Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Why Losing Weight is Like Gardening

As a long time gardener, I get a lot of questions about gardening. One of the most frequent is "how can I keep plants from dying?"

Well, a grande dame of gardening, Gertrude Jekyll, once said "if you never killed a plant, you've never gardened."

You see, I explain, if a plant is a perennial, that simply means that, if everything goes right, it should live for more than two years. It doesn't mean it will live forever. It's perfectly natural for your Columbines to die off after three years.

As for herbs, you're not doing anything wrong because your cilantro only lasts a few weeks before going to seed. That's what cilantro does and it's the reason why many seed packets say "sow throughout the season."

So when I hear people say "I can never lose weight," I know it's alot like gardening.

It's not that you can't lose weight, but you really don't understand HOW to lose weight. If you've been steadily gaining a half pound or more a month, you need to cut back your eating and start exercising just to STOP gaining more weight. If you really want to lose weight, you really have to increase your activity level pretty dramatically, and make some serious lifetime commitments to changing how you eat.

If you've been gaining weight, taking a 20 minute walk three times a week is good, and will help slow down the rate that you're gaining, but it won't lead to you actually LOSING weight.

Losing weight is actually a real bitch. It takes real work and real sacrifice, and you have to know how it works and what you're doing.


  1. What I think is unfair is that gardening doesn't help me lose weight.
    Sometimes I have to choose between a hot-and-sweaty date with my exercise bike or going postal on the weeds.
    I did switch to a push reel mower, which helps, but I'd love to be brave enough to do burpees in between planting Burpees. I don't think the neighbors would ever speak to me again if I tried it.

  2. Well you do burn calories gardening. Not as many as a sweaty Zumba class, but more than if you just sat on the sofa.

    One of the reasons I love my treadmill is that it turns my TV time into exercise time so that I have spare time to go postal on the weeds.

  3. What is happpening with your yoga teacher training? I hope that you do it. I took yoga teacher training 3 years ago, originally intending it to be just for my own benefit, but now I teach a weekly gentle class for older people. It is amazingly rewarding! The students are always telling me how much better they feel.


  4. My yoga teacher training starts in July with a one weeek intensive, then I have one weekend of training a month for the next five months.

    I'm looking forward to it and already bought a few of the books I need to read.

  5. Ack! I hope you're wrong with this whole thing, I have a brown thumb!


  6. You're so right. You have to do a lot of stuff just not to get any fatter, and actually losing it is a big deal now. It used to be so much easier.

    [I do have a really pretty garden, though, now that I'm in my 40s. I couldn't have cared less in my younger days and really missed out!]