A friend of mine and I were talking about diet and exercise obsession and our propensity of late to obsess over food or workouts, and really get crazy on diets or perfecting a workout plan. For me, food obsession, orthorexia, etc., are not new. However, I really haven’t lost weight SINCE and that’s something I’ve been grappling with and trying to understand better. Was my relatively easy, unfocused weight loss a fluke of my twenties or a product of being more aware of the food I put in my body, making overall better but not obsessive choices, and working out or resting as my body said to?

I’ll probably never know.

But as we were reflecting, I remembered how the diet and exercise world was when I tried to lose weight the first time, at the end of 2002/beginning of 2003. I didn’t know anyone on any specific diets. After I started being aware of my diet, which was “eat less than I was,” I remember people talking about I think it was the South Beach Diet. I might be wrong, but all I remember is several women at work were on this diet, and they were all miserable. One was eating a snack cake from the vending machine as she was talking to another woman about it. Another woman went on a super extreme diet, and I remember she could eat five French fries once a week. And she’s like, “Five fries. FIVE! I eat five fries in a bite!”

Meanwhile, I was just eating less, not talking about it, and not even seeing I was losing weight. And you know what else? Not a single person mentioned my weight loss as it happened. Now? I bet once a week I hear someone asks someone else if they’ve lost weight. And I’ll admit, I’m more aware than ever of the size of people around me. Everyone wants to know what others are eating, or how much, or how little, or what workout they’re doing, or how often, or where they do it. And now people are obsessing over each other’s body sizes. It’s too much.

I believe I started running sometime in 2003. And after running for awhile, I found out there were races. I decided I wanted to try running a race. And I could not find a soul who wanted to go to these races with me. Not a single person. The races were small. And people showed up, ran, supported each other, and left. Now there are huge races, and while there were costumes at Halloween races in the early 2000s, it was also really average to just show up in shorts and a tee and run. Now a 5K race is some sort of fashion show, and a 5K isn’t even interesting enough if someone isn’t getting chased, jumping over or off of, or into something, or something isn’t on fire. People are asking me to do races all the time. When I was first lifting in 2002, most women around me thought fitting was for men, and it was boring, and of course, I’d get bulky. If I wanted to workout with someone,I usually had to find a guy friend. Now Crossfit is a thing, and I see lifting competitions all over. Most of the women I know now are lifting weights, which is great. But they’re also doing HIIT or something else intense with it. And a more extreme version of cardio that started out as 10-20 minutes are now often stacked to three sets of 15-20 minutes. Boot camps used to be Friday evening gym workouts that had a lot of variety. Now they’re these, let’s see who pukes first money making adventures outdoors. Then add on rucks and other military -based workouts, and I don’t even know the world I live in now. 

I’m ready to take it back to the start:

  1. Eat less – on average, eat fewer calories than I was eating on average before
  2. Workout – workout 4-5X a week doing workouts I enjoy that improve my skill set (strength, endurance, etc.)

That’s it. Stop trying to do a specific diet. I know when I’m eating too much. Eat too much less often. I know when I’m not moving enough. Move more often than not enough.

And stop spending spare time trying to find a trick. Sleep instead.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jennewby71
    Jun 17, 2017 @ 00:07:20

    Perfect! Eat a little less, move a little more. That really is the trick. I’ll join you! I need to do both those things way more consistently than I do. We got this!


  2. jennewby71
    Jun 17, 2017 @ 10:59:41

    Oh and I forgot to add: it’s MUCH easier losing weight in your 20s vs 35+. I don’t know how old you are but I swear 35 was the turning point for me. Everything became harder. And 40….well, you’re metabolism takes a dive! And then it just goes down from there. So the more active you are or stay in your 35+ years, the better!


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