Waistline Musing, Why is Exercise Not Enough

Losing weight is hard. It's a journey, that can take a while. There are a few things that have helped me but I'm still battling with my weight. I'm sharing a few of my thoughts on exercising and why it may not be enough.

Is one of your goals to get into shape and lose weight this year? I know it’s one of my goals. It has been one of my goals for the last two years, now going on three. As you can tell from the last sentence, losing weight is hard.

I so wish exercise was enough for me to lose this extra weight. That was my hope at the beginning of last year but it wasn’t enough.

Getting Started with Exercising

My first goal in my weight loss journey was to get into regular exercising. At first it was hard. So. Very. Hard. I would find any excuse to avoid exercising. Then I had a friend offer to be my accountability partner. I really didn’t want to do it. But I knew deep down inside, I really needed it. I said yes.

After a few weeks of not wanting to exercise, I suddenly didn’t want to let my friend down. I found a time that worked for me and every weekday morning, I got my exercising in. At first exercising was brutal. I ached and thought I would die before my exercising time was up. But then it started to get easier. I felt better and could do more. I was hooked.

I also thought with all this exercising, the weight would just be falling right off. Oh. How. I. Was. Wrong!

While I was building up muscle and getting into shape, the pounds didn’t budge. Sure I lost a few pounds but in general no big change.

Losing weight involves a lot of ups and down. I'm hoping for more downs in this new year.

My Weight History

You see I never had to worry about my weight until I was older. I was a fit and skinny kid. I could eat what I wanted and not see a pound of difference on the scale. But I was also active too. Then I met my husband, we started dating and there were a lot of late night second dinners eaten. The pounds started to come on. For both of us.

My weight stabilized again, at 50 pounds heavier. Yes, that is a 5 followed by a 0. I tried some things. I went on a 1000 calorie diet, exercise after work 3-5 days a week and saw a 20 pound weight loss, but then the weight stopped coming off. I got discouraged and gave up. Gaining the 20 pounds back in a few months.

Pregnancy and My Weight Loss Triumph, for a Short While

But then I got pregnant with my daughter. And the morning sickness came and stayed for 5 months. A funny thing happened, when I couldn’t eat breakfast or lunch for 5 months. I lost weight, a lot of weight, 20 pounds, without exercising at all. I did gain some of the 20 pounds back, by the end of my pregnancy, but I walked out of the hospital weighing less than the day I found out I was pregnant. I was ecstatic.

Over the next few years, I lost more weight and eventually lost 50 pounds. I thought I had it made, I had conquered this weight battle and was done. But after 4 years of keeping the weight off, it slowly crept back on, all of it.

I stayed at that heavier weight until I was pregnant with my son. The morning sickness came and the weight went. I continued to lose weight until I was back down 50 pounds. But again at the 4 year mark, the weight came back on.

Thinking back now I can see I was busy when my kids were little. Caring of them and doing my housework. I had little time to sit and eat a snack, I naturally cut back on my calories. But as the kids go older, I had more freedom in my time, more time to eat, and the weight came back on.

I've learned through this last year of regular exercising that exercising is not always enough to get the scale to move down.

Why oh Why is Exercising Not Enough to Reach My Goals

Even with exercising five days a week, the weight persists. You see I can’t exercise enough to overcome my eating habits. There are too many opportunities to take in calories and just not enough waking hours to burn them off. I have to make an eating change to reach my weight loss goals.

If you are exercising but not seeing a change in the scale maybe it’s your calorie intake too. I have yet to figure out the best plan for me to reduce my calorie intake, but I’m working on it. I had some good success in the past with eating half of what I normally eat.

For the last few months I’ve been working on not eating seconds, 4 days a week. Thanks to my accountability partner. It’s a good start for me but it doesn’t seem to be quite enough to make the scale budge.

Eating half of what I normally would eat, may be the ticket for me. After all it has worked for me in the past.

I have a hard time, when I tell myself you can’t eat this or that. It always backfires on me and I only want it more. But if I could eat half, that just might work.

I have to make my plan and then put it into action.

But I would like to hear from all of you first. What tips or tricks have worked for you to reduce your calorie intake? Have you had a great success in losing weight? I would love to have you share it with me.


Just so you know, I’m not a health professional. I’m a mom who is in this battle of the bulge and I’m out to win it. I’m just sharing my thoughts, successes and failures to encourage others on their weight loss journey. I’m not giving any medical advice, just sharing my journey and hoping you will share yours too.



8 thoughts on “Waistline Musing, Why is Exercise Not Enough”

  1. When I’m serious about it (which begs the question why can’t I stay serious about it?), I have great luck with the eating methods where you get one cheat day a week. I was doing really well following Chris Powell’s plan in his book, Choose to Lose. Basically, you eat high (or regular) carb meals one day and low-carb meals the next with a cheat day one day a week. I really liked that it was all based on real food. Good luck on your journey!

    1. Jean I so hear you on getting serious. Sometimes I very motivated and other times, meh, not so much. I have the book you mentioned and read it a while ago. I really need to pick it up again. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Oh, Shelly, I SO hear you! I’ve been there with the exercise and learned the same thing awhile ago – it’s all really about what goes in your mouth. 🙁 I’m hoping the eating half was from my recommendation 🙂 and you know that’s what has worked for me, so I hope it will work for you again. After years now, it’s the most sustainable for me (every day can be a ‘cheat’ day, as long as it’s only half a piece, ha!) and keeps my stomach used to small portions every day. It’s also easy for me to figure out what to do when a few pounds start to come back – my portions obviously went up and they need to be cut again. Thinking of you, my friend!

    1. Thanks Jami! I know you are a good example that eating half really works and it works long term. I did read about it on your blog. Now all I need to do is implement it. The transition time is the hardest for me, but I know if I keep going it will get easier. After all who can argue with having a cheat day, everyday. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. I know how you feel Shell! I love to exercise, and I’m at the gym 4-5 days a week, for an hour or more each day. But I still cannot seem to get the extra weight off.

    I had some success before the holidays with cutting back on portions, drinking only water and one cup of coffee a day, and avoiding desserts most days. But then I got sick and didn’t exercise for 3 weeks, not to mention all the Christmas goodies I ate. I wish eating less was easier 🙂

    1. Christmas goodies are always good, but they don’t help with weight loss at all. My husband jokingly says eat two, they cancel each other out that way. 🙂 I only wish it worked that way.

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