If it’s worth it, you’ll put in the effort…
I recently got an urgent text from a gym buddy of mine. She claimed she was at her wit’s end and sinking into depression over weight loss. She wanted some advice and a little encouragement. I was happy to provide both. Now some of you know me from the blogs where I frequently debated with folks about RH’s shows, etc. You know I’m not afraid to tell it like it is. However, weight loss is a touchy subject and egos must be handled with kid gloves. This friend has been fighting the battle of the bulge for all of the 3yrs that I’ve known her. And during those 3yrs she’s never put in much effort. This was her text to me:
Friend: “I’m kind of discouraged. I have been eating regular but not low carb. Trying to stay at 1500 calories or less. I’m working out almost everyday. I have increased my workouts on Monday- Wednesday-Friday to an hour and a half racquetball. Weekends I go boogie boarding. Thursday an hour walk on the beach. I haven’t lost but in fact of (have) gained. I want to try to eat this way, eating whatever I want, but staying within the calorie range. I know my body is stronger, my muscles but not losing. I know my stomachs gone down some But I am sure I am holding water probably from the heat. I entered another goal on fit day today. I am logging my food and workout. If I don’t start losing I’m going to switch back to low carb. But I like eating this way I eat all kinds of fruit a day. Trying to eat a bigger breakfast and medium lunch and small dinner. This morning was bacon, eggs and toast lunch is going to be a salad. I just don’t get it why I’m not losing I’m frustrated. Give me some Diva help… God bless you.”
I’ll tell you what I told her then tell you what I should have told her…
Me: “If you are losing inches the lbs don’t matter. You are gaining muscle obviously. It’s hard to gage calorie burn doing water activities so you may not be getting optimum daily burn. Low impact is fine but increase to 2hrs daily. Your diet sounds fine so don’t change yet. Muscle gain and losing inches around waist is great. I think you’re on the right track.”
I wanted to be encouraging but in doing so I feel I did her a disservice by not being honest. My honest opinion is she has a lot of excuses. You’re not retaining that much damn water. Low carb is a gimmick. She claims low carb is the only method she has lost weight with but she’s been doing it for years, loses the same 20lbs and regains them, and she’s 100lbs overweight. Also, playing racquetball (with yourself- is it high intensity?), strolling on the beach, and surfing/swimming at a low intensity is beginner level. My observation is that she’s been doing beginner level workouts for years. That’s fine for maintenance. But to be confused as to why your 200 calorie burn workouts ain’t dropping the pounds is a cop out. Especially when you add in the fact that she sits at a desk all day. Her job is sedentary. That stroll on the beach, racquetball, and paddle boarding is the only time she moves.
The thing is, she’s not the only person I know like this. And to be honest, I was in a similar position 6yrs ago. I was running into a wall where weight was concerned and it wasn’t until I made an effort to educate myself that I reached my goals. Weight loss is not about gimmicky diets. Weight loss is not about doing a little bit of cardio every other day and thinking you’ll get down to a size 2. It boggles my mind how many times I hear women complain about not being able to lose weight and yet they do little to nothing about it. It’s like the joke about ordering a Big Mac, fries, apple pie, and a diet Coke. That diet Coke doesn’t mean shit after all the other junk you consumed with it. Working out is the same thing. You cannot sit at a desk all day, sipping coffee with creamer, chomping down donuts, eat takeout for lunch, eat the same size portions at dinner as your skinny 6’3″ husband, and then think a walk around the block is gonna melt away the pounds. Ask yourself “Am I doing everything I can?” Ask yourself this:
1. Am I snacking throughout the day?
People forget or underestimate how many extra calories they consume when they grab a few Hersheys Kisses or “one little cookie” here and there.
2. Am I skipping meals?
Skipping meals just makes you eat more at the next meal or snack the equivalent of a meal.
3. Am I drinking wine with dinner every night?
Empty calories. Need I say more?
4. Am I overestimating how many calories I burn when I workout?
The infomercials always claim you can burn 1,000 calories when you use their DVD. It’s simply not true. And when you’re not in your 20’s (like most of us) your metabolism slows down and needs more effort to stoke the flames back up to an efficient level.
Anything worth having is gonna take effort. Love yourself enough to find out what you need to do to achieve your goals. It’s not about fad diets, pills, and plastic surgery. Healthy eating and fitness will get you there. We all have the power within us to win.
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