How would you move if it wasn’t to lose weight?

A green monster exercising with an empty cloud templateI advise all my clients to move their bodies.
As hard and vigorously as they dare.
And I tell them this will not help them lose weight.

This is a surprise to them.
And a relief.

Many of my clients tell themselves that if they would just exercise more, they’d lose more weight.
And then they berate themselves when they don’t.
Which leads to more bingeing and less exercising.

Others force themselves to do cardio classes and machines, hating and resisting every second.
Which leads to anger and self hatred.
Which leads to more bingeing and less exercising.

In my experience, unless you’re working out hard all day, your movement will have little impact on your ultimate weight loss, in the short term.
(of course, eventually you’ll see wondrous changes in your body that will impact your size and metabolism, but that takes a long time)

Here’s why I advise my weight loss clients to move.

Exercise is a thought finder.

I teach women how to lose weight by finding all their negative programming.
Once they see it, and understand the impact of this thinking on their bodies and their lives, they get to choose whether to keep this outdated programming or to upgrade to new software that serves them better.

You can be sure that when a woman starts to move her body,
especially if its in front of a mirror
her mind will start talking to her.

And it’s not always kindly.

I suspect that many of my clients avoid exercise because this cruel self-talk hurts more than their muscles.
So I encourage them to exercise precisely to gain access to the mental cruelty.
To expect it.
Welcome it.
And be curious about it.

Whether we look at our negative thinking or not,
it’s guiding our behaviour.
So we may as well take a look and decide whether we want to keep these guides.

I’m not immune.
I wrote last week about my six month challenge to lose the ten pounds I’ve gained this year, and to resume my regular workouts.

It’s been easy for me to reestablish my exercise routine
As I discovered a few years ago that I really love to move my body,
jiggly bits included.

And, while I’m jiggling, I’m noticing my thoughts.
“You used to lift 10lb weights, now you’re back to 5lb”
“this used to be so easy for you”
“you used to do the advanced pose, now you’re struggling in the easy one”
“look how much bigger your thighs are than they used to be”
“she’s thinner than you”

Here’s what I do.
I notice all these thoughts scrolling through my consciousness.
As if they were clouds moving lazily across the sky on a breezy summer day.
I greet them benignly, as if they were old acquaintances,
that I recognize,
but that I have no interest in inviting in for tea.

I don’t try to argue with them or to convince myself they’re not true.
That would be unnecessary.
And give them more attention than they warrant.

I know those thoughts are not me.
I know that thoughts are just things.
Floating around my consciousness.
And I get to choose which thoughts to pick up and play with and which to pass on.

I find this so effective.
What happens at some point during the class,
is that I’m really having fun (thank you Al Greene at the Mayfair Club)
and my thoughts then turn to
“ooh I see a tricep”
“yay my shoulder still has definition”
“OK I can hold a power plank”
“I’m still in the game baby”

And these, too, I allow to scroll through my consciousness.
I like them better.
But they’re still not me.

Me is neutral.
I have a body.
I choose to move it.
Any way I can.
And any opportunity I get.
Period.
And Thank God.

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About Forever Free with Bev Aron, Certified Weight Loss Coach

I work with emotional eaters who desperately want relief from emotional eating, but can't seem to do it on their own. They know they need to eat less and move more, but can't figure out why they aren't doing it. My specialty is showing them the why and the how. I also work with parents who are worried about their children's weight. I help those parents encourage their children to have a healthy body image and a healthy relationship with food.
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