Taking a Hike

This past Saturday afternoon Paul and I went for a hike (I asked him if you could call what we did hiking and he said yes so I am going with it) up to the observation tower at Eisenhower Park. It was only about 2.2 miles roundtrip but of course getting to an observation tower meant walking uphill. I brought along my water bottle but of course forgot it in the car. It was 96 degrees that day, we started walking around 1:15p right when the sun was nice and high and gleaming down rays full force, the path we walked was NOT shaded, I was wearing pants and a short sleeve shirt over a tank top- not smart clothing choices, oh and did I mention we walked uphill??? Queue whiny Dacia. I have to be honest, I am surprised Paul didn’t push me off the trail after listening to me repeat these two phrases over and over; I need water and I’m dying. Obviously I did not die; I made it to the observation tower, with pictures to prove it was not a heat-induced hallucination, in 18 minutes. I think our round-trip time was 43 minutes, which included the time we spent taking and posing for pictures on the tower. I was quite impressed with our time as it was definitely the most intense workout for me to date.

 

While on our hike Paul and I had a discussion that I would like to share with you today. The topic was the saying that it is easier to gain weight than to lose it. I think the logic behind this is that to gain weight all you have to do is eat (in excess of what you burn) but to lose weight requires hard work through exercise. So, using that logic I would agree- eating is easy, working out is hard- therefore it is easier to gain weight than to lose it. However, both Paul and I look at it differently.

Our perspective stems for the fact that for us our weight gain occurred gradually, over time. My weight gain really started 8 years ago during the summer of 2003. That summer I gained a significant amount of weight which pushed me into the world of plus sized clothes. I have no idea what I weighed before or after- all I know is that I went from Old Navy to Lane Bryant over those few months. For the sake of this story I will give you a reference point; on my wedding day, January 10, 2005, I wore size 20 pants. Today I wear size 24. Over the course of the past 6 years I have gained enough weight to bump me up two sizes. Again, I have no idea what I weighed then on my wedding day, I obviously feared the scale, so let’s approximate that over 6 years I gained 40 pounds. For purposes of this post let’s say that between 2003 and 2005 I had also gained 40 pounds which would put me at a gain of 80 pounds over the past 8 years.

An 80 pound gain over 8 years is an average gain of 10 pound per year. In two months I have lost 19.4 pounds; an average of 9.7 pounds per month. That makes my yearly gain and my monthly loss almost the same. From this perspective doesn’t it seem easier to lose versus gain? The same goes for Paul, his highest weight was 235 in 2008 and he currently weighs about 190. It took him 5 years to gain that weight but only a matter of months to lose it. Of course for me I still have a long road ahead of me but I hope to have lost those 80 pounds in far less time than it took me to gain them.

You might be saying right now; “Dacia, just because it may take less time doesn’t necessarily make it easier.” This is true but there is also another perspective to my argument, that being the activities I am doing are far more enjoyable to me than sitting on my butt watching TV. Don’t get me wrong, I love TV but watching TV or movies doesn’t make me feel good about myself- they are just distractions for me. To me, going out on a walk, or hike, or playing racquetball with Paul provide me with happiness, they give me more energy, I feel a sense of accomplishment and pride, and overall being active has made this journey so much easier for me because it has turned this into a positive and uplifting experience. Gaining the weight was a miserable, defeating, and negative experience which only led me to feel worse about my life and me as a person. So, if I had to choose- doing the thing that makes me happier, even though it is physically harder, is overall much easier. Therefore, to me, losing weight is easier than gaining weight.

I understand that this is just my perspective; that of an obese person who has lots of extra pounds to shed. For me, losing the weight is easier because I have so much to lose. I am not trying to belittle anyone’s struggles with weight loss, or weight gain for that matter, I am merely trying to shed some light on a new perspective I have found through this journey. I hope it will encourage you to do what makes you feel happy overall and continue to move forward to a positive place where you feel comfortable in your skin; whether that is on the couch or at the gym- no judgment here!

Thanks for reading!

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May 3, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness, Life, San Antonio.

6 Comments

  1. cassiebehle replied:

    I have found that being productive and/or active has always made me happy and more satisfied, even on the days where I just want to flop onto the couch with a bag of chips!

    Forcing myself to get out there and be active and engaged in the world seems to make it easier for everything else to come together in my life. So I get what you mean. Keep doing what makes you happy! 🙂

    • Dacia replied:

      Thank you! That is exactly the point I was trying to make. Yesterday was a shit storm of crazy and all I wanted to do was veg on the couch but instead I went to the gym and busted my butt and felt a million times better afterwards. It is definitely work but it is the good kind that rewards you for a job well done. 🙂

  2. cassiebehle replied:

    It becomes somewhat addicting after you get into the habit -I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing!

    • Dacia replied:

      I think it will be a good thing. It will probably be one of the best/healthiest habits I have ever had! 😉

  3. Jen replied:

    I know what you mean. The days I take a few minutes to go to the gym, I feel better, more energetic. I notice I hold my head higher and have more desire to be active. Couch potato syndrome feeds on itself… sitting around makes me feel crappy, which makes me feel more like sitting around. I hate those days.

    • Dacia replied:

      I agree 100%- couch potato syndrome is a viscous cycle. Exercise and activity make me feel so much better but unfortunately it is a constant battle for me to not end back up on the couch.

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