It’s time to rethink weight loss! Only five per cent of people will see sustainable changes to their weight by committing to an exercise routine, yet weight loss is the most common measure of success! We need to change the way we think.
Alter the Definition of Success
Weight loss is a poor metric of success for an exercise program; weight loss and exercise are two different things. Benefits of exercise relate to your health, not your weight. When your doctor advises you to lose weight, what they are striving for is better health. For example, an active person with a BMI in the 40s may have healthier stats than someone with a BMI in the 20s who is sedentary.
Weight Loss Goals are Redundant
We all have areas of our lives where we have higher and lower levels of control. It’s the same case with our bodies. The doctrine of ‘eat less and move more equals weight loss’ doesn’t cover the complexities of the human body or the environment we exist in. If it was that easy, wouldn’t everyone be at their desired weight?
Here’s the cool thing though, if you commit to more exercise, you will become more fit. If you lift weights, you will get stronger. Guaranteed.
Exercise is Magic
- Regular exercise really is a magic pill for your health with benefits including:
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
- Reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
- Improved ability to regulate stress and hormonal responses
- Strengthening of bones, muscles and joints
- Reduced risk of some cancers
- Improved ability to perform daily activities and prevent falls
The magic doesn’t stop there. When you zoom out a bit further, the number on your bathroom scale should pale in contrast to these:
- Improved mood and energy
- Joy in moving your body
- A sense of wholeness between body and mind
- Making social connections
- Improved confidence and self-esteem
- Shifted attention from how your body looks to what it can do (and how it feels doing it)
- Setting and accomplishing challenges
- Improved energy for your kids/grandkids
- Better sleep and restfulness
Research shows that many of these benefits can be realized with as little as 30 minutes of moderate physical activity performed in blocks of 10 minutes or more, just five days each week.
Make activity your goal
You can live in a world beyond weight loss goals if you choose. Start by setting yourself a challenge like competing in an athletic event, or returning to your favourite activity or sport.
There are endless options for fitness from 5K walks to obstacle course races, Tri-it triathlons to downhill mountain biking, performing push-ups to deadlifting your bodyweight.
Most people will exercise their way to improved physical and mental health without any significant change to their weight. This is not a failure to lose weight, it is a triumph of redefining what it means to be successful. So redefine your goals, improve your health and look forward to a longer and more active life ahead. And stop giving a sh*t about your weight.