Why Working Out Matters (for me, at least)

With the horde still invading my house (love you, sister), things are not all that interesting on the food front. I’m still attempting to (and mostly succeeding) in making healthy choices, but we’re mostly eating out, so nothing of great interest to report.

Since nothing much interesting is happening on with food, I want to talk about exercising some more.

I just signed up for some more sessions with my trainer, even after my less than thrilling evaluation. Why? Because I genuinely like doing it, and I think I’m learning things from working with her twice a week. Even if I’m not taking off inches and pounds as quickly as I’d like…I’m feeling stronger, more balanced, more in control, and more aware of my body.

But more importantly even then that, I think that working out in the mornings leads to better decisions during the day. After my workout on Monday, I was hot and tired and STARVING. My energy level was low, and I was ready to get my smoothie on. While I was in the kitchen getting it prepped, I spotted a huge bag of Christmas candy that one of little sister’s friends brought along. I was holding a tiny Snickers in my hand before I said to myself You know what? You lifted weights for an hour this morning, and you burned 100 calories on the treadmill. Don’t let that tiny piece of candy undo all your hard work. Just make the smoothie.

So guys, I put the candy back. Uneaten, and honestly, not really that tempted any longer. Mentally, I know that one tiny piece of candy isn’t going to completely derail my body fat loss and strength gaining plan. But it sure isn’t going to help it either.

I think that people make a lot of excuses for bad eating habits, with things like “Oh, one can’t hurt” or “It’s just every now and then” or “I deserve a treat after my hard work”. And if those are legitimate, I’m inclined to agree. But a lot of people “just have one” every day, and still wonder why they aren’t making the kind of progress they want to.

I’m not saying you should be Spartan about your eating habits; I think variety is a great and necessary part of eating, and I really do have a passion for cookies. 🙂 But if you really want to make strides in losing weight/getting stronger/getting healthy/insert your goal here…you have to hold yourself accountable. You have to build up that strength to say no to yourself. And for me, that strength has come from knowing that I’m saving and shelling out cash to someone who’s helping me get in shape. Ultimately, if I decide not to work out one day or I make a regrettable food decision, I’m the one that suffers. Nobody else.

I found that strength  this week, and it felt great. Just in time too, because I’m sure my self-control is going to be tested a lot over my Christmas vacation.

Wishing you all good luck over the holidays in staying strong on your eating and weight loss goals!

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4 comments

  1. […] Exercise! which Erin discussed yesterday. […]

  2. It’s definitely important to realize that working out does not replace good eating habits or make up for bad ones. The two have to go together. If you burn 300 calories running or doing spin or whatever and then use that as justification to eat something unhealthy, you’ve negated your calorie loss or worse.

    I think exercise is good for its own sake; Matthew for instance really does not *need* to lose weight but it’s good for his health, his mood, fitness level, etc. But we women tend to tie it to weight loss.

    Honestly while I *completely* understand your desire to lose a few more pounds, inches, etc — work out because it’s good for your body and soul, eat well because it’s good for your body and soul, and the rest will come.

    (But maybe this is just me talking — a constant reminder to myself to focus less on the tag in my pants and more on what’s good for me, mind, body and soul.)

  3. Yeah, my personal goals are more tied to actually lowering body fat percentage as opposed to getting down to X number of pounds. The percentage I’m at is still in the healthy range, but it’s high. So that’s sort of a combination physical and health goal.

    I totally agree that there are different reasons to exercise, and while I’m definitely enjoying the side benefits of higher energy, feeling like I can concentrate better, etc. my sole purpose in starting up with the trainer was that so I look (and feel like I look) good in my wedding dress. Which is mostly toning, tightening, building up some muscle in my arms and back. So I think I’m going at it from the opposite side…for me, the physical, tangible benefits are driving me right now, and the emotional ones are the bonus.

    1. We all have different things that drive us — so I don’t mean to sound like “you’re doing it wrong!!” … there isn’t really a wrong way. Just offering a different POV. (and again, I know that you want to be happy //with yourself// — but you already are gonna look awesome in that dress. a happy bride always does.)

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