WEIGHT GAIN OVER THE HOLIDAYS
EVEN FITNESS PROFESSIONALS STRUGGLE WITH THIS
From the beginning of November until now, I have gained about TEN pounds. Not cool! I mean… I’m a fitness professional for goodness sakes! Fun fact: most people gain weight around the holidays. Oh wait--you already knew that. Silly me. YES even the fit-people!
But, why the fuss? What gives? A gazillion factors go into weight gain and the struggle within oneself. The next few blog posts might just be a few rants on this topic of weight gain specifically that I cannot ignore touching on.
Gaining a few pounds (even if 10 pounds is a lot for me being 5 ft 4 inches tall) is not the end of the world. I’ll say it again… Gaining a few pounds is not the end of the world! Perhaps you’re in fitness or you’re a health coach and you don’t like that I’m shouting from rooftops that some weight gain is okay. Continuing to gain weight is not okay, of course. Especially if you have health issues or you’re working on weight loss for those particular struggles. What about the in between people? Folks that really don’t have a true issue with eating healthy-ish, or those that exercise and stay active, or those that are blessed with decent genetics? I’m talking to the people that don’t appear to try hard and stay generally fit. I fall into this category of people.
It becomes challenging to get out of our heads and into the present with our body when it isn’t doing what we want it to. Consistently, in my adulthood, I have really had issues mentally with flexing (pun intended!) into the seasons. As I’ve settled into my mid-thirties, I still beat myself up over the weight gain and puffy mid-section. It’s not like I didn’t enjoy the cider donuts or the pumpkin pie… dare I mention the cheesecake here...I digress. The point is, I know how hard it can be to feel like you’ve lost what you felt was your ‘strong body’ and put on your ‘winter coat’ as a generally fit-all-year-round-human. It can downright depress ya.
Even with all the salads at lunch, strange roasted veggies from my Misfits Market box, and some random workouts throughout, I’ve managed to truly decrease my physical daily activity by almost HALF. Enter ghost face emoji here. Yep. I went from 15,000 to 20,000 steps per day to 7,000 to 10,000 steps per day. That’s the beautiful thing about wearing a fitness watch...It can provide a regular reality check. Keeping track of the mileage and movement that is done around my regular fitness routines are what truly sheds insight into these bodily changes that have occurred.
Besides the decrease in movement, I have added processed sweets and treats into my daily eating habits which has been a gradual trend (as it usually is) in the Fall this year. As we are all stuck at home and anxious how the Coronavirus is affecting us all, we are eating our feelings as well as spending more time at home not moving.
It’s no wonder I’ve gained 10 pounds!!! Believe me, I wasn’t shocked. Mostly disappointed.
Another shift in my health I dare to mention that has been a likely contributor...Sleep. Now I’m going to rant about the importance of sleep because inactivity has really put a damper on my sleep schedule. That fitbit watch, whether it is perfectly accurate or not, tells me I’m sleeping for an average of 6 and a half hours of sleep each night. This is no bueno. Without sleep, I’m tired. Then my body moves less, eats more in an attempt at staying more awake, and I gain weight. Vicious, vicious cycle. REALLY no wonder I’ve gained some weight!
Here’s the final point I want to touch on here. Ultimately the biggest one… Even us fitness people gain weight when we are going through rough patches. We slip. We lower our exercise down to the bare minimum and carry on because we just do. Life happens and drags us through the mud, we have a lazy day and eat a bag of barbecue chips and a pint of ice cream. What I’m trying to share is the common grounds we all share here. You are not alone! I am constantly scrolling and it’s like what’s basic is now these super fit super humans that may or may not suffer the same falls I do and you do. Just that mutual understanding that we go through the same insecurities makes me feel better.
Have a little compassion for yourself. Honoring your body. Then re-motivating yourself to begin a new routine that will leave your pants a little looser and your mental space a lot clearer. My reset will be one step at a time. I’m mixing it up to up the ante for me. Step goal: 15,000 a day! It’s do-able for me. What works for you? If you don’t have a fitness watch, you can walk for 5 to 10 minutes every hour even if it’s up and down your driveway. Even the tiniest changes can make the biggest impact.
I hope this challenged and motivated you to reach a new health goal. Or maybe it made you feel less alone, less discouraged. Keep it simple. ONE small change can make a big impact. Oh, and stay kind to yourself. Unleash your power.