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Obesity and Energy Levels

I receive a lot of unsolicited advice about my “health,” and most of the time I appreciate it because people care enough to say something. It’s an important issue, but my size doesn’t accurately portray my energy level to many looking at me from a distance. 

Say what you want about my need to lose weight. That’s an undisputable fact, but I’m going to brag about my energy levels for a moment. 

I get up around 6 am during the week, and I’m up almost as early on Sunday mornings. Most days I’m away from home for more than 12 hours at a time. I’m gnerally not the “sit on the sofa while eating pizza while binging on Netflix” type, though I did make an exception for House of Cards. I’m the “wake up, hit the ground running, let’s smile because it’s finally time to be awake” type (at least most days.) 

I sleep well. When my head hits the pillow, it usually isn’t long until I’m dreaming. I typically feel rested when I wake up. I indulge in occassional Sunday naps, but it’s not a requirement…not even close. 

I have more energy and endurance than a lot of people who are much smaller than I am, but I don’t have as much as I had two years ago. This isn’t a post about comparing myself to other people because I don’t do that; this is about me. 

I’m aggravated with myself because I gained a significant amount of weight back, but I’m doing better. I’m consistenly eating less and making better choices. There’s a lot of room for improvement, but it’s been better for the last few months. 

My routine feels pretty solid now, but I need to exercise more than I do. I need to do it consitently because I know that it will lower my stress levels and increase my energy levels. It’s a win-win, so why am I struggling to do it? 

I’m busy from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep. I enjoy everything I do, so rarely does it feel like burden. I’m thankful for that. I don’t prioritize my workouts, which is no secret here. I know that needs to change, which is also not a secret. 

I know that I need to continue taking steps in the a healthier direction. I’m doing that by cooking chicken in my slow cooker and bringing my lunch to work, making more time to get enough sleep, drinking water, and eating vegetables. I know that there’s so much more to do. 

I just find it a little frustrating (and silly) that people (though most of them mean well) spend their time and effort telling me how I should detox, or how I should do this or that because it will give me more energy, etc. It’s odd because those people (the recent ones) aren’t as healthy, balanced, or energized as I am. They’re just skinnier. 

I don’t offer a lot of unsolicited advice, but if I did, I’d start by suggesting that people offer less unsolicited advice. I’d follow that up with the need to recognize that our looks don’t always portray everything that’s happening on the inside. In fact, it rarely does. 

This isn’t something that I plan to lose sleep over. It’s just a little PSA for those well-intentioned, yet misguided folks. I’m okay. I could sugarcoat what I’m about to say, but it’s not intended to be mean:

If you’re talking about this with me and I yawn, it’s probably just because these talks bore me. Thank you for caring. Just take a bit more time to pay attention to the reality of my situation if you’re going to comment on it. I’m juggling my priorities right now, and I’ll keep trying to do better. 


And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. 

Collossians 3:17

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  • Reply
    April 14, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    well said! 🙂

    I hadn’t thought much about energy levels until a few years ago. Like you, I’m on the go morning to night. Then I went on a date with someone I met online. He was highly critical of me and also assumed I needed to rest in between every hole of miniature golf! At first I thought he was being polite, then I realized he thought I never worked out ever and had such low energy that I needed to constantly be sitting. I don’t think of people that way so I was shocked he had those assumptions. There wasn’t a second date. 🙂

    • Reply
      April 14, 2015 at 6:42 pm

      I wish I could say that I was surprised by that, but I’m not. Sometimes I think poeple have good intentions, and sometimes they’re ignorant. In my case, the person who is constantly preaching to me that I need more enegry is drowsy by late afternoon and definitely couldn’t hang with my hours. I think maybe they just feel like we must be worse off than they are, and a lot of times that’s just not true.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 8:04 am

    I recently started waking up an hour earlier to go to the gym in the morning. The first week of this new routine nearly killed me, but four months later it’s part of my day I really enjoy. Maybe think about waking up just a little earlier to get a workout in? All the research says AM workouts are so good. If you could even squeeze in a 15 minute walk it might help.
    When the alarm goes off and I am tired, I just remind myself that I never leave the gym saying, “Wow, I wish I wouldn’t have gone today.” 🙂

    • Reply
      April 17, 2015 at 6:36 pm

      For a long time I’ve said that if I had to work out at 5 am, I’d just stay fat. I’m starting to feel like that’s no longer true. Getting up at 6 wasn’t nearly as hard to adjust to as I thought it would be. Now I’m thinking that 5 wouldn’t be so bad either.

      • Reply
        April 18, 2015 at 11:42 am

        It’s honestly not that bad once you make it a habit. The increased energy levels and better stress management I have been having are well worth it. Like I said, start small– maybe even with just a quick 15 minute walk in the morning. You can use it for devotional time too– pray, listen to something inspiring, etc. I started working out in the mornings with a goal of losing weight and wanting to work out for at least an hour each morning. Now I shoot for 40 to 45 minutes and the mindset that something is better than nothing, and it helps ground and center me for the day. I think you’ll find it’s time well spent. 🙂

  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 8:07 am

    …and I’m sorry people are trying to tell you how to run your life. That is the worst. Remember the HCG diet craze a few years back? I had friends trying to tell me I needed to do that. And guess what? Yes they lost weight doing it, but now they’ve gained it all back.
    Ultimately you know what you need to do to feel good physically and mentally, and no one has a right to make you feel badly about your choices!

    • Reply
      April 17, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      Oh gosh…so many people had major issues with their heart after that craze. I’d rather be like this than like that, but thankfully, that’s not the only choice.

  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Most people who preach to you are advocating some kind of unbalanced plan-du-jour that is exactly what they think everyone needs. You are striving for balance, which is a healthy approach. I’ve been losing a significant amount of weight and it amazes me first, that so many people comment about it, and second, that so many people still think I need their advice to try some crazy ultra-low this, overly-restrictive that to lose more weight?? I just tell them I’m sticking with my balanced, moderate, trying to fit everything into my day approach, thank you anyway.

    • Reply
      April 17, 2015 at 6:42 pm

      That’s a great approach and a great way to handle their “advice.”

  • Reply
    April 15, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    I just caught up on your last several blog posts–I love the new focus of your blog! I’m not sure if I’ve ever commented before, I’ve probably just been a lurker, but I also live in New Orleans (Mid-City, near City Park). I also work in an office all day, and it’s sooooooooo hard to get activity in during the day. I set my alarm for 5am every day (6 on the weekends) so I have devotional time (currently going through One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp) and can exercise before my 2 toddlers wake up. I feel like we have some things in common 🙂

    It’s so frustrating when people assume that because you’re obese, you are lazy and unhealthy too. They are not synonymous! Or the “It’s great you love yourself and all, but you’re so unhealthy” comments. (Not that I’ve heard many of the latter type of comment, but I know lots of people do! Ha.) Anyway. Haters gonna hate.

    • Reply
      April 17, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      I’ve definitely heard the latter, and it’s silly. Mid-City isn’t far at all from downtown. That’s awesome! I’m glad you reached out!

  • Reply
    May 3, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    That’s one thing that I try not to do is advise others on what they should be doing because I hate it when people do that to me when they don’t know anything about me. Everyone is different and our bodies react differently to different things. For me, while I’m not against getting advice and tips on things that I’m not sure of, I really wish people would think before they speak, which I can honestly say, many do not in these high tech digital days. I’m with you on this Kenlie. I may not look it, but I’ve been feeling so good physically these past few months since I started working out. I can walk up flights of stairs without hardly having to stop and rest, I feel rested in the mornings and I don’t feel sluggish (I can make it through the day without the aid of coffee, although I still like to drink it occasionally) and I eat my vegetables everyday. I’ve come a long way since last year when I was more out of shape (on the inside) and I’m proud of myself for keeping it going for so long. I think that people, regardless of whether they mean well (or in my case, wanting to feel superior to me) or not, they probably just feel the need to express their opinions, to get their word in as a way to allow themselves to feel like they are helping, when in fact, they may not even realize that they’re doing more harm than good. They don’t feel what I feel so how would they know what is best for me? What I do when I feel that someone is being “too preachy” to me is nod and smile at them, and then just tune them out. Let them live their little reality of “I’m better than you” life and just ignore them completely. I don’t need anyone telling me what I need to do when I’m probably doing more than they are. I’m not competing with them. I do what I do in order to stay healthy. That’s all. I just don’t get people sometimes. You’re doing great though! Keep going! 🙂

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