I didn't lose any weight this week.
I thought about lying about it, saying I lost a pound and then just try to make up for it in the coming week. But, well... I'm too much of a wuss for that. If I lied, then this whole being accountable by reporting my progress each Sunday would all be a big, total splat.
I didn't lose a single pound.
Though I COULD blame the holiday and the cheesecake and chocolate cake and pumpkin pie and birthday cake that ALL HAPPENED THIS WEEK, I won't. I'm the one who made the decision to eat those things. They were all delicious. They weren't all worth it, though. The cheesecake was worth it, but that's it.
I kept up my workouts, because I kind of always do.
I read an interesting article about working out and weight loss last year. Let me see if I can find it. Here it is, if you feel like reading it. It's also okay if you don't.
What it says is that exercise alone won't make you thin.
I think this is a totally spot on claim.
While the article talks about how people who work out often feel like they can spare the extra calories and have a mocha, or whatever... it also talks about how we, as a society, have overblown the effectiveness of exercise in getting thin, and have undervalued it as an important way for everyone to be healthy.
Everybody should exercise, whether you're thin or fat. It's important for everybody for SO many reasons. We all know what they are.
In order to lose weight, though, dietary changes are way more effective, if you just look at the task logically. When you exercise on top of making dietary changes, you're giving yourself a weight loss edge and making yourself more healthy. They're both important, just not necessarily in the ways we are told.
Just for example, lets say you weigh 300 pounds and you eat 3000 calories per day.
So then, you start working out. Say you walk or use the elliptical for 30 minutes each and every day. It's fair to estimate that you'd burn about 300 calories every day during your workouts.
That's 300 calories more than you were burning before, so now, your intake is more like 2700 calories per day, instead of 3000, if you don't change anything about your diet.
So, you'll lose a little bit of weight. 300 calories per day's worth of weight.
What if you changed your diet and started eating 2000 calories per day, which would be a totally healthy amount. And let's say that you exercised 30 minutes per day, also. That would be a deficit of 1300 calories (compared to the 3000 you were taking in before), and you'll lose a whole lot of weight.
If you only made dietary changes and chose not to work out, you would lose a lot of weight, but still feel like shit. You would lose a lot of weight, but possibly not be healthy.
I don't know.
Does that make sense?
I feel like it has totally been true for me.
Without torturing myself at all, I exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Within the first year of beginning to work out, I lost about 20 pounds. If I go through a time where I don't work out as much, my weight starts creeping up. Unless I'm prepared to exercise for HOURS every day, exercising alone will not make me thin.
Are you the same way? I feel like I don't have to focus on working out at all. I just do it. I feel great when I'm doing it. I love being tough and sweaty and worn out. I feel shitty and achy and stiff and stressed out when I skip a few days of exercising. I totally believe in the importance of working out.
But, I also totally get that losing weight is at least 90% about my diet.
I eat too much volume, and I waste calories on sugar.
If I start to think about how much I exercise, it's really easy to feel like I'm putting in a lot of work, and I should be getting thinner by the second. That's just not how it's going to work, though. Buckling down, for me, is all about eating. I have to focus and be mindful all the time to avoid a totally haphazard intake of food.
I don't know for sure if I feel like I've let myself down this week. Maybe it's because I felt like eating too much was inevitable over Thanksgiving. Maybe it's because our schedule was thrown off and everything was out of control and I just went with it.
I'll do better this week and have something good to report next Sunday.
PS. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!