01 May The Trap of Exercising ‘To Lose Weight’ or ‘To Look-Photoshopped’
IF your sole purpose for exercising is to lose weight or to look photoshopped, well, good luck with that. Personally I like to refer to this thinking (hmmm, maybe ‘not thinking’) trap as a big, deep, dark, bottomless pit–a rabbit hole. It’s a ‘NO-WIN-ALL-CAPS’ scenario. Oh, I forgot…you’re the exception. Sorry, think again.
No one is suggesting that wanting to look our best is wrong. But…beware…don’t compare.
Exercise and healthy eating can produce quite magical results–results that improve us physically and mentally. Following a regular program of exercise can cause widespread shifts. “Exercise spills over” (James Prochaska, University of Rhode Island Researcher). So yes, exercising more may help with weight loss. (Just don’t expect too much without making changes in your ‘calories in and calories out’.) Likely you will look better, what with more spring in your step and a smile on your face.
We are constantly surrounded by photoshopped images. Hard to avoid. I’ve mentioned before that you might feel oblivious to this pervasive influence of pseudo-beauty. Not so. Tim Caulfield reminds us that even one exposure to this hype in the guise of fitness promotions, images, and weight loss claims, makes us vulnerable. It can cause us to start wondering if perhaps there might be some truth to it all–exercise, lose weight, look buff, etc. etc. Don’t go there.
One thing I did recently was to unsubscribe from a number of Fitness, Health & Wellness Blogs. The fine print too often defaulted to ‘exercise for weight loss’, or ”exercise for better looks’. For me the images in the post were becoming constant reminders of ‘how I should look’. The topics claimed to be about exercising for better health. Read further and there was always that next step–Do this for weight loss.
What might you do for weight loss, if exercise isn’t your best strategy? Listen to the experts. ‘Diets don’t work’. Make small changes in behaviour. As Ayra Sharma, Professor of Medicine at University of Alberta says “Sustainable behaviour changes”.
Exercise for fitness. Exercise for a healthier you. Let that exercise inspire you to make other healthy changes in your lifestyle. And most of all, start finding the joy in exercise. Have fun…
Thanks for reading, Cheerios, ~Linda