Debunktion Junction. Lesson 1: You Can’t Outrun Your Fork

My husband, Scott is a personal trainer. A really good one.

Once, he trained a senior citizen to climb to an Everest base camp. So, yeah… He’s legit.

Think I take advantage of my in-house trainer? Free super-trainer services for me?

Not on your life. Never, not ever.

It’s not such a good idea for a trainer to train their spouse. Can you think of a quicker way for a man to land on the couch than to yell at his wife to move her ass?

Me neither.

I don’t even like for him to watch me work out. There is only one man on this earth who has to find me attractive, and I prefer that he not see me as gross as I get when I sweat my face off.

I reap all sorts of personal trainer benefits, though. My man brings the Fitness Wisdom. Thanks to Scott, I have been deprogrammed. All of the BS fitness myths that are oddly pervasive in American society have been banished.

Want to be deprogrammed, too? Scott and I can help.

Enter: Debunktion Junction. In the weeks to come, I’ll be using Happy Exhaustion to do battle with the myths that get in the way of attaining our healthiest selves.

First on deck (because it’s the one that makes me the most crazy):
You Cannot Outrun Your Fork.


Ladies and Gentlemen – Lend me your ears! If you don’t regulate your food, no amount of busting your ass at the gym is going to slim you down. I promise.

When Scott explained that you can’t just exercise yourself thin, it was like he was speaking Swahili. What’s the point of working out if it doesn’t allow you to eat a pint of ice cream whenever it strikes your fancy? I’m supposed to work out just for health and strength?? Bummer.

But even if you hit the gym – even if you hit the gym every single day – even if you hit the gym HARD – it won’t make you skinny if you’re eating all sorts of things you shouldn’t.

Working out is essential to fitness and strength, but it’s not the key to weight loss. The key to weight loss is your food. Exercise can aid your diet, but it cannot BE your diet.

Trainers are constantly being blamed when their clients don’t lose weight despite all the workouts. But, if the client walks out the front door and heads to the pizza place for a slice and a beer, there will be no weight loss and there’s nothing your trainer can do about it. You’ll build some rockin’ muscles… you just won’t be able to see them under the fat you picked up from your food.

When I work out hard for an hour, I burn somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 calories. That’s roughly the same number of calories in my favorite blended vanilla Frappuccino.

It’s just math, but it’s hard to accept.

If you want to maintain your weight AND you want to eat a piece of chocolate cake, you have to go to the gym. But don’t fool yourself into believing your trip to the gym earned you anything more than a single piece of cake. That second slice is gonna get ya.

If you want to lose weight? You have to go to the gym and not have any cake. At all.

I know. I’m sorry. I wish it wasn’t true, too.

It’s sad, but if you eat more than you should, you won’t be physically capable of working out enough to burn it all off. You can’t outrun your fork.

Don’t quit the gym! Keep burning those calories and strengthening your body. Just don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. The gym can make you fit, but only your diet can make you thin.

3 thoughts on “Debunktion Junction. Lesson 1: You Can’t Outrun Your Fork

  1. I have used apps that count each and every calorie and it’s so helpful just to know where everything adds up, like 1/3 cup of milk in your morning coffee…. and that glass of wine….

  2. Katey – thank you for your honesty! I am so tired of diet websites claiming that exercise is the only important thing for weight loss. It is also really nice to know that someone else finds the journey as exhausting as we all do, it’s tough work! I am tired of always hearing that being skinny is “easy” it’s not easy for anyone! Thanks again, i look forward to more of your posts in the future!

    • Thanks, Kate!
      Ah, the fun of seeking health-related truth in the midst of salesmen screeching about their products melting all of our fat away. Ugh.
      I still find staying fit to be anything BUT easy. It’s hard work every day. But it’s worth it! Wouldn’t it be nice if the messages we heard were honest? “This is going to suck. You might cry. You should do it anyway. It’s worth it.”
      That’ll be the day 😉
      Hope to see you around again soon!

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