Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Question From Evelyn

Evelyn writes:

Bryan, I am interested in knowing what your exercise routine is like. I have been doing CrossFit for 3 months and I enjoy it most of the time. Actually I LOVE it, but my body does not. I can deal with the muscle aches, but my knees hurt so bad I can barely sit down on the toilet or get out of my favorite chair. Although I have been busting my tail at CrossFit, I have not lost ANY weight. I had hoped that with all this pain and working out that I would have seen some improvement. I do see some muscle definition and I feel stronger, but no difference in weight or the way my clothes fit. I have sooooo many friends that have had WLS this last year and I was in the process myself. I was challenged by a friend to give losing the weight on my own one more chance. On days when I am in so much pain, WLS seems like the better choice. PLEASE if Bryan or anyone else reading this has any suggestions, I am all ears.

My response:

Evelyn! Thanks for writing.

Congratulations on embracing your workout routine. Even though you haven't lost any weight, you are much healthier because of it. Do not give up. Be careful, though.  If the exercise is consistently causing you real pain (soreness is fine,) then you might be overdoing it.

Exercise actually has a pretty low rate of return when it comes to losing weight. To burn off 3,500 calories (1 pound,) you would have to walk 35 miles.  I work out 3 times a week, which includes cardio and weight lifting and some jogging. Nothing too difficult. I walk on the other days.

How much we weigh is much more directly tied to how many calories we consume on a daily basis. The best advice I could give is to keep a food journal and really tighten up the weighing and measuring.  Know how much you're eating so you can analyze it. The right amount of calories varies from person to person.

And don't lower your caloric intake to starvation levels just to lose weight (1,500 calories a day is nonsense.)  I actually eat quite a lot, at least 2,500 calories a day and sometimes up to 3,000.  Also, eat foods that are not calorie-dense, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, etc. that also have a lot of fiber that will fill you up. I eat 6 times a day...3 meals and 3 snacks.  By staying consistently satisfied, I have been able to lose 301 pounds in the last 2 years. If I can do it, so can you. I would challenge you to think long-term: I expect the next 76 pounds I need to lose to take a year or more.  It just isn't going to stay off if you lose it all very quickly.

Weight Loss Surgery is a quick fix that works for some people, but in the end, you accept a risk of complications or death in return for something that isn't fool proof.  You still have to change your lifestyle and do the work, so why not just skip having your insides rearranged and change your lifestyle now?

None of this is easy, I still struggle from time to time.  Hang in there, Evelyn. You can do it.

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