Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Exercise in Moderation As Well - & the Biggest Loser

I have to admit a guilty pleasure. I love watching competition shows: the X Factor, Top Chef, Expedition Impossible... and yes, The Biggest Loser. The producers must know what they are doing, because I can't get enough of them. I particularly like watching the Biggest Loser on my treadmill days: I feel like Bob is yelling at me sometimes - yay. I'm a bit upset that this morning at the YMCA,  the news was on and they showed who the recent winner was when I have not watched the episode, but that is not the subject of this post. (Please don't tell me who was last booted off the X Factor either as I am behind on that show too!)

I have conflicted feelings about the Biggest Loser however.  I know they do cover eating healthy on the show, but I can't help but think that the show sends the message that crazy work outs is the best way to lose weight. I am no nutritionist or personal trainer, but I have found that for myself when I've relied too heavily on working out to keep my weight at a healthy level, it backfires.

When I tried to get really serious with my running and was upping my miles and adding hills, etc. I was just plain ole hungry all the time: it was really hard not to overdo it with the calories. I wasn't trying to lose weight at the time, but I was frantic not to have the 40 pounds I lost come back.  So I was working out almost every day (usually 1 day off), making sure my sit down time was minimal, and getting extra exercise by doing activities with my kids. I was a bit obsessed about exercising admittedly and I was eating a lot, and since I was eating a lot I'd exercise again.  Now this wouldn't be the same for everyone I am sure, I am just talking about myself. I also was not eating  gluten-free and processed free at the time, which probably was part of the large appetite.

Me ice skating with
Gryffindor scarf
What broke me out of the over exercising cycle was an injury. No, not a running injury.... a family fun day injury: I fell hard on my knee while ice skating with my kids. I woke up the next day and could not bend my knee a centimeter without horrible pain. I had fluid under my kneecap which is easy to fix: stay off your legs and wait for it to go away. It took a month before I could try and run again, and many months before the pain went away. The problem is I had been maintaining my weight through exercise and had a terribly large appetite. When I couldn't run, I still wanted to eat the same amount. Not good! I gained 15 pounds when all was said and done and when you are only 5' 2" that is quite a bit of cellulite. Sigh. Its off now, I went back to eating gluten-free which really helps with my appetite, and don't exercise quite as much as I had been. I try to exercise 5-6 days a week but for only 30-50 minutes depending on the time I have.

So like everyone says moderation is key and that does not only mean for eating... it is also for exercising. Relying too much on exercise could backfire in the long run if the exercise is not sustainable. That is my non-professional opinion, lol, which is completely based on personal anecdotes.

- Nicole


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