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246 Calories ... That's It?

I don’t like to exercise. I wish I did. I am jealous of people who socialize, destress and energize through physical activity, but this has never been me. I have never finished a workout (other than yoga) and thought, “Wow, that felt great.” I only think, “Whew, thank goodness that’s over. Where is my Snickers?”

So … it just makes me feel worse to see calories burned on my elliptical. I am sweaty, exhausted and sore, looking expectantly at the screen for an impressive number, which will give me the green light to go devour a bowl of pasta. Instead, I get an obnoxious reading in the 200-300 range. What the heck is that?? 250 calories burned! Is this supposed to be inspiring? Is it supposed to be helpful? Is it mocking me? It makes me wonder whether the effort was even worth it, and I am tempted to give the screen the finger.

What is 250 calories?

From a weight loss standpoint, it is 1/14 of a pound. You would have to repeat the workout every day for two weeks to lose one pound.

From a drinking standpoint, it is 2 glasses of wine or two light beers.

From an eating standpoint, it is medium sized bagel with nothing on it. It is a small order of fries. It is three chocolate chip cookies. It is a slice of pizza.

Is it just me or is this slightly discouraging? As soon as I finish working out, I am starving and will quickly make up most of those calories. Knowing how important exercise is, I have to retrain my brain, so I can get back on the horse. I urge you to ignore this number. Don’t even look. Focus on all the other reasons exercise is important, and just do it.

About Dr. Karen Latimer

I’m a family physician now struggling to take care of a bunch of kids who keep calling me Mom. When I’m not wiping butts, refereeing sibling rivalry and chauffeuring over-scheduled little people, I write a family medical blog that gives you five thoughts on all sorts of different health topics.

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