I Quit Working Out Because It Was Making Me Fat

Rant 15

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

exercise, weight loss


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

fave82 fave82

Oh waaaah

nonmember avatar K B

Idiot. Exercise doesn't make you fat.

PinkJane PinkJane

I think for some people it is because when they work out, suddenly they're hungry all the time. I've heard this complaint from a bunch of people!

nonmember avatar Ashley

Working out doesnt make people fat. People make people fat. Maybe the reason your skinny jeans used to be so easy to slide on is because fat is pliable and squishy but muscle is not. Or maybe you were doing the wrong type of exercising? Maybe you were creating more muscle mass without reducing body fat. And lastly, no one knows your pants size but people do notice jiggly muffin tops.

linzemae linzemae

Working out does make you fat if you aren't eating enough calories! Ask any nutritionist. You need the perfect balance of carbs, protein and fats

lulou lulou

Shopping is exercise, one of the best kinds.  Well maybe not online, but you are still typing and there was that whole fidgeting and fitness study.  Or you could get a walking desk.

Krist... KristyLizabeth

My guess would be you added muscle and probably your body composition shifted, like things lifted up where they actually should be.....

Valerie Metzger

Being thin and willowy is way more beautiful than being strong and healthy. 'Murica. Be a good example for your son, and keep up the exercise so you can live a long, healthy life.

nonmember avatar DaisyJupes

If you look like you do in the photo, of course you got bigger. You don't have much fat to begin with so when you started exercising you GAINED MUSCLE. When I was working a job that involved climbing thousands of stairs a day, my legs and my butt got bigger and I gained about 10 pounds. That's because I gained muscle and didn't have much fat to lose. My butt and legs weren't flabby, they were solid and more capable. Sure, I was now one size bigger, but I looked better.

If you start out fat, you have more fat to lose than muscle to gain. If you start out relatively thin (think a normal BMI), you have less fat to lose than muscle to gain. Generally, if you're like me (I have a muscular build and skinny jeans don't work for my legs, even though they're lose at the waist), you get bigger when you workout because you don't have the fat to lose, just muscle to gain.

nonmember avatar JT

No people, this is a real thing. It happens to me too. Call it muscle, water weight, whatever. I think too much cardio really can make you bigger!

1-10 of 15 comments 12 Last