100 lb. Club - Am I in denial?

View Full Version : Am I in denial?

08-31-2009, 05:43 PM
I made a decision 6 weeks ago to count calories, and make that my priority, and I've been doing really good! I am very proud of myself, this is the first time I've managed to stay on plan around my birthday, and with having family around.. and trust me.. my family is allll about temptations! We went out for dessert!! Even after they knew I was dieting! I drank coffee... anyways, this is what I am wondering.. am I in denial that I need to start exercising? And how do you balance both exercise and food? I find as soon as I start to exercise that becomes my number 1 focus, and when I'm exercising I find I start to gain weight... and then I usually get discouraged and I quit everything. Is it possible to lose the amount I have to lose without exercising?? I still have 95 pounds to go. And I know I will start exercising.. I just feel like I want to lose some more before I start. Not too sure I could take the gain from it yet...

So what are you all doing? Did you get that initial gain? Last time I gained 8 pounds in 3 weeks, and then didn't lose them for a few months. Is that even normal?? I'm confused, I know exercise is good, but I also want this weight off and am not too sure I want to hit a plateau and/or gain! :?:


08-31-2009, 05:53 PM
I have encountered this same problem. I have lost about 30 lbs now and have done it all with little to no excercise as of yet. The one week I stayed committed to getting my excercise in, I gained. I know it's because I am gaining muscle, but I hated it. I still continually lose every week without the excercise so that's what I am going to continue doing. I think once I lose about another 30 I will probably start back in with the excercising, or when and if I plateau.

08-31-2009, 05:59 PM
I'm not currently working out, and I've lost 15 pounds since I started eating right again.

And don't get me wrong, I do feel exercise is very important, and it was definitely part of my plan when I lost the first 50 or so pounds. But I went a long time without, and don't feel I'm ready to focus on both just yet. But I'll get there. I do take walks in the mornings, but they're a far cry from the weight training I did back in the day. I'm a little afraid of becoming overwhelmed; I'm doing so well with the eating side and have promised myself to do more outdoor activities once the weather cools off.

I do believe in the whole 80% what you eat vs. 20% how you move holds true.

08-31-2009, 06:03 PM
Don't think of it as "exercising." Lots of people have a strange idea about what that word means. Instead, think of "activity."

Activity can be going for a 20 minute walk. It can be taking the stairs (if you have healthy knees) instead of the elevator. It can be tossing a ball with a child or playing tag or other outdoor games. It can be learning a stretching routine. It doesn't have to be hard or obsessive! This is especially important for those who are larger--joints have enough stress without the risk of overwork.

So, increase your activity! And work up from there!


08-31-2009, 06:42 PM
I've not started an exercise program yet... I too had the same problem with not losing when I was working out. I'm sure I just needed to find the right activity/ calorie balance but it still freaked me out to be gaining and staying the same when I was working out so much. I am aware that I will need to start adjusting as I go but I haven't started it yet... I'm thinking it will be much more important once I get close to 200.

08-31-2009, 06:58 PM
You could also be gaining due to water retention (you need to drink a LOT of water if you are exercising) and also you might not be eating enough calories to help compensate for your workouts. I know that sounds funny but say you eat 1500 calories a day and burn 300 from working out, that's 1200 for the day and your body might start holding on to fat more so because of that...

I'd say if you are losing on diet alone then don't worry too much YET about getting in exercise. Or make sure to up the protein and calories on days you do exercise. :)

08-31-2009, 07:09 PM
In terms of weight loss, I am under the impression that food intake is 85% of the game. Don't bother with excercise if things are going well with calorie counting so far. Perhaps you could do some more walking or stairs, which doesn't take too much time out of your day, to get some easy activity in.

08-31-2009, 07:20 PM
Don't think of it as "exercising." Lots of people have a strange idea about what that word means. Instead, think of "activity."

Activity can be going for a 20 minute walk. It can be taking the stairs (if you have healthy knees) instead of the elevator. It can be tossing a ball with a child or playing tag or other outdoor games. It can be learning a stretching routine. It doesn't have to be hard or obsessive! This is especially important for those who are larger--joints have enough stress without the risk of overwork.

So, increase your activity! And work up from there!


I just couldn't agree more! I do get on the treadmill but I have focused more on becoming more active--joining the husband in yardwork, helping him plant a tree, walking around while we're at a car show (instead of sitting), parking farther away (that's a hard one because then I will forget where I parked :o). Just incorporating more daily activity in my life. Many trips up and down the stairs instead of asking the family to carry things for me--things like that.

I have also started stretching with exercise bands. Oh, it feels so good when I'm done. I like it so much that I'm considering trying a pilates class...:D..we'll see.

I just think that for me, my biggest issue is food, so for now I'd like to focus on creating better eating habits that I can live with for the rest of my life. I figure as the weight comes off it will be easier for me to be more active then I will focus on that.

09-01-2009, 01:56 AM
Well, exercise is important because it helps keep your heart healthy. Aerobic exercise is soooo good for you. And if you balance your calories right (not eating too little or too much), you lose weight.

It's important, and eventually, you'll quit losing just by eating right. It sucks, because eating right is easier than exercising 5 days a week.

09-01-2009, 02:08 AM
I have lost 50lbs and I didn't start working out until the last 20lbs and I really only started making it a point to do active things. You can't change all your habits over night, take time to adjust get used to eating better than increase physical actives.


09-01-2009, 02:26 AM
My only exercise right now is good, brisk walking. I did C25K for awhile but was sidelined by asthma. Tonight I did a little jogging during my walk. Thus far, I don't go to the gym or do any of that kind of stuff. I actually find the gym to be kind of boring, honestly, although I probably will join when winter comes.

So yeah, I think that you can make a lot of headway simply by keeping your eating on track and increasing your activity. You definitely don't need to buy a bunch of special clothes, get the gym membership, etc unless you want to.

09-01-2009, 03:55 AM
For me, it's definitely about activity rather than Exercise. I just re-committed (again) to even the simple things like taking the stairs rather than escalators, using the upstairs bathroom rather than the downstairs; and walking, walking, walking.
I do occasionally have gym fits - but usually it's only my wallet gets the real work out.

Not dis-recommending Exercise, and very impressed by those who do it!

salsa chip
09-01-2009, 04:07 AM
When I started just over a month ago, I already knew that I had to have both - in fact I signed up at the gym and dug out my running shoes before I started looking at my diet. But for a couple of weeks the "exercise" was on hold, partly due to emotional issues, and partly because I suppose I didn't have the energy to pay attention to changing my habits both in terms of nutrition and physical activity.

So for about a fortnight I ate okish, mainly making sure I was drinking 2l of water each day, and then in the last few days I've been able to keep that going (mmm veggies yum) whilst also getting the mental energy up to go exercising.

I really think it's something very personal - even with the 80/20 thing, eventually we need both. But when exactly someone gets to the point of "Ok, now I want to begin exercising" - I think that's something from your gut that only you can discern.

In any event, you can be sure there are people here to cheer you on, whether you start exercising now or in six months' time :hug:

09-01-2009, 07:11 AM
I had the opposite problem. I was in denial about the eating part. I thought if I just kept exercising like a crazy person I didn't have to stay OP to loose. And I did for a bit but it caught up to me recently.

I think you do need both. You may not need to run a marathon or lift weights but some good healthy activity. Get your heart rate up nd sweat a bit. I think it would help.

09-01-2009, 08:15 AM
You've got to move. And why wouldn't you want to? You can't open up a newspaper or turn on the news without hearing the incredible benefits of exercise. Study after study after study tells us how important it is for our heart, our bones, our circulation, our muscle tone, our strength, flexibility, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, increasing our stamina and energy, helps to maintain weight, revving up our metabolisims, staving off many diseases - our HEALTH. Use it or lose it!

There is only so many calories one can safely burn through food restriction. Why not give yourself the ADDED benefit of burning calories through exercise/activity, all the while increasing your overall health?

As far as weight loss, the most successful maintainers (those wonderful studies again) say that exercise/physical activity is a large key to long term success.

I don't know, I just wanted to give myself the best chance at weight loss success and good health. We were meant to move. Look at our ancestors. They were always in motion.

09-01-2009, 09:22 AM
Thanks everyone for the replies... gives me a lot to think about....

I guess I wonder what is an active lifestyle, and what would actually be considered exercise? Generally in a work day I am lifting, squatting (my best guess is 50 in a day, but I'll count it today), running, walking, and I sit for about 20 minutes on my lunch break. At home, I spend about an hour cleaning, moving furniture, taking recycling out, doing laundry, dishes. On our days off together the bf and I walk around a lot, but I don't consider this exercise because I am not wearing runners.. :lol:

Would that be considered to be active? I feel a little dumb asking.. feel like I should know, but I really don't. If someone asked me if I were an active person, I'd say 100% no. I definitely need to change my mindset, that is clear to me.

What did you all do first? Did you add both weights and cardio in at the same time? Or one at a time?

Thanks everyone, definitely gave me something to think about. Even if I sometimes don't want to think about it :lol:


09-01-2009, 09:26 AM
Oh, that would be awful! To gain weight because you started exercising! I haven't been doing anything long enough to give advice, but maybe you can change your exercise as you loose the same way you change your calories? start with walking and then add minutes or weights or whatever as you need to? Anyway, megacongrats on surviving the birthday! And happy birthdat!

09-01-2009, 09:30 AM
Why do I always remember stuff after I post? I wanted to tell you that my plate has an place you can look up all sorts of exerxise to see how much calories it burns. You could check out the stuff you are doing every day. It is pretty funny reading, it has stuff like coal minnig and praying in church. The numbers seem too high to me tho.

09-01-2009, 11:46 AM
Oh, that would be awful! To gain weight because you started exercising!!

Any weight gained due to exercise would be a good thing, not a bad thing. If you're indeed speaking about weight gain due to added muscle. A VERY good thing in fact. The more muscle the better. That's what we're aiming for. The more muscle we have the more calories we burn just standing still, hence the reason men have a much easier time with weight then woman, for the most part anyway.

Any weight gain from exercise due to water retention, is just WATER. NOT FAT. Also nothing to fear. It'll all adjust itself.

So please, don't put off exercise due to fear of gaining weight. It's just not the case.

Swimgirl, there's intentional exercise and unintentional exercise. UNintentional exercise is what you described - doing your ordinary, every day stuff. That's what we're supposed to do. Move around like eager beavers. If this is how you've always moved, then it won't create any more of a calorie deficit, since, well, it's what you've always done.

INTENTIONAL exercise is what you do ON TOP of the every day stuff. It's usually at a higher intensity, thus burning more calories and providing more benefits.

You could try some sort of dance class - zumba's pretty hot right now. Aerobics classes. Exercise DVD's - I LOVE LEslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds series.

A great easy way to start muscle training is with resistance bands.

Scrounge around. Try some different things. But please at some point (sooner rather then later) add in some intentional exercise. You may find that you become an exercise junkie!

09-01-2009, 12:40 PM
I think most of weight loss is what you eat, but exercise still has tons of benefits! You're doing your body a favor by doing it, just find a way to integrate it while staying focused on your eating. Moving around definitely does count, just add some more on top of it-- if you don't make it all or nothing it will probably be easier to eat right and exercise.

09-01-2009, 12:58 PM
Just gradually increase. Rockinrobin's right about the benefits. Just take a 20 minute stroll 3-5 times a week until you're ready to go a little faster &/or longer. Eventually you'll increase your cardio, and at some point you'll hit the urge to strength train. It doesn't have to be all or nothing!

09-01-2009, 01:09 PM
Thanks Rockinrobin for explaining that. But you ruined a really good excuse! (Just kidding!) So, I guess I need to dig out my walking shoes too.

09-02-2009, 01:43 AM
First of all, congratulations on your success and for making such good choices during some challenging situations - that's awesome!

As with most things, I think the diet/exercise balance is a very personal thing that varies from one individual to the next. Some people find it's essential to incorporate exercise into their weight loss program to be successful, while others find it isn't. I'm going to be a slightly contrary voice here in saying that you may be part of that second group (at least for now). If you're successfully taking off weight, I'd say it's fine to stick with what's working. I don't think you should feel bad about not adding in that other element yet, especially if you have a history in the past of gaining weight while exercising. I think people sometimes (myself included, in the past) get super-focused on exercise and can unconsciously overcompensate with food and cancel out the calories they burned exercising by being a little lax about what they eat after the fact. I'm definitely not saying this happens to all or even most people who exercise to lose weight - just a small subset, of which I have been a member in the past!

It's true, what robin said above is right - if you're careful with your calories, then weight gain due to exercise is likely due to something like water retention, etc. But if you're someone who often finds themselves getting lax about her calories after exercising, or if you find it revs up your hunger to the point that it's hard for you to stick within your healthy caloric window, then I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing to hold off on an exercise regimen as long as your healthy eating plan is allowing you to move toward a healthy weight.

I say this because it's my understanding that the most important thing, health-wise, is to get to a healthy weight. I think as long as what you're doing is taking you in that direction, then stick with it. You may get to a point where your weight loss stalls, or at some point you may feel like you've mastered your eating enough to incorporate something else, and then the idea of exercising may appeal to you. But I don't think that you should feel like you have to incorporate exercise or else your weight loss experience won't be authentic (which is an underlying concern I saw in your post, apologies if I read too much into it). I know anecdotal evidence is always kind of sketchy, but my brother lost and kept off eighty pounds without exercising at all (aside from occasional rounds of golf). He watched his calories like a hawk, and the weight came off.

All that said, I definitely don't want to seem like an anti-exercise person, because in fact, part of my whole healthy lifestyle thing over the past year has been to start exercising. But to be honest, this has largely been due to factors separate from my weight loss: I wanted to have more stamina so I could carry luggage through NYC without feeling like I was going to die; I have a family history of osteoperosis and wanted to do something to help my bones; my good cholesterol is a little low so I wanted to boost it. But the biggest threat to my health when I started was my weight, and I really feel like the biggest component in what we weigh is what we eat. I waited a couple of months until I had my eating habits under control, and then I felt ready to add in exercising to pursue those other health-related goals.

Just my two cents! Though really it's more like two dollars, given how endless my post ended up being. Apologies!