If we can’t see something happening, we aren’t happy. That’s why people are so enchanted with watching their weight drop on the scale. That they can say, “Look, Martha, I dropped five pounds!”
Even when they start to feel better, notice their pants getting looser, they still run to the scale for validation that what they are doing is working, and sometimes, despite the obvious fact that their body shape is changing for the better, a lack of reduction on the scale will cause them to quit in despair. This usually within a week or two. LOL
That’s funny because people who get in shape and stay in shape are in it for the long haul. They find activities they like, running, biking, swimming, hiking, whatever, and if they choose they do weight lifting. I personally love weight lifting. Nothing but weights has ever made a significant change to my appearance. I can do aerobics until I’m blue in the face but my body doesn’t change, but give me a set of dumbbells, and look out!
If you are getting started or thinking about getting started on a weight lifting program for weight loss, remember, it takes at least six weeks of steady, consistent work before you can expect to see a result – some people will see a difference much sooner, some will not, but give it six weeks before you start crying that you aren’t seeing any difference. Most likely you’ll notice your clothes fitting better, your watch or rings getting looser, you may even see a loss in your face or hands. Weight comes off from all over, not just the places we might prefer.
I just started using our new DDR (Dance, Dance, Revolution) game and I love it. I’m a bit of a klutz though and I discovered I have lousy timing. It’s fun though, and what I noticed right away was I kept saying, “Okay, I’m going to quit, just one more time,” and then I’d do one more time, and I’d say, “Okay, just one more,” and over and over I did this. I didn’t really want to stop I just had other things I needed to do. It’s addictive in that you’ll want to get better. Plus, it’s hard work. I can feel it in my muscles today.
If you have kids, tell them about DDR – There is no better game for teaching a motor skill and getting movement at the same time.
I’ve only used the game twice but I was already checking to see whether I can notice a difference in the mirror. Not yet, but soon…
So no matter what you are doing for fun or exercise, give it time to do the trick. Consistency is the key – do it regularly and you’ll soon see a difference.
Today I came across Tanya Jessen’s story and how she eventually lost 95 pounds playing DDR. Awhile back I’d mentioned hearing about Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) after seeing a clip on TV about a girl who’d lost a lot of weight playing a video game.
Ever since, I’ve wanted to try DDR myself but my husband is being a bit of a prig about it. Seems he thinks I spend a wee bit too much money on every whim that comes my way. Where’s he get such ideas? Anyway my enthusiasm must have worn him down because he said he’d go rent it for me today.
If your kids already have a PlayStation, PlayStation 2 or XBox go down today to the video store, rent DDR and try it for yourself. What have you got to lose except some weight?
Are You Willing to Make a Change?
You can get into whatever shape you want, if you’re willing to do what’s required. Professional athletes are strict in their diets and exercise plans during their on-season (you’ve seen off-season athletes). Being strict with their intake is part of the process, and they just do it. Look at actors who have to lose a lot of weight to play a starving person in a role. They do it, because they’re paid millions of dollars to do so (makes it easier, I’ll bet), but it still would be difficult – and frankly I wouldn’t want to risk screwing up my head in that way, but it is their job and they do what they must do.
Bodybuilders are another good example because you’ve probably seen what can be done with a fairly rigid clean-eating plan, and consistent resistance exercise. You can whittle your body into whatever shape you want, but first you must decide to what extent you are willing to go.
What is a Clean Diet?
Clean eating or a clean diet is simply eating whole foods with little or no additives, fruits, vegetables, grains, steamed fish and chicken, little or no gravies or sauces, etc. Just clean. Little or no fast foods, and little or no processed foods. They do eat lots of protein powders and food bars though (not really clean, but they need the added calories, and frankly they get sick of having to eat all the time).
So what are you willing to do? If you find you’re not even willing to get started, then okay, you’ve made a conscious decision that you are okay where you are. Be okay with that. Stop giving yourself such a hard time about a decision you’ve made. Either make a different decision or get off your own back.
I’m into the fourth week of a consistent weight lifting program. I’ve been trying for the last two years to get something consistent going and I’ve been telling myself I don’t have time, it’s too hard to do it in the afternoons, I can’t get up earlier, etc. All these reasons why I can’t were keeping me from accomplishing what I said I wanted. Now I’ve found a way that I can do it, plus amazingly I seem to have more time in the process!
I call it Kathryn’s Amazing Multi-tasking Exercise Program and here’s how it works: If you’re familiar with weight lifting you’ll know that you must take a short rest between each set — 1 min or so is okay, sometimes 90 seconds. During that time most people just sit and look around. If you’re at home, this is partly why weight training seems so boring as there is just nothing to look at. Nothing to distract you for those few seconds.
My old schedule worked like this: 6:AM up, 6:15 – 6:30 working on website (morning routine). 6:30 – 7:00 goofing off, reading e-mail, following links, checking out software, reading some news, morning rant, etc. 7:00 – 7:15 breakfast while still doing above at computer. 7:15 – 7:45 more goofing off, until I realize it’s time to get dressed, and now I’m rushing around to put on makeup, find clothes, get my things together. Whew. It’s busy, right?
Now, my new plan is thus: I still get up and work until 6:30 AM at which time I grab my makeup kit and go into my gym (it’s at home). There I start my routine, and between each set I put on a smudge of my makeup. Guys, I know you can’t shave while you exercise, but indulge me here. There is enough time between each set to write down my reps and weight, mark what I’m doing next, put on some makeup, and then back to the next set. Time flies, and I’m getting my makeup on while I’m working out! Voila. I come back up stairs shortly after 7:00, (the workout takes me about 34 minutes total, split routine, four days a week), and then I can eat breakfast. What I’ve found is suddenly it seems like I have more time since I’m actually making better use of the time I already had!
It’s great, and I’m in the middle of the fourth week of consistent weight training. I’m excited as the weights are what make the difference for me. I’ll write more on this soon. Think of your own day. Are there places where you think you don’t have time, but you’re actually just wasting time anyway? Could you add some weight training during the commercials on TV? Think about it, and let me know if you come up with some ideas.
Q: Five weeks ago, I began an exercise program and so far I have not lost any weight or gained in muscle tone – which is my goal. Regardless, I intend to keep it up, knowing that the results I want will occur if I give it time.
A. That’s so true, yet here is what happens with the majority who begin an exercise program:
- They start out feeling excited, knowing it will be successful in the long run, if they stay with it. (They’ve read the books, they know this stuff works).
- They begin to feel and look better, although the scale shows no difference. (Results take awhile to build, they know this but it gets harder and harder to wait.)
- Their clothes begin to fit looser. People start to notice, asking “What are you doing?” (Things are starting to happen, albeit slowly.)
- They do “all the right things,” such as eating well and getting good rest. (Consistency, a good discipline.)
- Since they’ve been “so good” they decide to step on the scale. (Where’s the evidence? They’re getting impatient.)
- The scale shows a three pound weight gain and they throw their hands up in despair saying, “This doesn’t work!” (The scale doesn’t show us what is going on inside, it only weighs the total package.)
- They dismiss the real evidence (how they feel, how they look, how their clothes fit) and rely instead of the wisdom of the bathroom scale, known for wildly inaccurate results, but nevertheless trusted implicitly. They have likely gained some valuable muscle, active tissue that supports and sustains the body, and creates beautiful curves, but without the result they had in mind, they quit.
Your body is made up of fat, skin, bone, and muscle (not to mention water). When you exercise the goal is to increase muscle and decrease fat. A pound of muscle takes up much less space than a pound of fat, so regardless of what you see on the bathroom scale, if you have been exercising, you are building a better, healthier frame. Give your body a chance to display the results you seek. Instant results take time.