Will I gain weight if I don’t workout for an hour or more?

by purelytwins

We have a very personal story to share today. A story we’ve touched on before but never went this deep. As part of our PT family you know we are very honest with you here.

The past few years we’ve been working on our mindset and learning to love ourselves as we are, so we were ready to share this side of our fitness journey.

We wanted to share more of our personal fitness journey to get the bodies we love inside and out. We hope this helps you if you are struggling with forming a better relationship with your body and exercise.

Today we are sharing what we used to do to maintain our weight at 110 – 115 lbs vs what we do now at 118 – 121 lbs. We give ranges in our weight because our weight fluctuated over the years, which is normal.

Will I gain weight if I don’t work out for an hour or more?

Maybe or maybe not?

What would happen if you did gain a few more pounds?

Do you love yourself at your current weight? Did you love yourself more when you were at your lowest weight?

For us, when we were at our 110-115 range we didn’t love our bodies the way we do now. We still felt like we weren’t good enough. Pretty enough. Small enough. We did anything and everything from working out like crazy to restricting our eats all to have control over our bodies. To control the number on the scale as that is how we valued our self-worth. We were so unhappy on the inside which eventually our outside reflected that through all our skin issues.

What my body looked like when all I did was cardio and more cardio. I was unhappy, hated my body and had skin and digestive issues.

 This was Michelle back in 2009 around the weight of 110-112 when we were so into long hours of cardio and lots of running. We hated working out, it took a lot of mental energy to get motivated to go for a run. We dreaded our workouts. We both had skin, hormonal and digestive issues.  But we didn’t realize how we were working out was hurting our health and happiness even more. Then we hit our rock bottom with fitness. Later that year we started to work out differently. 

It makes us heartbroken when we get emails from women struggling to change their bodies and when we ask them what they are doing for their exercise we are shocked at how much they are doing. It reminds us of how we used to be around fitness.

We remember the days when our entire lives revolved around our cardio minutes and how many calories we ate. 
Here is how we used to think about our weight and why?

Back in the day we did whatever we could possible to not get above 115 lbs. Although the ideal weight we wanted was 110 (or less!). We valued the number on the scale so much not really caring how we felt inside. For some reason 110 felt good in our heads. It helped us feel like we “fit” in.

Here is everything we did to be at that weight:
1 – We did cardio 7 days a week for at least an hour. Sometimes more.
2 – We did very little weight training.
3 – Somedays we would go back for a second workout. Normally it was because we ate something we shouldn’t of.
4 – We weighed ourselves ALL the time.
5 – We tracked everything! Every morsel that passed our lips and how many calories we burned at the gym.
6 – We restricted causing us to binge followed by loads of guilt and shame. Back to promising ourselves, we will be clean tomorrow, might as well keep eating these cookies and ice cream.
7 –  We were scared of taking rest days. We became addicted to long hours of working out.
8 – Our workouts were pretty much the same every day. No variety. Nothing to push us. Just going through the motions on the treadmill or elliptical. If we did strength train it was the same few moves. Over time we got really bored.

Over time our bodies rebelled.

Our health, skin and overall happiness were going downhill.

Despite doing all this exercise and trying to eat clean our bodies weren’t changing. So we kept doing more cardio and cutting more foods out of our diet thinking that was the answer. We were obsessed with finding the perfect diet.

We didn’t realize this but you can become obsessed with working out for long hours.

We knew something had to change because we were miserable.

Eventually, we learned less is more. Our motto now is do less to live more.

Work out less to gain more time back in your life which leads to more happiness and fun because you are no longer watching the minutes pass you by wishing time would go faster on the treadmill. No. Now you want time to go by slow because you love your life.

But yet we all still think a lot about exercise. More is better, right?

Do you ever think:

“I’ll just do more cardio this week:
“I’ll just do a few extra minutes on the treadmill,”
“I’ll do one more day of sprints to speed things up.”
“Gosh I still have 30 minutes left. I am getting bored.”

You go back for a second gym session because you ate poorly and you feel bad.
You don’t know how to control your weight without exercise.
You feel like you ruined all your work if you miss a workout
You don’t trust yourself around food and exercise. You feel you will lose control.
You don’t see how working out 30 minutes or less at a more-intense pace will get your better results? You are scared and don’t think it would work for you?
Eventually, you will plateau as your body adjusts to what you are doing. It did for us.

We remember the days when our entire lives revolved around our cardio minutes and how many calories we ate. Back in the day we did whatever we could possible to not get above 115 lbs. But yet we all still think a lot about exercise. More is better, right? We knew something had to change because we were miserable and our bodies weren't changing despite all the cardio we were doing. Now we weigh more, workout less, feel better and more fit. Most of all love our bodies.

Here’s our physique today at 118 – 121…5-10 lbs heavier than our previous self.

What do we do to maintain this weight year after year?
1 – We work out 4 – 6 days a week. We mix it up. We do HIIT, low impact, planks, strength training and bodyweight routines.
2 – We do jump rope or sprints for no more than 15 minutes for our cardio. Do we do this every week? We try to do one once a week but sometimes two or more weeks go by. We never run beside whenever we do sprints.
3 – We aim to walk for 20 minutes a day.
4 – We take one rest day a week. Sometimes we walk on this day but sometimes we don’t. We no longer worry about how many calories we burn in our workouts. We just work hard in our workouts.
5 – We have a flexible approach to eating for life. We don’t follow rules. We do track our macros a few times a week as this gives us structure and flexible. It works well for us. Inside Purely Fit Life we are really transparent about how we eat.
6 – We normally have some form of a dessert every day. We do have chocolate every day, normally it is cacao nibs or chocolate chips. Or both.
7 – Look at Lori’s email for every diet we do.
8 – We don’t weight ourselves. Only when we go to the doctors, which is rare.

118 – 121 is EASY for us to maintain and do for life. Because we love our workouts. Push ourselves in them. Fuel our bodies that works for us. We eat dessert and bacon. We have a complete body and food freedom. The most important thing is we do all this from a  place of self-love. We know what self-hate does to our bodies and health and don’t want to go down that road again.

We are not the leanest or most muscular but we love our bodies. We love the muscle we have and the softer parts. This weight feels good inside and out.

The journey to get better took years. This is why you have to fall in love with the journey and not be obsessed with the results.

We want more than anything else for you to make peace with your body, fitness and food. We share our story to show you what is possible.

But you have to try. You have to take action. You have to change your mindset.

We are not saying cardio is bad. We just want you to be aware of how it is affecting your health, your life, your happiness.

So how do you change without doing hours of cardio:
1 – Add in some HIIT training – shorter more intense workouts. It’s just psychologically, it’s easier to push yourself for a shorter amount of time.
2 – Do a variety of workouts from style to intensity. When you do the same thing every day your body is not responding anymore. Your body responds to changes in training.
3 – Make sure you are eating enough food for your activity level.
4 – Change your mindset around fitness and that cardio is not the only way to get in shape.
5 – Train for life. Love the journey. Change takes time.

We personally can mentally get around a 20-minute workout with good intensity instead of thinking we have to do 1 hr of cardio.

Why workout for an hour or more when you can get the same result in 30 minutes or less?

We challenge you to cut down to 30 minutes, increase your intensity and show us that you don’t get great results…even better results.


Lori and Michelle

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Sam June 28, 2016 - 12:13 pm

I wish my 20-year old self could have read this post…I followed in the same footsteps of over-exercising and I was so obsessed with what I ate. Quite frankly, I cringe at photos of myself during that time. I didn’t look healthy, but I couldn’t see it at the time.
I hope you ladies realize how gorgeous you are and how important your story is for women today! #RoleModels

purelytwins June 28, 2016 - 4:21 pm

thank you so much Sam!!! We have the same feelings when we look back at old pictures. We couldn’t believe how hard we were on ourselves. HUGS


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