I Quit Working Out Because It Was Making Me Fat

Mary Fischer
Non-exercising me, two years ago.
I've never been one of those people who considers herself to be a gym rat, but somewhere back around April, I suddenly turned into a real workout fiend. I swear I was addicted to exercise. At least five or six days a week, you would've found me at a Zumba class, doing strength training workouts in my basement, walking the insanely huge hill in our neighborhood, or doing a Pilates or yoga DVD. And I loved it. I really did. I felt all healthy and energized and thought that I was in the best shape of my life -- until I realized in early August that I actually wasn't.

Sure, I had a little more muscle tone going on -- but none of my pants fit. Not. One. Single. Pair. And when none of my pants fit, I immediately enter "holy shit I'm FAT" territory. 

Call me vain. Call me irrational. Call me shallow as hell. Whatever you label me as won't change the fact that I'm convinced working out made me fat.


And that's why I stopped doing it right before we went on vacation at the beginning of August and haven't moved a damn muscle since. And guess what? Suddenly my skinny jeans, which I couldn't pull over my ass a month ago, fit me again. (Yes, without me having to suck in my gut.)

OMG. It's like magic! Sure, I'm still eating pretty clean, so it's not like my diet isn't contributing to the sudden weight drop -- but the whole not working out bit is definitely a major contributor.

Come to think of it, the times in my life when I've been the skinniest have been when I'm not setting foot anywhere near a gym. Huh.

But there's only one problem -- I kind of miss the exercise. For reals. Other than hoping regular workouts would whip my butt into shape, they also served as such a nice stress reliever, and that's the part I'd like to get back at some point in the near future.

But what if I start going to Zumba again or do a video here and there and find myself in the same predicament -- high on endorphins but in need of a whole new wardrobe? I just can't let that happen. (My shopping addiction is bad enough as it is without having to add several new pairs of jeans into the mix.)

Soooo, what's a girl to do? Do I get back into the groove and hope that maybe, just maybe this time I'll do it right (since I obviously must have been working out wrong) and I'll wind up losing even more weight in addition to firming up my problem areas? Or do I continue to sit on my ass and watch my food intake and hope that I can manage to squeeze back into the tiniest piece of clothing in my closet by the time the holidays roll around?

Sigh. I feel like I really can't win no matter what I do. 

Have you ever found that working out makes you get bigger?


Image via Mary Fischer

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