Hot Yoga, Mormons, and Exercise

One topic that doesn’t seem to come up in the Bloggernacle is the virtue of physical exercise. Is it that we are all desk-bound lardies who wouldn’t dream of consuming a coffee-cream chocolate, but imagine that our expanding girths are of no consequence to God? Or is it that we simply do not equate exercise and physical fitness with religion and thus not worthy of discussion?

Anyway, I have come to realise that exercise can be a religious experience. Exercise makes me happy, and as we all know from Joseph, happiness is the object and design of our existence. Perhaps the finest feeling known to man is the one you get when stepping out of a hot shower after having done some form of strenous exercise. It’s a good feeling, a happy, "lovely" feeling, both "praiseworthy" and of "good report". You feel clean, refreshed and so alive!

I would love to know what physical exercise the members of the Bloggernacle engage in. How do you find the time? How can you justify two hours at the gym after work when there are kids who want to see you? Should Mormons be more concerned about their physical fitness beyond just the Word of Wisdom? Is a fat, unfit Mormon a bad Mormon (assuming there are no other factors involved)?

For my part I have discovered the joys (and agony) of hot yoga (aka Bikram yoga). Basically it’s yoga done in a 116F room. Let me tell you (as someone who is otherwise reasonably fit), hot yoga is excruciating! I have never felt so wasted. But after the aforementioned shower, the satisfaction is immense. I highly recommend it: it’s great exercise, good for the back, and you get to hang out with all kinds of trendy urbanites. It’s also not "religious" yoga, beyond the instructor’s "namaste" farewell (wrong religion, anyway).

So, what do you do, how, and when?


  1. For as much time as we Americans spend watching TV, there is no excuse for not exercising (besides lack of volition). Blogging…now that is compunction free sedentary activity!

    And stepping out of a hot shower does make you feel alive, especially when there are a dozen other naked men toweling off about you.

  2. Christina says:

    I like yoga too, although I have only recently discovered it, and I only do it once or twice a week as a supplement to other activity. These days I spend most of my exercise time running, but I also do weight lifting, kickboxing and the aforementioned yoga.

    I don’t think everyone has to exercise this much to be healthy, but I do it for myself for a couple key reasons. First, I try to take care of my body, both fitness and weight-wise. Second, and really more important to me is my mental health. Depression runs in my family, and I have learned over the years that I am much more prone to anxiety and depression if I don’t exercise. So, my run in the morning is my “coffee” – it wakes me up and makes me feel alert and happy. Perhaps I exaggerate the benefits of coffee …

    As to your WoW question, I do think that we are abusing our bodies when we allow them to carry too much weight or fill them with unhealthy foods. It is hard not to do these things in our abundant culture, and I certainly have my own sweet tooth, so I don’t speak condemnation, but I do wish that Mormons cared more about their health beyond the Coke/no-Coke debate.

  3. Before getting married two years ago I’d generally climb/boulder for two hours 3 – 4 times a week and then work out at the gym for 1 – 2 hours 5 times a week. Unfortunately marriage and a new baby have made that quite difficult and I’m struggling both with my waist as well as fitting exercise in.

  4. I do weight-lifting on MWF and aerobic exercise on TThSa. On MWF I alternate between upper body and lower body, so I get 2 of one and 1 of the other every week. For aerobic exercise I jog between 2-5 miles (usually) or swim (less frequent). Some of you may recognize this pattern as Bill Phillips Body for Life. Indeed I do follow that particular exercise regime, though I am not participating in the program. For one thing, I think the dietary recommendations are completely whacked out- WAY too much meat. But the workouts, although they sometimes hurt a great deal, always make me feel good later on, and they increase my confidence in myself immensely.

    I have been consistently working out every morning between 5 and 5:30 am since January. I go to a gym. Hopefully now it is a habit. Just telling because you asked.

    Re: caring about health: My observation has been that many Mormons don’t really pay much attention to the bulk of the word of wisdom aside from the prohibitions. I could be wrong, but I have never noticed any kind of emphasis on grains and fresh (NOT canned) vegetables in the diet, herbs for health, or regular physical exercise (well I have seen more of this than the other two). Luckily I am married to someone who takes these other parts of the WoW very seriously, and has helped me to as well.

  5. Note that the between 5 and 5:30 am part means that this is the time I start, not the totality of the workout. Sometimes I am there until 7:00 am, depending on what exercises I am doing. Then it’s usually off to work.

  6. 5 in the morning! Kudos, Jordan.

    As for the WoW angle: frankly it’s easier to not drink coffee than to go on a 5 mile gut busting run.

  7. BTW, Ronan, it was Geoff Holland in the Oxford Ward who first introduced me to this particular regime several years ago. I would love to get in touch with him. Any idea as to how?

  8. Sorry, don’t know what happened to Geoff.

  9. For me I hit the gym four days a week, M, T, Th, F and on Wednesday’s I hit the first session at the temple. To make this fit my schedule I have to get up at 5:40am most days and 5:00am Wednesdays to make the 6:00am session at the temple. I’m not a morning person and hate getting up that early but I feel worse when I’m lazy and don’t exercise. The interesting thing to me is I’m no more tired with this schedule than I was when I got an extra hour of sleep but didn’t exercise. My theory is that when you exercise regularly your body needs less sleep. At least my body seems to work that way.

  10. No, no, no. What I wanted to know was how best to exercise without getting up a 5. Please, don’t make me get up at 5!

  11. Interesting, Trendon. I have noticed the same thing. And the sense of accomplishment and efficiency I always feel after getting up so early and doing my body some good is always so satisfying.

  12. Christina says:

    I don’t think I need less sleep when I exercise, but my body sleeps more deeply when I exercise and I therefore feel better rested.

    Has anyone ever read Levi Peterson’s “Backslider?” The mother of the protagonist has her own brand of WoW virtuosity, and she eschews all meat and sugar and forces her family to eat only whole grains and fresh vegetables. Her extremeness is absurd, but in some ways refreshing because we Mormons are so quick to forget the *other* commandments of the WoW. I think one of the most important and ignored WoW command is to eat meat sparingly. When you consider how many pounds of grain go into producing just 8 oz. of red meat it is obvious that it wasteful of the earth’s resources to overeat meat.

  13. I just realized that I didn’t even answer some of the other questions. At the risk of monopolizing this particular comment thread, here are my thoughts:

    How do you find the time?

    As you can see above, I find the time by going very early in the morning. There is lots of time alwats available if one is willing to sacrifice a little sleep.

    How can you justify two hours at the gym after work when there are kids who want to see you?

    That is precisely why I go so early in the morning while my kids and wife are still sleeping. I miss out on sleep time rather than family time.

    Should Mormons be more concerned about their physical fitness beyond just the Word of Wisdom?

    I think everyone should be more concerned about their physical fitness. We may feel great now, but it will catch up with us later on in most cases. I would hate to leave Andrea a widow years before I have to, or become incapacitated due to poor health if I can avoid it. Our bodies are our stewardship- we are told that they are temples. We need to take utmost care with them and of them. My opinion.

    Is a fat, unfit Mormon a bad Mormon (assuming there are no other factors involved)?

    Of course not!! Like everyone, some people may still have to learn/experience some things line upon line. We are not a one of us perfect. The worst one could possibly say about an (physically) “unfit” Mormon is that he/she is imperfect and aren’t we all?

  14. Seminary is my morning coffee. My thesis is my late night coffee.

    I haven’t gained or lost a pound since puberty (even through the mission in Guatemala). I eat almost whatever I want and it has no effect on me (at least for now). It’s hard to get motivated to do something I hate (working out) when I don’t feel or see the need to do so. Of course, a little more muscle would always be nice, but it’s not worth the sleep (5 hours never gets easier).

  15. Rusty,

    I was in the same situation (never gaining a pound no matter what I ate) until I turned 29 and was a summer associate at a big law firm and was wined (well, root-beered) and dined every day, sometimes twice!

    But I don’t work out because of weight issues. It just helps me clear my head. If I got the opportunity to teach early morning seminary I probably would not be able to keep it up, unless I got up at 4:45 (which I have also been known to do in a pinch).

  16. Jordan, what time do you go to bed?

  17. Between 11 and midnight. Almost never later than midnight, and very rarely before 11.

  18. HL Rogers says:

    Jordan, let us know when your general body functions begin shutting down spontaneously.

  19. HL,

    I have been keeping that schedule for years. I’m not super proud of it all the time, but it’s something I have done to fit in all the things I want to do each day.

    Things were worse at BYU, where I worked 40 hours a week at a bank, went to school full time, and worked 20 hours a week cleaning toilets and stuff in the SFLC (which is now gone…) I went to bed at around midnight and got up at 3:45 every weekday. Saturdays I got to sleep until 7:00 am, and then on Sunday I got to sleep until 6:00 am (because I had meetings every Sunday morning.) That schedule really did kill me- I was only able to take it for one semester.

    My schedule now definitely works better. And it is only because I have so much energy that I was able to hack full-time law school AND teaching in the UM German department at the same time, as well as finding time to spend at home with my family, be on the ed board of the law journal, and still escape with decent grades and my health intact.

    Come on- out of all these over achievers isn’t there someone else who gets up before the crack of dawn? I can’t be the only crazy one.

  20. “I went to bed at around midnight and got up at 3:45 every weekday. Saturdays I got to sleep until 7:00 am, and then on Sunday I got to sleep until 6:00 am …. I can’t be the only crazy one”

    Apparently you are!

    As for my slacker workout, FWIW: I run every day now, training for half-marathons and other races down the road, but it’s not sustainable to run 30+ miles a week (unless you’re Christina). Eventually I’ll reduce my mileage back. The hard part is slipping down to the gym during the day. But I like not being a glob of fat, like Mat Parke.

  21. The 3:45 am time was to facilitate performing janitorial duties in the SFLC at 4. That was crazy.

    I will stop monopolizing this post now. Thanks for putting up with me.

  22. Katherine says:

    One odd symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome that I experience is “post-exertional malaise”. Anything more than a half-mile stroll (think toddler pace) will earn me 2 or 3 days in bed with illness that in every way resembles the flu–fever, body aches, sore throat, etc.–except that it’s not contagious. I actually miss how it feels to use my body, and when I do exert myself, I feel great until the next day. It’s a lesson I get over and over because it’s so difficult to live by the limits I know I should.

    For those of you who are healthy and active,
    1) enjoy it! and
    2) don’t judge others who aren’t.
    You usually can’t tell by looking if someone is burdened with health problems, and you have no idea how those who are wish to heaven they were able to be healthy and fit like you!

  23. Katherine,

    My wife has a similar physical weakness, though not quite as severe. It has not yet been diagnosed, because I can’t get her into a doctor (she doesn’t want to go). But it does bother her a great deal, especially with me always having so much energy.

  24. Jordan,

    Haven’t you seen the studies that show that getting under 6 hours of sleep on a regular basis may cause you to resort to sudden, unexpected bursts of profanity in the bloggernacle?


  25. Oh- is THAT what happened? I couldn’t figure it out, so I came up with a convenient scapegoat.

  26. Kathrine, I feel your pain. I have epstien barr… or chronic mono, how ever you would like to lable it. It’s horrible not to have health.

    That being said, although it can absoultly wear me out, moving my body is one thing that helps me feel better. I do Tai Chi, and Yoga, and I also go walking. Those are the things that help me feel better, and help me stay healthy. It isn’t easy because there are days when I can barely get out of bed, but I find that when I do it consistantly, it actually helps me feel well.

    As for “fat mormons”, in a way I think that we are doing ourselves a great diservice when we allow our bodies to become unhealthy. Our body is a gift from God, one that we faught to have. Our body houses our spirit, and it seems like if our body isn’t healthy, it could effect the quality of our lives (which being overweight can do because of social things, and also physical things) which in turn would effect our spiritual lives. I also think it is a stewardship just like any other that we have been given, and we are supposed to care for it properly. We wouldn’t have the WoW at all if we could just do whatever we wanted to ourselves. I think that if we really followed the eating plan in the WoW we would have less obesity and feel better. I am honestly surprised that more confrence talks haven’t adressed this topic. Didn’t Brigham Young say something about being afriad that members would “wax fat and kick themselves out of the church”?

    As for what to do when you have kids at home, include them in your work out. Go for walks together, play a sport, put in a work out DVD and do it together. Teach them early that it can be fun, and feel good, to move their bodies. Why leave for 2 hours? Do it at home and let them see you doing it. Invest that gym money in something like a treadmill or total gym so it is ready to be used whenever you can use it.

    Our bodies are too important to neglect. I really feel that it can impact us in spirit when our bodies are run down and not functioning as well as they could. We only get one body after all, we better take good care of it.

  27. I generally work out at the gym five or six days a week, but sometimes exercise can be an obsession for me and then I get burned out. I’m currently in the burned out stage.

    Does anyone remember the PETA campaign that tried to encourage Mormons to become vegetarians based on the WoW? It’s interesting that most Mormons feel comfortable eschewing alcohol, “hot drinks”, and smoking, but don’t pay much attention to the other health related exortations in the scriptures. Too many people (Mormons included) are overweight and unhealthy – so I would support a similar campaign to get Mormons to exercise and eat healthier based on the lesser known parts of the WoW.

  28. Seth Rogers says:

    I’ve always liked the formula Brigham Young gave:

    -8 hours sleep
    -8 hours work
    -8 hours play

    Perhaps not entirely realistic given the expectations of modern society, but it seems like a great ideal to shoot for.

    I do competitive fencing 3 times a week. I just have a hard time getting into gerbil activity like jogging or aerobics.

  29. Seth, I like that. 8 hours play. Woo hoo!

  30. Jogging need not be a “gerbil activity,” though I do concede that many people treat it that way. It can be beautiful, meditative, and therapeutic. The earth looks so beautiful early in the morning. Nothing better than a morning jog when the earth is peaceful and beautiful to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation and think about how life is going. That does not seem “gerbil-like” to me. It is the height of refreshment.

  31. Seth Rogers says:

    OK Jordan, I’ll concede that.

    I did try jogging for a while and the only times it was actually nice was in the mornings in relatively uncivilized spots.

    I startled a herd of antelope once and almost tripped over a waking bull moose once. Exciting as those experiences were however, they actually served more as an encouragement to go out nature watching in the morning (at a slower more cautious pace) than as an endorsement of jogging per se.

    I guess I feel like I lose too much of the connection with my environment when I’m pounding along making all this noise and breathing so loud I can’t hear the mice in the bushes.

  32. Brother Joseph says:

    I might as well chime in too:

    I weight-train during lunch/break time at work 4 times a week and once on the weekend with my wife. I often jog as a mode of transportation; there’s no need for me to drive if my objective is a short run away. I practice Gung Fu and have dabbled in Thai kickboxing.

    How do you find the time?

    I work a salary, team-lead position in IT. I usually take a long break in the afternoon for a good workout. It helps relieve stress and clear my head.

    How can you justify two hours at the gym after work when there are kids who want to see you?

    I have no children yet (not for lack of trying, but that’s a sensitive topic for another post…) My wife excercizes with me on the weekend.

    Should Mormons be more concerned about their physical fitness beyond just the Word of Wisdom?

    Absolutely. Exercize generally promotes a feeling of well-being, and it’s hard to focus on the spiritual when you feel miserable.

    Is a fat, unfit Mormon a bad Mormon (assuming there are no other factors involved)?

    If there are no “other factors” like disease and such, I’d venture so far to say that a fat, unfit Mormon is failing to properly manage that stewardship, although that person may manage other stewardships granted much better than I do.

  33. I became fattish around the age of 8. It’s only gotten worse, but I don’t really think my habits are much worse than other thinner people I know. I think weight is a much more complex issue than most of the people who’ve posted here are willing to admit. If you have never struggled with your weight, you are not qualified to make judgments and ACTUALLY INSINUATE that an overweight person in a bad Mormon.

  34. Brother Joseph says:

    Oh, Minerva, that is one of my biggest pet peeves:

    First off, I don’t think anyone here has insinuated that overweight Mormon = bad Mormon. But aside from that, the rhetoric of saying that someone has to experience the temptation to comment on the consequence is absurd.

    If I have posted: Barring extreme factors such as medical disaster or divorce, someone who has filed bankruptcy has failed to manage their personal finances.

    Consider what an overreaction it is to say: “If you have never struggled with debt, you are not qualified to make judgments and ACTUALLY INSINUATE that someone who files bankruptcy is a bad person.”

  35. Brother Joseph,

    These are the quotations from the above thread I was thinking of when I wrote my post:

    “Is a fat, unfit Mormon a bad Mormon?”

    The asking of this question is a bit of an insinuation in itself, even if you think the answer is no.

    “I’d venture so far to say that a fat, unfit Mormon is failing to properly manage that stewardship.”

    Properly manage according to whom? I may be fat and unfit, but I think that God knows that I am doing the best that I can under my own personal private circumstances that nobody but he and I know about.

    “As for “fat mormons”, in a way I think that we are doing ourselves a great diservice when we allow our bodies to become unhealthy.”

    No doctor has ever told me that I am unhealthy. There is an attitude in this country that fat=unhealthy and it’s simply not always true. Also, the idea that I’ve “allowed” myself to become this way is so simplistic, not to mention painful for me to hear. The reasons I have become fatter than I and apparently others would like are so difficult for me to work through and figure out. Believe me I’ve been trying for years.

    “I do think that we are abusing our bodies when we allow them to carry too much weight.”

    Again, I have a problem with this idea of “allow.”

    Anway, Brother Joseph, perhaps I did overreact, but I don’t think my reaction was totally unfounded.

  36. Actually, what I said in my post was:

    “Is a fat, unfit Mormon a bad Mormon (assuming there are no other factors involved)?

    If someone is just fat, large, big-boned, or whatever, simply because they are, then fine. (And by fat I mean “obese”). If someone is fat because they eat junk and don’t ever exercise then I don’t have much sympathy.

  37. Brother Joseph says:

    I agree with you. There is a far-reaching attitude that all fat people are gluttonous or lazy. That simply isn’t true. There are some who struggle with medical or other physical conditions that make it so hard to maintain an “ideal” bodyweight. That’s why it’s a little unfair to parse out my disclaimer, “If there are no ‘other factors’ like disease and such”

    But let’s be honest, many overweight people are gluttonous and/or lazy. They aren’t returning their proverbial talent with interest. The fat isn’t the sin, but the way the sinful actions of idleness and gluttony can, but not always, become apparent.

  38. “If someone is fat because they eat junk and don’t ever exercise then I don’t have much sympathy.”

    That’s a wonderful attitude to have. You will just dismiss someone for behaviors that you do not understand the root of. Most people are not just gluttonous or lazy. And I don’t think ONLY medical or physical reasons for overweight are valid.(This is the kind of oversimplification I’m talking about.) People maay be depressed or trying to use food to overcompensate for other lacks (sex, friendship, love, intellectual stimulus). For some people (like me) exercize brings back incredibly bad memories and emotions of being never good enough. It is a small wonder that exercize is something that I have a very hard time maintaining. I wish very much that exercize were something that made me feel less depressed, that I could have the experiences that other people on this post have described.

    I just plain think there should be more understanding and less judging on this point. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

  39. I agree with Minerva. You never know what someone is going through in their lives at any particular moment that may be making them fat, skinny, ugly or mean. Let’s give each other a break! We can all find things that we do that we wish we didn’t that have negative impacts on our lives (i.e., obsessive checking of email (and now this blog) when supposed to be doing actual work).

    Unfortunately, being significantly overweight is a lot more difficult to hide than being lazy and unproductive at work.

  40. Thank you, Tess.

  41. Brother Joseph says:

    “People maay be depressed or trying to use food to overcompensate for other lacks (sex, friendship, love, intellectual stimulus).”

    Whatever the emotional reason, that is still gluttony and is to be avoided. Alcoholism is still alcoholism even if one drinks because one is depressed, repressed, or bored. Excusing the destructive behavior is a form of denial, and it obstructs the healing process.

    Back to my original point, there are many of us Mormons who do not take care of our bodies as we know we should. But if that is in part because we are tending to other areas of our stewardship, perhaps that isn’t such a bad thing, as long as we don’t lie to ourselves about our shortfall.

  42. I still think that those with emotional problems are not to be judged harshly. My most recent post was responding mostly to Ronan’s statement that he has no sympathy for fat people who eat too much and don’t exercize.

    The main point I am making is that we should not judge. The point you seem to be making is that fat people shouldn’t lie to themselves. We are both right, but my point should keep you from assuming that all fat people are lying to themselves (or assuming that it’s really any of your business if they are).

  43. Minerva has made a very good point, physical conditions are more “tolerated” by society than are emotional conditions. It is sad that emotional conditions are still looked down upon.

    I do feel though that if you are aware of your conditions, physical or emotional, and don’t work towards healing them as best as you can, then you are harming yourself. As far as I know our gospel talks about not harming the body (like not getting tatoos, multiple piercings, the word of wisdom also teaches us to care for ourselves). Because of this, neglecting our bodies for whatever the reason, could easily be considered not following a gospel principal.

    I know it is cliche, but I like the “body as a temple” metaphor. If you look at a temple, you see that it is well cared for, that things are in good order and repair. I have yet to see a temple that was a mess, or with things strewn about in disrepair. I always see them being cared for, washed, and made beautiful. If we think of our bodies in the same way, making them more able to preform their functions by giving them the good health they need can become a spiritual endevor. Afterall, this is the place where the spirit lives, and where the Holy Ghost visits, and it is the mode of transportaion for us to perform good works as well.

    That being said, I realize that there are people who are overwieght who are still healthy. I know that there are thin people who are very unhealthy. And, I know that there are many reasons why people gain wieght that have nothing to do with self control (or lack thereof). I myself suffer from chronic illness that makes working out harder, and also depression, and because of that I have to be more careful not to go over a healthy weight because it will make things worse. I feel that we need to keep ourselves healthy no matter what our conditions are though so we can better deal with them.

  44. Christina says:

    Minerva, you make an excellent point. I realize that I too may have come off as judgmental in my treatment of the subject. Like most other people, I have concerns about the weight and appearance of my body, and so, just as I can judge myself harshly, I am also guilty of judging others. I apologize. What I meant to say was, I know that when I don’t exercise or eat in a healthy way I am not taking good care of my body. On Monday I felt depressed so I ate a bunch of gummy bears. Healthy? no. I am still thin, but I am not taking care of my body (or my mental health) when I do that. Anyway, thanks for pointing out our bigotry.

  45. I happen to agree with both Ronan as well as with Minerva. having been a very fit and athletic person wearlier in life, I had to become sedentary due to serious illness, and hat plus the meds I was on made me gain upwards of 100lbs. And as I try tolose all that and get healthy, I understand how difficult a journey it is, both physically and psychologically.
    However, I must say this – given the other heavy people I have met atthe weight-loss clinic, I must say that a lot of overweight people are jusy not willing to make the effort and to do the very hard, and physically taxing workouts and dietary restrictions needed to lose weight. A lot of overweight do love to feel sorry for themselves, and stay in the rut they find t hemselves in, and blame to rest of the world.

  46. Minerva says:


    I appreciate your thoughts and very much admire what you’ve been able to do in the face of very difficult circumstances.

    However, I think someone who was previously fit and athletic who has gained weight has a very different mindset and has established habits that would make theirs a different battle in losing weight than someone who never was fit and athletic. I would be willing to bet that the overweight people you’ve encountered are not unwilling to make the effort (they are at a weighloss clinic, afterall); they simply do not have a precendent for such efforts. And whereas there is certainly pleasure in wallowing in self-pity and in blaming others, and this could be a part of anyone’s battles with any vice, I just refuse to see it in such simple terms. I really feel like I could write a book on this subject, but I’m not going to do it here on this thread, lucky you.

    “In the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can’t see.”

  47. Minerva,
    For the record: when I said that didn’t have “sympathy” for fat people that was a poor choice of words. I apologise. That wasn’t what I was trying to say.

  48. Steve H says:

    It seems to me that exercise is like a lot of other issues. We make decisions based on a huge number of factors. Many of our lives are so incredibly full that we simply can’t do everything. Some ball is going to drop. Our society just doesn’t have reasonable expectations of human ability. I think that it is a great thing to discuss what might be of most benefit to us or what might be a good use of our time, but I’m not ready to assume my use of time is more appropriate than someone else’s. Such assumptions usually tend to be simple expression of societal biases. I’m sure I’m not doing something I “should” be. If someone else isn’t doing something that would be great, I mostly think, hey, that person is probably insanely busy, or has some other reason that’s a problem for them.
    That said, I find that if I lift and run, my back does really well. If I don’t, I routinely lose days to back pain or fatigue, so I’m willing to take time from wherever it needs to come so that I don’t loose large blocks of time later. So in my case, health difficulties drive my workouts rather than stopping them.

  49. My exercise consists of my riding 6.5 km to work and home each day (that 6.5 km each way). A third of that is a hill that has probably a 15% grade at points.

  50. It is easy to be thin when your appetite is low. But, I have been pregnant and ravenous. I have Graves Disease which has affected my appetite at times (also my metabolism).
    After my 2nd child and my Graves Disease screwed up my thyroid, guess how much I ate per day. 4000+ calories. And I was thin. Lost all the baby weight no problem.
    When my disease was diagnosed, I went on meds. I started going to the gym…..but the weight started coming on.
    Finally after a couple months, my 4000 calorie appetite calmed down. My weight stablized, and I quit the gym.
    It had been no help at all. Who wants to work out 4 times a week and gain 15 lbs? What’s the point.
    The point, actually, was appetite. My body has so much more control over things than I do.
    So, its easy to say “I don’t overeat” when your body isn’t SCREAMING for food.
    There are people who work extemely hard to fight it, constantly.
    But I’ve had three kids. I was a size 14 in high school and a size 8 in my twenties (even a size 6 for a while), and now I’m a size 14. I’ve been 210 at 9 months pregnant, and 132 9 months after a baby (I’m 5’10).
    I have to admit, that I have NEVER, EVER successfully changed my weight with any effort made on my part. I have never succeeded at a diet.
    All of those weight changes just happened, based on what my body had decided to do.

  51. Dangit, I have to be vain and correct the above. I am currently a size 12. I can live with that, really. It kinda sucks that I was a size 8 at Christmas time, but my appetite seemed to change a little after I went off my postpartum depression meds.

  52. I guess the best way I can compare it is to breathing. Try breathing less. Yes, you can do it, but it takes a lot of effort and concentration. And to breathe less you have to concentrate on it all day long….denying that urge to breathe that your brain keeps sending you.

  53. I saunter slowly with a friend, who condescends to saunter with me twice a week. I figure I get out to the mailbox and pick up the paper. That’s good enough. I’m old. I don’t want to get real old.