- When I had an hour-a-day work out routine I was 30 pounds overweight
- I got lost in the details
- Now I exercise less and weigh less
I always loved sports and swore I’d never exercise on stationary equipment. But as soon as I gained weight my plans were rewritten.
I wanted a measurable work out routine
I thought if I’m playing soccer or doing gymnastics I can’t really be sure how many calories I’ve burnt.
Completely confused about how to lose weight, I decided a one hour work out routine, on a stationary machine, was something I could feel good about amid all the uncertainty.
The next step was the classifieds in my small town newspaper. With a red pen I circled the number of a soon-to-be-former owner of a Nordic Track. It was like the Pina Colada Song, where they guy’s scanning the personal ads looking for a new life. I love the twist at the end of this song!
So I pooled all my tips from my summer job and bought what I thought was the answer. Just like that I left all the athletic activities I loved behind. And I began skiing nowhere.
I became dependent on my work out routine
I did this work out routine for at least an hour a day from Grade 11 until my final year of university.
The only thing that caused my stationary-interruptus was doing my post graduate degree in another country. Though I dreamed about duck-taping that beast to my travel bag, it just wasn’t practical (so I was told). That doesn’t mean I didn’t imagine all the ways I could sneak it into my luggage and onto the plane so I could reassemble it on the other side.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
In hindsight, I wasn’t actually trying to find a way to take my Nordic Track with me. I was trying to find a way to ease my anxiety. I needed a work out routine I could feel good about. Then no matter what I could have peace of mind.
I thought my work out routine had to be hard
I skied 1 hour a day, 7 days a week until the Nordic Track was cut from my life cold-turkey. Why? I thought a work out routine had to be hard! I mean, I thought losing weight had to be hard. So I could only assume my work out routine had to be all about taking extremes.
It’s not difficult to see where this idea came from when you read articles that make suggestions like:
“Workout when you can either eat within 30 minutes or sleep within a few hours after your workout.”
Your appetite decreases in the 30 minutes following exercise and then increases, meaning you may eat more than you would had you not worked out and eaten within 30 minutes. So make sure to prep your meal or snack ahead of time so you can eat sooner than later to avoid over-compensating the calories you burn during your workout. The meal or snack should contain at least 7 grams of protein and at least 15 grams of carbohydrate. Protein is crucial to keep your stomach full for longer while carbohydrate prevents low blood sugar, helping you feel more satisfied in the hours following your workout. Because of the appetite increase 30 minutes after your workout, some may find it more effective to exercise at the end of their day and go to sleep shortly after; having ate a small meal, snack, or nothing at all.
-Quote from one of many weight-loss sources
When did exercise get so complicated?
These sorts of rules, tips and tricks contributed to why It took me 10 years to lose 10 pounds. I drowned in the details. I was sure anything to do with weight loss was rocket science.
Is the information I’ve quoted wrong? No. It’s likely based on fact. But that’s not the point.
The point is:
Unless you’re an Olympic athlete trying to shave 0.01 seconds off your time, this information isn’t relevant.
It won’t make a difference.
Simplify your work out routine
Don’t waste your time doing something that makes reaching and maintaining a healthy weight unnecessarily difficult.
Why cut your lawn with a pair of scissors when you can use a lawn mower?
Now I know losing weight and keeping it off can be natural if you build healthy habits.
Build healthy exercise habits
When I worked out for 1 hour a day, 7 days a week, I was 30 pounds overweight.
For the last 18 years I’ve been a healthy weight. During this time my work out routine has simply been exercising for 25 minutes, 3 days a week. And I don’t eat any special meal or snack before or after.
After 10 years I learned not to make exercise complicated. Set a moderate work out routine and feel good about it! The only thing that should be hard is narrowing down what music to listen to. I’ve already included Serena Ryder in a post, so how about the Dragonettes?
I found a lipstick that I like and so I’m walking it downtown…
Dragonette, Live In This City
Sharing what I learned makes the 10 years I STRUGGLED worth it
What’s your favorite work out song?