I wish I could say that I finally got my groove back after years of being overweight, but it’s more accurate to say that my body has shifted into overdrive.
When you’re not used to exercising, even a simple workout can feel like an overwhelming chore. I’ve had enough of failing to meet my own expectations, so I’m stepping up with a no-nonsense approach to getting myself back on track.
Let’s start with the basic science: what is causing me to gain weight? According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise-induced weight loss, also called rapid weight loss, occurs when you exercise hard enough to create a physiological response (your body’s reaction to exercise) that causes you to lose weight within three days. The key to preventing muscle loss during exercise is proper nutrition. If your diet is lacking in calories or you’re not eating the right foods, your muscles will start to waste away, and that’s not a good thing.
What happens when you overdo it on the treadmill? According to the Mayo Clinic, you’ll enter a catabolic state, which is a fancy word for “breakdown.” In other words, your body will start consuming itself. This is why it’s so important to listen to your body and eat when it’s telling you to, and avoid denying yourself any food because you think you shouldn’t. Your body needs fuel to function properly, and it gets that fuel from what you put in it, so taking food away will only cause you to crave it more. When your body is in a catabolic state, you’ll lose muscle mass, which can lead to weakened muscles and more injuries. If this sounds like you, it’s time to stop the madness and get back on track.
I’m sure many of you have heard the expression “calorie-counting calorie-counter” or “dieter.” A dieter is someone who restricts their calories to lose weight, and a calorie-counter is someone who tracks the calories they consume. The primary function of a calorie is to measure the amount of energy your body gets from food. It counts carbohydrates, protein, and fats, which contribute to your daily energy consumption. Your body needs calories to function, and too many calories from the wrong sources can throw your metabolism out of whack. Your body needs a certain amount of calories to maintain its structure and functions, so it follows that if you are consuming more calories than you need, you’ll have to keep losing weight to maintain that structure and function.
Let’s move into the psychology of why I’m struggling so much with my weight loss. First of all, when you’re trying to lose weight, your body starts to rebel. Second of all, when you’re not used to exercising, even a small workout can feel like an overwhelming chore. Third of all, dieting is a process that takes time, and I’m just not patient enough to wait for my body to change. Finally, when you weigh a lot, even the tiniest sliver of food can feel like a mountain when you’re trying to adhere to a strict diet. Your body is used to hauling around extra weight, so even if you’re on the right path and working hard, you’ll still have to battle your weight demons.
My Own Personal Journey
The journey so far has been frustrating, to say the least. After gaining a significant amount of weight and failing to meet my personal expectations, I knew I had to make some changes. The first thing I did was cut out sugar and bread, which made exercising a bit easier. Now when I look back, I realize that wasn’t the real problem. The real problem is that I hate working out and being active, and I don’t do it often enough to build up a tolerance for it, so it still feels like an overwhelming chore whenever I do do it. I would also say that being overweight has made me much more conscious of my diet and exercise. I know what works for my body and what doesn’t. If there is something I’m craving, I know it’s bad for me and I should avoid it.
I’ve always considered myself to be a fairly disciplined person. I’ve always been organized and highly motivated. However, being overweight has shown me that I have a tendency to become undisciplined and less motivated when it comes to certain areas of my life, such as exercise and nutrition. Now that I’m in a better place with my health, I’m taking matters into my own hands and setting some goals to get back on track.
How to Get Back on Track
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re also trying to lose weight and aren’t quite sure where to start. That’s ok. We’ve all been there. There is no “perfect” way to lose weight, and you don’t have to follow the same routine as everyone else. What you need to do is find what works best for you and your body and stick with it. There is no point in forcing yourself to exercise when you hate it, so if that’s the case, it might be best to avoid it. Instead, you could try taking up gardening or cooking, sports that you enjoy, or any other activity that gets your blood pumping and keeps you motivated.
When it comes to dieting and exercise, some people prefer to follow a structured plan while others prefer to go at their own pace. Find what works best for you and stick with it. Be realistic about your long-term goals, but don’t give up just because you hit a rough patch. We all hit rough patches, but that’s no reason to quit. Keep working hard and you’ll eventually find your groove.