Breaking the Cycle: Escaping the Weight Loss Rollercoaster and Embracing a Sustainable Gamer’s Journey

I’m sitting down to write this blog post on my cherished cheat day, which happens to be Saturday. As I was headed to Starbucks, all ready to indulge in my guilty pleasures of sugar-laden beverages and delectable chocolate croissants, my excitement came to a screeching halt. I encountered a road closure up ahead, and to my dismay, it was due to some 5k or fun run event taking place. Now, you see, getting between me and my cheat day treats is a surefire way to put me in a foul mood. So, perhaps my perspective is a bit biased, but what I noticed about the runners intrigued me. Surprisingly, about 30% of them were overweight! It left me puzzled at first. How could there be so many overweight individuals participating in a 5k? And then it hit me. While I’ve never been much of a runner myself, I distinctly remember the struggles of being overweight and the desperate desire for change. I know firsthand what it feels like to be fed up with the way things are and to dive headfirst into the next “attempt” at transformation, whether it’s an extreme diet or a new workout regimen. You know the drill: “This time, I’ll try calisthenics. I can do those at home!” Each time, I would muster up enough hope and motivation to embark on this new chapter of my life, but it always seemed to fade away, and I would find myself back on the couch, devouring pizza like a true couch potato. The shame of it all would eventually resurface, driving me to make another “attempt.” This vicious cycle plagued my entire adult life, and I suspect many overweight individuals can relate. Each failed attempt chipped away at my energy, and I seemingly grew fatter and more disheartened. It felt like an impossible battle. Today, as I observed those overweight runners, I couldn’t help but see myself in them. I felt compelled to shed some light on the workings of this cycle and share how you can break free from it.

Now, let’s tackle a simple question with a not-so-simple answer. Can running help you lose weight? Well, no, not YOU specifically. Sure, running can work for some people, namely those who truly enjoy it—runners. These are the folks who find pleasure in pushing their bodies to the limit, revel in the euphoria of a “runner’s high,” enthusiastically discuss running with friends, and lose themselves in YouTube videos about the sport. But if you’re reading a weight loss blog aimed at gamers like us, chances are you don’t fit the mold of a typical runner. So, simply lacing up your running shoes and hitting the pavement won’t magically make the pounds melt away for you. You might summon the initial burst of energy to start running, but since you’re not a runner—just a gaming enthusiast attempting to adopt a runner’s persona—you’re likely to throw in the towel before long and feel like a piece of shit.

Now, I’m not the first person to realize this truth. It’s a commonly acknowledged piece of self-improvement wisdom that making lasting changes in your life requires a shift at the core of your identity. If you want to lose weight through running, it’s not enough to just run; you must become a runner. But here’s the dilemma: why should you become a runner if you don’t actually enjoy running? You derive joy from playing video games, achieving epic headshots, and acing intense rounds while chatting away with your friends on Discord into the late hours. Must you sacrifice your gamer identity in order to attain the dream body you desire? When I first encountered the advice about identity-level changes, I grappled with this very question. It shed light on the never-ending cycle I found myself trapped in and explained why my previous attempts at change always fizzled out. After all, who wants to swap a day spent playing video games for a day spent running? And let’s not forget about the part of your identity that relishes devouring a scrumptious pizza—a strict diet would certainly put a damper on that. But fear not! Running is not the sole path to weight loss.

“Everything popular is wrong.”
― Oscar Wilde

The common belief is that weight loss is an arduous endeavor. We’re conditioned to think that training our bodies requires a “just do it” mentality, as if sweat is a tangible sign of weakness leaving our bodies. It’s no wonder so many Americans struggle with their weight. They’ve never been told that losing weight can actually be easy. For runners, running is easy because it’s an inherent part of who they are—they genuinely enjoy it. They don’t need to undergo a drastic transformation or force themselves into a mold; weight loss naturally follows as a byproduct of their identity. Now, here’s the good news: as a gamer, there are alternative ways to shed those extra pounds.

Instead of becoming one of the overweight runners I witnessed today, subjecting your body to grueling ordeals only to eventually give up and feel even worse, there’s another approach. You don’t have to abandon your identity or become someone you’re not. You can integrate healthy activities that align with your interests and passions. It’s all about making small adjustments rather than uprooting your entire lifestyle. So, instead of letting your body waste away, spending endless hours on the couch playing Mario Kart, why not try Stepmania? It’s a game that gets you moving, provides a fun and beneficial workout, and it’s easy to dive into because you’re already a gamer. You don’t need to become a different person; you’re just playing a different game. The beauty of it is that you can’t spend all day playing Stepmania—eventually, you’ll need a break. This means you’ll still have ample time for Mario Kart and Minecraft. And here’s an added bonus: intense cardio exercises, like those in Stepmania, can actually enhance your gaming skills.

According to a study published on PubMed:
“A short bout of intense cardiovascular exercise before playing LoL improves video game performance.”

So, don’t be like those struggling runners I encountered today. Spare your body from the torture of endless failed attempts, which only leave you feeling defeated. Embrace a different approach—one that integrates healthy activities into your existing identity. It’s enjoyable, sustainable, and will allow you to savor life to the fullest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *