One night a policeman found a man searching for his wallet under a streetlight. He joined to help. After hours of searching, he found out that the man had lost his wallet in the park. “Then why are you searching here?” asked the policeman. “Because this is where the light is,” replied the man.
Every year, countless hours and billions of dollars are spent on weight loss. For every person trying to lose weight, there are teams of researchers trying to find the right formula for weight loss, and multitudes of programs with professionals who dedicate their life to helping people get to a goal weight.
And what is the result of all of that investment in time and money?
The average American weighs more now than ever! It’s pretty clear what we are doing is not working. The problem is not a lack of trying, the problem is, like the man searching under the streetlamp, we are looking in the wrong place for the solutions.
We look to the scale to measure success. Yet the scale is an all-in-one gauge that will never tell what you lost or gained. We need to find a better way to measure weight loss success.
We have developed amazing technology to help us track the calories we eat and calories we burn yet this is still a rough estimate at best. We need a more accurate way to decide what to eat and how much to exercise.
We research the types of exercise and diets that work best for attaining a goal weight, yet goals are by definition a way to get to an endpoint, but a healthy weight is not just a momentary achievement. We need a mindset about weight loss that promotes lifelong habits, not temporary changes.
This starts by reexamining what weight loss success really means. Surveys that ask people why they want to lose weight reveal the answer. The top reasons people give are to be healthy, improve mood, reduce pain, have more energy, and feel better about themselves. Can you achieve all this before weight loss? Yes!
Regardless of their body weight, people who exercise regularly
- Are healthy, with a lower risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and dying from any cause1
- Have a better mood, with lower rates of depression and anxiety2
- Feel better about themselves with higher levels of self-esteem and self-confidence 3
- Have more energy4
- Have less chronic pain5
I don’t think anyone would say they just want to get to their goal weight and don’t care if they are healthier or feel better. The fact is weight loss is not a goal, it’s a method for getting what you want. We have become so focused on weight loss as the goal that we lose sight of the fact that it’s not what we ultimately want.
The question we often ask is “how much is enough exercise to lose weight” This question will never produce useful answers. The real question to ask is “what are the types and amount of exercise to improve my health, reduce pain, improve my mood, and give me more energy?”
Once we’ve asked and answered that question, the next question is, “what will make exercise a habit so I keep getting those results? The answer comes from merging what we know from exercise science with what we know from motivation science. Your brain is hardwired to choose what will make you feel better now. Only exercise that makes you feel better now will become a lasting habit.
When you stop searching under the streetlamp for the best way to exercise to burn calories and tone your body, you eliminate the exercises that increase pain, drain energy, and leave you feeling worse about yourself.
What you are left with are ways to exercise based on the way your body is designed to move well, reduce strain and increase strength for everyday life movements. You restore trust in your body, and are better able to give it what it needs to feel better today and each day. Your brain starts to encourage you to exercise, because it knows that is what will truly make you feel better now. You’re less likely to spend time foraging through your kitchen for ways to feel better.
When you redefine the best way to exercise for weight loss success in light of these facts, you discover you don’t have to wait until you get to a goal weight to get what you want from weight loss. Exercise to be well now, and you can get what you want each step of the way.
Exercising WELL is the step by step, science based method for getting you unstuck, back to feeling well, enjoying life with confidence in your future. You can exercise at your current weight and feel better now. Get started today and start enjoying the results you want from weight loss each step of the way to your healthy weight. Click here to get started with a FREE call with me today.
- Ortega FB, Cadenas-Sanchez C, Lee DC, Ruiz JR, Blair SN, Sui X. Fitness and Fatness as Health Markers through the Lifespan: An Overview of Current Knowledge. Prog Prev Med (N Y). 2018;3(2):e0013. Published 2018 Apr 2. doi:10.1097/pp9.0000000000000013
- Rebar AL, Stanton R, Geard D, Short C, Duncan MJ, Vandelanotte C. A meta-meta-analysis of the effect of physical activity on depression and anxiety in non-clinical adult populations. Health Psychol Rev. 2015;9(3):366-78. doi: 10.1080/17437199.2015.1022901. Epub 2015 Jul 3. PMID: 25739893.
- Edward McAuley, Steriani Elavsky, Robert W. Motl, James F. Konopack, Liang Hu, David X. Marquez, Physical Activity, Self-Efficacy, and Self-Esteem: Longitudinal Relationships in Older Adults, The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Volume 60, Issue 5, September 2005, Pages P268–P275
- Puetz TW, Flowers SS, O’Connor PJ. A randomized controlled trial of the effect of aerobic exercise training on feelings of energy and fatigue in sedentary young adults with persistent fatigue. Psychother Psychosom. 2008;77(3):167-74. doi: 10.1159/000116610. Epub 2008 Feb 14. PMID: 18277063.
- LessBorisovskaya A, Chmelik E, Karnik A. Exercise and Chronic Pain. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2020;1228:233-253. doi: 10.1007/978-981-15-1792-1_16. PMID: 32342462.