Exercise! Love it or hate it, let's motivate each other to just DO IT!

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Old 04-04-2006, 11:17 PM   #1  
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Default What am I doing wrong?

Alright...since January Ive been trying to exercise more and eating better...and I havnt lost any weight but I know that is because some weeks I only exercised for 2 days (30 minutes) and my eating wasn't all that much better, so that is my fault.

This past 2 weeks I had been doing alot better, I exercised for almost an hour every day (about 4 days out of the week) and last week I walked for 30 minutes 5 days of the week b/c it was so nice out...my eating wasn't the best, but alot better than normal...and better with what I have to eat (I'm job hunting right now so I don't have much money, when I get money I plan on buying a mini fridge for our room to keep healthy snacks and foods in..Im living with my bf and his parents and most of the food in the house is fattening calorie packed foods...so I have to make do)

Another thing is that the past few weeks I've actually been hungry, I used to eat out of habit and boredom, but lately I've actually been getting hunger pains, and they seem to never go away...however I usually experience them mostly at night which is when I used to eat almost non-stop...I used to be able to go all day without eating after breakfast if I wanted too (although I didn't...b/c like I said I ate out of habit and boredom...rarely actual hunger) so I don't know what could be causing this?? I know it might be b/c Im not eating enough but I don't want to eat more and eat the wrong things b/c like I mentioned I don't have much choice of healthy alternatives at the moment...

I've gained weight in the past few weeks, which is discouraging, and I know I can't expect results right away, and that my exercising/eating hasn't been great, but it just gets so hard when I read about people who have lost weight by hardly doing anything...or I read plans that say 'Exercise for 20 minutes 3 times a week'

I need to start writing down the calories for every little thing I put in my mouth...and hopefully I get a job soon so I can buy my own healthy food *fingers crossed* (getting a job is hard when you live in a small town of like 1500 people or less) Im not sure what I should do about exercise though...

Should I keep doing an hour and aim for 5x/wk or should I start out slower and work my way up so that my body doesn't adapt too quickly? Right now my main cardio exercise is a recumbant bike (sometimes walking..I walk for 10 minutes 5x/wk to the post office, if its nice out I'll walk longer, sometimes I go for walks on the weekends if its nice as well)...I also want to add in a full body strength session 2-3x/wk...

So should I start with say 20 minutes 3x/wk cardio and one full body strength session and then work cardio up by 5 minutes every week, and work up to 2 strength sessions by the time I get 35 minutes or so? And eventually work my way up to 60 minutes cardio 5x/wk and 3 strength sessions?

I need suggestions...it seems everytime I try to lose I gain weight...when I don't try I lose weight then I notice and Im like 'hey awesome I lost 10lbs Im gonna start trying' and then I gain it back right away...My mom thinks I might not be able to lose weight b/c of my stress level...and quite honestly if thats the reason then I'm screwed...I stress very easily, I worry waaay too much and I put too much thought into and onto every little thing...I've always been that way...


Last edited by Trixie14; 04-04-2006 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 04-05-2006, 10:08 AM   #2  
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1. If you eat out of boredom or habit, plan your day's meals and stick to your plan. Try to think of your meals as fuel, not entertainment. The planning doesn't have to be to the very last detail, but a guide for the day/week. Try to eat more during the day, when you are most active and most likely to metabolize the calories instead of storing them as fat.

2. If you are stuck eating someone else's food, which is high calorie, eat less at a sitting. Just make sure you are getting a balance of nutrients.

3. You are probably hungry because you increased your activity level in the last few weeks. Again, planning is crucial. Plan on an appropriate number of calories to feed your activity, but also not so many that you eat in excess.

4. Don't believe everything you read. Weight loss occurs only with a lot of hard work, and that doesn't mean 5 minutes a day or 20 minutes 3 times a week. A little exercise goes a long way for a beginner, but after a certain point, you have to really assess what you want and what you are doing to achieve that goal. Some people may write that they achieved their goals by doing nothing, but chances are they have worked at it.

5. Walking and bike riding are good cardio activities. Aim for 30-60 minutes at least 3 times a week. Use the 30 minutes for higher intensities, and the 60 minutes for lower intensities. I don't walk outside much due to the weather in the winter, and the mosquitos in the summer. However, I hit the gym as often as possible. Most often that is 5 days/week.

6. Mini cardio sessions throughout the day are excellent. Walking to the post office and taking the long way home is a good way to sneak in an extra moderate cardio. It keeps your metabolism fired up a few times a day, and you can do this whenever you want.

7. Strength activities are good for weight loss. They build muscle, or at the least, slow down muscle loss. Because muscle uses more calories during the day than fat does, you want to build some muscle. You could start by adding one strength session at 30 minutes on a non-cardio day. Work up to no more than 60 minutes strength activities at a time.

8. Try to get a handle on your stress reactions. Life is nothing but stress, so we have to deal with it. Develop a routine for weight loss and exercise and stick to it consistently so that it becomes second nature, and you won't have to stress out about it. Once we had to take a stress management course because our jobs were changing drastically. The one lesson I took from that course was- 'If you can't change the stressor, change the way you look at it'. That lesson has served me well, because most often we cannot change the stressor.

In terms of weight loss, the stressor is being overweight and not losing; the panic response is to try, try, try but not be in control of your attempts. The other way to look at it- you know how to lose weight; you know about calories, nutrients and activity; set it up and follow it consistently. You can't control the weight loss, but you can set up the conditions in which it will occur.

Hope this helps...
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Old 04-05-2006, 11:32 AM   #3  
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I think, personally, I would do more strength training. Instead of doing one hour of cardio at a time, I would do 30 min. of cardio and 30 minutes of weights or other resistance type exercises (there are a lot of exercises that you can do using only your body weight, if you don't have weights at home).

And I definitely think that keeping track of calories would help. Before I started calorie counting, I THOUGHT I was eating a good amount--not too much, not too little. When I started writing down everything I ate, I saw how fast the calories can add up--and I was eating even smaller portions at the time! It really helped me to figure out what I needed to change in my diet.
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Old 04-05-2006, 12:05 PM   #4  
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How about start by figuring out where you are. The tools are simple - you have a scale, now add a tape measure and a postal scale? If you don't, or your BF's mother doesn't have them, you should be able to find them at the dollar store.

Also, get something like a little notebook.

Now, take your bust, waist, and hip measurements, the upper arm, the thigh (maybe 2 thigh measurements - one 2" below the hip and one 2" above the knee), and weigh yourself. Repeat measurements once a month (okay the first month, do it every day - but you won't see a lot of change )

If you weigh yourself every day, as most of us do when starting to change everything, you'll notice a daily fluctuation, but over time you'll see trends. That's the important thing.

Write this information down.

Now you know where you are.

Now start looking at what you're eating.

If dinner was mashed potatoes, meat loaf and corn, write it down.

Figure out your portion sizes are - use the postal scale in the kitchen to give you an idea of what's going on.

Write all this down.

Write down all your exercise, every minute.

Now, use the Web to look up the calories in for the food , and a calories burned calculator for what your exercise.

Maybe, the next time you have this dinner, you could offer to help cook, and ask if you could have canned green beans in addition to the corn - then you eat green beans and skip the corn.

Or buy a pack of spring greens seeds, and grow a patch of salad!

Take it slow, honey - you have your whole life to do this.
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Old 04-05-2006, 12:10 PM   #5  
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Awesome advice! very well done you guys!
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Old 04-05-2006, 12:53 PM   #6  
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Thanks so much for the great advice everyone!!
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