Mary sat across from me in my office. I was reviewing her nutritional history and noticed she answered the question of whether she exercises as “it depends”. I asked her what it depends on. Mary explained that it depends on whether she is dieting or not. If she is on a diet, she is also exercising. If she is not on a diet, she is not exercising.
Does this sound like you?
For many chronic dieters, exercising goes hand in hand with dieting. You start a diet and you start an exercise plan. You go off the diet and out goes the exercise plan.
Why is that?
The answer to that question lies in why you are exercising in the first place. For most people struggling with their weight, they exercise to burn calories so they will lose weight. Or, they feel guilty after having eaten the piece of birthday cake so they want to “burn it off” through exercise.
It’s time to change the way you think and feel about exercise. Yes, exercise can help you to shed excess weight and maintain a new healthy weight. I am a firm believer in exercise. But not when exercise is solely used for this purpose.
Let’s start to think about how exercise makes you FEEL. Consider these factors:
Stress Level: are you better able to handle the stress you have in your life without getting overwhelmed?
Energy Level: Are you walking around with more pep in your step? Do you have more energy to power you through your day?
General Sense of Well-Being: Do you look at your life with an overall more positive attitude?
Feeling of Empowerment: Do you feel you can do what you set your mind to do? Do you feel more empowered to accomplish your goals, having an “I can” attitude?
Sleep: Are you enjoying a better night sleep, and waking up each morning feeling refreshed?
When you start to notice how exercise makes you feel and how it impacts these other areas of your life, you will come to appreciate exercise not for the calorie burn but for the positive affects you experience. It will then be much easier to incorporate exercise, activity or any body movement as part of your daily living without its sole connection to losing weight.
Time to take action: Please share with me how exercise makes your FEEL.