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Did you see this New York Times article? It caught my attention because despite my hours and hours of sweat equity in the gym I just wasn't losing weight at the rate I thought I should. I work out 5-6 times a week with an hour of cardio and thirty minutes of weights, abs and stretching. Someone with those stats should be looking pretty fit if you ask me! Well, fit is not a word I would use to describe myself. Mind you, I do not exercise solely for the purpose to lose weight. I truly want my heart to be healthy and to ward off potential diseases, plus it balances out my hormones and makes me happier. However, I am not going to lie, weight loss is my number one motivation to exercise because it should be more tangible and gratifying. Yes, I have lost almost 20 pounds total. But it has taken a long, long time and I have had a recent slip up called, "Summer in the US".
I fight the temptation to be bogged down with self-pity when women with arm definition works out 3 times a week or women who are a size 6 eat twice as much as I do. Yeah, I gotcha. We are all built differently yada, yada, yada. I do not ask for much:
I simply want my appearance
to represent my effort.
Then I started hearing things like "It's been known for some time that, calorie for calorie, it's easier to lose weight by dieting than by exercise", said Dr. Timothy Church, who holds the John S. Mcllhenny Endowed Chair in Health Wisdom at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana and who has long studied exercise and weight control. I've seen this firsthand demonstrated by others around me. I think, subconsciously, I knew this because I named this blog Behind The Refrigerator Door instead of Behind The Gym Door.
I guess it is because I enjoy exercise more than I enjoy missing out on yummy food. I also feel like I am more in control of exercise and I feel slightly out of control when it comes to eating. Making a healthy choice happens over and over throughout the day, whereas I only have to choose one time whether or not to exercise.
So what didn't work before:
Despite the fact that I was exercising up the wazoo I was only partially cutting back on my food. I was eating healthy, more fruits and veggies, almost no carbs (when I did it was whole grain only) and little sugar. Sounds good right? What I wasn't doing was watching my portions. I had the mindset of as long as it is healthy I can eat as much as I want. That is not so. If I continue to implement the good eating habits, I am a step ahead of the game. Now I just need to watch the calories. I've gone back to good old "Lose It" on my phone and logging every single thing I eat. It works! This week I did it and lost 2.5 pounds!
Another thing that didn't work is a few times a week I would tell myself I worked out hard so I deserve this. Now that I am starting to understand the components of weight loss I hope to not justify those "extras" just because I exercised. I am not one to deprive myself of a little chocolate here and there, so I will just make sure the treats fit into my daily caloric intake.
Before I would weigh myself every morning. I did this for the instant feedback on how I did the day prior. This is so wrong in so many different ways! We all know that our bodies weigh differently throughout the month, week and even day. Despite me knowing this I couldn't keep off of the scale! What ended up happening was that I was on an emotional roller coaster headed straight toward the fridge!
I decided that I will work hard all week, recording every bite and continuing my exercise routine (because it keeps me sane), and I will only weigh myself once a week on Friday morning. It was much more rewarding to see a larger number drop and what a relief to let go of the daily obsession. I felt the satisfaction from the actual work rather than the result. Although, the result is fantastic feeling too!
I am also looking for some accountability. I hope to begin a "Friday Check In" post that tells what my challenges for the week were and what successes I had, along with my weight loss for the week. I am hoping that it will keep me focused throughout the week knowing I am publicly reflecting on my week. We all need support! I need it from you and I am more than willing to support you too!
The bottom line: focus more on what I eat and how much of it I eat. Continue to exercise but don't use it as a pass for treats.
Who's with me?