Viewer Mail. The WHO IS SYSYPHUS edition.

Miz, I recently started going to the gym and, alas, I have only made one friend.

She’s always there for me, tells me where I have been and lets me know where I am going. She is a treadmill.

I seem to be a snob to the other pieces of workout equipment. My dilemma is that I want to lose weight and in my mind the treadmill is the only way to do that. I don’t have a routine, I just walk. I’m wasting money at the gym because I know I am not utilizing it like I should. I wonder if it’s taboo to walk and then turn around and lift weights. Will that help me to lose weight?

First, how great a writer is our emailer?

Initially I thought that her one friend would be Suzie SweatsAlot or Stanley StandsTooClose & that the question would focus upon gym characters.

The treadmill part completely took me by surprise & I loved that.

So many answers to this question.

If one takes the approach that the query is about doing cardiovascular exercise and *then* doing weight training the thoughts run the gamut.

Some believe that if you do cardio and then weight train your lift will inevitably suffer as you’ll be too weak to truly maximize your lifting experience and, as a result, wont make full use of your exercise time. These people would say if you want MUSCLES you need to weight train first (only, perhaps, after a bit of light cardio to warm up).

Others lean more toward doing their cardio session FIRST (both as a workout & to warm up the muscles prior to weight training) and wouldnt dream of doing it any other way.

The more hardcore (if by HARDCORE you mean those with more free time than the MizFit—-which I do) adhere to a strict segregated schedule of cardio only days and weight training only days.

The mildcore (read: me) believe that whatever you will actually *do* (or have time for) is the correct answer for you.

Most of us arent training for anything other than overall heath or weight loss and, in that instance, order does not matter.

(I realize you only slightly touched upon this question, emailer, but it’s one which pops up often in my in-box…)

Now, the true meat of your question? the should you weight train and expand your gym friendship group? (alltogethernow) FOR SURE DEFINITELY ONE HUNDRED PERCENT.

Dolly Dumbbell over there in the corner? hanging out with her twice a week (starting out) will not only raise your metabolism while your are working out/immediately afterward but ALL DAY LONG.

even as you slumber.

Wanda WeightMachine in the center of the room? She can help prevent the natural decline in your metabolism which starts around the age of 30, strengthen your bones & help to prevent osteoporosis.

Betty BodyPump class where weights are used? She will decrease your resting blood pressure, improve your balance and your posture (standing taller *always* makes one appear leaner and more self confident!)

Your treadmill friend will definitely help you burn off the extra calories *and* keep your heart healthy, but adding in a weight routine will give you all the benefits I mentioned above and (worth repeating) increase your Basal Metabolic Rate by up to 15 percent.

all day.

every day.

Um, can you tell my answer is a resounding yes?

In addition (I know. you thought I was finally done. I wasnt.) you mention you have no treadmill plan and I urge you to find a weights plan before getting started.

In my opinion there is no money better spent than on a personal trainer for a session or 3. The one on one experience with a trained professional who can tailor a program to your needs *and* be sure you are doing the exercises properly (and not risking injury or wasting your time!) is worth every penny.

MizFits? Agree? Disagee? Did I miss the point of the question entirely? please to hit us up in the comments.

where did your name come from? I get it: Miss. Fit but how did you pick it?

Surprisingly people ask this question often. It was intended as a play on the words Miss. Fit and misfit (Im more the latter than the former. hang out with me in real life and you’ll quickly agree).

I went through many, many names before settling on MizFit. My favorite and the one which received a resounding NO WAY! from friends and family? SISYPHIT.

Get it? because staying fit, healthy & balanced so resembles the myth of Sisyphus?


They didnt like it either.

Wanna share the origin of YOUR blog name or moniker? Id love to hear it.

You know what to do.


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  1. says

    SISYPHIT? You have sound, smart friends and family, and should heed them always.


    Forgive me for being presumptuous, but maybe our emailer kinda KNOWS deep down that the weights will work – it’s more about how to tackle the fear of letting go of your One Safe Friend and setting out on new fitness paths.

    I used to do EXACTLY that because I was scared to try anything new. I knew where I was with a treadmill. But sticking with one machine can lead to burnout. Challenge yourself to try different equipment and classes – I actually made it a project to try a new thing each week. Cardio AND weights. Because I didn’t realise it wasn’t scary until I actually started doing all sorts of new stuff and realised some of it was actually fun.

    Tokaiangel has been my pseudonym online since I was SIXTEEN (when the internet first arrived at my family home)! It’s a hybrid of “Tokai” who make justhemostamazing guitars which my dad and I are crazy for and he collects (I have two, he has a bazillion) and the Angel was my second home – a grubby rock pub I used to spend all my waking hours in as a teenager.

    So now you know! I’m geekily excited to read other people’s name origins!

    TA x

  2. MizFit says

    TA? I think you nailed it in the ‘knowing deep down’ as well.
    That was my gut reaction and, being the IronLover I am, I was happy to urge her onward ;)

    And Andrew? Was there anything typed between the two parens?

    I cant see anything & surely there would be no negative self-talk up in herre!



  3. says

    You made the right choice on the Mizfit name — Sisyphit????

    Weight training is important. And, so is a plan. Otherwise it all becomes haphazard when you lift. What did I do last time? What should I do this time? I say follow a plan and track your progress. Write it down. I keep a spreadsheet printed out, and record the set/reps/weight lifted. It becomes my barometer as to how I’m doing, and keeps me focused when I do workout.

    Another friend not to forget — Bobbi Bodyweight. She is with you all the time. Don’t ignore her. Let her in to your circle of friends.

  4. MizFit says

    (sissy. I know. now I’m waiting for someone to say the OTHER thing my friends pointed out which I *hadnt* noticed/thought)

    GREAT POINT Lance.
    Bobbi is there *all* the time.

    Here’s hoping our emailer drops by today—-


  5. says

    I’m a geek, but I always joke that I’m working on making geekiness cool. Book geek, history geek, plant geek, former sci fi and comic book geek (yeah, I typed it out loud, what of it?), and once I found fitness, fitness geek. “Geeking out” on how awesome I find some shiny new thing is a daily occurrence, and any new interest involves copious research.

    I agree that the e-mailer needed a nudge to the weight room. From our e-mail yesterday, sometimes we do know the answer, but we need confirmation. May she conquer her shyness and embrace the iron, because it will be a good friend.

  6. says

    Great advice, love all the names you handed out. Bobbi Bodyweight is probably my favorite friend, though. There are so many things you can do just using your own weight.

    My moniker is, well, my first name. I’m not all that creative, definitely not literary, and science-y words are just hard to pronounce sometimes. So I went with the tried and true.

  7. says

    Tokai hit it, nothing to add ;) – (btw, there is a company on my floor called Tokai and so you always pop into my head! lol)

    Fitarella – Fit/fitness + Cinderella (the whole transfomation thing, the dress, some champagne w/chocolate covered strawberries)

  8. says

    i used to use the treadmill because i thought i was too fat to use the other machines at the gym. i was intimidated by skinny girls in lycra/spandex outfits barely sweating. while i was a fat hobo shvitzing all over in my baggy shorts and tees.

    then i got to college. the girls were still there and so was my fat. so i tried to work out on other machines besides Tammy Treadmill. so i was a hobo on a mission willing to try new things. still intimidated. still shy to try a lot of things at the gym. but that’s where i began to gain confidence.

    now, i am still kind of hobo chic at the gym but i don’t give a hoot. I’ve only had one person interrupt my workout to tell me my form is wrong on a machine. i am in the best shape of my life and i guess i owe it to Tammy Treadmill for getting me *started*. Treadmills are the gateway drug of the gym!!!!

    Fattygetsfit= my attempt at motivating myself to lose weight, plus it rooolllssss off the tongue with ease FATTYGETSFIT (say it 5 times fast)

  9. MizFit says

    Gena? Your moniker thing made me laugh. I lack all science/analytical skills.

    GeekGirl? Always assumed that and love nonetheless.

    Same Fitarella (adore the name since you first emailed me).

    & FGF I’m going to totally *ignore* yer negative selftalk in favor of LOVING the fact you used the word shvitz in your comment.

    My elderly aunts are kvelling.


  10. says

    I like the treadmill, too, but I get bored bored bored easily. I have an elliptical-death-machine-from-hell at home that also bores me. I like mixing it up. I have embraced a bike-thing at the gym. I guess it’s supposed to be like a road racing bike – you can lean forward putting your arms on rests… tonight my plan is to do 20 minutes HIIT on the bike and 20 on the treadmill, just to mix it up. I also like strength training a LOT. Like I’d do it every single day if that was okay, a lot. Emailer – definitely conquer the fitness world and try everything!

    My name: my name/my sweet boy’s name and who I am to him

    Have a great day

  11. says


    That’s freaking AWESOME. And so true.

    Sidenote: Have you and TT seen Ice Age? You know the little cave-squirrel? I read an article calling his quest for the nut a “Sisyphisean struggle” while I was on the treadmill.

    I almost fell off.

    Anyway, great post, as usual! And, The Mandapants? No good story there. :( Especially since I’m in skirts March to October. lol.

  12. MizFit says

    HughsMom? We’re all also honored to be a part of the Fat Don’t Wrinkle piece.

    And Mandapants? I *havent* seen that.
    I know it’s horribly unPC but I kinda wish the TT would be sedentary enough to sit through some TV/movie.

    I know.

    Some day I’ll be thankful….just not this morning (or any morning where Ren Man is traveling ;))


  13. says

    Wow! It’s not even 7:00am where I live and already so many comments. Yes, I am the e-mailer. There were so many good points in the reply. I wasn’t sure how specific to get. My current overall goal is to just start losing weight. Part of me was wondering if it was okay to down cardio in the same session as weight-lift, and that question was answered. I was also wondering if weight lifting will work towards the weight loss. I’m not wanting to bulk up, really.

    Also, I noticed people were saying about going to the gym with a plan. How does one create a plan and of what does it consist? I wish I could hire a personal trainer, but I am poor.

    Thanks Miz for the awesome reply and also thanks to all the readers thus far!

  14. says

    Sisyphit is kind of cute, but not good for a wider audience, I imagine.

    I have friends who only walk for fitness and for some of them it seems to be all they need (different body type from me, though). I definitely need more than walking.

    I’m Fitness Fig because I started by being lainiefig all over the internet. And I was Lainiefig because my nickname is Fig. My older sister was nicknamed Prune so my dad figured Fig was a good name for the sister of a Prune. He’s a weird dude. Anyway, I’ve embraced the Fig moniker and I liked the alliteration with Fitness. I started my blog on my regular family website and I never planned to make it such an obsession.

  15. MizFit says

    YAY, so glad you revealed yourself Teresa.

    When Im at the desktop Ill link to a few suggestions Ive made plan-wise for weight training.

    or do a *site search* as you’ll find some good stuff (I still say hire a trainer—-even for one session—–money amazingly spent!).

    look for keywords such as weight training, routine, trainer, workout and you should uncover many postings.

    and Lanie?
    that’s totally me (the needing the weights versus merely cardio. many reasons–as in TOO MANY to list :))

    and love the FIG origins. thanks for sharing that.


  16. says

    As much as I love Greek Mythology, I have to agree with your friends. Sisyphus is one of the saddest stories in that whole collection! Although now that you point it out, the comparison is apt.

    As for the monogamous gym goer- your response to her was perfect! My only added suggestion would be that if she is nervous about branching out to new equipment/routines (hellloooo circuit training!) then finding a new actual human friend might be helpful as well:))

  17. says

    Lovin’ this post today because I have been wondering some of the things you have addressed here :) I have been doing cardio in the mornings 6 days a week. My cardio uses some weights in it. I do strength training 3 days a week in the afternoon. I do push ups every morning when I wake up. Everything I read lately says to lose weight most effectively you need cardio, weights, and a healthy diet. In the past, I only changed my eating…….the pattern never stuck and I always gained it back plus some. Why? I lost muscle mass and fat so when the fat came back it attacked fast and furious. I am trying to be smart about it this time ;) Who doesn’t want to lose while they sleep!!?

    Love the name MizFit. Makes me mad when I watch WWE with hubby and see that the Miz (pl—eeez) took your name!

    The family used to call me Cubby because I always dropped my cup when I was in the high chair and big sis named me Cuppy which later morphed into Cubby. Every now and then at family get -togethers the name surfaces :)

  18. says

    Try classes! You will make friends and see what you like. I would start with a 10 min treadmill warm up, do a body pump class then come back to the treadmill if you wish for another 20. Body pump/power pump/sculpt, etc are my fave kind of classes.

  19. says

    Gyms can be intimidating when it is a brand new experience for you. At the gym I used to belong to, when you first signed up, you had the option to attend and orientation session and then have 3 sessions with a trainer. It was a good way to get to know the equipment. I realize not all gyms have this though. So a session or two with a personal trainer to show you the ropes is probably a good idea. Once you set foot in those unfamiliar areas of the gym and try out the strange equipment a time or two, it’s not so scary.

    As for the name, I am a software developer and I have been coding in a programming language called Java for…umm…9(?) years now. Also I like coffee. And am a girl. So there you have it.

  20. says

    Teresa, if you e-mail me, I can try to help you come up with a plan. I don’t start work until Monday, so it’ll give me something to do (although I’ll be unable to show you proper form). If you don’t want to do that, the two reference guides I’ll swear by are “I want that body” (A DVD from Tamilee Webb) and “The Ultimate Body” 10 perfect workouts for women” by Liz Neporent.

    The latter got me into weights and such (When I was 13) and the other kicked my butt and continues to do so (but it works).

    And I like sisyphit.

  21. MizFit says

    thanks Tricia2 (whom I’m not surprised is a woman after my own heart. Both in your recommendations and your like o’the sisyphit) for your GENEROUS offer to Teresa.

    I also really like (for the pictures and exercise descriptions) the OLD SCHOOL Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding.

    (I know ;) but don’t knock it till you’ve skimmed it…)


  22. says

    I’m not sure if someone else mentioned this, but the first letter writer might want to branch out onto other machines as well. I went through this spurt earlier this summer (and am going to kick it up again when I go to the gym tomorrow– today was a running day) where I had five machines that I liked to use: the stairmaster, the rower (!!), the bike, the elliptical, and the treadmill. I would make it a 45 minute cardio day and then use THREE of the machines for 15 minutes a piece. Changes things up a bit, and helps us to expand our circle of friends :)

    My name… well, Kiki’s always been my family nickname (NEVER in public… I’ve always been straightlaced ONELONGFIRSTNAME since I was little in school. My mom hated nicknames, but I gave myself one–KIKI– and my cousins and aunts and uncles still call me it to this day). When I got married, my now ex used to call me Kikimonkey. When I left him, and started my blog, I thought, what would be the opposite of a cutesy name? Oh, yeah, KIKIMONSTER. Haha. It just stuck, and I love it.

  23. says

    I totally agree with the advice given. Weights rock, learn to love them! I started out with The Firm a long time ago so I was loathe to do pure cardio for a while. Now both cardio and weights are my friends. Sometimes I deal with just one or the other and sometimes we mix it up and have a party.

    Waves a Javachick. I do freelance Java programming sometimes under the moniker javalady. :)

    My name is just a phoenetic-ish spelling of my government name. I didn’t know that “keya” is a popular Indian name though. An Indian friend of mine explained that to me one day. Suddenly all of the random IMs I would get from dudes in Bangalore made sense!

  24. Debra says

    When I first went to the gym I started out with the same problem – I would watch other people on the cool machines and I was stuck on the treadmill. Once I branched out – the gym was so much more fun. I made the transition by taking a friend to the gym with me who had lots of exp. with equipment.

  25. says

    Sisyphit – I’m sorry but when I read that I immediately thing syphillis!! EEK!!!

    My blog has 2 names – The Potato Has Left The Couch (my attempt to get fit) and The Sassy Pear because I am a classic pear body type and I can be really sassy if I want to be!!

  26. says

    Stupid me. It’s just my last name (before I was a savvy blogger)

    However, my blog’s name is Gymnotes (PE teacher), and I have one called Scoutnotes (Cub Scout Leader), Friendnotes (A private blog for some friends all over the country), and Heartnotes (Tales of my divorce…also private).

    So, I got the *note* thing covered.

  27. says

    For our treadmiller: I’ve always run. Or walked. Faithfully. But it was when I started strength training that I shed fat. And even lost weight on the scale which I didn’t expect to happen with all that muscle-building. I hate it. But if my sole goal were to lose weight, I’d be forced to recognize that (for me) Dolly and Wanda did it.

    For our Sisyphit, um, I think it’s brilliant. Then again, my mom was getting her degree in classics when I was learning to read, my real name comes from (Roman) mythology, so, my judgment is flawed.

    Positive selftalk: my name is seemingly my blog’s initials but secretly I know it stands for “totally [effing] hot.”

  28. says

    I *so* needed this viewer mail because intelectually speaking, I know I need to start adding strength training into my fitness routine. But the cardio-a-holic is afraid that if I spend what precious little time I have to fitness on strength, it’ll be for naught. So tomorrow, I’m strength training, no matter what!

    As for my moniker…I told a bunch of moms I knew a funny story about my daughter E and they all laughed and said I should write it in her baby book. She was 3…said baby book did not or would not ever exist. So I started blogging to make up for my Slacker tendencies in the “What my kids are up to” tendencies.

  29. says

    Um, my blog name is my name. I’m boring and uncreative and horrible with titles, so I stole the name of my blog from a book I owned (but don’t think I ever read) when I was a kid. Yeah. The sad part is I’m married to a fiction writer with 3 published books, and I still can’t even write a title. Or a creative sentence.

    I kept having trouble figuring out a “plan” when it came to weights. Cardio seems pretty easy (even though there are options and different ways of doing it) – you just run, bike, walk, swim or whatever you need to do to keep your heart rate up. Not too much thought involved. But weights? When I first got them and tried using them at home, I knew how to do about 3 moves. And then I didn’t know what to do and gave up.

    I started getting some fitness magazines and getting ideas for moves from there. It’s sure a lot less expensive than a personal trainer, and it seems to be working for me.

  30. says

    This has been fun, reading about where all the monikers come from!

    I have no advice to your emailer, because, as you know, I don’t work out in a gym.

    Oh, and my moniker? Comes from the shopping bags that I designed and sell. Original, eh? :)

  31. says

    Hey girl… You are SO DANG creative! I love your writing… it makes me laugh. And I’m with you… I don’t think order is that really a big deal… as long as you do it, that’s all that matters!

  32. MizFit says

    helpful tips as always from you guys. and, as always, I appreciate you taking the time.

    slackermama? git thee to weight training. STAT. errr, S.L.A.P.

    and judy? GOOD POINT. and, in a way, when youre just starting out as long as you focus on form and not too heavy weight the *plan* isnt as crucial.

    (waits for onslaught of angry comments or email)

    in that you MUST listen to your body (‘does this hurt?’ ‘am I FEELING the exercise in the right place? or am I lifting my BACK and only feeling it in my shoulders.’) but you will GROW with almost any approach.

    it’s the best part of being a newbie weight trainer.

    please send your MizFit YOU HAVE NO CLUE OF WHAT YOU SPEAK to:

  33. says

    mine was techically assigned to me and to be honest, I’ve never really thought about what I would have chosen if I’d started it on my own. My book web site is boring ( but only because was taken and sounds slightly porno-ish.) You know whose blog name I love? And Mizfit, of course ;-)

  34. says

    I heart the MizFit. Person blog and name.

    I agree with your advice about the exercising. I’m a firm believer in the “whatever works for YOU as an individual is best” philosophy. There should be some measure of cardio, strength training, and stretching to get in a more balanced routine but how much you do of each and WHAT you do of each is always going to vary.

    After coming home from Italy I did a short session of abs work. The next day my abs were so sore. I missed that soreness (and realized just how big of a difference taking a couple weeks off can make!).

  35. says

    I am a former elliptical junkie. I would literally waste $75 a month just to have a place to do the elliptical and shower… *tee hee*. So, I can relate.

    Darn it people, you make me want to lift heavy objects now ;-).

    My alias stems back to the yesteryears of elementary school. My name is Che so all the substitute teachers would call me “CHEEEEE” when it’s really pronounced “Shay.” Well, one time I corrected a teacher and he spent the rest of the day calling me “Chia” and that just kind of stuck as a nickname. Weak, I know ;-)

  36. MizFit says

    GOOD POINT Sagan (waves to member of the Bumbling Band who is currently taking time off from working out).

    that is one of my FAVORITE things about taking a rest period —the fact that Im sore all over again when I get back to it.

    It’s difficult, I know, to stop working out for a few weeks when youre in your routine, but I urge you to look for opportunities to do so (like your trip, Sagan) as it’s great for our bodies.

    and not weak Chia as Id ALWAYS wondered. And being the goober/child of the 90′s I am Id always thought it was after the ch ch ch chia pet.


  37. says

    I wish I had a much more exciting story about how I picked my blog name. I thought about it for about 30 minutes and just jumped right in with Sweets and Sweats. I figured it encompassed everything I wanted it to (food and working out) but without being as boring as Fitz gets Fit or something along those lines.


  38. says

    RhodeyGirl = I’m from rhode island, and, well, I’m a girl haha.

    But, I was IRBAS for the longest time and I use that on some other sites. It is Sabri backwards (my real name is Sabrina)

    lovvvve the name mizfit. so cool.

  39. says

    Love tokiangel’s response.

    I’m a runner but I do some in-home weights, primarily to keep the muscles that I need for running in good order.

    My blogname — Happy Runner — came from the fact that I am happiest when I’m running regularly, but it is also a play on my name, Felice, which means happy!

  40. says

    I, too, think syphilis instead of Sisyphus. I am a bad, bad person.

    I am currently in PT, and my therapist tells me every day about the weights I should be lifting. Since I’m getting it 2x/week now, I’m almost convinced. I just need to get my ass to the gym this weekend and give it a go (I’m so intimidated).

    My name – gazellesoncrack – comes from my husband. I fall down – a LOT – an my husband would say to me, “Babe, you are so graceful. You are graceful like a gazelle. ON CRACK!!!” I really couldn’t do better than that.

  41. MizFit says


    Ahhh, Amy.

    That’s the comment I was waiting for and the one which most of my friends *immediately* went to (me? not so much.).

    and I love finally knowing the G.O.C. origin.

    your husband funnyfunny man.


  42. says

    Probably a good idea that you didn’t name your blog something that make certain people think of an STD. Plus, I like MizFit, it has a nice ring.

    Eatingbirdfood came from my obsession with eating trail mix or dried fruit or chex mix. I like to eat these piece by piece, so you get one flavor at a time. My roommates/boyfriend would say that I was eating bird food or that I eat like a bird. But it’s funny the google searches that lead to my blog because of the name….

  43. says

    MizFit is definitely short, strong, easy to remember. Well, the name — I don’t know if you are short ;-)

    I just use my first name. Not very original! My blog’s title, since we seem to be talking about that, too, is That came about because I have been able to accomplish every other goal I set for myself, except losing weight — until now. Weight is my one last thing!

  44. says

    I’m with Brittany, SISYPHIT sounds like cyfillus too much.

    I was recently trying to think up a new name for a more public blog I may start soon. I had a simliar reaction/experience with “Lotherly Move (Motherly Love, Slightly Askew).” HA! I thought I was being all clever with switching the letters around and everyone though it was soooo lame sounding!

    I have to do weights to change my body shape, period. And, my metabolism is shot for multiple medical reasons so I really can’t just go do a treadmill and be done. Plus, I think the commenter will find that treadmill gets reeeeally boring after awhile (at least it does for me). Mix it up–it’s better for your body anyway–reduces the strain on only certain muscles. Cross-training is the only way!

  45. says

    I chose Half-Fast because I’m not a fast runner, and I have a tendency towards being a little half-assed about my training. Every now and then I receive an e-mail asking me if I’m aware that the name of my blog sounds a lot like Half-Assed. Yes, I’m aware of it, that was by design.

  46. says

    I can attest to the fact that when I’m lifting on a regular basis, that is when I look/feel the most “fit.” Although I can relate to having eyes only for one machine…..(I love you, treadmill!)

    Sisyphus? I admit – I totally had to Google that. Me = asleep during Literature class in High School. I love MizFit – it suits you!

    CDlover = lover of all things cookie dough related. :-)

  47. says

    And, now I’m embarassed because the Journalism major MISSPELLED an STD. I actually knew it was wrong and was going to go back and fix it and forgot. DUH!

  48. MizFit says

    I know it’s not the most original of questions but I LOVE that I took the opportunity to answer one of my emails and simultaneously find out what *Ive* been wondering for a while.

    Vanilla? that’s too funny. I love people.

    and Steph? you should have come back and said:

    I so totally have no idea how to spell that disease & I own that. never had it. sorry, People.



  49. says

    My initial response to the emailer was pure jealousy that she only had ONE friend at the gym, I have at least three that are borderline stalkers, but then I realized she wasn’t talking about real people :-) I second the weight training. I like to warm up with thirty minutes of light cardio before weight training in the morning and I do my “heavy” cardio in the evenings to break it up.

    As to the blog name, it was the impulse reaction to starting a blog and NEEDING to have an immediate name. I am definitely addicted to sports (playing, watching, talking about them…) and 21 is my favorite number (as it was worn by my favorite athlete).

  50. says

    I love Sisyphit too. But Mizfit works it.

    I came up with my name POD from the pod people in science fiction movies (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) though I’m not that big into sci-fi — pretty much meaning (to me) that online, we are all pod people.

    Also if you’re ever chatting, the name isn’t really encouraging for people who want smut talk from the opposite sex. ;-)

  51. dragonmamma/naomi w. says

    Even though I know the Sisyphus story, that didn’t occur to me when I saw “Sisyphit”. Instead, I was thinking “Sissy Fit”, like a weak person having a tantrum because she needs to exercise.

    When I was a single lass, my nickname was Dragonlady because I collect dragons and also because of my occasional temper.

    When I became a mom, my kids jokingly referred to me as “Mad Mamma” whenever I got upset about something. So I merged the two nicknames into Dragonmamma.

    Teresa, if you were at my gym, I’d pull you off that treadmill so fast it would make your head swim! I’m always dragging people off the treadmills to try something new. (That’ll teach them to make eye contact with me!)

    I’m proud to say that I broke the glass ceiling (or wall) keeping women away from the free-weight area at the Y. When I decided I was going to leave the machines and start lifting free-weights (about 3 years ago), you wouldn’t believe the stares I got from everyone. They didn’t know what to make of it.

    Fast forward three years; I’m buddies with most of the guys whose territory I invaded, and now the gender mix is probably 50/50.

    To actually answer your question…YES, lifting weights will absolutely help you lose weight, AND will reshape your body in a way that mere cardio will not.

  52. says

    Sisyphit makes me giggle. But then, it sounds like “hissy fit,” and sometimes that’s what I have before I do my exercise. So there’s that.

    Oh, what, you want something constructive? I like weights. More bang for my (time-related) buck. Cardo takes too long. (Yeah, I know it’s good for me. See above, re: hissy fit, LOL.)

  53. MizFit says

    ok Molly now Im wondering who the athlete is…should I have immediately known?

    POD? so glad to finally learn that. Im not sure what Id thought—-but it wasnt the podpeeps.

    and dragonmamma? youre a feisty FEISTY woman after my own heart. glasswallsmashing and all.

    Marste? Im with ya. (& I sweat less). Love all around but (sigh) as we’ve previously established I still do my cardio.

    under protest.


  54. says

    Hey! What happened to bold comment? Why did I end up bolded? I didn’t tag it that way. Weird.

    Ok, OKAY, I’ll stop making inane comments now. ;D

  55. says

    First, I would sample all the classes at the gym. Find the classes you enjoy doing and GO. This is a quick and easy way to meet new friends. Most classes will offer a combination of weights + cardio. I believe weight training to be the true way to change your body size. A plan! Find one and follow it!!

  56. says

    Personally, I like doing a hard cardio day alternating with a hard weight day (though truth be told, sometimes I still sneak a little 30 min run on my weight days… )
    I think it works really well that way, I get to focus on one thing each day.
    And yes, yes yes yes, it’s SO much better to do cardio AND weights. My gosh, we’ll never say it enough.

  57. says

    My blog name is obvious. I was a big girl who wanted to take up running. Hence FatGirlRunning!

    As for the exercise question. I love the eliptical at the gym. It gets your whole body moving. I personally lift weights after my cardio, but am thinking of switching to before cardio to maximize my results.


  58. says

    I’d like to suggest that the reader not weigh himself/herself for a while so as not to be scared away by any muscle weight initially gained.

    Blog name: See Jess Run. It’s a play on those children’s books to teach reading: “See Spot run. Run Spot, run.”

  59. says

    Great answers to the question. I’ve wondered many times about the whole cardio before or after weights question. I pretty much intuitively knew the answer–do what needs to be done, when it can be done. In a working mom’s world, you take gym time when you can get it.

    For the emailer–take advantage of classes at the gym. If it’s like my gym, those are free and you are getting professional instruction. I do free weights only in a group power setting.

    My blog’s name is totally boring, b/c I created it 2 years ago in a hurry and before I was reading anybody else’s blog. Life of L. L=Laura, my first name. Blog address is my first & middle name & the age I was when I created my blog and began a serious pursuit of weight loss & fitness.

    LOVE reading everyone’s descriptions of their names. Too fun.

  60. says

    the only thing i marginally disagree with concerning your advice is the personal trainer. maybe it’s because i worked at a big box gym and some of the trainers there just aren’t worth getting (though, i will say with full disclosure, that some definitely are).

    HOWEVER, that being said, i agree with it in general. i’ve never officially worked with a personal trainer (except for just working out with one off-duty), BUT i did take a weight training class in college that helped teach me proper form as it was tought by one of the trainers for the d-1 teams.

    as for the name? t = short for theresa. my hockey teammates figured that “t” was easier to scream out through a mouthguard. and the blog name? um, i really don’t know where i pulled “inspiration stardust dreams” from. it sounded cool? and i hoped for the old bloggity blog to be marginally inspirational to others … despite it being brandon and i recanting our wonderful workouts.

    i dunno. *shrugs*

  61. says

    I got back into the workout groove with a personal trainer who quickly became a good friend. I got lucky like that. He pushed me, pulled me, and got me into clubs in downtown Minneapolis cover free! But most importantly, I am in the best shape of my life right now, thanks to Gray.

    Our blog name was created by my dorky girlfriend who basically pulled it out of her butt. It’s a blog for the average joe, like me. Someone who works out for no reason other than to stay in good health and maybe have some killer body parts like calves or forearms.

    My blog name is my first name. Any questions? I could call myself Rhino, but that’s the name of something else. ;)

  62. says

    Strength training is great for losing weight, and even better for shaping your body. Plus I love how my arms, shoulders and back look when I am regularly doing some kind of lifting. I also vote for using a variety of cardio machines so that you don’t get bored. I vary my running route through the week (maybe not good for safety, but necessary for my sanity). Also, my personal preference is to do weights before cardio, because otherwise, I’m too worn out to get as much out of the weights as I could.

    About my name, RooBabs, it’s one of the many variations on my pet name of Roo that the Hubs gave me. I liked it best out of Roo, RooBarb, RooBabsARino, Bestest Roo, Youngest Roo, Littlest Roo (you get the idea). As to where the Roo came from, I would explain if it was politically correct (maybe I’ll send you an email Miz if you promise not to out me), but just know that it has nothing to do with kangaroos. And when I was starting my blog, I wanted it to be something “pear” because I am trying to come to terms with my pear shape. So I searched in the thesaurus for “p” words that went along with my characteristics, most notably, the fact that I go on and on and on (like right now), and I found “prolix”. So there you have it: RooBabs at prolixpear.

    P.S. Miz- I posted a video clip of my wedding dance, so check it out when you get a minute- it’s worth it!

  63. says

    I would like to give some props to my good friend, Fannie Flexibility. Don’t forget to hang out with her on a regular basis.

    How great to see the e-mailer’s question answered so well!

    I agree with MizFit. Hire a trainer. But be sure you hire the right trainer. I know great trainers who will go out of their way for every single client. And I know lazy ass trainers who will say/do anything on the first session to rope you into a training contract (or some kind of commitment), then coast through all of your sessions. Look for references, watch the way the trainer interacts on the floor with their clients, and be sure that when you spend the money, you’re going to get the full value out of it.

    Trihardist is my moniker. Tri = triathlon. Hard = devoting myself completely to what I do (even if it’s directing the Aquatics department). And hardist is a play on the word artist, because I want to pursue everything in my life as art, as beauty, as truth, as creation (versus destruction). Everything should be productive–not in the sense of producing some tangible product, but in the sense of improving the world, of adding to it rather than taking it away. And that might be a masterpiece poem. Or that might be the perfect weight training program for a given client. It should all be art.

    ::Steps off soapbox::

  64. says

    My name: a combo of my exhusband’s nickname for me (missi) and, well, cat! Because I like cats! Aren’t you glad you asked???

    Also – I usually do cardio then weights. Just my lttle ol’ input!

  65. Heather says

    I’m nervous that this is going to be bolded. This isn’t really a “in bold type” kind of response.

    I have no blog name. Although if I did it would be Drukmama. “Druk” means “dragon” in Bhutan, where we are pursuing our second adoption. And sometimes I feel very much like a dragonmama (particularly at the playground when big kids knock over my toddler or when my toddler himself throws one too many tantrums in the middle of the grocery store).

    Weights: I heart. Variety in training? I super-heart, although I freely recognize that many people prefer doing the same cardio every day.

    And am I going to be either hopelessly old-school or somehow lambasted as completely wrong to suggest that people try spin classes? Cuz I was always scared that it would be too hard. That spinning was for hard-core people. But it turns out that spinning is the one class where no one else in the class has any way of comparing your performance to theirs. I suck at and therefore hate aerobics (including the weightlifting aerobics classes–very evil for me), but spinning does not require learning routines and is 100% set your own difficulty. Plus, I kind of feel like a cool kid when I do it.

  66. says

    Ah the origins of my blogname aren’t horribly interesting… That Was my Veil is the name of a rather old PJ Harvey song, it’s a favourite of mine anyway, but more than that, I liked the idea of having a veil that I was hiding behind that no longer exists…a disrobing of sorts…because my blog is all about my wafflings of my attempts to be me, and discover who that me might be. Or something.

    Yes, cardio, weights, good.

  67. MizFit says

    hmmm. I guess I missed some bolding thing? or it’s bold now (cant see on my handheld)?

    that’s why my name selection did NOT include MizMichaelDell.

    (heather? love the suggestion of spinning. heather? Im too mildcore for spinning. I joke not. It brings out my inner rebel. the one who quits midway through class simply because she can)


  68. says

    OH shoot, I forgot about my blogname. It’s pretty boring and self-explanatory, but hey, that’s me. Live Well. I love to “live well” and I love even more to help others learn how to “live well.” :)

  69. says

    I am SO GLAD you said this. This was going to be one of my tips for next week. (I now am going to link this post into mine if you don’t mind!)

    I had a personal trainer when I was trying to lose some weight a couple years ago tell me that running wasn’t enough — and he gave me an amazing weight workout that still kicks my butt to this day but is no-fail. I spent weeks and weeks running, wondering why the heck I wasn’t losing any weight, and within one month had noticeably slimmed down after he tweaked my workout. Believe that! I remember him looking at me one day saying, “Wow! See? I told you!”

  70. says

    Alright, so let’s say I do come across a gold mine and am able to hire a personal trainer. At my gym (the Y) there is only one male trainer and although I don’t doubt is abilities, I don’t think I would be comfortable around him. So how can I go about finding a trainer? (btw, I live in southwest missouri, if that helps)

    I am really enjoying the posts. I thought I would add my two sense about the name of my blog. “Learning to lose it” is pretty self-explanitory. However, it is not just about weight loss, but also about other aspects of my life.

    Thanks again everyone!

  71. MizFit says

    what I hear you saying is you want a female trainer, yes?

    (see? I *do* use my counseling skills sometimes. the degree was SO worth it :))

    What I would do is:

    * seek referrals (ask any and everyone you know if they have a trainer they like. as them to ask THEIR friends.)
    * you could contact certifying bodies (for example contact ACE and see if they can tell you what certified trainers are in your area. this seems like a big ole pain in the arse IMO)
    *YELLOW PAGES. I know this isnt ideal *but* you can then narrow with regards to distance from where you live, find a female and most trainers should offer you a complimentary consultation.

    any one have more/better thoughts?

    and no goldmine needed. a session or two should be PLENTY to find you a plan.

  72. says

    Adding to the strength training comments: Weight training has given me a straight back to look taller, killer arms to make me look younger, and working-on strong legs to keep me going for the next 40 years.

    It’s helped with depression and anxiety, high blood pressure, menopausal mood swings, you name it. It’s made me the person I am today.

    My blog name? I love the weights and I’m working on keeping the weight down. Plus my name.. cause it’s the only one I can remember. Hence weight for deb.

    Today I did something at the gym I haven’t done in a long time. I told a young woman who KICKS ASS on the gym floor that she is one of my inspirations. Forget that she’s 30-35 years younger than me; when I see how hard she brings it, I cannot let myself quit at less than 100%.

    She never guessed she impacted other women so. It made Christine’s day. (and mine too).

    So emailer, while you’re on your treadmill, look around and find your inspirations. Mine include two stroke patients who rehab daily at our gym; they never quit. Christine, the mighty warrior. A woman who danced (DANCES!!) on the elliptical.

    Let your inspirations guide you. And if you don’t like the trainer at your “Y”, maybe you can find an inspiration who would take you under her wing.

  73. says

    “The mildcore (read: me) believe that whatever you will actually *do* (or have time for) is the correct answer for you.”

    I LOVE this approach. I agree: we’re working out to be healthier. Order does not matter. What matters is finding a routine that works for us and that we can maintain LONG-TERM.

  74. dragonmamma/naomi w. says

    Teresa, I don’t know if it’s a national policy or not, but our Y does not allow outside trainers in the facility. It’s either the Y staff or nothing.

    Are there any females working out in the free-weight area with hot bodies doing kick-ass work-outs? If so, stalk them!

    I’m serious! I’ve been on both ends; when I started out, I asked questions of anyone who looked like they knew what they were doing. Far from being bothered, most people find it extremely flattering and will go out of their way to offer advice. (This is how I got the men on my side!)

    Of course, you don’t know the quality of the advice you’re getting, so also do some internet research. There is a wealth of information out there for free. Google Rachel Cosgrove, Valerie Waters or Craig Ballantine for starters. If the name doesn’t scare you off, Testosterone Nation has an incredible assortment of articles written by some of the world’s top coaches and trainers.

    Now I’m on the other end. I’ve always got women asking me for advice (usually after watching me do pull-up burpees) and I’m more than happy to give it to them.

  75. MizFit says

    Deb and dragonmamma are two hardcore amazing woman, Teresa.

    you lucky to get their advice ;)

    and I *echo* the t-nation love (for the same reason I like arnolds encyclopedia. good basic fundamentals and information)—-definitely check them out.


  76. says

    Great post — lots of really god information. I don’t currently do any weight training, but will definitely be working that into my routine this winter.

  77. says

    Blog Name Origin: I consistantly got complaints from one BF that I spent more time at the gym (during prime social hours of 5-8PM) than I did with him. I have since dumped him. Devoted more time to the gym. And stumbled upon a new Man who is happy about my relationship with the gym and understands that the love affair does not threaten my affection with him. :D

  78. says

    Theresa – I ***HIGHLY*** recommend “The New Rules of Lifting” – either the original or the “for Women”, whichever appeals to you more. Great plans, compound movements not isolated muscle work, and include some info on cardio and nutrition as well as the weight training. Gold mines in my opinion (I was just certified , um 2 weeks ago, as a personal trainer – NSCA – so my opinion may not have much worth yet, but there it is). has great technique advice, as can, in terms of seeing videos of proper form. Do all the exercises bodyweight-only for a bit if you need to, to be sure you have correct form down pat. I also second the recommendations on Cosgrove, T-Nation etc. Biggest thing: “train like a man” – skip the baby pink dumbbells; after all, a gallon of milk is about 8 pounds – why lift 3 pound dumbbells??

    Giz, short for gizmogirl… I love gadgets. Bike bells with compasses, iPods, teleconverters, 2-ounce camping stoves…. lots of gizmos! And, like lots of ya’ll, I’m a girl.

  79. says

    I’ve really enjoyed reading your site, and right I’m trying to lose some weight too. I’m 50 years old and trying to lose 50 pounds by playing Just Dance for Wii. Its only the second day, but progress has definitely been made!