Proof That Exercise Doesn't Work

by 10:42 PM 0 comments
I promised that I would track my results from increasing the intensity and time of my exercise routine. I basically went from low-level aerobic hip-hop and zumba classes two-three times weekly to intense, muscle aching Bar Method classes five times a week. I didn't really change anything about my diet. Results are below:

DateClasses/WeekWeightFatMuscleBone
3-Feb012718.70%37.90%4.6 lb
10-Feb312718.20%39.10%4.8 lb
17-Feb312618.30%39.10%4.8 lb
24-Feb412918.90%38.90%4.8 lb
3-Mar412618.50%37.70%4.6 lb
10-MarDidn't Weigh in b/c of stomach flu
17-Mar512819.30%37.50%4.6 lb
24-Mar512918.60%39.30%4.8 lb

So, as you can see, there's basically no difference in my stats! That's kind of depressing. 

Okay, yes, exercise has a lot of other benefits, like stress reduction and longer life expectancy and better immunity and improved higher-function processing and BLAH BLAH BLAH. But I wanted to look like Jillian Michaels except with more chiseled abs! No matter how many posts I've read on feminist blogs about body acceptance that have made me nod vigorously, I can't get that out of my head. Body acceptance for everyone else, perfection for me! It's not happening, though.

I know I'm already really lucky to fall into the "healthy" camp for body fat and muscle percentage, but it's kind of an eye-opener to realize that whether or not I'm working out hard they're going to stay pretty much the same. I guess that's just my body type. 

Now I'm at a cross-roads where I can choose to increase the protein in my diet, stop eating so many carbs and vegan cookies, cook more. OR I could keep doing what I'm doing and enjoy myself for what I am. I was just looking at old journals where I wrote down every. single. thing. I ate. It's so boring. So repetitive. So joyless. I know I can lose the fat if I try. I've done it before, and I could do it again.

You know what? Forget it. I'm not doing it! If I want sourdough bread with Earth Balance (imitation butter), I'm going to eat it. And throw caution to the wind. Because being a model for Fitness magazine isn't my job anyway, but being a good person who is there for my students, friends, and family is. The level of self-involvement and anxiety it costs to lose 5% body fat isn't worth it. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have an almond butter & jam sandwich to eat. 

Marina Gafni

Marina Gafni is a 28-year-old speech pathology student. She lives with her husband in San Jose, CA.

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