Monday, August 10, 2009

Apparently I Don't NEED to Exercise . . .

I've been reading more and more about exercise lately. I'm mainly looking for loopholes in the space-time continuum that forces me to sweat to actually reach my weight loss goals.

There is good news and bad news. First, as customary, the BAD news . . .

It seems that the ONLY way to really lose weight is to take less calories in AND to put more calories out (exercise). This, of course, includes gastric bypass surgery (I cut about 5,000 calories per day from my diet in the first few months after surgery and walked and worked out more in the month after surgery than I had in the years prior to).

I WAS bumming about this until I read this article in Time magazine!

If you are too busy or later to read the whole thing (and you probably are if you are an exercising FOOL like me) . . . according to the fine folks at Time (a once very relevant news outlet that is now mainly important in dentist offices and fodder for FM radio morning shows) exercise is NOT important to weight loss. It might actually HURT weight loss.

Here is the hook though (before you throw away your work out DVDs and put your air-dry laundry back on the treadmill) . . . the argument is that when you exercise you get hungry which, as a stupid, obese human (and we are all at least one of the three) makes you go out and binge eat following a work out.

No, really, that is the argument (in an overly simplified nutshell).

The argument fails to acknowledge nutritional awareness, will power or a general reasoning that not everyone eats more when they start working out. Many fitness nuts (and we all know how much I hate the fitness "nuts" so forgive me for giving them props here) are crying foul on this article. There is a very nice rebuttal on one of my favorite running sites. You can read it here.

I will NOT be getting out my soapbox here but I will rattle my three loud, rusty and weighty chains once again . . .

1 - Don't tell me what I am and am not capable of or what I will (or will not do) based on my obesity. I DO have a snack after I work out (usually between 75 and 100 calories and always with at least five grams of protein) and I don't worry about putting 100 calories back in to a body I just took 400 - 500 calories out of and I have NEVER (since my surgery (smile)) binged after working out. Sure. When we lived in Baltimore I would frequently stop at a McDonald's on my way to the gym and a different McDonald's on my way home but that was hundreds of pounds, five years and a lifetime ago.

2 - I got myself fat and I'll get myself skinny. Will power is what I always lacked. Okay, okay - technically it was more a "self love" that would have empowered me to want to be thinner, healthier, happier and more productive but we'll call it will power since will power is that final, abused, do-as-your-told "gate keeper" between me and a drive-thru window or a dozen Swiss Cake Rolls and some chocolate milk). I have found will power. It was inside the blubber. I still chose when to use it (not around food but more in terms of my filthy mouth and my emotional outbursts) but it is very much here and in tact.

3 - I'm fat not stupid. STOP with the stupid advice, the fad diets, the get-thin-quick crap and the other things that just distract me from the truth and the pursuit of physical betterness. Gastric Bypass is not "easy." The Atkins Diet does not empower long-term weight-loss success. I DO need to exercise if I want to lose weight and be healthy. I am only now starting to look good in horizontal stripes. Penny loafers are NOT only for old men and bankers. I am on to all the advice, the tips, the bologna and the misinformation. Don't tell me ANYTHING will be easy. Let me find out how hard it is (or is not) on my own.

Okay - so I ranted and got on my soapbox a little (a LOT) but please, people, if you are reading Time magazine and considering if you should or should not exercise after your root canal please - for the love of yourself - put your sneakers on and break a sweat (once the pain killers wear off, of course).

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