I did a bad, bad thing

I stopped listening to myself. I let myself be seduced by the siren’s call of a fat loss guru who says that a full-body weight workout three times a week (plus 20 minutes of bike intervals) and 30 minutes of exercise the other days of the week is enough to get and/or stay in shape.

Not so. Not for me, anyway.

I should have known better. After all, I lost many, many pounds by walking an average of four miles a day, every day. With weightlifting at least three days a week. I kept pounds off the same way. It’s what works for me.

How did I get confused? I know my physiolgy and biochemistry didn’t just up and change. The laws of energy-in, energy-out didn’t change. I think the problem is that I see the possibility in so many things. I know there’s no single best way to exercise. New ideas intrigue me, and I like trying them. I am my own guinea pig.

But this is one experiment that did not work, and will not be repeated. Fortunately, I have been adhering to my rule about having at least one objective way of keeping tabs on body weight. That can be a tape measure, body fat calipers or a scale. Lately, I’ve been using the scale…and there came a point where I had to say to myself, “Errr…those few pounds are not just from water retention. If they were, they would have gone away by now.”

No real harm done. I’ve nipped the winter weight creep in the bud before it became necessary to buy bigger pants. I started back in on daily walks a week ago, and the situation is already well on its way to being resolved. Yoga is the real victim in this scenario. Time is limited, and more time spent walking means less time doing yoga. Boo hoo, but what can you do?

I know some types of yoga can burn some serious calories, but not the kind of yoga that I like to do. Walking just gives me more bang for my buck when it comes to physical health, and for mental health it’s six of one, half-dozen of the other. Yoga mellows me out, but so does walking. It probably helps that I walk outdoors, not on a treadmill, and that about half of my main route is along a lake, with cute waterfowl and such.

So, the moral of this story, dear readers, is know thyself. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try new things, but don’t feel that you can’t just stay the course if that course has made you happy and healthy. Also, if you give full effort (be honest, here) and a little bit of time to a new eating or exercise plan, but you just don’t like the results you’re getting, don’t consider yourself a failure. There are many paths…one of them is right for you.

Learn more about walking for weight loss from this WebMD article.