ConfusingI was talking to someone that commented that they understand why exercise is addictive.  She had been exercising for 5 weeks and saw great results.  I don’t think that it’s addictive, but I understand the feeling you get when you exercise consistently and see results.  You feel so much better that you don’t want to stop.  The opposite can happen when you don’t see results.  You feel like giving up.

Someone once told me that I was obsessed with exercise.  The reality is that it just seemed like I was exercising all the time, because I work full time and have to fit it in when I have time.  I sometimes do 10-15 minutes of strength training in the morning before work.  I try to walk on my lunch when the weather is nice.  Then at night I sometimes exercise while dinner is in the oven or after dinner.  I break up my exercise throughout the day, so I can fit it in.

You need to find a healthy balance between not enough exercise and too much exercise.  When you are trying to lose weight it’s easy to overdo it with exercise.  You may want to lose weight quickly, so you work out excessively.  This can be counterproductive.  Not only will it cause exhaustion and injuries, but it could raise your cortisol (stress hormone) levels, which cause your body to store fat.  Too much exercise could also make you give up because it’s just too hard.

I’ve also had people tell me I’m a health nut.  When did eating healthy become a bad thing?  I don’t think I’m a health nut.  I try to eat healthy most of the time, but I know there’s always room for improvement.  I also have my weaknesses.  Chocolate desserts are one of them.  It’s hard to resist some things.  The important thing to remember is that if you give in to your temptations once in awhile, it’s not the end of the world.  One dessert won’t derail your weight loss goals.  Don’t beat yourself up.  Just get back on track with eating healthy.  The same thing applies to exercise.  When you miss a day or even a week or more of exercise, don’t give up.  It takes more than a couple of weeks of no exercise to lose all that you’ve worked for.

You also need to find the balance between not eating enough and eating too much.  If you don’t eat enough, your metabolism doesn’t function properly and your body stores fat as a way to protect you in case there is a food shortage.  If you eat too much your body stores the extra calories as fat.

What you eat is just as important as how much you eat.  Your body digests healthy foods differently than unhealthy foods.  Foods with a lot of sugar or trans fat will store more fat than healthy foods with the same amount of calories.

The key to losing weight is to find the balance of all these things.  That’s why losing weight can be difficult.  Many people focus on just one of these things or they haven’t found the right balance.  Losing weight is a work in progress.  You just need to keep making adjustments and stick to it.  It’s normal to want to see fast results, but remember, the more slowly you lose the weight, the more likely you are to keep it off.  Good luck and stay on track.