Wednesday, January 7, 2015

It's All Good-Balancing Eating and Exercise

-Do not give one or two hours of your precious time to the gym exhausting yourself. (THM The January Trap note)

I realize that I am sticking my neck out here by saying that I am not the biggest fan of Trim Healthy Mama.

I am not the biggest fan because of their rather derogatory attitude towards exercise.

I realize that I pulled one statement out of their January note. It is not the heart or focus of the note. But, it is consistent with the message in their book. I know. I read the majority of the book. They say something very similar in the preface or first chapters of the book. (I can't quote the exact page number, as I do not own the book. I only borrowed it from my library).

Everyone will tell you that eating less and healthier AND exercising is the key to losing weight and maintaining weight loss. My question is, "why would it be any different with THM and their diet/way of life?"

I cannot argue with the results of THM. It works. And it illustrates that you can lose weight without spending the equivalent of Biggest Loser hours in the gym.

I also know that there is no way to exercise yourself out of a horrific diet-unless you are Michael Phelps and eating 12,000 calories a day while in training. Then, you pretty much can eat anything. But, obviously there are still good calories and bad calories.

My point is that balancing exercise and eating has worked for me. Moderation has worked for me. And for most of the other people I know who have lost weight and maintained their weight loss.

So, please don't downplay my results. My results that have lasted for 17 years. Through 4 pregnancies with their resulting weight gain and weight loss. (I'm still waiting to see the durability and sustainability of THM. I have not seen any testimonies {which doesn't mean they don't exist} of anyone who has done THM for more than a year or two.)

Don't imply that exercise is a bad way to use our precious time. Maybe it is the best way to use our precious time-in the time slot we have allotted to it.

Don't imply that exercise only leaves exercisers exhausted. That's simply not true. If it was, there would be a whole lot less of us who did it.

Just because it's not your thing, don't put it down.

Don't sniff at my gym time and I won't sniff at your recipes, theories, ingredients or grammatical errors.

Regardless, I don't exercise to lose weight. I did. When I first dropped 40 pounds, it was through both diet and exercise changes. Now I exercise to maintain my weight.

And I exercise to challenge myself. The things I've done-the races I've run, the distances I've run, the triathlons I've completed-they give me confidence that I am stronger than I'd like to think. I can go farther-in exercise and in life.

I exercise to make myself strong. To keep my heart strong. To develop muscles.

I exercise because it raises my endorphin levels and thus makes me feel happy. Exercise has vastly helped my moods. If I am feeling blue, a good sweaty session makes me feel much better. Every time!

I exercise because it gives me time to think. Which gives me things to write about. (like the merits of exercise)

I exercise because it increases my energy. It does not leave me feeling exhausted. It does make me a good tired. Like I've earned a nap. Exercise helps me sleep well at night.

I am not an exercise fanatic. Not by a long shot. I swim, bike and run. During the school year, that all adds up to way less than 5 hours a week. During the summer, I am a whole lot closer to 12-15 hours per week.

I understand that young moms are busy and they really don't have the time to spend exercising hours and hours every day.

But, I think it is a travesty to downplay the benefits of exercise. I think it is a travesty to not realize that it is good to do both-eat healthy and exercise.

Moderation is going to work every time, with every diet or life style change. Ask yourself-what is sustainable? What can I do forever?

Which is why I am now pulling on my running tights, my mittens, my hat, my scarf and my shoes, and I am heading out for a run in the 12 degree blustery weather in my neck of the woods.

Because, it's all good. And it's all necessary. And you really should wonder about someone who says something different.

Like Solomon said, there's no new thing under the sun...