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Ej Ogenyi: If Your Life is So Busy, Why Aren’t You Losing Weight?

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IMG_4385 SmallYou wake up very early and start your day at breakneck speed. Regardless of how you spend your day, it starts with activity and ends with you wondering where the hours went. It feels like you didn’t have the time to put your feet up all day. As you get ready for bed, you look yourself in the mirror and wonder why being this busy day in day out isn’t translating to losing the weight that you’d like to. In fact, you might find yourself gaining weight.

If this sounds like you, the first thing you need to understand that might help ease your frustration is that being busy and being active are two different things. Being busy is having a lot of things to do in the fixed time you have while being active takes some conscious effort to move your body within that busy schedule. Also, you might be ignoring how you eat if you’re relying on being busy to lose weight. So let’s look at being active and how you’re eating in more detail.

Are You Really as Active as You Think You Are?
Being busy and being active are not the same things. Being busy might mean that you spend a lot of time answering customer questions on the phone or at your computer doing your job. Being active means actually moving your body in space and using your muscles in ways that burn calories while you do these activities.

The most effective way to determine how active you are is to use an activity tracker. You can do this by getting your hands on a pedometer or another type of activity tracker to see if you are actually spending time moving around all day or if the exhaustion is a result of things like not getting enough sleep, staring at a computer for too long, or dealing with stressful people at your job.

If you’re interested in getting a tracker, click here to read how to select the best activity tracker for your goals and your lifestyle.

Are you Eating in a Way to Support Your Weight Loss?
When you spend so much of your time attending to the work you have to do and the other people in your life, what you eat might be the last thing on your mind. This is especially true if you think that being so busy should mean that you’re getting all the activity that you need to compensate for your diet.

Even if you’re getting all the activity that you need, that doesn’t condone a bad diet. The alternative – a healthy diet – isn’t something that you do for a few weeks and give up when you see the results that you want. A healthy diet includes a good mix of whole grains and healthy sources of carbohydrates, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. More importantly, a healthy diet that’ll help you lose weight includes all this in moderate amounts and in a way that you can sustain for the long-term.

Now – Are You Ready to Get More Active?
If you are, I’ve written a handy post that can help you get started with fitting exercise into your busy schedule. But if you can’t even see yourself making time for that right now try something as simple as taking several 5 – 10 minute walking breaks everyday. It might not drop the weight off you immediately, but it’ll start injecting some actual activity into your busy day. Plus, it might get you thinking about what more you can do to be active when you see yourself doing this successfully.

And to help you eat healthier, stay tuned in the coming weeks to learn the components of a healthy diet and how to adapt these components into your busy lifestyle. For now, answer me this: are you actually active or are you just busy? And if you aren’t active, do you see yourself taking steps to fit formal activity into your schedule?

EJ (Ejiro) is a writer/engineer/mom. She writes about healthy living to help busy professional women lose weight, keep it off—and actually feel amazing. She created a Registered Trademarked System (VAFs®) for healthy eating for weight loss and wrote the book Weight Loss for High Achievers to help busy women lose weight and let go of the idea that the only way to succeed is to diet for the rest of their lives. With EJ's methods, dieting isn't required and neither is spending hours in the gym for meager results. P.S. If you want to get the goal-crushing motivation to reach your weight loss goal, then you'll want to get the first chapter of EJ's book for FREE. Click here to get it now.

15 Comments

  1. @edDREAMZ

    March 17, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    a.k.a EDWIN CHINEDU AZUBUKO said…
    .
    Being busy and active.. Can never tell the difference untill nw…. Am always active though…..
    .
    .
    ***CURRENTLY IN JUPITER***

    • EJ Ogenyi

      March 20, 2015 at 3:10 am

      Hello Edwin,

      It’s great to hear that you’re both busy and active. Thank you for sharing.

      EJ

  2. ify

    March 17, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    ooppssss, i know i am just being busy.

    • EJ Ogenyi

      March 20, 2015 at 3:11 am

      Hello Ify,

      Thank you for sharing your insights. Now that you know you’re just being busy, what do you intend to do about it and when do you intend to start?

      Have an amazing day!!!

      EJ

  3. memebaby

    March 17, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    well last year.. when I was done school and jobless, i worked out everyday..either indoors with youtube videos or ran outside.be it .cold or rainy canada.. but now, i have a desk job and it’s not the same.. i wanna workout but all i want to do is sleep and get ready for the next day..life is tuff and my gut and face is growing.. oh dear

    • EJ Ogenyi

      March 20, 2015 at 3:14 am

      Hello Memebaby,

      Thank you for sharing your insights. Great job identifying barriers to increased activity. I counted three – a desk job, exhaustion after a long day’s work, and cold and rainy Canada. What, if anything, do you think that you can do to remove those barriers? It doesn’t have to be major, it clearing enough of the barrier to get 10 minutes of activity at the start and grow from there.

      Have a wonderful day,

      EJ

  4. priscilla

    March 17, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    thanks for sharing this,didnt knw I wz just being busy

    • EJ Ogenyi

      March 20, 2015 at 3:15 am

      Hello Priscilla,

      You’re more than welcome. Thank you so much for sharing your insights.

      If you plan on doing something to become more active, what do you intend to do?

      Have a wonderful day,

      EJ

  5. fleur

    March 18, 2015 at 12:22 am

    Ejiro, this is where emerging scientific findings are helpful. When you are truly very busy, especially the kind that ties you up in a coil and keeps your brain running round the clock (not physically exhaustive work) and leaves you with a feeling of not having control, you actually become psychosocially stressed. This turns your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis into overdrive. Your adrenals pump cortisol the stress hormone excessively, which in turn signals that your body should prepare for fight or flight. What that means is your body starts storing away supplies, ie, fat, to burn when the time for flight or fight comes. Do this over the long term and you are hammed. You add weight. In fact, a trainer will advise you not to pound the earth in the name of strenuous exercise if your costisol level is high. So yes, besides the fact that you might not be burning enough energy, the psychological component that goes into overdrive with chronic stress actually adds those pounds for you so that your dreams of losing weight are just dreams!!

    • EJ Ogenyi

      March 20, 2015 at 3:18 am

      Hello Fluer,

      Thank you so much for sharing what you know about the stress response to being extremely busy. As you rightly said, cortisol is the enemy if you’re trying to lose weight. Worse still is that it encourages fat to deposit around one’s midsection.

      It’s not a hopeless situation because low intensity exercise has been shown to help reduce circulating cortisol levels and that can help reduce stress in the long run.

      Thank you for starting this line of conversation and have a wonderful day,

      EJ

  6. jhennique

    March 18, 2015 at 9:00 am

    I see fat people at the gym. They come there, Do lazy workout, walk (not run) on the treadmill for like 20 mins. Refuse to push themselves, Complain that the fitness trainer’s routine is too hard. Go home and binge on things like icecrean and doughnut and chocolate and pizza, fried foods and junk!!!!

    You cant be like this and complain about not losing weight. Please sister go and sit one place until u are ready.
    If u follow a solid workout routine everytime you are at the gym (which should be at least 3 times a week) for like 4 months and you dont see a difference then we can colclude it to be a spiritual problem. Eat healthy. Stop eating junk! eat lots of veggies, fruits, proteins, whole foods and complex carbs. Leave sugar alone. You will not die! LIFT SISTER! LIFT! push yourself. the pain will not kill you.
    All the guys in the gym used to taunt me about lifting weights with them. telling me i would look like a man. Now they have left me alone wen they see how sexy im becoming,

    I know an obese girl on my street that took up running. By the time i was leaving my house at 6am she would have already been running for an hour on our small street. Today she is a size 6-8. Im tired of hearing excuses, IT CAN BE DONE!!! JUST DO IT!!!!

    im no professional but i can offer fittness instructions and meal plans for free! even on a tight budget. interested? mail me. [email protected]. Cheers.

    • Manny

      March 18, 2015 at 5:23 pm

      Shut off and get off your high horse. You might have some points but your delivery comes from a shallow place.

    • EJ Ogenyi

      March 20, 2015 at 3:25 am

      Hello Jhennique,

      You’re right that it can be done, but you need to remember that we’re all at different points in the journey and compassion is usually what people trying to lose weight need rather than judgement.

      When I first started trying to drop the weight I gained in college 11 years ago, I was that woman who was on the elliptical and went home to eat junk; my junk of choice was a honey bun and a vanilla coke. What helped me finally kick my habit was not a meal plan or a tough exercise plan but a friend gently showing me my pattern.

      The weight loss math is sounds easy (eat healthy and exercise), but you never know what’s going on in someone’s life that motivates them to continue with the patterns that keep them overweight or obese. Compassion and encouragement go much further than judgement.

      Thank you for contributing to the conversation and have a wonderful day,

      EJ

  7. omotunshe

    March 18, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Nice write [email protected] I love or write up.am busy n am active as well but I’ll to lose some weight.

  8. tabii

    March 25, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    pls can I get a guide on how to track my food intake

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