This blog is an accounting of my personal journey to find fitness. All the content on this blog should be read as a biographical piece of literature, not a medical resource. I am a physician, but I am in no way giving medical advice or establishing doctor patient relationships with my readers. I am simply keeping a diary. If you are starting a diet or exercise program or require medical evaluation or advice, please see your own family physician.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Wow. That was hard.

Today is going pretty well. I've done great diet wise despite the temptations. Pei Wei was delivered at lunch. I didn't eat any as I was off to exercise anyway. I did grab a bunch of lettuce they brought for the lettuce wraps and I've been munching like a rabbit on that all day(without the filling of course!).  It reminded me how much I like crunchy iceberg lettuce. I don't eat it much, but it was tasty. I think I'll get some so I can munch it at home and bring it for snacks.

For breakfast I had a Jimmy Dean Light sandwich at 260 cal and a yogurt, 100cal.  I had an apple for snack mid morning.  At lunch I had a banana, 2 string cheese and some watermelon. Now I'm having an orange. Gotta keep those fruits going for Patrick.

I really don't get why some people say working out makes them hungry.  After I work out really hard, I'm not hungry at all. Maybe it's because I drink so much water. Today I had 32oz before and 32 oz after. I went home at lunch and did the C25K week 4 Day 1. WOW. That was hard for me.

Maybe it was the not running in so long. Maybe it was the soreness in my hamstrings related to all the yard work this weekend.  Either way, it was rough. BUT, I finished it. At first I was upset that it was so hard. After all I was up to 30min runs before I got sick. It is discouraging. On the other hand....

I've only been back to real workouts since last Wednesday. It was my first one since being sick and all.  So, really that's only 6 days. AND, I did challenge myself by starting with week 4, not week 1. I knew I didn't need to start the program over, at least I didn't want to. I did 1.6 miles in 30 min. I ran 16 min of that. Intervals were Run 3, 5, 3, 5, with walking between. After, I did some heavy duty intense stretching as my hamstrings were hurting and my iliotibial band can be an issue if I don't stretch.

I was spent. I mean SPENT. I drank and drank and drank. I've had 4 32 oz cups already. Plus my 16oz coffee and a can of diet DP. Total fluids=156 oz so far. I was really thirsty after the weekend. I woke up with a dessert dry mouth this am. YEP. Not enough water yesterday. And I know I had at LEAST 64oz of water.

My body is a sponge. Now I'm wondering how much is enough. How much do I need to drink until I don't want more? Am I addicted to water? I don't know. There is such a thing, you know. Crazy people get it. It's actually quite rare and I am teasing, of course.

But, what I have realized from the experience of going from a heavy exerciser to not exercising is this-for me exercise is key. I've read all the studies on diet and how it is more important in weight loss. To me it is like reading a study that says low carb is better and then another that says low fat is better. Here's the deal. When I exercise, I feel better. I feel healthier. I am more motivated to eat right. I don't want to waste that workout by eating a bunch of crapola.

I have been eating relatively healthy for a long time. The weight loss didn't happen. I was eating  a good healthy diet. I was eating a heart healthy diet. I was monitoring my calories most of the time. I even did WW. No weight loss. In March of this year when I added exercise, weight loss. I quit because of being sick. I was tracking my calories and eating pretty decent as far as amount. No weight loss, in fact I gained. Last week I started working out and upped the water, weight loss.

What more proof do I need that for me, exercise is absolutely necessary to weight loss and healthy living? NONE.  This was the end of the second week of the DDDY challenge with Allan. The first week I was not as committed as I should have been. I had a few diet slips and I wasn't working out. I was up 2 pounds. This last week I ate right, stuck to the calories, drank all the water, I'm down a pound from where I was, which is really a 3pound loss, you get me? For me it takes both diet and exercise to see real results.

I think it is the truth. I've seen plenty of patients who hit the exercise hard, but don't track their food and they don't lose. I've had plenty of patients who track their food and are very strict, but don't exercise and they don't lose.  I really think you need both. And working through your mental issues is helpful too.

It's like depression treatment. We know the medications work. We know therapy and talking it out works. So do other non-medicine things like exercise and good sleep habits. But....doing BOTH has much higher remission rates. Does it mean one approach is better than the other? NO. It tells me we can't ignore either one.

So I know that working out is important for me. For me the endorphins suppress my appetite, in my theory anyway.  Do any of you experience this? Or do you get hungry when you work out?  How much water do you drink during a workout or just after?  If I don't hydrate, I don't recover as well that's for sure.

And so I am pushing on to get myself back to where I was. Tomorrow I'm going back to TKD even though I'm a little scared and even though I know it will be hard. I have to get started again sometime. Not going won't get me closer to my goal. So, I'll go and do what I can. That's all I can do and all I can expect from myself. NOT TRYING is NOT AN OPTION.


  1. Funny how somedays you can breeze through a run and other days the legs feel like lead! Working out kills my hunger too -- at least for a couple of hours. I never want to eat (or very rarely) right after a workout. On my rest day, when I don't work out, I'm ravenous by mid-morning! Always thought I was just odd that way. You are so right about the combo having to be food control AND exercise. Like you, I can't lose a pound without both. The balance of portion control with more regular work outs is the Holy Grail of weight loss, I think. Good job getting in that lunchtime workout Doc.

  2. I get really hungry if I'm doing a lot of longer workouts - like training for a run. It's hard to keep my eating balanced. But workouts do so much for my mental health - it's vital to have both exercise and healthy eating.

    On a side note, I have IT band issues too. Have you tried using a foam roller? I'm a total convert! It loosens things up much better than any stretches I do.

  3. Awesome that you pushed through the soreness for the C25k Doc! I have finally learned to do that too. i used to take it easy on my Monday morning walk when I had overdone it on the weekends, I would go about 3/4 speed, but I quit that. I am also starting to think I may have quit taking Fridays off too. It seems my legs are in shape enough to go 7 days and it is walking, one of the most natural things ever. As for the appetite thing, I usually am a little hungry at least, so after exercise, I do get a bit more hungry yes. But I also only eat one real meal a day. I usually eat like 150 to 200 calorie "snacks" 4 times a day and one meal at night. I kinda like being lightly hungry, so it works out. I expect I will hear a great story about TKD tomorrow!!



    sooo helping me right now.


  5. What I noticed is that if I don't exercise as usual mid-morning, I am hungrier. But maybe that is just thinking I am hungry because I am not otherwise occupied?

  6. I'm missing exercise right now, with my fractured toe, but I have discovered that I can use the recumbant elliptical at the gym. I don't think about food as much when I'm exercising. I have been down with my fracture and with a virus, and all I have thought about is food--possibly because I am not doing much to occupy myself. It all works together--diet, exercise, and occupying our food obsessed brains. Glad you're feeling better!

  7. I find that I need both exercise and lots of water to lose weight and to maintain my weight! I think that weight training makes me more hungry.

    I feel so much better when I exercise both mentally and physically.

    I posted about veggies just for you today! Please stop by my blog and take a look.

  8. exercise is amazing as I have learned over the last couple of months.. my weight loss has been steady.. my water intake as increased ( i actually increased it too much and ended up at the docs office with multiple lab work being done.. and finding out I was depleting my potassium once again ( have been on potassium for about 1 year now.. only this time it was the lowest it had ever been... which explained the heart beat issues.. dizzy spells and general feeling bad... much better now... water is adjusted.. .. Love the lettuce idea.. and love me some good watermelon too.. wish I could find it year round... have a great rest of the week!

  9. I think my appetite is suppressed when i workout too - i have a banana or apple on the way to the gym, but that is it...i swear that i can actually feel it kick-starting my stomach and metabolism into action. Anything more than this to eat would be uncomfortable, especially when running.

    I generally drink 1-1.5 litres of water whilst at the gym (sometimes more if i'm using the spin-bike which really makes you sweat). I always fill my water bottle before leaving to go home too, and i will sip away at it until i get home. Come lunch-time i am ready for a hearty soup or sandwich, but i wouldn't say i ever get hungry as such, as i eat a piece of fruit mid-morning and mid-afternoon, so i am always topped-up.

    My increased water intake over the last week is also responsible for depressing hunger too. And, Yes, anyone who can lose (and maintain) weight without exercise - good luck to them, but i am not one of them. And anyway, i am slowly but surely coming to enjoy exercise!

  10. I'm not hungry after working out. Then a little while later it hits me hard. And it takes both exercise and counting calories for me to lose weight, too. Almost like a part-time job, isn't it? But so worth it.

  11. And thanks for the comment you left for me. Every perspective helps. I just have to make it happen!


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