If you’re exercising to lose weight, please stop. No, not the exercise part, the exercising to lose weight part.
It’s a change in mindset.
We all have bodies that respond to life choices by coming to a particular weight set point and sometimes when we begin or increase an exercise routine that means weightloss. But not for every one of us because some of us have naturally fat bodies. Check out this Daily Beast gallery and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
What if you could have:
- Lower blood pressure and a stronger heart;
- Better flexibility and stamina;
- Lots of busy endorphins, nature’s way of making you happier, calmer and more even-keeled;
- More energy;
- Higher chances of catching a good night’s sleep; and
But you weren’t going to lose any weight. Would you do it anyway? You probably would if you had no expectations that you were going to lose weight but the minute you add that into the mix it becomes a win/lose proposition. Either you’re doing it right (and losing weight) or you’re pounding away at the pavement and what do you have to show for it? Nothing. (Except for the lower blood pressure, stronger heart, more energy, etc.)
What if you decided to exercise just for the fun of it? What if you decided to do it to get off your high blood pressure medication? Or because you don’t snap at your kids as often when you’ve got a regular running routine? Those are great, fantastic and worthy reasons and hopefully they’re good enough reasons to keep you going.
You might be tempted to step on the scale, especially if you notice your jeans are fitting a little differently. But try to skip it, ok? Because sometimes our body shapes change but our pounds don’t. And if you’re used to using weight as a yardstick, seeing the “wrong” number there can really send you into a tailspin.
Let me be clear — weightloss in itself isn’t a problem. The problem is when we use weightloss to determine the value of our accomplishments and our self-worth.
There is absolutely no reason to measure your progress by your scale. You can measure your progress by running further; holding a yoga pose longer; finishing a class without taking a break; racing a friend and so on and so on.
For inspiration and community support in starting and sticking to an exercise routine for health, you can join the Fit Fatties forum.