Exercise more….eat more!,

The last few times I tried to “diet” I focused almost solely on calorie restriction. I rationalized this strategy by saying that I was just too darn big to exercise; my knees and back and other joints just wouldn’t take the pounding. Also, isn’t that what a diet is? Focusing on what you eat or don’t eat? Low Carb diet, grapefruit diet, beer diet? (I made that last one up, I think.)

Michelle kept saying there were two ways to lose weight. If you’ve ever met with a dietitian you know what the two ways are: eat less or exercise more. As I think about it, Michelle never said “or;” she always said “and.” But always heard “or” and that is what I based my plan on.

Michelle has done yeoman’s work to get me to understand that both interventions work in tandem. I finally get the “and!” Using myfitnesspal.com, an app for my smart phone that Michelle talked about in a recent post, I track my calories, but not just my calorie consumption. I also track calories burned through my exercise. I am not sure why, but this time, for what seems like the first time, I am finally able to see the positive effect on my lifestyle frequent exercise affords me.

Just this morning, I spent 30 minutes in the gym and burnt up 453 calories doing a combination of treadmill walking and stationary biking. (One of the few ways its awesome to weigh 370; I burn a lot of calories relatively easily!) The beauty of that is, if you remember my primary and ultimate calorie goal scheme, I have added an extra 453 calories to my wiggle room.

Like this: my primary goal is to stay under 2350 calories a day to lose 2 pounds a week. I also have the ultimate goal of 1 pound per week at 3300 calories a day. Today’s exercise effectively changed those numbers to 2800 and 3750 respectively. So I can eat a bit more and still not exceed my goals. Or I can back those savings for a day later in the week when things don’t go so well; say Friday night when I cave at the football game and have a bratwurst and chips. That might have me exceed my daily goals, but I can feel less like a failure with the knowledge that during the week, I was able to stay far under my goals by adding some exercise.

The exercise has the added benefit of making me feel better. After 3 weeks, there is a noticeable improvement in my wind and stamina. My back hurts…differently. (that’s not something that ever seems to go away, at least not at my current size, but it is a different kind of pain…a chronic ache more than something I am constantly worried is going to go out.) My legs feel stronger and I feel like I have more energy, needing less sleep and getting more things done during the day.

So far so good…now we’ll see what the scale says tomorrow. Hang in there!!

One thought on “Exercise more….eat more!,

  1. Pingback: Two Month RD “visit” | Fish Sticks to Sushi

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