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<I found that exercising at the gym was not enough. I made a very conscious decision to become an active person and not restrict my exercise to the gym.>

Amen. That's called living a normal life. If you can do what you need to when you need to do it, and what you want to when you feel like it, and you don't pay by feeling miserable and exhausted, you've achieved functional fitness. Cutting to the chase, that's what it's about people.

As to DJB's misery, I'm gonna give her the bottom line. The fact is that like the vast majority you are so out of shape that what you're doing is beating the daylights out of you. Keep doing it and it won't hurt so much because you'll become fit. If it seems unbearable, make this choice: be fat, live poorly, and die young, or put up with it for a few weeks. The good news: it will end, and when it does, you'll feel great and live well. Best wishes. I don't wish trainees good luck 'cause it's not luck; it's the laws of nature. Keep going and it will get better. :-)
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