So this is a topic that I’ve been meaning to talk about for a while and I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter about it online recently and I heard a great podcast about it and so it has finally compelled me to discuss it with you today but it is long overdue. And that is the subject of exercise. More specifically I am hear to tell
you a brutal, honest truth. Here goes: Exercise will not help you lose weight. It won’t. But you should love it anyway. Confused? Let me explain.
I want you to understand today what it took me 5 years to get through my thick skull: You cannot exercise the pounds away. You just can’t.
You’ve heard me praise the Jillian Michaels dvds a lot on this blog as providing awesome workouts. One thing I’ve always liked about Jilian Michaels is that in almost every dvd I own of hers at some point during the program she always reminds you that if you’re not eating right, nothing she does on that dvd is going to work for you.
In 2010 I lost 30 pounds for the second time in my life. I did this with a combination of eating super low points via Weight Watchers online (a program I love!) and then exercising…..like a psycho. And on the weekends I would overeat and then exercise some more. And I mean a lot more. But I was at such a deficit in calories during the week that between that and my overexercising I lost the weight fast. Really fast. But……..it didn’t stay off. Why? Because you can’t exercise away the pounds.
It’s not a realistic, sustainable plan. And it may look like you’re winning the game at times but you’re not. And the longer it takes for you to realize this, the harder it hurts when you finally get that: A) you can’t keep it up and B) it really wasn’t working in the first place.
I had a glory period from 2011- 2012, well slightly shorter, before Christmas 2011. From December 2011 -2014 I stayed in denial and even though the pounds were slowly creeping back on I lied to myself and convinced myself that I just needed to work out harder. I needed to exercise more! I was addicted to exercise and not in that good way that we joke about super healthy, awesomely fit people. No, I was addicted to exercise like an a drug addict is addicted to getting their next high. It was extremely unhealthy. The worst of it was that it was mostly cardio – so I was literally trying to run the fat off! But it kept catching me! :0 I’m smiling but it was not funny at the time. It was sad. And for my friends and family, it was hard to witness.
I am not saying that exercise won’t help you see physical differences in your body. It absolutely will. What I’m saying is that if you struggle from overeating and being overweight as a result, then focusing on exercise is not going to help you solve your problem. In fact it could delay you from tackling the real issue.
Some of you that currently don’t exercise or are just starting to exercise, you might be thinking to yourself, “wow, she must be such a hard worker or that sounds like it was so hard”. Believe me, this overexercising was way easier for me, a chronic overeater, than fixing the real problem – the overeating. This is what 2015 was all about for me – finally fixing the real issue. This is when I got real with myself and did the real work. Now that was hard! 2015 was hard. And you know what – I exercised the least in 2015 than I have in 5 years. But it took 4 years to admit that I couldn’t exercise the weight off.
My friends, please learn from me.
Don’t let it take you that long. No matter who you are, no matter what you do, the only solution to losing weight is changing the way you eat.
Tweet – [Over-exercising is not the answer. The only way to lose weight – change the way you eat. #exerciseforhealthonly #foodlovemefoodhateme]
SO – exercising is NOT your weight loss friend. But it is your friend. I know, you’re thinking “FoodLove Girl is craaaaaazy. She just went on a rant about the evil, bad exercise. What is she talking about?”
Hear me out.
Exercise is not the bad one in this equation. It was my fault for trying to make exercise something it’s not. It’s not a weight loss tool. But it is awesome in so many other ways and you need to be making it your ally on this journey to a healthier, happier you.
I haven’t enjoyed being overweight and I don’t wish that problem on anyone. But there are worse things, right? (So I’m told. J ) But I will say this. If I had to say anything good about having weight loss be “my issue”, I’d say that it got me to love exercise. Because even though I had to step back from it and redefine my relationship with exercise I don’t think I ever would’ve cared about it in the first place if I haven’t first cared about being skinny. So, although I am saying exercise can’t help you lose weight, I am saying that I’m sure glad I had a reason, any reason, to take up exercising because it has changed my life.
Tweet –[Exercise didn’t make me skinny. But it did change my life. #exerciseisnotyourweightlossfriend #exerciseisyourfriend]
Because of Exercise, I am not skinny.
Because of Exercise, I am stronger.
Because of Exercise, I feel fearless.
Because of Exercise, I feel like a badass (Body Revolution, Week 11 – pinwheel pushup anyone? Link).
Because of Exercise, I have more energy.
Because of Exercise, I sleep better.
Because of Exercise, I have better focus in all areas of my life.
Because of Exercise, I am happier.
I’ll repeat that last one. I am happier.
On this blog we talk a lot about what it is we really want. What are we searching for at the bottom of that bag of chips? It ain’t hunger. It’s something much bigger. It’s whatever will make us whole, and happy.
Exercise will make you happier. You need some science on that? Fine.
Happy? J I mean, it doesn’t get more scientific than that. 🙂
Science aside, I’m happy after I work out because I know that no matter what else happens in the day, I’ve accomplished something. I’m happy because I was able to clear my head of whatever junk was roaming around in there and I focused hard on some physical activity and didn’t worry about anything else and that felt great! I’m happy at the end of a long run because I feel strong and alive and I feel blessed to have strong lungs, and legs to be able to do that.
Which brings me to the most important reason to exercise:
Because You Can.
That’s it. Because you can. Everyday that you wake up, and you have the energy and stamina and whole body to do any type of exercise you owe it to the universe to exercise. Because you can. Because not everybody can. But you can. So you should. That’s the number one reason right there. Because you can.
Tweet – [The most important reason to exercise: BECAUSE YOU CAN. #exerciseforhealthnottobethin #foodlovemefoodhateme]
If this post resonated with you please take heart, you can fix this. It took me a full year but I did it and I know you can too. Wednesday I’m going to provide some good tips for how to help you do that more strategically. We want to lose weight and we want to do it as fast as possible but if you’re here and you’re reading this blog, I believe it’s because you know that there is something bigger going on with you than simply eating the right things and moving more. The problem stems from a much deeper source and we’ve got to dig deep and fix that or we’ll never heal our relationship with food. There are no short term fixes for long term solutions. If you want to lose the weight and keep it off for years to come, you’ve got to do the work, the real work, to fix your life and break your addiction to overeating. Diets can’t do that for you. Exercise can’t do that for you. Only you can do that for you. And I’m here to help you do that.
Have you experienced an unhealthy obsession with exercise to try to lose weight? Let’s talk about it. Leave me a comment. As always, I’m here. I’m listening.