Exercise or illness? Make a decision.

It’s Monday.  Thought I’d stop by for a quick update and a few thoughts.  I am Day 5 into my two-week-no-bread-challenge, and HOLY HEADACHE, BATMAN.

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While there are other factors at play here, like hormones or the absolutely INSANE shifts in weather in the Northeast over the last few days, I know that the diet changes are continuing to affect my body.  I also know this will pass.  For lack of a heating pad at the office, I filled up a water bottle with hot water and stuck it behind my head for awhile.  It worked wonders, I suggest it for others who suffer from tension headaches and shoulder pain.  Just make sure it’s a sturdy bottle and the water isn’t too hot so it doesn’t melt and/or burn you!

Besides that, my body is adjusting well and I’ve managed to drop a few of the holiday pounds, finally.  I’ve also noticed a marked difference in my asthma symptoms, as well as my hip pain.  Sugar is a major source of inflammation, so cut the sugar, cut the inflammation; and with that, comes less pain.

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Speaking of pain…

Exercising.  I hate it.  I mean, I HATE IT.  I don’t hate moving, I don’t hate having an active, busy, hard-working day -but I do hate intentional exercise.  It’s just so boring to me.   I have yet to find an activity that makes me want to go back to it over and over again.  Not to mention, I have a bum hip, so I have to be careful what I do and how much.  This morning, I found a short,  low-impact workout on YouTube that I did just to get my blood moving in the morning.  I work a desk job, so I don’t have much opportunity to move during the day, so 10 minutes in the morning is helpful.

I know what you’re thinking: “She’s using her job as an excuse, you can exercise on lunch, go for a walk, etc” or “10 minutes?  You have to PUSH YOURSELF!”  Well here is where I would like to address a few elephants in the room about being fat and exercising.

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  1. There’s a difference between being “a little out of shape” or “needing to drop a size” and being obese.  Friends, I am obese.  My current weight as of this morning is 293 pounds.  While that is a significant improvement over the 325 I was when I started this journey, it’s still fat.  And while pushing oneself hard to achieve a goal is necessary, there are just some things that a 295-pound body can’t do without the fear of injury.  So I gotta take it slow.  Jumping in too far too fast can lead to permanent injury, even a heart attack.  The goal here is small changes, a little at a time.  Injuring myself any further is counterproductive to moving more.
  2. As the quote in the main image says, if you don’t exercise, you get sick.  While in my case, it may not be a life-threatening disease, there are certainly issues that come from being fat for a long time and not exercising – like my aforementioned bum hip and my asthma.  Until I drop some weight and get stronger, I have to deal with my current situation and make modifications to the kinds of exercise I can do.  So I walk, or do beginner exercises, or lift some light weights, until such a time that I have at least moderately reversed the effects of not exercising.  Then I can focus on making sure those things don’t happen again.
  3. Fat people sweat.  While someone who is 120 pounds can take a brisk walk on their lunch break without looking like they just ran the NYC Marathon, that is not the case with me.  I’ve tried.  If I go for a walk fast enough to get my heart rate up like the light cardio I did this morning, I come back looking like I took a shower in my clothes.  Throw in my 38-year-old hormones and it’s a recipe for disaster. This does not work well while I am at work.  I don’t need to be a fashion plate, but I do need to look presentable, and drenched in sweat does not equal presentable.  So, my FitBit buzzes every hour to remind me to go for a walk, and I do.  I take a short walk, slow and easy to protect my hip, and then come back to my desk. It allows me to move throughout the day without the sweat issue.
  4. Exercise does not have to be a “workout routine.”  You can get your heart rate up and burn calories by doing everyday things more frequently, and more intensely. Organize the garage.  Do some gardening.  Scrub the kitchen floor the old fashioned way – on your hands and knees.  While this may not work once I’m down to the “just a little overweight” category, at 295 pounds, I burn a heck of a lot of calories doing ANY strenuous activity.  My fellow obese friends, do not stress about joining a gym or taking an aerobics class or whatever.  Just get moving.  I know from personal experience that being fat makes you tired, depressed, and without motivation.  Because of this, my house was usually messy, and my car was usually messy, and then I would look around and get depressed, and then I would eat.  Vicious cycle.  Recently, I’ve been taking the extra time to clean things the right way, take things upstairs instead of letting them pile up, cleaning out my car on a regular basis, and scrubbing things that need it, among other things.  The burned calories add up, and the activity boosts metabolism. Plus, my house and car don’t look like a landfill.  WIN!  About 90% of weight loss is food-related. Exercise is the icing on the cake, and necessary for good heart health, mood, and overall well-being.  So please, don’t think you can sit around all day and still be healthy – but also don’t feel like you have to spend all kinds of money on gym memberships or workout DVDs or aerobics classes.

Regardless, you have a choice.  Exercise or illness.  Movement or stagnancy.  Focus on food, but supplement with movement, and you will become mroe and more healthy every day.

Those are just a few things I wanted to address about what it’s like just starting out when you’re obese.  I’m sure there are more… please feel free to comment below! It’s not easy to get in shape and be healthy regardless, but add all those pounds and years of inactivity, and it makes it all the harder.  But God gave us the power and self-discipline, and that’s what it takes to succeed on this long road to health.  He wants us to succeed and be the best we can possibly be, and he gave us everything we need to do just that.  We just need to pray, and remain in the Word, and set our sights on things above… and we will succeed.

I found a great Pinterest board from Barb Raveling – Author of “I Deserve a Donut – And Other Lies that Make you Eat,” among others.  It’s a bunch of wonderful Christian resources for weight lost, health, and food addiction.  Check it out!

In the meantime, join me in praying for the strength to soldier on.  If you have any prayer requests or other unspoken hardships of fatness, please comment below!

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God bless and good health.

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