also my friends and family because they want me around. So i'm eating great and i'm on my way :-)

But here's the thing. I have been trying to use the treadmill now for over a week. God i feel so ashamed even saying this. ug. I am only walking 2.4 mph and i can barely do 10 minutes. The pain in my calf's are so bad i have to stop. I made it to 13 minutes today. But the pain is just horrible.

I can do the elliptical machine, my gazelle, and the bike for 30 minutes. I guess my quesiton is can anyone relate to what i'm going through? Does it get easier? Does the pain go away? I want to be able to walk with friends this summer so thats why i'm doing the treadmill but should i just do the elliptical machines? Or should i stick it out and work through the pain?

I have to get in shape...i feel awful that i can barely walk to the corner without having to stop Cry

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If you can do other exercises for  longer it shows you have cardiovascular endurance. It should not be painful to walk. That is not about being out of shape.  Maybe you should try stretching your calves before and after walking.

If it still hurts in a week or so talk to a doctor. 

Walking on the treadmill certainly should not be painful.

Check to make sure you don't have it inclined.

Do stretches before and after - light warmup.

Make sure you have GOOD and comfortable shoes.

Check with your doctor.

Good Luck!!
Could it be because i'm using muscles in my calfs that i havent used in a LONG time? I do stretch ALOT before i get on. They hurt really bad like bad burn and pain for like 5 minutes after too. Anyone else have this?

Are you following a lower carb plan?

If so, that often causes muscle pain, especially in the calves.

The solution in that case is to eat more fruits and veggies.


hang in there!  you can do this!

Yes i am on a low carb diet because of the diabetes. 

I can relate, on a different level.  I weight 240lbs and had knee surgery and broke my ankle.  The knee is fine, but the ankle is rough. 

I find that doing an exercise bike, eliptical, recumbent [sit-down] exercise bike is the best when my knee/ankle are hurting.

When you are really overweight, how long you exercise is more important than how far (fast) you do it.  You should do a slow/moderate pace for AT LEAST an hour.

I would do treadmill limitedly at first.  Your pain is probably from joints and bones and not from muscles.  the worst thing you can do is hurt yourself, because you'll stop exercising altogether!! 


hang in there. 

Well, there are probably a lot of factors as to why you are experiencing pain from simple walking.  It could be anything from lack of support in the shoes you are wearing, to your body being out of alignment somehow.  A lot of things could come into play, here.  What I suggest is to try and find someone in your area who practices what's called "conservative chiropractic."  That's harder to find than conventional chiropractic (the wacky ones that want to ear-candle you and crack your bones), but when you find a good one, they tend to use really sound methods for physical therapy and pain relief, such as massage therapy, ultrasound therapy, stretches, and exercises designed to relieve pain and rehabilitate.  My body was so badly out of whack that they suggested I invest in some custom-made orthotics.  They cost me a pretty penny, but I don't care - it was worth it and more!  It makes such a huge difference - it absorbs all the shock from walking and other activities like work, and makes me more "light on my feet"- it has helped my back pain, too.  So, that's something to consider. 

In the mean time, stick to what's not giving you pain.  Tell those in your support network that you are having trouble walking, but that you do great at other cardio, and that in time you hope you can get back to walking again :)  I hope all goes well for you!  *wishes of wellness*

Can you walk on the flat? Get around the grocery store? Fetch the mail in from the mailbox? Walk around the block? Walking on a treadmill isn't quite the same as actually walking in real life - in real life you don't have to keep a constant pace or fall down! The best way to improve your ability to go for walks is to get out there and do it in the real world. It doesn't matter how fast you go - just step outside the front door and walk for ten minutes, and then turn around and walk back home.

When I started walking it hurt my legs and calves... but only for the first few weeks until they got used to it.  The first week I just walked for 15 minutes, which took me around the block. Then I stretched it a bit and built up my time, and once I was able to walk for thirty minutes easily I started to speed up. I can walk a mile in 15 minutes now, which was unimaginable to me three months ago. 

Original Post by belly_b_gone:

Yes i am on a low carb diet because of the diabetes. 

Do you know how many carbs you're getting each day? 

I remember from a diabetes ed. class that I went to, it seemed like they recommended 45 g per meal and 15 g per snack (with protein) for 3 meals and 3 snacks or 180 g a day.

Does that sound about like your plan?


I had this also when I first started.  I'm 5'4" and weighed 232.  I have a friend that is a Physical Therapist that taught me some stretches for my feet and legs.  I'll try to describe it:  Stand in front of a door jam, put 1 foot so your toes are on the jam and your heel is on the floor, grab the jam (Door Frame) with both hands and pull yourself forward stretching the muscles in your shins and calves, several times to each leg before and after exercising.  Keep increasing the  heigth of your toes on the jam to make more resistance.  That should help.

Also, I generally don't use the treadmill unless the elipticals are full, it just seems to cause too much joint pain for me.  I've lost 55# without using a treadmill and as you lose weight it will be easier to walk.

Good luck.



Yup thats it exactly. I TRY never to go over the 45g per meal and then 15 per snack....i try :-)

Thats a good idea maybe i will just walk outside to begin with. The first day i did walk for about 20 hurt but nothing compared to the treadmill. I just thought it was because i might have been going slower.

The only reason i wanted to use the treadmill was so i knew how many calories i burned.

I think walking outside is a good idea too.  If the diabetic diet is a reduction in carbs compared to how much you used to eat, that could be why you're getting some calf pain from walking.  Also, don't let yourself get out of breath - make sure you can carry on a conversation (get a little out of breath, but not sucking wind).  A moderate pace that lets you break a sweat about 10 minutes in and maintain the sweat for 20 minutes and then a 10 minute cool down is a good pace to start out with.

Great job so far by the way!


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On February 7, 2007 I weighed 337 pounds. I measured, and, to begin with, I could walk a grand total of .2 miles. Between the extra weight and some heart trouble that's all I could do without collapsing. So, I walked .2 miles for about 2 weeks. Then I upped it to .3 miles. Over the summer I increased the distance when I felt comfortable doing so. Now I walk between 3 and 4 miles a day and I feel cheated if I don't get my walk in.

For me there were 3 rules I've lived with for the last year.

1. Do something. Start slow and easy and build your way up. Don't worry about having to make some unreachable goal. Nothing stops weight loss quicker than pain or fatigue.

2. Don't deprive yourself of your favorite foods. If you get a craving for something (it's pizza for me), eat it. Eat less of the food and make sure you're never hungry. Have fruits ready for snack time. Hunger and craving are 2 surefire ways to stop losing weight.

3. Patience. For me the worst word I ever used was willpower. Forgot willpower, build patience. If you lose a pound a week, be thrilled. If you lose 1 1/2 pounds a week, be ecstatic. 

Using those 3 rules I have lost 95 pounds since last February. I have no doubt that I will reach my goal and I will stay there, because I don't kill myself with exercise, I don't have any food I promise myself I won't eat til I reach my goal, and  I have plenty of time to lose it.

Good luck with whatever way you decide to go. I know you will feel better. 



Hi belly_b_gone!

I experienced the "burn" as well.   I found if I pushed myself a little further each time the burn wouldn't last long and I could continue walking.   It got to where it got less and less and then stop all together.

tld - don't stretch your muscles before you get on.  Walk a little bit, warm those muscles up, then stretch a little.  Don't want to stretch cold muscles, could be hazardous.  I will check back tomorrow.  Barb.

Oh ok i will definetly try that...usually what i stand on the side of the treadmill with my toes on the treadmill and my foot and heal hanging off to stretch...tomorrow i will do a warm up and then stretch.

 Thanks for the idea!!!

If I were you I'd check with your doctor ASAP.  I had a pulmonary embolism (lung clot) in May which was caused by clot that was in my calf that detached and traveled through my system.  The only symptom I had before I collapsed and ended up in the hospital for 6 days was that my legs hurt when I walked 6 or more blocks.  

It's probably an overly cautious step but a preventive phone call won't hurt!

Shin splints is what you're describing and they're complete misery.  Stretching those calves out will help a TON...also...grab a soy chocolate milk or banana after you walk to repair those muscles ASAP - this will alleviate so much of the aftermath of a walk.  If you have a good running store near you (now come on - they see lots of us and they're not judging you - it's just intimidating) take a pair of your shoes into them so they can judge the wear pattern and recommend a shoe for your particular gait.  Ice and then heat will help those tired calves after a workout if you can find fifteen minutes post-workout - that's huge...and finally - try reading "No Need for Speed" by John Bingham - he's funny and insightful about exactly what you're going through on so many levels!!!  Chin up!  You're trying and it's all any of us can ever do.Cool

I would say that at first you don't really need to worry about how many calories you burn.  Yes, it's nice, but you can get a reasonably accurate guesstimate from the activity log.  If you're really concerned, then invest in a heart rate monitor (might be a good idea anyway to get the most out of your workouts - ebay is the way to go).

Definitely check out the shin splint possibility and a call into your doctor's office wouldn't be amiss, just in case.

As a bit of encouragement for you, between diet and exercise I have lost 30 pounds since April (I started around 187) and gained a lot of muscle mass so I've lost even more fat.  The first 10-15 pounds came off primarily due to dietary changes with mild to moderate exercise.  For me exercising at least 30 minutes every other day (any kind worked) was the key in addition to maintaining a calorie deficit between 500-1000 calories per day.  Eating healthier foods contributed along with getting enough water.  I started eating the healthier foods because for the calories you generally get a lot more volume unless you're using the sugar substitutes. 

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I would check with a doctor. You could have medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints) which can get worse if you don't let them heal. If you did not warm up enough or stretched enough the first few times you used the treadmill, you could have stressed your muscles, tendons and/or tissue around the area. this can cause strain or pain from the toes all the way up to your ankles, depending where the strain occured.

When you first start to work out your muscles are not use to the strain so you have to do a lot of warm up and stretching the first few weeks with a shorter treadmill time and speed. after a few weeks you can shorten warm up and increase your treadmil time and speed.

 If this is what you have you may have to rest your legs and take anti-imflammatory medicine or use cold patches depending on how severe it is.

tip: keep food light - salads with light dressing and some fruit and vegies small portions of ground turkey or chicken - then sprinkle powdered fiber or add it to water to fight hunger pains. I use it with a glass of diet cranberry (NO added Fructose or suger). keep a balanced and full diet but stick with the low calorie foods. Lighter foods throughout the day keep you from feeling tired, since your body is working to digest.

It works for me, but I am not a doctor.

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