Pushing Yourself to Burn Calories
I’ve been busy replying to the currently 224 e-mails waiting on a reply in my inbox, so I thought I’d put up another e-mail today and answer it. That’s efficiency, folks.
Nicole writes: I wrote to you a little while back agreeing with one of your emails espousing the “eat what you want” approach. Thanks for using some of my words in your email to everyone, it made my day!
I have started incorporating more exercise into my life. First a little background. I am trying to train for a 5k at the end of September at my kids elementary school. I have never been much of a runner but this is a long term goal of mine. About 3 years ago, I ran the 1 mile fun run with my then 2nd grade son. I hadn’t run since I was young (I was 37 at the time) and it was crazy hard. I think it took me something approaching 17 minutes and I was wildly embarrassed. I realized that everyone should be able to run one mile without passing out. So, I set a goal to run the 5k the next year.
I did it but I had not truly dedicated myself to weight loss or training and couldn’t run the whole way. I was close to last coming in at about 48 minutes.
Over these last few years, I have been up and down, on this diet and that, going back and forth with training for a while then not at all. I feel like I am in a good place now. I have lost 18 1/2 pounds in 10 weeks. At first I was using Nutrisystem but the cost of that became prohibitive so now I am doing it more on my own and just using their principles, which work really well for me. I managed to lose weight last week, with my 40th birthday on July 3rd, the 4th and my 16 year anniversary on the 5th.
It was only a pound but I really feel good about it.
So, I am trying to do this running thing and I am struggling a bit. My big issue is pushing further than what you have done before. I have been alternating between walking and running, trying to do more running each time.
For example, yesterday I did 3 miles, walked the first quarter mile, ran the next 3/4s. That was a big push for me as I hadn’t run more than half a mile at one time in over a year. I had a major problem with cramps. Mainly, I had a cramp under my right rib that felt like someone was stabbing me with a knife over and over. I pushed myself through the pain and made that 3/4 mile run but had to walk for 1/2 a mile to recover fully. Of course, part of training will be like this but it seems to be a theme with me.
- What do you do to help push you through these tough times?
- How do you know if you are pushing yourself too hard? Is it something you should know right away or does it catch up with you the next day?
I’m sorry if you have covered this already. I appreciate you taking the time to read this, I know how busy your life is. I’d be happy to go back through your archived material if the answers are already there.
What do you do to help push you through these tough times?
I just shut off my brain and listen to my body. I only stop if I feel like I’m going to pass out — shaky knees or dizziness are a good indication that I need to stop burning calories and take a break to get rehydrated.
You have to listen to your body, not the thoughts telling you to stop. Your mind and thoughts will throw in the towel well before your body actually does.
How do you know if you are pushing yourself too hard? Is it something you should know right away or does it catch up with you the next day?
I know I’m pushing myself too hard if I wake up on the floor of the gym. If I leave the gym and only feel sore the next day, then I know I did something right the day before. Recovery is a normal part of burning calories.
Do you have to push yourself this hard to burn calories and lose weight? Of course not, but it certainly helps to create a larger calorie deficit.
I also want to keep pushing myself to see what my body is capable of doing.