I Stopped Exercising For One Year: Here’s What Happened

April 29, 2016 — 149 Comments

donut and scale

There’s a reason why the expression is gym “rat.”  It’s not gym “puppy;” puppies are adorable and cuddly. Rats are annoying.

For most of my adult life, I was a gym rat. I exercised every day; some days, for hours. I craved the endorphin high and the all-day energy boost. I loved being fit and strong. If I’m being totally honest – I also measured my self worth by how fit I looked.

My life revolved around the gym. I didn’t intentionally set out to make gym friends but only other people who make exercise such a priority can stand gym rats.

It’s no wonder. While the rest of the world was “aaahhh”-ing over their first sip of coffee, I was at grueling outdoor bootcamp classes. The crack of dawn found me running around Central Park in tights, holding a tire over my head. If an alien from another planet observed me from a far-off galaxy, they probably imagined I was some kind of AAA superhero.

“Flat tire on 86th street? Car Repair Woman saves the day!”

 

During my exercise mania days, I ate “clean” most of the time, which means, I stripped every bit of fun out of the experience of eating. Every day I ate grilled whatchamadingle with a side of steamed doojawockey. I removed sugar, alcohol and complex carbs out of my diet, along with the will to live.

I lifted weights. I trained with kettle bells. I climbed a zillion steps to nowhere on the stairmaster. I yoga’d and spun and kick boxed.

I set impractical and ludicrous fitness goals, like being able to do 20 unassisted pull ups. As my parting gift for this achievement, I received permanently jacked up shoulder joints. I have bone spurs in both rotator cuffs. It feels like tiny angry gladiators are spearing me right where my wings would attach to my body. If I had wings.

I’m supposed to get the spurs surgically removed, but I have to recuperate in a shoulder sling for months. It’s not really practical at this time in my life, or any other time for that matter, since I won’t be able to drive, eat, sleep or wipe my vag after peeing.

Over the years, I’ve injured every part of my body exercising. I’ve pulled muscles, pinched nerves and torn cartilage.

I sprained my asshole.

 

There were other downsides to being an exercise devotee. Going to the gym was time-consuming. Aside from exercising, there’s also getting changed, traveling to and from the gym, showering afterwards – it took up hours of my day.

I put more energy into my relationship with exercise than I did with a living human being.

 

A little over a year ago, I started to dread exercising. I could no longer bear the sight, sounds or smells of the gym.

So I stopped. I know exercise burn out when I feel it.

Playing exercise hooky freed up so much of my time that day, I was delighted. Was this what it felt like when you’re not a slave to the gym?

 

I didn’t want to stop exercising completely, so I took up walking. But when it was snowy or rainy, I skipped those days.

Once again, I marveled over all the extra time. Gradually, I just stopped exercising.

And then the dam…BURST.

I started eating junk food, stuff I hadn’t eaten in decades. Doughnuts, and candy bars, and cake. Carb-o-rama.

I gained 30 pounds. Of course, it bothered me immensely. But some extra weight settled in my breasts, which were finally bigger than a B cup. The last time that happened, Cujo the newborn was gnawing on them constantly. Now, I had a great, baby-free rack.

No one complained that I went from “waif” to “sturdy.” And the extra fat in my face was like taking a Black and Decker steam iron to some of my eye crinkles.

 

For several months I tried to burn fat just hating exercise, but it didn’t work. When I realized I was getting winded eating pancakes, I knew I had to start working out again.

I joined a gym near my house. The fitness director encouraged me to do some really extreme classes, but I declined. I used to measure the success of my workout by how much I wanted to puke. Nowadays, I have no interest in exercising to the point where I’m yakking in the ladies locker room.

I used to be hard-wired to enjoy the pain of exercise. In just a year, I managed to completely turn that around.

This has been such a paradoxical journey. On the one hand, I feel liberated. Those extra hours a day gave me more time to waste on the Internet write. Weekend mornings, instead of bolting out of the door to the gym, I hang out with my kid.

On the other hand – I worry about my health. My father died of a heart attack suddenly at age 46 – the age I am now. I think the the best way to avoid death is to become a moving target.

I’ve had to reframe my whole idea of myself. My identity was wrapped around being waif thin, and I’ve had to give that up. It hasn’t been easy, but to ease the pain of the transition, there’s cake. Mmmm, cake. 

I’ve started back slowly, going every couple of days. I do it only because I must. Exercise has lost its allure for me. The whole time I’m on the treadmill, feeling like a hamster on a spinning wheel, I’m counting the minutes until I can get home and back in front of my keyboard.

The only thing I seem to enjoy exercising these days is my mind.

 

Do you exercise? How do you stay motivated?
Is anything as good as cake? Talk to me. I’m listening. 

 

Join me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter  so I can have friends without leaving the house.

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149 responses to I Stopped Exercising For One Year: Here’s What Happened

  1. 

    I love you. And you’re totally still a skinny chick! And beautiful. 🙂

  2. 

    How do I stay motivated? I don’t. When you figure it out, let me know please…And you are gorgeous and sexy.

  3. 

    I’m a Zumba girl. I love the music and the dancing. Hate the treadmill. It’s good cardio and fun and you feel like you’ve been at a club (a stretch, but fun).

  4. 

    You’re really funny. And thank you for this rare but much needed perspective.You wont be able to wipe yourself after surgery? I winced. Thank you for being more kind to your body.

    • 

      It will be difficult to do anything with my right arm in a sling, but I can always ask a friend to help out…
      Thanks for stopping by, and commenting. xoxoxo

  5. 

    I’ve yo-yo’ed all my life with weight & exercise & all that mess. Lately when I wanna stop, I use a picture of me from my son’s graduation as motivation. It was the heaviest I had ever been.
    I looked like I swallowed several bowling balls. It was embarassing. I never wanna look like that again. I felt so scuzzy about myself. Sigh.

    • 

      I’m having so much trouble getting motivated! Like right now, I could be at the gym. But I’m writing, drinking coffee, and eating really good poundcake.
      I’m not leaving the house.

      • 

        It’s not easy. I was only motivated by self-loathing so…
        & Some weight loss was due to stress & illness so I totally cheated.

      • 

        Oh, sweetie. I’m sorry.
        Weight loss due to stress and illness, I call “trauma trim.” It sucks.
        love you, girlie. xoxo

      • 

        My best friend’s mom used to call it “the depression diet.” & Yes, it does suck. The ever-lovin’ life outta ya.
        Love you, puddinface. ❤

  6. 

    I’ve been to a gym once. Once! And that was enough. Fit people describe themselves as “a machine.” Uh, that’s not human… It’s really quite simple: be active, walk whenever you can, keep aging muscles conditioned (rake leaves, shovel snow, lift child), choose active leisure (sports, hiking, cycling), eat well, live forever. Oh, also have a very, very fast metabolism. That works for me!

    • 

      Raking leaves is a killer exercise! It’s an upper body workout, and cardio!
      Lifting a child is good exercise, but you know what’s even better? Beating a child!
      Please tell me you know I’m kidding, you and your “fast metabolism.” Hmph!

  7. 

    I love/hate working out. I love the way I feel afterwards and the fact that some of my clothes are starting to fit again. And I love a bikini. I refuse to give up my bikini. But I hate the time it takes when I’m already too damn busy. I HATE running but I get on the treadmill most nights. My other problem is I’m an evening workout person. I can’t do mornings. I have more energy at night but it’s my craziest time of day. I also look at it as an anti-aging thing. I want to be an active old lady, one of those crazy old ladies who wears tank tops and drops to do more pushups than my grandkids. 😉

    • 

      I love the way I feel afterwards too, but not enough to get me there. I’m just done, I think. Now I’ll just need liposuction.
      I’ve always worn a bikini, but I’m not sure anymore. My muffin top hangs out and over the top of the bikini bottom.
      On the other hand, I could probably hide an actual muffin in the fold of my belly. Gives new meaning to the expression “muffin top.”

  8. 

    I love the way you write.
    Just throwing that out there.

    I should send you my perfect exercise mix. I recorded it years ago and it’s my go to for staying power when I just don’t feel like exercising anymore. It gets me that extra little bit.

  9. 

    I’ve never understood the attraction for some men to humping what is essentially a handrail, so more power to you for living your life and adding some curves. Besides, you having more time in front of the keyboard is good for the rest of us, too 😉

    • 

      I might have told you this already, but while I was in Portland, I was eating so much my pants got super tight. While on vacation, I just bought BIGGER PANTS. I was not going to be in Portland, and deprive myself!

      Bigger pants is a solution, no pants is an even better solution. 🙂

      • 

        Portland definitely has some fantastic eateries. I was a chef at a restaurant in the Burnside district and used to trade meals with other chefs in the area. The food was amazing and never, EVER low cal. Although working pantsless would’ve probably been a health code violation…

  10. 

    I hurt my foot doing the devil’s plaything, I mean crossfit. Then my CF place closed last month. Tomorrow morning I’m starting over with Crossfit after a two month slob period. I have been doing a little running to get ready. But I expect to hurt and wheeze and hate everyone for a month or so until I get back to where I was.

    Since I’m happily married, I’ve decided to pay tribute to the previous horrible relationships I had before my wife by exercising like a crazy person because obviously I still hate myself.

    • 

      Ha! I used to call my pain level at the gym the “misery index.” The goal was to raise that index as high as possible.
      No more. I want to be healthy, but I’m not trying to achieve perfection. Not that I ever did.
      It’s futile. You can always be in better shape.

      By the way, you have the physique of someone in his 20’s. Just sayin’.

  11. 

    I signed up for a fucking mud race back in Janurary and it’s tomorrow. I haven’t ran AT ALL. This may be my last comment ever. I will die running 8 miles.

  12. 

    Great article- you tap into a larger problem here in the states, we over do everything. People in Europe don’t exercise like that. There are so many ways to stay fit without a gym addiction, for example- I do go to the gym, but when I work in my garden, I sweat more, spend more time and feel happier. So, perhaps it’s about finding happiness in physical activity…there’s also sex…lots and lots of sex…..

    • 

      There are many ways to get exercise without being a maniac in the gym! Unfortunately, I was never motivated enough to do them. I needed the gym.
      Now, I need to NOT be in the gym.

      Sex is the best cardio ever. True story.

  13. 

    “I think the the best way to avoid death is to become a moving target” – Baahaahaaa! So true! I go on the occasional grueling hike, but other than that I haven’t exercised in forever. I’ve been paying for my gym membership every month and I’ve only been once in the past year. I got on the scale the other day and was horrified — I had been in denial about what not exercising and eating whatever I wanted would do to me. So — today I brought my gym clothes to work and, if all goes as planned, I’ll hit the gym on my way home. Pray for me.

    • 

      I’m praying!
      I, on the other hand, am sitting here with coffee and another slice of pound cake and I’m soooo happy.
      I’ll workout tomorrow. No, really!

  14. 

    I did the very same thing. I used to work out daily, weights, aerobics, calisthenics… Then I experienced major heartbreak and depression, and it incapacitated me. The benefit of suffering was the extra time to devote to writing, but now I’ve gained weight and my wardrobe therefore keeps dwindling, and I need some balance. I need to at least get back into my walking routine and some weights, while still enjoying cinnamon toast. Thanks for sharing.

    • 

      Mmmm, cinnamon toast.
      Yes, I’ve had to buy much bigger clothes. Kind of sucks.
      I’m sorry about your heartbreak and depression. I hope you’re feeling better these days.

  15. 

    I’m actually at that point now. Last two years, I was getting up at 5 to do cardio every morning, even the weekend. But last two months, I’ve been opting to stay in bed. I can see the fat coming back!
    Do let me know if you hit upon a motivational mantra!

    • 

      Just the thought of waking up at 5 to do cardio exhausts me.
      And yet, I did that. For years. I don’t know if I’ll ever do that again. I really love sleep.

  16. 

    in my 30’s I used to exercise three times per week but gave that up after about 7 or 8 years

  17. 

    LOL…I know what you mean about that “orange light.”

    Seriously though, this happens. It’s the byproduct from going to an extreme.
    I used to weight over 200 pounds and had every eating disorder there is, so I know about the extreme thing.
    I lost my weight the right way and went into it as a profession. These days, I promote balance.
    Everything we do in life is about establishing balance – but to know balance, we usually have to experience the discomfort that erupts from extremes.
    I applaud you for sharing this. So relatable and honest.
    After spending time working out twice a day to lose my own weight, I knew I wouldn’t keep that up. It just wasn’t me – even as a profession.
    I had to ask myself “how can I avoid the all or nothing insanity?”
    To this day, I’ve done it through balance.

    Awesome post. I genuinely enjoyed reading this.

  18. 

    You are still gorgeous. Also, we have a couple of things in common. My right “wing” has issues. I haven’t seen a doctor about it yet. Some days are worse than others.

    My father died at 49 of his third heart attack.

    I exercise 5 times a week, eat semi-healthy, and have a drink about 5 times a week. I’m physically active, yet chubby.

  19. 

    I go through phases, but I’ve never been a push-it-really-hard type of gal. At the moment I’m in a swimming before work phase, three mornings a week, and currently I’m loving it, it makes me feel energised for the day. Hope I don’t get bored of it which is what usually happens with my phases. I don’t think it’s healthy to push yourself to the limit with exercise (or maybe that’s just my excuse for not pushing myself to the limit!).

    • 

      It’s not healthy for me, that’s for sure. If I get injured working out, I lose months. It’s counterproductive!

      I tried swimming. It’s a really safe exercise. But I was a real diva about getting my hair wet, and I didn’t like the chlorine on my skin.
      I need to live on the ocean, so I can just dive in every morning.

      • 

        Well I do live near the sea, but the sea around England tends to be rather cold, and I’m a real wuss with cold! So the only sea I usually swim in is when we go to a Greek island in the summer, and I love swimming in the sea there. I barely make it past my ankles in the English sea.

      • 

        In Puerto Rico, the ocean water was the temperature of a warm bath. It was lovely!
        I’ve never traveled to Greece, but this is making me want to go there. Plus, I love ouzo.

      • 

        The Greek islands are pretty cheap to go to from here. We haven’t been to the mainland, but we love the islands!

      • 

        The idea of traveling to the Greek islands is very cinematic to me.
        I picture myself, in a simple white cotton dress, alone at a table. Suddenly, a swarthy young man approaches, …
        You get the idea.

      • 

        And that’s EXACTLY what happens every time. That’s why I go back every year!

  20. 

    Staying at the Ronald McDonald house allows us to have free passes to the area YMCA, which is within walking distance. My wife had her follow up OB appointment last Tuesday and was given the go ahead. We’ve started slow, so far. Last night after visiting with the little one we walked to the “Y” and back. Today, we may go inside. She really likes to exercise, it allows her to blow off the steam from her depression and ex-husband. I go along because I need to, and I don’t want to get in trouble.

    • 

      Exercise is a natural anti-depressant, because of the endorphins. That’s one thing I miss for sure.

      Awww, the “little one.” How is she??

  21. 

    I’m actually not a huge cake person… I could easily skip it. If there’s pie. I love pie. 🙂

    And of course I’m glad you’re not injuring your wings or vomiting in bathrooms just for a pants size. I’m also glad you’re planning on moving around enough to live forever… you’re gonna live forever right?

    I do a weird yoga blend I’ve invented over the years. I never look fit, but when they threw me into fire fighting training, I could keep up, so I guess that’s good ‘nough. 🙂

    • 

      I LOVE pie. All kinds.

      And yes, I’m planning on living forever, if you will, too. I don’t want to be 150 years old and have no friends.

      I had NO idea you had fire fighting training. So you and Ned have something in common!

      • 

        A few things… we both have lived in Texas, both have worked inside an actual local newspaper, both have opened things with an axe, both married awesome people, and yep, we both did the firefighter training. 🙂

        And, deal. We’ll be disturbingly old best friends. 🙂

      • 

        Disturbingly old friends.
        Oh, how I love you 😊

  22. 

    This speaks to me in a bunch of ways — as a gym rat and runner who is currently recovering from rotator cuff repair surgery, including the removal of two bone spurs, among other things. Regularly, I would do two hours of cardio a day, and, oh, yea, that driving and showering time adds up into a 3+ hour to the gym. Yes, yes, yes. So now I’m walking. And I’m gaining weight. And unlike you, I wasn’t skinny to start with. But I love the attitude of this piece, of trying to figure out where the balance is.

    • 

      I know you’re recovering from shoulder surgery! Didn’t I read a blog post where you accidentally blew boogers on your glasses, and your husband cleaned it?
      That’s love.

  23. 

    I am an overly obese individual who has decided that my kids are far more important to me than eating a piece of cake or two…I have struggled for six years trying to find my way back into an exercise routine that I live doing. During that time I have done nothing but gain weight..to much cake over the years. However, this past October I decided to take the plunge and try my hand..er foot… at Martial Arts.

    It is exactly what I needed! It is something that I enjoy doing and it keeps me motivated in reaching my weight goals. I have almost lost 60 pounds with Taekwondo, it makes me feel great but not over worked and more importantly it makes me proud of me.

    I say find something that makes you feel the same way. Find something that pushes you, that motivates you, not to exercise but to improve yourself, your mind, and your body. That mindset will get you back to working out but not in a strenous “I have to go to the gym NOW or I will die!” mindset.

    • 

      Wow, congrats on the weight loss and discovering Taekwondo! It doesn’t feel like torture because you enjoy it.

      I want to be around for my kid. I get that. Good for you, Mom!!
      I need to find that magic *thing* that won’t feel like drudgery. Netflix doesn’t burn calories.

  24. 

    I’ve never been up to exercise and still haven’t really managed to get into it and be motivated. The only times I’ve been anywhere near motivated is when my weight jumped about 20 pounds more than it’d been my entire life, but I think that was mostly getting an implant. I think.

    Anyway, the only things I enjoy are walking and swimming (and swimming is hard to do on a regular basis when you live in the middle of nowhere with no access to a pool) so walking is better. I used to walk to town for lunch every day which added up to about a thirty minute walk. Now, I have to figure out when to leave the house and drive to a trail, but that’s not terrible either. :p I have kind of wished that I could have genetically enjoyed exercise or been athletic in any way, shape or form, but at least I have time for other things, like writing and gaming. 😛

    • 

      Some people are wired for exercise, right? I’m not, naturally. I made myself that way. I was a skinny, weak kid. I turned myself into a strong adult.

      I’m weak again, so I guess it goes in cycles? Anyway, is there any gaming that burns calories? It doesn’t look very passive.

      • 

        If you have a Wii or Xbox Kinect, I’d say there’s gaming that burns calories. 😛 Otherwise, probably not. Unless keyboard speed matters 😛

      • 

        My kid has both! I remember jumping around and playing Wii sports with him, but that was a long time ago.
        He has an Xbox Kinect dance game, and I guess I can do that. Why not? I’m already the neighborhood’s Weirdest Mom. This will just strengthen my title!

  25. 

    I love bicycling, but work always seems to interfere. I gained 150lbs between the ages of 35 to 54, but I’m 6’6″ so it was a voyage from twig to tank. I still miss being light on my feet and dancing 3-4 nights a week, but nature & gravity & capitalism are a dangerous mix for the over-30 crowd. I am trying to avoid wheat and keep other carbs down, but finding time for regular exercise…well, at least I get an occasional bike binge. That and read Bicycle Times every couple of months. It’s all a balancing act.

    • 

      It really is. I’m struggling to find the balance.

      I do like to bicycle, but I need a better bike if I’m going to put in serious miles. I like biking because you can go with someone, or in a group, so it can be a social event.
      Ha! Now I just need to make friends…

  26. 

    I used to jog three miles four times a week, but my dog developed hip problems. Now I do those T25 videos. I exercise just enough to keep my butt from getting too fat, but I admittedly love food too much to aspire to super skinny 😉

    • 

      I don’t know T25 – should I know it?

      Yes. I’m having a love affair with all the food right now. I’d rather eat cheese and crackers and drink wine that be skinny. Life is short.

  27. 

    I can’t do the gym. Lots of reasons a big one is because I don’t want to! I have done lots of workout videos at home since the kids came along. My favorite are Body Combat workouts because pretending to punch things to high energy music after the kids go to bed is VERY therapeutic! 🙂 Then I started capoeira which has never made me want to throw up from anything but nerves and is excellent all over strength and flexibility conditioning as well as lots of cardio as a bonus, we don’t ever run during class! 🙂

    Good luck with finding your new thing!

  28. 

    “The best way to avoid death is to become a moving target.” I like that. I took up running 6 years ago, but I’d hardly say I’m dedicated. Before my divorce I decided I was running a 5k, because my ex told me I couldn’t. I ran two. Placed in the second one. I’ve recently started running again – mostly for health and especially weight loss – all my life I’ve barely topped 115 and now at 46 I’m hating the extra 30 pounds I’m carrying around that won’t go away. And that god damn muffin top. It’s like God’s second joke on women. Alcohol doesn’t help my plight, either, but at least I forget about the extra weight after 2 glasses of wine.

    • 

      My muffin top, as I wrote in another comment, flops over enough to conceal an actual muffin in the fold.

      You know what? It’s hard to have gained 30 pounds, but there’s something empowering about the peace I’ve made with it.

      I’m not going to wild extremes to have a flat stomach. Fuck that.

      • 

        Me either. I don’t have the motivation. That and my thighs are always going to be flammable. Nothing can be done for it.
        Besides, alcohol.

  29. 

    You constantly amaze me.

  30. 

    I can totally relate, Samara! I’ve continued to exercise and I’ve gained weight. My doctor said eat half of what I usually eat and do twice the exercise. So crappy!! Hey, have you seen that drumming video going around? I thought of you when I saw it. Maybe that would be a good one to try I like exercising in groups. I can do the solo exercising, but not all the time. I need the motivation. 🙂

  31. 

    I was intrigued by your article because I am having the opposite experience. After my fourth child, I lost interest in working out. I was so stressed out all the time and had so little time to myself. Over the years, I lost the motivation for exercise and healthy eating. I knew I should do better, but I was too tempted by the allure of breakfast pastries and those extra cups of coffee. Then last weekend, my daughter and I went to a health and wellness spa for four days, and I tried lots of different exercises, walks, and hiking. I ate healthy food and felt great. I have brought a sense of well-being home with me and am determined to continue with healthier eating and consistent exercise. I guess the key for me is moderation. I will never be a gym rat, and I will never completely give up things I like, such as sweets, alcohol, and coffee. But I am more intentional about what I do. And I try to make my walks more enjoyable by listening to books or podcasts while I walk. Here’s to finding a happy medium that leaves us healthier and happier.

  32. 

    Samara I can relate to your story totally. The 120% commitment to some form of control followed by 120% commitment to throwing control out the window and going the other way. I was (am) an ACoN (Adult Child Of a Narcissist) and for me, making sense of it was discovering the control-release cycle of addiction.

    I’m not suggesting you have the same thing because mine was more ‘gym 120% for 3-4 months’ followed by ‘alcohol and drug bender to destroy my gym goals for a month’ so I could then wallow in my *real* addiction – letting go and accepting that I was a failure and broken and that was just the way it is. Glorious, reassuring, self-pity. Let me wallow in you. Until I feel like I am ready to try and be ‘normal’ again if only I can get that perfect body so people will love me….

    it was almost like a yoga mantra – “and control.,.. hold that control, hold it… a little longer this time… aaaaaand release… breath in that self pity… it’s your practise… make it your own… and back to resting pose…. aaannnnd control… hold it…”

    It’s worth looking at if you or any of your readers find it’s either all or nothing…

    • 

      I’m not the child of a narcissist, but I definitely have issues with perfection. Fitness is a great way to feel frustrated in your attempt at perfection, because it’s impossible.

  33. 

    Hilarious, I hooted with laughter reading your post, as did my GF and she never reads blogs.

    I was never much of a gym rat, but have had a few phases of working out/running obsessions, usually as an antidote to stressful life events. I also ended up with pain as a result of overdoing it.

    These days I mainly go for brisk country walks, and do a short home workout three times a week. Just enough to counterbalance my love of alcohol, Internet & TV. Well almost..

  34. 

    Damn, I’ve never been able to do even one unassisted pull up.

  35. 

    Oh I love this…gained 10 pounds since my knee forced me to give up jumping in any form. That’s on top of the 30 I was meaning to lose….ah well. You made me feel not only better but actually quite happy 🙂

  36. 

    A million times yes. I have dutifully exercised my entire adult life and guess what….still gaining weight….thank you mid 40s…..but that is life and a first world problem. I’m sure starving people would be thrilled to feel my level of fat for a day. I was also the skinny girl until kids came mid 30s and even after kids until 40-something now it is just a slow creep up. I have to make peace with it because I REFUSE to not eat and drastically increase my exercise. I work out 3 times a week at the gym 4 if it’s a really good week and that is enough.

    • 

      EXACTLY.
      I’m not giving up food. I’m not going crazy working out anymore.
      Life is way too short. At the Erma conference, they quoted her:”Imagine all those women on the Titanic, waving away the dessert cart.”

      You’re freaking gorgeous by the way. Whatever you’re doing works for you. xoxo

  37. 

    I go to gym (again) and love spinning.But I always thought that one gets better results from not doing sport every day and allowing a body to rest. Like doing sports every other day…
    I guess like in every other thing in life, balance is the key word. Like doing sports “only” twice a week for an hour or hour and a half is still enough if I watch the daily amount of the food I eat.
    So why not eat that cake and do some sports and call it a day.
    Treadmill IS boring. Is there anything what you really like to do like drive a bike, trekking, swimming? Two hours fast drive on a bike enjoying landscape would do it too

  38. 

    Totally relate to this. Lots of therapy for exercise addiction brought me back in balance, but now, like you, I have the opposite problem and need to do something for HEALTH. I do short yoga videos on YouTube — love love love Yoga with(or maybe by) Adrienne. She rocks my world — cool chick who preaches balance and finding what feels good. That’s my goal these days — to find what feels good. Currently that’s parking my ass on the couch and writing. Again, I need some balance. Great post. Glad it’s not just me who deals with this conundrum.

    • 

      Ahhhh, ass on couch feels SO good.
      But- I need to find balance, as you said. I used to love yoga. Maybe I can learn to love it again.

  39. 

    Oh, the memories! I tried to get back into exercising because the doc kept wanting to put me on Cholesterol and BP meds, but those can put you over the edge to diabetes, so I said, No. Too many horrible side effects. I pride myself in being this old and not tied to a bunch of meds like many my age are. The problem is staying motivated.
    I went to the gym last year, faithfully and even got a trainer and that helped. I ate clean and I got fit, but wasn’t losing weight. My cholesterol came down, but my good cholesterol went down further. Talk about discouraging. My trainer couldn’t figure it, so she added more calories and I finally started dropping but ever so slowly.
    I was the skinny kid until I had my fourth child and I was nearly 40 then. I am now the weight I was when I delivered my third child! I was 125 when I delivered the first one, but gained nearly 50 over that with the boys. To even get close to the first delivery weight seems unimaginable to me. Six months ago with the onset of Thanksgiving everything went to hell. I quit exercising and ate whatever. I didn’t gain much but muffin top tiers appeared. There’s that heaviness when I breathe feeling that’s no fun. So, back to clean. I want to do more with my life than exercise and I finally found the key to staying on track!! I just moved across the country so I have no friends to speak of so I introduced myself to a few people in my Zumba or weight class and told myself I have to go meet Marianne or Carol for Zumba at such and such a time and then I do weights for 1/2 hour after Zumba only. It gives me a time to shoot for and people to meet there. Everyone spoke with liked the idea. I no longer work, I’ll be 70 in a couple of months but don’t look it, my skin is still elastic so I want to feel as young as I look and exercising makes me feels good. Two or three times a week makes me feel good and I can walk on other days or ride my bike. I still like sex, no loooove sex but my hubby can’t handle every day anymore, so twice a week is as good as it gets. BTW in case no one has told you, sex everyday can burn up to 5 pounds a month! Or, is it a year? Hmmmm

    • 

      You’re a hot tamale! You’re 70 and want sex everyday? That’ll be me, for sure.
      Only I plan to be single, so I have far less of a chance of procuring it.

      You’re my second commenter in favor of Zumba. I may have to try it.

      • 

        What I like is that it’s a pretty good overall workout and because it’s at a set time. It forces me to get there and it’s fun.

  40. 

    I do my best to exercise for at least 25-40 minutes 6 nights a week. I recently went back to “clean eating” – using the 10-Day Grain Detox book to guide me. My appetite is currently minimal – though it might be stress from recent work events (last 2 blog posts; ugh). I almost fit into a pair of Time Out harem jeans I bought last year in a size 27… the “almost” made me happy.

    I actually have good recipes for cakey desserts and almond-butter blondies (EatingWell; Detoxinista and Elanas Pantry.com – her carrot cake with cream cheese frosting is fantastic!). I do have a soft spot for Tates Bake Shop gluten-free cookies…

    I do all these things since I’ve been Type 1 diabetic since age 12. Excess weight and lack of exercise destroy my health and up my requirement for insulin; which in turn makes me gain lots of weight. So I have some good reasons for finding ways to enjoy grain-free, clean-eating and regular exercise. The key is doing things that are fun for you; whatever those things might be. I also don’t have a great metabolism due to a Hashimoto’s thyroiditis so… you get it, right?

    • 

      Are those cakey dessert recipes low calorie, or a healthy version of dessert? Cake and other baked goods have become my weakness.

      It sounds like you have a lot of health challenges to deal with, and you do! Quite well!

  41. 

    I’m glad you did it and I’m glad you stopped. And I’m glad you’re getting back into it with a different mindset. I guess what’s great is that as your priorities have changed, you’ve been flexible about how you manage them.

    My latest attempt (in addition to walking, and getting back to the gym) is to not have starchy food in the evenings. We’ll see how it goes. I’m 2 weeks into exercise and a weekish into the diet idea and my jeans fit a TINY bit better (i.e. I don’t have to breathe in *quite* so far to make them button up…)

    • 

      Hey Lizi girl! You and I just commented at the same time. See below. Way too much hotness on this blog thread!

      • 

        Hahaha! Awesome! I’ve been lax in getting to anything cos I’ve been away this weekend…and hey, bring on the hotness, Hotberg 😉

    • 

      I don’t think I can give up any food. I really love food. I’m just going to add exercise to the equation, and that should at least take care of my cardiovascular concerns.

      I don’t bother with jeans. That’s how I deal with THAT.

      • 

        I don’t want to give up all food… but I want to make a good impression on my interview and I DON’T want to have to go clothes shopping because that is INTENSELY traumatic for me, mostly, and I end up all…wibbly. So…as I only seem to HAVE jeans…I gotta shift some flab 😉

      • 

        My thighs have become so wobbly, it’s scary. I have the thighs of an old lady. Ugh.

        I thought your NSFL (Not safe for Lizzi?) comment was hilarious! I just read Phil’s story and commented. I wish I had his motivation – or yours.

        You WILL make a good impression! How can you not??

      • 

        I have the thighs of a fat lady.

        NSFL – Not Safe For Lesbians 😉

        I will click over and read Phil’s story soon – I’ve been caught up getting back to my laptop and STILL have tabs open I’m working through BUT I’M GETTING THERRRRREEEE 😀

        And…I need to prove my aptitude which…ok I feel mostly pretty confident about but still, there’s a CHANCE it might all go wrong

        I don’t want to get cocky.

  42. 

    Ok, I have met you in the flesh. You’re hot and look great. Sure, it is tough staying motived within a fitness lifestyle, but for your long term health it’s worth the hours put in eating healthy and working out. Yes, have fun and cheat a bit on diet and booze, just in moderation. Find that balance.

    Don’t go overboard trying to lose weight, but be decicated and find that motivation to stick with it. My motivation was a disappearing penis –

    http://blog.theregularguynyc.com/life-can-be-cruel-when-you-cant-view-your-penis-anymore/

    Yes, I totally went there with my new blog post!

  43. 

    I love this post and feel your pain, sorta. I’m a runner. A quasi exerciser. I love the run and dread it all at once. I try to limit it to 12-15 miles per week and am fortunate in the way of frame but constantly dream of a ‘better’ one. I am praying through it though–time is not something I can get back and I am determined not to lose any more w/ my teen. Staying fit is important and I will always put forth an effort; I do want to have a healthy balance though (what is that?)! Thanks for sharing!

    • 

      Yes, a healthy balance is exactly what I’m striving for! I enjoyed this last year of going to the other extreme – it was my rebellion. But I have to find a comfortable middle. I want to be strong and healthy without being obsessed.
      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment! xoxo

  44. 

    If I were a really good follower, I would read all the comments and say something really witty. I’m not going to. I’ve found that I can stay in reasonably good shape if I eat 2,100 calories or less a day and walk 10,000 steps (I have a Fitbit). Really, this is only about 2-2.5 extra miles a day, which is easy to fit in. I give myself a pass once a week to eat cake, have a good restaurant meal, drink beer and wine, and generally blow the calorie budget, etc. Btw, a little fullness in a woman’s breasts isn’t a bad thing. One more thing, I really meant to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day yesterday.

    • 

      You seem to have mastered the balance I strive for. You have a sense of how many calories you can take in; you walk every day, and you allow yourself to “cheat.”

      That’s kind of where I want to be with it, but I seem to have temporarily traveled from one extreme to the other.

      And thank you, I had quite a nice Mother’s Day. xo

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. Balance in Life – 110 Pounds and Counting - May 4, 2016

    […] recently read an article that I wanted to share with you guys. Here is the link: I Stopped Exercising For One Year: Here’s What Happened. I read the article and found myself nodding and saying “yes!” to a lot of stuff in […]

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