There are alot of links on todays post. I hope you will take the time to read a few of them. Learning about how the body functions and what we can do to make it function better is a gift to yourself on your journey to the best you can be.
Losing the weight is just half the life style change. Toning and shaping muscle is the other. I am slowly working my way up to full regiment of exercise daily. Stretching, strengthening, cardio, endurance.
Stretching is so important! Here is a great article on the topic with lots of how to demos. http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=1034 Make stretching a habit! I do a good portion in the shower! I also do it in three segments throughout the day.
Taking care of your core muscles is vital.Your core is composed of three muscle regions on your body: 1) abdominal, 2) pelvic, and 3) lower back. Basically, your core is any muscle located between your pelvis and the base of your ribcage. These 29 muscles work together to support your spine. When you strengthen your core, you gain greater balance and stability. Here is an article that describes what the core is and how to get started. It is written for folks age 50 and above ( thats me!) but the info is valuable for any age. http://www.fitness-after-50.com/core_exercises.html Go here for some easy ( no equipment necessary) core exercises. http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/exercise_demos.asp?exercise_type=core
Again this needs to become a habit! Start small with just a few exercises and build on that. Finding time in your day is not at difficult at you might think. Some of these can be done while waiting in line, waiting at the doctors office in a chair, at church in the pew, etc,
If you are consistant, over time you will begin to notice a difference in your fatigue level, balance, and have less pain in your back. Building muscle takes time so be patient with yourself!
I have maintained my weight within a 4lbs. My weight actually varies up to 4lbs in a day and week. But I know I am building muscle which weighs much more than fat and my clothes fit much differently. I can actually get into a size 8!
I have increased my walking each day. Yesterday I did two miles. I am paying for it today! But the good thing is I had plenty of energy to walk the two miles and I enjoyed it. ( its a loop around a lake) We so enjoyed the spring blooms and wildlife.
Small things I have notices since loosing the weight and exercising consistantly: I can go up and down the stairs easily! This is huge for me. I have more strength in my arms.. I can bend over an tie my shoes! My balance has improved.
Stay the journey no matter how long it takes! One step at a time.