Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Crazy Exercise Update

I blogged earlier about my history with exercise and how I went 2 years working out 1 hour a day, six days a weeks and never lost a single ounce. Then I quit working out (but kept my 1 hour a week dance class) started low carbing and dropped 40 lbs. When I tell people this story, they often treat me like I am insane. "It's impossible!" they say, or "maybe you needed to cut back your calories" or " I bet your fat level was still too high". They can't understand how someone can work out, always feel hungry, cut their fat levels way down, cut calories, and not lose weight while feeling miserable the entire time. In their minds, maybe I was stupid, couldn't count, or outright lied about my works outs and food intake.

If that really were the case, then how would they explain the past two months? I started picking up the amount of work outs I do, gone back to walking once or twice a week, and added back in one of my water aerobics classes while still continuing my weekly dance class. The amount of weight lost in 60 days? Zero.

I track my food intake on and it varies from 1700-2000 per day. There was no increase in overall calories, and no change in the macronutrient composition, just adding several extra hours a month of working out. The result was no change in my weight at all. Now, obviously I see reasons to exercise or I wouldn't waste my time with it. I do it for the socialization, for the increased flexibility, not to mention that release of nice brain chemicals you get from a good work out, but I certainly don't do it for the weight loss.

Good thing people like Barry Groves and Gary Taubes exist or my friends would have had me hauled off to the loony bin for insisting that exercise doesn't mean weight loss. I have sent several dozen people links to Gary's Scientist and the Stair Master article, though I doubt many read it. They just can't wrap their heads around the fact that exercise makes you hungry instead of skinny, or that you would have to climb 20 flights of stairs to burn off the calories in a single slice of bread. The few that have read it don't think I am crazy (or a liar) anymore. They just think I am some kind of genetic freak. Brain washing by the fitness industry is very effective apparently.

I guess I shouldn't mention to them how I jump started my weight loss again the other day. I accomplished it by doing something so far removed from what they believe causes weight loss that bringing it up may inspire my craftier friends to sew me my own designer straight jacket. I started drinking a low carb beer at night. Oh, and also eating lots of cream cheese. So a full 8oz of cream cheese with coconut cream, cocoa powder and some liquid splenda whipped with a hand mixer in the morning, some kind of meat and salad at lunch, maybe some coffee with coconut cream in the afternooon, a little grazing at dinner, and then just one low carb, icy-cold Michelob Ultra about 7pm. Three days later, I break a 5 month long weight loss stall* by dropping a full pound. No sweating or grunting required.

Ssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Don't tell anyone. Especially my friends. On second thought, a designer straight jacket might be a good idea. My husband can use from now until November to keep me from bashing the tv in with a baseball bat just so I don't have to listen to another political speech. Just tell them remember to allow some extra room for my wide shoulders and to stick to cool brings out the green in my eyes.

*Even though I haven't lost weight since Spring, I was still losing inches, so technically it wasn't a stall


GK said...

I must be crazy too, because my experience mirrors yours. After spending 35 years of my adult life at a thin 155 lbs., (I'm 5'11", 52 years old) I always wondered why after a decade at the Y working out 3-4 days a week, I could never see my abs.

Last year, after six months on low-carb/modified paleo (I added high-fat dairy) I dropped 10 lbs without exercise. I can see my six-, er, four-pack abs now, so I am back training again ;-)

Wifezilla said...

Four pack? Cool! I have a very impressive 2 pack at the moment :D

divalou said...

Oh my god how great to read!!! I have been working out 3 - 5 days a week for the last.... 8 months and literally haven't dropped a pound!! Over the last 12 months I have put on about a stone, which on my little frame is a lot. When I very 1st started LC I saw results and when I really stick to it I do, but I do tend to get to Thursday and be a bit rubbish and STILL sort of ACCIDENTLY eat more carbs without realising :( oops.

But saying that I really do love exercising, tones up my muscles and makes me feel better and healthier.