Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lose Weight by Skipping Workouts

I am on a break.  Even as I say that I think, I should be working out instead of blogging, but that kind of mentality has led me to burnout.  Last weekend I worked out all weekend, played hard, and followed it by a stressful work week, complete with two-a-day workouts.  By the time Friday came, I knew I was overtraining and my body was starting to feel aweful.  I was always tired, and it's the kind of exhaustion that caffeine can't even touch, as if getting up from a chair is a major chore.  My energy reserves were (and are still) sapped and my body has begun to object in a major way to the levels of physical and mental stress I have been putting it through.  All in the name of busting through a plateau. 
But that 's what we do when we want to see results, right?  If the first 200 mg of ibuprophen doesn't kill the pain, we take another pill; if the weight isn't coming off, we work harder on less calories.  That was my mentality anyway, and a huge part of why I had never been very serious or successful at weight loss in the past.  The misconception that you have to torture yourself in order to lose weight is pure myth.  All last week I was at 158.  After all the work I did (and unfortunately, some skipped meals led to less calories due to being busy at work) the scale did not budge all week.  Moreover, my muscles took much longer to heal, so I was working out already-sore muscles.  So Friday came and I was already feeling like I was getting sick, sore throat, itchy ears, stuffy nose, mouth sores, so I didn't work out at all.  Not even a little cardio.  Nada.  I felt guilty, but I stuck to it.  And I didn't work out on the weekend either.  I did a some interval cardio yesterday, and it felt fine, but today I skipped it again.  Guess what happened to my weight?  This morning I was 154.  My husband said that it was probably due to cortisol from all the stress I was putting my body through.  I have noticed the same result in the past when I've taken a break and I always find it fascinating.  After a break not only am I always lighter, but the weight continues to come off easier for a while, and I find myself having more energy, which equates to being able to really push myself to get a great work out.  I find a break also helps to re-motivate me, realign my focus and re-inspire me.  So, while I've kept my eating squeaky clean, I am giving my body the time it needs to repair itself, and my mind the time it needs to rejuvinate.  It's a win-win scenario.  It's really easy to get caught-up in the "no pain no gain" philosophy, but if you aren't giving yourself proper rest, you will end up counter-acting your hard work.  Had I known I need to skip a few workouts in order to see results, I would have gotten fit a long time ago! 
As for this week, I am going to nurse some swollen tonsils and ear infection, drink a whole heap of hot tea, and breathe for once.  I hope you are all enjoying some beautiful summer weather!  Thanks for reading!

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