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AIBU?

Do you think it would be easier to lose weight if you had more time ?

268 replies

kitchenlover · 06/01/2024 12:11

I am really really struggling to sort myself out with this.

Are these all just excuses though ?

I have lost weight successfully in the past, but I've also been exhausted by the whole thing.

I need to be super strict and spend around 2 hours in the gym a day, ( 5 days a week at least ) in order to see a change in my body. It's exhausting.

I have a full time job, two preschool aged children and a completely absent H, due to his work.

I also suffer from a condition which causes fatigue. So I start off with less energy than most people anyway. That is not even taking account the fact that I do all night wakings with my kids.

I just can't do all of this AND spend the time shopping/ meal prepping and going to the gym a lot.

How do people manage ? I really need to get back to a healthy weight and the only way I can see this happening is if I just don't work for a bit. I can afford to do this and yes I posted about this the other day. However I keep thinking- what if I take some time out from work to sort myself out and then I don't even manage to lose weight ?

Am I just making excuses ? How do people with so many responsibilities do it ??

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theriseandfallofFranklinSaint · 06/01/2024 13:08

I don't know about needing more time but in my experience, I do think you need more money.

I've always gone to the gym 4-5 x week as I enjoy it and use it to wind down after work however I've now got a PT and love my sessions and feel let down if I only manage 4 x week. However this costs £175 per month (monthly gym fee plus PT)

Due to now concentrating on weight lifting and not cardio, I've totally rehashed my diet and eat so much more protein than before but this isn't cheap. Our shopping now has so much more chicken, salmon, yoghurts, protein powder, etc. but that isn't cheap and our shopping bill has increased by quite a bit.

However I'm on my way to getting the toned body I used to have, I'm so much fitter and stronger and healthier too as my diet is better than it was. Buying food may cost more but I'd always prepped my lunches for work so I don't need more time in that respect.

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kitchenlover · 06/01/2024 13:11

theriseandfallofFranklinSaint · 06/01/2024 13:08

I don't know about needing more time but in my experience, I do think you need more money.

I've always gone to the gym 4-5 x week as I enjoy it and use it to wind down after work however I've now got a PT and love my sessions and feel let down if I only manage 4 x week. However this costs £175 per month (monthly gym fee plus PT)

Due to now concentrating on weight lifting and not cardio, I've totally rehashed my diet and eat so much more protein than before but this isn't cheap. Our shopping now has so much more chicken, salmon, yoghurts, protein powder, etc. but that isn't cheap and our shopping bill has increased by quite a bit.

However I'm on my way to getting the toned body I used to have, I'm so much fitter and stronger and healthier too as my diet is better than it was. Buying food may cost more but I'd always prepped my lunches for work so I don't need more time in that respect.

Your health and wellbeing is the best thing you can spend that money on. Good for you.

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Watchkeys · 06/01/2024 13:11

I wish it was as easy as just skipping a meal for me, it's not

Just to take this to the extreme, and not at all suggesting you do this, but hypothetically, if you stopped eating altogether, what do you think would happen to your weight? Are the the one magical being who has learned to both conserve and use the same energy?

Have you had a medical examination and blood tests? It sounds like your body might be conserving energy rather than using it, so you retain excess but feel tired.

How long do you go between consuming calories? Are you eating/snacking/drinking on a regular basis, or do you have big gaps?

I'm a PT, and my advice would be that if there's nothing physiologically wrong with you, you absolutely do not need 2 hours in the gym on any day of the week, let alone on several. If there is something physiologically wrong, you need to get that fixed prior to trying to lose weight. So, either way, you never need 2 hours in the gym again.

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gamerchick · 06/01/2024 13:13

kitchenlover · 06/01/2024 12:35

Yeah but if I don't go to the gym and do weights and cardio, I will just end up all saggy. I think you definitely need to combine a good diet with weights and cardio, as you need to maintain muscle mass.

You don't need to spend 2 hours a day in the gym for that though.

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Joeslaol19 · 06/01/2024 13:14

It is true that if you are busy there can be a tendency to eat convenience food but the exercise argument doesn’t require going to the gym. Go for a brisk walk ,swim ,run and cut out carbs . I am probably a lot older than you and have recently lost 12 kgs over 3 months just doing that !

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Dashel · 06/01/2024 13:15

I live too far away from a gym to make going practical. I have a bad back and can’t run or do HIIT as instructed by physio and doctors. I also struggle to loose weight.

So I got a spin bike and a Les Mills subscription and so RPM three or four days a week and every day I do Get Fit with Rick walking workouts on YouTube and I got some weights and a weight bench and and do strength training at home. Not the 1, 3 and 5kg sets but up to 15kg hex dumbbells and will be getting a bigger pair when ready.

All of this was second hand and for me it works along with hitting my 15k steps and not snacking and meal planning.

It is time consuming but a lunch time walk really helps to minimise I the time and an early start.

I would find something the kids Enjoy as well to exercise as a family. There is Shabam on Les mills which is danced based and stuff aimed at kids

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kitchenlover · 06/01/2024 13:15

Did you guys read how I described my workouts ?

I'm not going nuts for two hours. Two hours is the max time I spend in there. A lot of it is also spent just walking on the treadmill.

The workouts are slower and not intense as I can't do that. That's why it takes longer.

Does that make sense ? It's just how I prefer to do it and how it's worked for me in the past.

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UnaOfStormhold · 06/01/2024 13:16

Hmm, it definitely sounds like having a bit more time for yourself would be beneficial, but giving up work entirely can have long term consequences. Is there any way you can get more help? Can your spouse take a bit of time off to give you a break, or friends, or family, or paid childcare? Is there a gym creche? As for work, is it possible to cut your hours a bit or take longer lunch breaks so you can fit in exercise without dropping work entirely? I don't think trying to exercise full time is necessarily going to be good for you.

The other thing to consider is how to fit in exercise into your life more smoothly. For example, are there ways you could make your gym time more efficient so you get the same amount of work out of a shorter period of time? Say doing heavier weights for fewer reps, and pairing exercises into sets so you do e.g. a legs exercise while you rest from an arms exercise? Working out at home after the kids are asleep or before they wake might work too though I find those are the ones.

Another helpful thing is making your daily routine more active, say jogging to school while the kids scoot/cycle alongside, or going for a run etc while they are both at an activity (I squeezed in 25 mins in the gym while my son was at swimming this morning for example). I have also been known to do a few pull ups or jumps on the playground equipment! Also short bursts of activity can be surprisingly beneficial, say having a weight or resistance band in the kitchen so you can fit in a few reps while the kettle boils or the oven heats up. It all adds up.

But generally, give yourself a break mentally - you have a lot on your plate, struggle with fatigue and have 2 young kids to wrangle single-handed.

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NigelHarmansNewWife · 06/01/2024 13:17

@fastingworks - I do not think advising one meal a day to the OP is helpful. Seriously there is no need to cut out food groups, skip meals, deny yourself the things you like eating.

OP look at meal planning and batch cooking so you have healthy choices available you can quickly heat up. Buy frozen veg - it's higher in nutrients than fresh because it's chopped and frozen within a short time of being picked or dug up. You can even buy diced frozen onion, garlic and herbs. Less prep and use just what you need so less waste. You want your kids to have a good relationship with food and that starts with you and your DH modelling that.

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mynameiscalypso · 06/01/2024 13:17

kitchenlover · 06/01/2024 13:15

Did you guys read how I described my workouts ?

I'm not going nuts for two hours. Two hours is the max time I spend in there. A lot of it is also spent just walking on the treadmill.

The workouts are slower and not intense as I can't do that. That's why it takes longer.

Does that make sense ? It's just how I prefer to do it and how it's worked for me in the past.

Could you incorporate walking more into your day to day life so you don't need to go to the gym to walk on the treadmill? Walking the school run (or some of it) or going out for a lunchtime walk if you're WFH? Going for a long walk at the weekend with the children? That kind of thing which becomes part of your life rather than needing to devote so much time to the gym?

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Moonlightdust · 06/01/2024 13:25

kitchenlover · 06/01/2024 12:41

Well guys, I've lost weight before and really changed my body shape- and it needed at least 1 hour 30 minutes in the gym - 5 times a week at minimum.

I also ate very little and did intermittent fasting.

My body is very very very difficult to shit pounds from. I wish it was as easy as just skipping a meal for me, it's not.

Here lies the problem - you claim you ate very little. It sounds like your body was holding onto the few calories being consumed. In order to loose weight healthily your diet has to change. It’s not about starving yourself - it’s eating regular balanced meals. You shouldn’t be hungry if you are eating correctly. Make sure you are consuming enough protein if you are working out that much. But really 30 mins exercise a day is enough OP to see results.

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kitchenlover · 06/01/2024 13:26

I can't really do more walking to and from school, as it's over 6 miles one way.

I find that when I go to the gym at lunch etc, I'm just too knackered to then focus on work properly.

I did this for a while and started really falling behind. Doing walks etc at weekends is ok, as I don't need to then work afterwards.

I was really active on maternity leave and did well. All went to s* when I started work again. I'm much worse for it. I'm very uncomfortable in my body. I would literally give anything to be able to sort it out. Hence the pretty drastic step I'm thinking of taking. I'm just worried I'll fail again, as I've been failing so much at it.

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withthischoice · 06/01/2024 13:30

Op reread your posts
it is just one excuse after another.

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gamerchick · 06/01/2024 13:31

The way you're looking at it isn't favourable though. 30-40 minutes gym is enough and it isn't walking for miles on a treadmill. You have to eat. The sheer amount of food is the only complaint I have about gym going because food is bloody boring. Not eating properly means less energy. Not drinking enough means less energy. What's the point of doing that to yourself?

You're 'failing ' because it doesn't work. You would be better off joining a class with a PT and learn to fuel your body properly so you don't feel like you're punishing yourself.

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NeedToChangeName · 06/01/2024 13:31

Agree with PP, what you eat is more important than exercise, for weight loss

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Crushed23 · 06/01/2024 13:32

No, definitely not. Generally, the more time I have, the more likely I am to indulge in idle snacking. I gained weight during lockdown, for example. Having a busy, active life is one the main reasons I am thin (because I certainly love food!)

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Twinklewonderkins · 06/01/2024 13:37

I’m menopausal and have other health conditions, I’ve lost 3 stone (want to lose another 1) dieting . I have been pretty strict diet wise.
Not set foot in the gym, I’d quite like to but the local ones are all expensive (council one miles away across town). I just do Pilates on YouTube couple of times a week and a 10 min abs thing also on YouTube. I work full time in a fairly full on job, single mum with high school age dc.
weight loss is almost all diet.

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Riverlee · 06/01/2024 13:37

My advice would be to skip one gym session per week and use that time to meal plan for the next week or two.

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SometimesMaybe · 06/01/2024 13:40

You have got so much on your plate it’s no wonder that you are going crazy.
I would try and combine healthy eating with exercise so not focusing on one or the other. It’s ok to accept that this stage is hard and that once the children sleep through/are a bit older things will be easier and just trying to maintain where you are at the moment might be enough.

however if you feel like you need to do something now I would focus on something that is actually achievable.
Do yoga - 20-30mins a day. Uses your body as a weight. I have a slow metabolism so have to really watch what I eat and I’ve found it’s the best exercise and so good for your mental health. Lots of stuff on you tube. Also use your lunch hour to get out and walk for even 15-20 minutes.
could you get a standing desk to work from or sit on a Pilates ball to try and develop core strength.

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Grimchmas · 06/01/2024 13:42

Are you undereating, and/or do you have an eating disorder? Some of the things you have said suggest this.

I'm guessing you have CFS. In which case it's even more important for you to manage your weight through food and NOT exercise. 2 hours in the gym is more than most people with CFS could manage, especially with a busy life.

I think you could do with some professional advice on diet and exercise. It's possible you have a messed up metabolism (me too), but diet and SMART , CONTROLLED, TARGETTED exercise can help you with that. It might be 3 months before you see any results though, that's quite common.

In my unqualified opinion as somebody with CFS, a 10 or 20 minute weights/bodyweight workout 5 x week would be great for you. Stuff you can do at home with minimal equipment. You don't need hours of cardio, it's not beneficial to weight loss, can be actively unhelpful in fact, especially with CFS. You're probably getting plenty of steps in your day with your child(ren).

Free yourself up from the idea that you need 2 hours in the gym most days, and spend the time meal planning and cooking quick nutritious meals prioritising protein and veg over carbs. Persevere for at least 4 months.

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teaandtoastwithmarmite · 06/01/2024 13:45

Losing weight doesn't come from exercise it comes from diet. Exercise just tops you up. I started slimming world and walking 10000 steps a day last year. In the weeks I stuck to slimming world but did no exercise I lost. In the weeks I ate crap but went to the gym I didn't. I was insistent the exercise cancelled it out but I saw eventually it didn't. I will run 5k and do some weight machines and a couple of free weight exercises. All in all about 1.5 hours and try to do 3 hours a week. I also try for one hour of clubbercise a week but if I don't watch my food it doesn't make much difference. I work full time and have a 10 year old.

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Fedupandconfused0815 · 06/01/2024 13:47

no, you don't lose weight by exercise much. it's mainly how much and what you eat.

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TheKeatingFive · 06/01/2024 13:47

I definitely needed more time, or perhaps more importantly, headspace, to adjust my habits and figure out what would work for me.

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minipie · 06/01/2024 13:48

Do you actually want to be a SAHM, or are you only considering it due to burnout?

Be warned that what you may plan as a short “break from work” can easily turn into long term SAHM or low key jobs that work around the kids, especially if you have a husband who “can’t” be around to do much. I speak from experience. Consider whether this is what you want long term, or whether you actually want to maintain your career (which may require your DH to rethink his).

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Lemoncurtain · 06/01/2024 13:48

No, I'd just have more time for eating

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