"You lied to me!" That's what a client, having worked with me for exactly 2 sessions, texted me one day, along with an angry emoticon that made me sit up and take notice. I admit, I do tell lies sometimes...small lies, like "You're really going to like this exercise!" Knowing they'll hate it, or "You'll be so glad you did this exercise some day!" Knowing that may be 6 months from now. But, beyond that, I couldn't imagine a lie so heinous as to require an angry emoticon.
When I asked what she was talking about, she said, "You said exercise was necessary for weight loss and I've gained 3 pounds. THREE!"
The all caps told me this was serious and reminded me of something I should tell all of my weight loss clients: Namely, that it's normal to gain a little weight when you start exercising.
I've written quite a bit about this phenomenon (I just started exercising...why am I gaining weight?, Why Can't I Lose Weight?, and What to Do If You're Not Losing Weight, just to name a few) but it can be quite frustrating. Even if you know how common it is and that it does, eventually, reverse itself if you watch your diet, it's still extra numbers on the scale that shouldn't be there after all that hard work.
I eventually calmed her down (although my smiley-face emoticon didn't go over so well) and she's slowly starting to believe me, now that her weight is changing. However, she had a tough time with it as we waited for her body to respond to our workouts and the weight loss to kick in.
I'm curious about your experiences. Have you ever gained weight after starting an exercise program? If so, what did you do about it? Vote in this week's poll and tell us about your experiences with exercise and weight gain.