Why am I gaining weight? I just started working out.

The one thing I advise all my clients especially when first starting their fitness journey is to not pay much attention to the scale. When beginning, the muscles will suffer from what is known as DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness. What this means is that muscles aren’t accustomed to working out and will become inflamed. When this occurs you will naturally get sore for 24-72 hours. The body’s defense and repair mechanisms come into play and will retain fluids which in turn causes TEMPORARY weight gain. After a few weeks of acclimating to the new program, this soreness will be less frequent and the fluids will dissipate.

The most important questions to ask yourself are:

1. Is it simply sore or is it painful? If it’s pain and it doesn’t go away you may need medical treatment. Don’t ignore pain that lasts a couple weeks.

2. Is the soreness lessening more quickly after a strenuous workout? If the pain leaves more quickly then you’re adapting. Be aware when this happens because you’re getting used to the exercises and can really push harder as long as you keep the proper form.

3. How do I feel? The further into a program you should start feeling better and having more energy. If you’re not the first place to look is the nutritional and water intakes. Usually people don’t eat enough or drink enough water especially when they are new to working out.

4. Are my clothes feeling looser? This is a no brainer. If your clothes feel a bit looser in certain areas then it’s working. This is much more important than numbers on the scale along with feeling better. The scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love. Don’t give the scale more power than it has earned.

Don’t lose heart at first if you don’t immediately see results. It’s a marathon not a sprint. As long as you don’t quit you will see results. This is guaranteed if you eat properly and exercise following the program as it’s laid out.

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Author:Michael McDonald

Fitness nut who golfs and rides motorcycles. Diagnosed with COPD in 2009 which got me started on a healthier path in my life. Now I share my experience to help give people hope.

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