Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Weight Loss Myth

I blew a myth in the last two months, and I’m not pleased by it. I’ve been a subscriber to health magazines for year (I know, you wouldn’t know it by looking at me), and an enthusiast for tidbits of health wisdom. 

A couple of years ago I read some study that showed that those who consistently walk 10,000 steps a day or more will lose weight without adding anything else to their routine, such as dietary changes or aerobic exercise. Dog doody!!!

For two months now (just looked on my calendar, and I started this on May 4th), so for 2 months now, I have made it my goal to keep my step count up. Starting at 9,000 steps a day, I quickly worked up to a daily goal of 10,000, which I’ve now kept for over a month.  Legs were sore for the first three weeks. Energy level increased noticeably, But, and this is a big fat rhino butt, no weight loss. None! Not a single pound shed.

Okay, I understand that in compensating for my increase in activity (I was averaging about 4,000 to 5,000 steps a day before May), I ate with no restraints and no restrictions. Not a good idea. With that in mind, I’m greatly surprised that I did gain any weight. But I’m still 170. Yes, I am 170 and wear a size 14, which is 2 sizes higher than a year ago and 3 sizes higher than what I want to be wearing. Sure, I can wear most size 12’s and even a few 10’s, but 14 is my comfy size.

Back to the busted myth. I can not simply increase my steps and lose weight. I came to that realization and am very disappointed by it. Now what do I do? The definite need for a plan is apparent. I need to eat better and less. Drink more water and make the occasional alcoholic beverage even more scarce. Plus exercise in some sort of aerobic way.

I’m starting to figure out that the truth is that there are no secret tips or strategies for weight loss and health increase other than a proper diet and consistent aerobic exercise. That’s the secret.  Why would I think that hard work, proper planning and self-restraint are necessary for any life change? Silly me.

So today, to kick off my two month weight loss failure, I made a plan. It’s not a complex plan, but a plan nonetheless.

Every Day:
Walk/run 30 to 40 minutes (increase to an hour in the winter with the nice weather)
Eat 3 balanced meals
Drink 8 glasses of water or my homemade herbal tea

At Least Every Other Day:
Get in a little swimming in the summer, fall & spring

How do I fit this into my busy crazy life of homeschooling, running too many activities, and trying to be superwoman? I don’t know. I guess I’ll just have to find the time. Run and walk with the boys outside playing. They certainly can use the hour outside. Swim with the boys – they would love that! Yoga at night instead of retiring to bed early or in the morning instead of goofing off on the net.

I give myself a 2 month goal, working on fitting the exercise in first, and then seriously improving the health quality of what I cook: lower fat and less sweets. I need to realize that food can be good for you and tasty rather than just tasty.

I have my goals, I’m off to a good start (just got done with 45 minutes of alternating between walking and jogging), and I’ll see where this adventure leads to.


  1. Woo-hoo! We will keep each other motivated. Think I better get my pedometer back out, too.

  2. Awesome, Sara! I know I often need the motivation.

  3. A speaker at the BRHerb Society meeting a few months ago (Karen Dantin, M.D.) said we need at least half our body weight in ounces of water a day, plus twice as much as any caffeinated beverage. IOW, if, at 250 lbs, I had 12 ozs of cola today, I would need 125 oz of water, plus an additional 24 oz to compensate for the diuretic effects of caffeine.

  4. Actually by eating the same amount in 6 smaller meals you are more likely to lose more. This is due to sugar levels being consistent :) BTW, Dr. Dantin is my Dr. :)