Friday, April 3, 2009

Straight and Narrow

Ever been tempted to take a little hiatus from your exercise routine? Well, here’s an unsettling fact that may help you stick with it -- even if you go with an abridged version. Light exercisers who quit cold turkey for a bit -- rather than just scaling back -- have a much harder time dropping the weight they gain during the break. Something is better than nothing. Lighten up on exercise and you may gain a bit. But do nothing, or close to it, and things get much worse. When exercisers in a recent study slacked off, they gained exponentially more weight the closer they got to zero exercise. And here’s the kicker: The research also suggested that a prolonged hiatus produces weight gain that can’t be reversed by simply going back to your old routine. You have to do more. Yikes. So even if it feels strange to do less -- like walking 1 mile instead of 3 or 4 -- remind yourself that it's infinitely better than doing nothing.

I gleaned this information from a recent Prevention magazine. After I stopped sobbing I decided to get back to the gym.

You see - about a year ago I started a little break in my normal exercise routine - I decided to do a home workout that I knew worked well (see for about 2 months. I bought all my DVDs (updating from my old VHS tapes) and was raring to go - even got a bunch of friends to come along with me on the quest. I gotta tell ya', most of them did really great - we had photos and everything and you can REALLY see a difference in where they started and where they ended up. We're talking inch loss in the area of 20 or more!

And now you're ready for the glowing report, right?

Sorry. Ain't got one.

In the last year I've gained (back) about 15 pounds. There's one minor detail to the "at home" workout that I seemingly overlooked.

You actually have to DO the workout for it to be effective.

I never really hit a good routine for getting it done. I was able to get up and get my stylish exercise ensem on, but that was about it. There was always something else to do that would only interrupt me "for a minute" and before I knew it, the day was gone and I was into the "I-can't-exercise-now-because-I'll-get-all-revved-up-and-it's-time-to-go-to-bed" zone.

I have found that for me personally, it's better to pay the $30 a month for a gym membership and go there and work out.

That's great - I'll just go back to the gym and get back on the fat girl wagon. Well, let me tell you boys and girls... That little tidbit from Prevention magazine is right on the money! It IS exponentially more difficult to lose the weight you gain during a "break".

No matter how many times a week I'd hit the gym, no matter how many minutes (usually 30-45) I'd spend on the elliptical, the weight wouldn't budge. This can truly cause that depression that only dessert can "cure". (and cause, and cure, and cause, and cure, and cause...)

So here I sit on my ample backside, needing new direction. I've gotten rid of my "fat clothes" and refuse to go back - so it seems forward is the only direction still available. It's time to shake things up and shock the system. The ole' bod has gotten used to business as usual and is holding onto the fat it its grown so fond of. Gotta throw myself a curve ball.

I think the answer is to approach this weight loss goal with the same enthusiasm that I had a year and a half ago when I began the quest to lose the first 50 (now turned 35... sniff, sniff).

  • Limit the desserts and sweets to only a treat once a week
  • Daily exercise
  • Workout with weights and machines 3 times a week
  • Start measuring portions again
and the most important...

  • Keep a food diary. (YUCK!!)

I know, I know... I HATE food diaries - but the honesty one is forced to have with one's self is harrowing. If knowing there is an off chance that someone will pick up your food diary and see that you ate

  • four portions of custard for breakfast
  • six truffles for lunch
  • a (big) piece of pizza and a sensible salad with no dressing for dinner

there's a good chance you won't eat it to begin with!

I'm headed back to It's free, and the tools there are easy to use. You just click on your portions and food choices, same for the exercise - when you can see what the input is and also see what your output is in calories burned, you can easily see where your issues are...

I'm just sayin'...

So, who's with me?


  1. I know I need to get back to my workout routine too. I was just saying this right before vacation myself. I had already planned Tuesday to start back up my Hip Hop Abs but I will be doing the 30-45min to kick start me again for several months before going back to the last minute Abs. Maybe we could randomly see how each other is doing (the ole pep talk route ya know)from time to time. Good luck my friend this weight struggle stuff really stinks!!!!
    Hugs, :) Heather S.

  2. this is true..and depending on ones motivation it can be long trip or just a short detour.
    Good luck!

  3. I wish you success! Even though your break was for an extended period, now you're ready to get back to it again. Your steps to success DO work. We're planning to be atleast 20 lbs lighter when we see each other again, aren't we?

  4. Well I am on the bandwagon. I am trying to lose the baby this point I have only cut out sugar but I need to start exercising!!! Too bad it's not more fun.
    Oh and you would ask about the flooring...well we are hoping it can be salvaged, there are a few pieces that are warped but we think the rest will be fine!
    (raising cup) To weight loss!

  5. Thanks for this post (said in best sarcastic voice). Really (yes, still sarcastic).

    Ok, ok... the Lose Your Mummy Tummy DVD hasn't been working from inside the (beautiful) armoire. I see that. I was hoping it was her (the DVD) and not me.

    I really like walking. I'll link My Sweetie to this post so he and I can have a chat about some plans.

  6. Just what I needed to read after slacking for 13 days and then coming up on 15 days of slacking now. I actually shrieked, "WHAT????" in terror as I read that it's harder to take off after slacking. Looks like we're in this together. : )


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