Why I Don't Exercise For Weight Loss
Exercise, when looked at through a lens of lifelong mobility and longevity-- feels entirely different.
We see it all over social media: "How to loose your belly pooch," "How to lose 5 lbs FAST!" "How to get your Pre-Baby Body back!" "How to Lose That Stubborn Fat in One Month!"
These headlines and videos sadly get the biggest views and hits on TIKTOK, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. This all or nothing mindset is toxic, drastic unsustainable in the health industry. SO, what if everyone was motivated to work out in a better/healthier way?
I use to subscribe to that excessive and obsessive culture when I was in my teenage years and early twenties. Sadly, that's why I exercised initially. I wanted to be society's version of "fit." Now, it's a very different story--and funnily enough, I am the fittest I have ever been in my life.
1. EXERCISING FOR MOBILITY + LONGEVITY
I no longer like to use the words "weight loss" in my company, with my friends, with my family or with my clients. For me, exercise and its benefits are far more centered around life skills and physical abilities rather than slimming down. When we are focusing on weight loss, I find that our minds are constantly swimming around negative thoughts rather than positive ones. So how do we turn it around? Instead of trying to "lose" something, try and think about "gaining" something wonderful.
Why should you exercise? To be able to lift your kids, to be able to take the stairs if the elevator is broken. To be able to get up off of the floor without falling. To be able to get out of a chair pain free. To be able to sit for many hours pain free! To be able to do things, independently or unassisted. And most importantly, because it is a gift to be alive and to be able to move. Then, when we change the narrative, it becomes a task that we want to do, rather than a task that we "should" or "have" to do.
2. QUICK FIXES = UNSUSTAINABLE -
I'm sure all of us, at some point in our life, bought or followed a program that promised us "instant" results! "Do this and you'll have the perfect body in one month!" The problem with that is, we often burn out after that quick fix and don't sustain our habits because we went too hard, too fast. Long term success usually is a result of consistency, finding a workout you love and not over-doing it. (getting the appropriate amount of rest)
3. SCALES ARE NOT ALWAYS HELPFUL -
Unless you are dealing with a serious health issue and your doctor has recommended that you watch a scale, you will often be frustrated with a scale and focusing on the numbers will drive you crazy. When we begin exercising, we build muscle and often PUT ON weight initially. When I was newly postpartum, very weak and dealing with severe back pain, I was incredibly light on the scale. Lighter than I've ever been. But my body was not strong, I didn't fit into any of my clothes and I wasn't happy. [Cue exercising to get stronger/ more mobile]. On a weekly basis, I started to put weight on, muscle weight! My clothes started to fit better, my back started to ease off and I was able to sit out of a chair without wincing. My body started to look like it used to, but I weighed A LOT MORE. This is why I don't believe the words "weight loss" are helpful. I prefer, when discussing health with clients, to focus on HOW THEY FEEL, how their body feels in their clothes, how their energy has improved, etc.
WHY DO YOU EXERCISE?
Where have you noticed the biggest improvements in your life from daily movement?
Think about your WHY and if it's negative, consider changing the narrative.
Let's get stronger together for our future,