7/31/08

Does rolling my eyes and ranting count as exercise?

So we're sitting in the lunchroom with one of the new girls today. I was joking about how everyone would know her name faster than mine and I've already been here eight months when she settled into a seat and started into her lunch. Another coworker took a gander at what she was eating, curious because her salad looked mighty fine and the label on her other dish was bright and eye catching. She let us all know she was trying Nutri-System to shed a few pounds and then the conversation quickly turned to diet and nutrition. This is when I knew to keep my yap shut. See, I'm not the only weight watcher in the office, with another co-worker reaching her goal weight last week and a few others are former lifers. But when she pulled out a stat about how we need to exercise for an hour a day, five days a week in order to maintain weight loss, I got a bit piffed (yes - I wrote piffed), rolled my eyes and took my cue to exit. Off to my desk and Googled that bad boy to find this article which sums up a study published in the July 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine. Apparently the only way for we women folk to lose weight and keep it off is regular, moderate exercise. Their definition of "moderate" exercise is where you're left a bit breathless. Bull shit, I says. Why? Let's see... 1. I waited until March of 2006 to join a gym and do any exercise. I was in the high 170s at that point. Until then my exercise consisted of walking to and from work everyday, which is 3km total and LESS than an hour. 2. Since I've hit my goal weight, I don't go to the gym as often as I used to. I only train consistently in the summer when my weight actually goes up. How odd. 3. I can count QUITE A FEW WOMEN that did NOT exercise in addition to changing their diets and saw great changes in their weight. They did not incorporate 55 minutes of activity five days a week in their maintenance period either. 4. They kind of left this little tidbit to the end - "continued contact with the intervention staff and the ability to sustain recommended eating behaviors also may be important contributing factors to maintaining a significant weight loss that exceeds 10 percent of initial body weight, which suggests that physical activity does not function independently of these other behaviors." - NO SHIT, EH? So I can't eat Big Macs and run marathons and maintain weight loss? DAMMIT! But you're also telling me that the 24.6 % who managed to maintain a 10 % loss by exercising over 275 minutes a week STILL needed support in order to achieve their goals. So is it really the activity or is it the ACCOUNTABILITY that drives them to succeed? How about we do another study? Oh wait - there was one ON THAT before. Perhaps they should have put they should have compared notes.

8 comments:

Amy said...

I'm had the bulk of my success on WW when I wasn't exercsing.

Diet Coke and Zingers said...

Yes... It counts for 2 AP's (since you have two eyes)... I looked it up. Honest.

Paige'smom said...

Yup - I never really exercised until I had already lost 25 lbs.

My girl - you have a point.

CaRoLyN said...

I'm amoung the masses here. I didn't work out for the first 6 or 8 months of my WW journey....and lost about 40 lbs during that time.
If she was really all about health and fitness then she'd know how to shed a few pounds without using prepackaged processed food from Nutrisystem. (bitchy eh? oh well)

Vickie said...

I loved this posting. Because I agree there is no one right answer.

I have a slightly different point of view.

I did exercise DAILY all through my weight loss - and not for the calorie burn. It was for my MIND.

(like many of US) I was not an exercise person. But I WAS/AM (VERY much) a black/white, all/nothing, comfort in the daily routine person.

On some level if I tried for every day - I exercised. If I tried for 3x per week it NEVER happened. And then I had all kinds of feelings about it not happening - you know?

So, I did light, easy exercise - yoga, tai chi, pilates, walking, recumbant bike, resistance machines - Daily. It was NOT burn baby burn - it was more about retraining my brain.

I learned correct positioning. I learned to find my body parts. I learned to move. And the daily thing was calming, relaxing for me.

It also got me out of the house, around adults, and gave me something (besides eating) to DO.

This year I have dropped down to 3 times a week. But I increased the level so that I need that day's rest (between) sessions. And that is working for me now.

And I am writing to share that I do NOT have the excess skin, fat pocket problems that many people have. And I wonder all the time - if the slow/steadiness if my loss combined with the daily routine focusing on TONE is why.

Is my body perfect? NO. But really good.

My legs including inner thighs are especially good.

My lower belly is wrinkle-y but not hanging. In clothes it is FLAT.

My upper arms look great.

I have pockets of "stuff" on my chest wall under my arm pits. My only problem area - but easily hidden with clothes. I wear sleeveless without a thought - but make sure the arm holes are cut "high".

As a side note - I am 47 with 3 kids (18, 14, 10). I started at 215 lbs+ (not on scale at my highest, but guess that I was 230-240). My weight loss took almost exactly two years. I am now in my 2nd year of maintenance at 150-155 lbs.

marie said...

Vickie - I value and appreciate your insight ALWAYS :)

I TRULY believe if I had exercised from DAY ONE, I would still have loose skin.

I was overweight from age eight. My skin was stretched beyond its' limits.

I only lost 1-2lbs per week.

When I did go to the gym, I went full tilt.

There is no magic answer.

I hate studies that claim there is one.

That's all :)

But I think you're awesome :)

JavaChick said...

I have been exercising regularly for years now, I started hoping that it would lead to weight loss. I've kept exercising because I feel better when I'm doing it, but I haven't lost weight.

A friend of mine went on a strict diet, dropped 30 pounds without exercising at all. She is now slowly putting weight back on because she has reverted to her previous eating habits. She is now walking regularly for exercise, but she is still gaining weight.

Conclusion: In my little study, sample size = 2, it seems like diet is the biggest factor in weight loss. As a matter of fact, I'm sure I've read/heard that in/from other sources more than once.

I think regular exercise is a good thing. It has many benefits. But in my experience, it does not necessarily lead to weight loss (and yes, I'm sure there are other people who have had the opposite experience. just sayin...doesn't work that way for everyone).

Chellie has Issues said...

Hey Moosearoo I just found your blog and think you're great. You seem sassy...jsut like me. I too lost most of my weight before I started regularly exercising. My body didn't look too hot, but I did lose my weight. When I start running (which I do regularly now), I put on a few pounds. When I stop, it drops. Funny huh. My legs definitely look better when I run though. I'm glad I found you fellow Lifetimer!

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