A Year or Two Ago…

Two years ago I wrote about my knee problems for the first time.

I also compared what I think of as “magazine math” such as “An average person walking half an hour a day will lose 13 pounds a year” with an actual study involving an hour of aerobics a day, 6 days a week for a year…and resulted an average loss of 3 or 4 pounds.  MORE effort than the hypothetical half-hour walk, for LESS weight loss.  Hello?

This is why I don’t expect exercise to create big, noticeable weight loss.   Exercise DOES have benefits, including improving mobility, balance, and strength.  It can improve your heart, lungs, joints, cholesterol, insulin sensitivity, bone, and your overall health.  But our culture often ignores those benefits in the quest for thinness.

4 thoughts on “A Year or Two Ago…

  1. “This is why I don’t expect exercise to create big, noticeable weight loss.”

    It took me YEARS to come to this realization….and so much self hate. All those attempts at dieting combined with exercise always produced temporary results. It still makes my blood boil to hear some nutcase in the mainstream media make completely false statements like “If you eliminate soda from your diet that’s a loss of 12 lbs a year!!” It would be laughable if so many people (including doctors and fitness experts) didn’t believe it. I have nearly a lifetime of dieting experiences that prove otherwise….and studies are now providing the evidence to back it up. Yet still…the majority of people choose to believe that being fat is some moral failure that proves all fatties are just gluttonous and lazy.

    I had my 17 yr old niece out for a 10 day visit this summer. She’s built like I was in high school, only shorter….175lbs, 5 ft 8, broad shoulders. Our first meal together, she stated “You eat less than I do!”. That remark turned into a discussion about dieting, weight loss myths, unrealistic beauty standards, and feminism. She got the message, which is, focus on being active for fun, listening to your body’s cues about food, and never letting anyone make you feel bad about your body. I hope it sinks in because I know I certainly didn’t receive any of those messages when I was her age.

  2. I can empathise with you on this one. I worked out with a personal trainer 2x a week (hard) and hardly lost a pound. But was I physically fit? You betcha! I was jogging (yes jogging) right before I had to give up both the trainer and the gym due to financial reasons. I miss it. But have not found the motivation, or maybe the right activity, to do it on my own.

  3. I have to say, I get kind of fed up with the idea that Exercise Is Fun For Everyone! No, not necessarily. Not everybody gets an endorphin rush from it. Walking for exercise does not, and has not ever, made me feel good. Not while I was doing it, not afterwards, and not even in a general sense when I was doing it regularly (which I was, for a year and a half: an hour a day, five days a week, plus another hour per week on horseback, and I didn’t feel better physically, nor worse when I stopped). It’s never helped with my menstrual cramps or my insomnia or my depression, either.

    Occasionally swimming or yoga can feel kinda nice, but neither is particularly convenient to my schedule these days.

    On the other hand, I have better physical endurance now than I did when I was walking an hour a day. I can spend longer on my feet, and I have greater strength and better muscle tone than I ever have on some gym-mandated program. Just from going to culinary school and working in kitchens.

    But yeah, for the record, not everybody does feel better when they exercise.

    Possibly, I am cranky.

  4. I also empathize w/ you on this topic. I’m exercising regularly now (walking and light strength training) and for the first time ever, I’m not using it as a vehicle towards weight loss. I’m doing it just for the health benefits and because I feel better afterward (increased circulation, better balance, endurance). This approach has been a long time coming for me, and I still struggle with the inner crazed personal trainer that wants to turn me into an extreme fitness machine (not gonna happen!). It’s also interesting that this increased activity has had no noticeable effect on my weight or girth (crazy “health” studies and input/output dogma is proven wrong once again). I have actually been able to do the exercises because I want to and not to diminish my body size, and so far that has been working really well. The pressure is off, and I have found I actually have fun and feel better in my body as it is, without any other expectations. Wish I could have worked through this sooner and enjoyed life more, but glad I have the opportunity to do it now.

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