Another stab at the flab

New month, new me? Let’s hope.

Today is the first day of another fitness challenge at my beloved Zumba studio. We did one last fall and I actually won it, although I think I only lost 5-6 lbs.

(Two of them have returned, but 3-4 are still off, although it doesn’t feel like much of a victory)

I had a light bulb moment last week while reading Better Than Before. Gretchen Rubin was writing about exercise and said how it’s actually NOT proven to help people lose weight.

Shut. The. Front. Door.

Yes, really. Exercise will NOT help you lose weight.

I sat there and thought about that for a minute. I was so sure that exercise was the key. I mean, yes, I knew eating well was a big part of it. But I thought exercise burned off enough calories to allow indulgences. I mean, isn’t that how this is supposed to work!?

I thought about it logically. OK, I go to Zumba classes three times a week, most weeks — although it’s been 1-2/week this summer because of T-ball practices/games and instructor absences. I’ve been doing this since last July, so for more than a full year. Yet I am only down five-ish pounds from when I started.

It’s at this point that I started to decide there was something to the theory. Exercise is obviously great for your health. I certainly feel much more in shape than I did a year ago. I can race up the stairs and jog across a soccer field and generally zip around without huffing and puffing. I’m stronger.

But it’s not getting me down to my goal weight a.k.a. breastfeeding weight. (Remember breastfeeding? That was literally the best diet ever, and the skinniest I’ve ever been as an adult. *tear*)

So while I love Zumba and will continue to do it three times a week — for physical health but mostly for mental health! — this is me grudgingly admitting that maybe food plays a bigger role than I once thought. That whole “abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym” adage is true, it seems.

Twelve pounds will get me down to my breastfeeding weight. Except this time, of course, I won’t have a baby sucking the calories right out of me (darn it). It’s going to take work, and most of that work is a mind game that involves staying away from potato chips and fast food.

Let’s get it started!

So what do you think?

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