I get asked a variety of questions when it comes to health, exercise and weight loss. For the record though, let’s establish I’m not some “professional something or another” .
I am however, a normal (ish) middle aged woman who has had 8 years of plugging along on this journey.
I’ve lost my weight and kept it off. I’ve gone from being non-athletic to doing more than people half my age consider doing. I get asked often “who I train with”… I train myself and I guess I’m fairly motivated to keep pushing harder and working towards new goals.
I’ve learned a lot about food and more importantly nutrition and how important that is for us in the context of living active, strong, healthy lives.
I experiment on myself, if it works, great. If not I toss it. I read tons and am always trying to learn.
I don’t buy into hype and commonly pushed weight loss products, supplements, enhancements etc.
My take on things in regards to weight loss and health is that it should be sane and sustainable… meaning you can keep at it for a lifetime.
I never assume that what works for me, works for you. Mainly because biologically, we are wired differently and secondly our daily activities and exercise will greatly vary. Put all of that together and it will have a different impact on our weight loss and fitness goals.
All of that being said…
People still ask me questions 😛
I thought I’d field a few of them here ’cause they are pretty common to most people.
Here we go … buckle your seatbelts boys and girls….. ready ??
I’ve been exercising but I’m not losing weight.
Here’s the deal. Exercise is great. I love it. I highly endorse it for a wealth of reasons. Please, keep doing it no matter what. If you’re exercising you’re well ahead of a lot of people who haven’t gotten to that point yet. But if you aren’t losing weight it simply means…. you are eating to much. A negative people get with the exercise idea is that they can eat (more) or have (treats) ’cause they walked some that morning or hit the gym for 30 minutes. It means, you greatly over estimate your actual calorie burn. Without creating a deficit at the end of the day, you won’t lose weight. Eat good food, in moderation. Know the calories you need to operate on in your day. To lose weight try reducing them by maybe 20%. For example if you can eat 1800 calories a day ( this includes calories for purposeful exercise and just being alive) that means you’d subtract roughly 360 calories.
As long as we’re on this topic…. you won’t lose as quickly or much if you eat crappy food…to put it bluntly. You must not only learn to listen to your body and eat in moderation, but stop when you’re hunger is satisfied, not till you’re stuffed. Learning to eat healthier foods is definitely going to put you on a faster track to weight loss. Exercise alone will not do it.
I’m not losing weight, so I must be gaining muscle.
Oh boy. I hate to burst anyone’s bubble here… but….if you’re starting on your journey or even if you’ve been at it for a little while.. you probably can’t count “muscle gain”. If you’re a guy reading this, yeah, you have an advantage over your more feminine counter parts ’cause you’ve got all that testosterone roaring through your body helping the process. If you’re a woman, you still have the ability to gain muscle. But here’s the deal… very few people are going to work with the all out intensity required and eat in the manner necessary to accomplish muscle gain that fast. At best, even if you are committed to actively lifting heavy stuff and eating well, it could be a solid 6 months ( and longer) before you could think you’ve “got gains” that affect your weight.
Consistency to it is key. You have to work and stay with it several days a week. The next part of that is working your muscles to the point of fatigue ( meaning you cant do another rep). And then of course, feeding your body adequate protein and enough food to build muscle. You have to eat plenty of food to build serious muscle.
Yes, long before that happens you will start to see a difference in your body, but to claim weight gain as gaining muscle when you either a) don’t lift enough/do enough strength training consistently b) or haven’t been at it long enough is well, just lying to yourself.
But for heavens sake. don’t stop what you’re doing! You’re exercising and that is great. If you’re working at it, the muscles will show up, in time.
I don’t really like veggies/ green foods. What do I do?
This one, I always want to say, I’m sorry! Why don’t you??? I mean seriously, I think veggies are the cats meow. They offer fiber, vitamins, minerals, are low in calories ( there are tons even referred to as “zero” calorie foods) and you can eat so many of them and not have to even worry about it all the while, staying full and satisfied. How can you go wrong with that??
Usually, there are a variety of reasons what I’m told. Everything from ” I just don’t THINK I’ll like them”, “I never had to eat them (bad mom)”, “I’ve tried some and they are gross” and the list goes on….
First, if your idea of “good” veggies is from a can… you need to expand your horizons to the real, fresh produce department where there is a plethora of tasty things.
Or, if your veggies were always steamed to death until they were totally unrecognizable, then again, you need learn about cooking them in tastier ways.
I’m telling you… nothing.. is better than roasted veggies with some olive oil, and cracked pepper and sea salt.
Bottom line: you’re going to have to be willing to experiment and open yourself up to new things. You’ve learned and trained your body to eat junk food, you can train it to eat good food.
Start small. Find what you like. Look for new recipes. You might surprise yourself at what you come across and actually enjoy. But, you have to be willing to try or it will never happen.
I don’t have time to exercise. How do I do it?
OK. This one. We’re all given the same amount of time in a day, it just comes down to, how do we use it? Obviously, we have necessary things in our days that demand our attention.
Jobs, families, house keeping, shopping etc.
But then, you have free time as well. If you have time for computer play, surfing the internet, playing games on your phone, watching shows on TV etc… then… you really do have time for some exercise.
It just becomes a matter of where your priorities are.
Exercise is work so I get that it just seems easier and more relaxing to just lay on the sofa instead of heading out the door to sweat. Exercise takes a bit of will power and intentional determination in the beginning to make it happen until it becomes a habit to you.
I always suggest making your exercise time a daily appointment with yourself. Schedule it like anything else. You know your day and you know what times you have that there are lesser demands on you to get it done. I’m up in the morning, my workout clothes on, my brain is already preparing for what’s about to happen ( although now it’s simply something I do and look forward too) I figured out a long time ago what time worked best for me to get it done. Doing it in the morning is a great way to clear my head, get my blood moving and my body warmed up for the day.
Do something you like and will stick with. Find your time. Schedule it. Make no excuses to get it done.
I know I need to drink water but….ewwww! Ideas on doing it?
I get it. If you’re used to sugary drinks, this will be a big jump for you. I’ve lived off it for so long that I actually crave it now. Do you know we all have a natural thirst? Over time, it’s quenched by the other things we feed it ( i.e. sugar filled drinks). Start by drinking some water when you wake in the morning. Try and keep it with you at all times.. you will drink it. If you drink sweet stuff, it will be an intentional practice to drink water. Start with reducing one sugar drink a day with a bottle of water. With a little practice, you will be increasing your water intake in no time. If it helps, you can add fresh lemon or lime to give it some flavor. Again, this is something you will need to be intentional about doing until it begins to feel more natural to you. With practice, you’ll be drinking more water in no time 🙂
Ok that’s it for today! I’ve used up my word allotment. ( well just kidding on that.. I never run out of words 😉
If you have any questions or comments feel free to add them or contact me 🙂