I took a break from the gym

Well, to be more specific, I took a break from working out last week. A whole week. It was…good. I found that I’d been working so hard to exercise almost every day for the last month or so, and not seeing any results (I’ll get more into that in a minute) that I was dreading my workouts. Just flat-out, panic-inducing dread. I didn’t want to go and thinking about going was making me panic and start down a spiral of depression. So I didn’t go. Upside: Less dread in my daily routine. Downside: I tend to get physically depressed when I don’t exercise regularly.

I spent some time reflecting on what was going on with my headspace and I think part of the problem was I have been tracking my food and exercise religiously in MyFitnessPal.com. Good, right? Good if you have a normal metabolism. Unfortunately, my metabolism is borked (that’s a technical term). I don’t get to eat as many calories as a normal person of my size, so what was happening was I was looking at the results on the app, and it would tell me I had, for example, 635 more calories that I could eat one day, so I would think, “Heck, I better eat them! I love food! Why wouldn’t I?” Then I would eat more because the app said I could. But no, 1535 calories per day is not a maintenance amount for me, I actually gain at that level. EVEN WHEN I EXERCISE EVERY DAY. So using the app was actually backfiring. And it was super frustrating because every day it would say, “If every day was like today you’d weigh (X=10 pounds below my current weight) in 5 weeks!” But I was eating like that every day, and I wasn’t losing, I seemed to be gaining!

So yeah. If you have a stupid metabolism like mine, the standard Base Metabolic Rate calculations simply don’t apply. And that sucks.

So that’s been a bummer. I wrote an article about combating depression, because it’s something that I often have to manage as strictly as I manage my weight. Sometimes being alive is really annoying and complicated, but it still beats the alternative. I hope you find it worthwhile. Let me know, here or there, if you do. And have a great week.

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3 Responses to “I took a break from the gym”

  1. beanolc Says:

    I can’t remember if you’ve addressed this before, but what’s the best way to find out the right amount of calories?

    • Laina Says:

      Well, there’s a formula that seems to work for most people pretty well. The results it gives me are always proved by experience to be too high though, so I was tempted to answer your question with “Trial and error.”

  2. Caron Says:

    I actually lose weight easier when I don’t exercise. I’m not sure why that is, but it isn’t a good excuse so I keep exercising. Weight Watchers gives us exercise points and encourages us to eat them. I’ve never ever done that because I have found, after 12 years of maintenance, what works for me. Exercising so that I can eat more doesn’t work, but I know lots of people who do it successfully. Go figure. Sigh.


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