Updated: May 18
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What is your motivation to lace up your running shoes, to get out the door to exercise, to lift weights, and to move your body? What is your motivation to eat healthy, to fuel your body well and to choose nutritious food? Aesthetics are often a main source of motivation for people to exercise and eat well. With the common quest of losing weight and improving health, what is your opinion, do you want to lose weight to get healthy OR get healthy to lose weight?
Looking good and feeling confident in yourself is important. Linking your motivation to lead a healthy lifestyle to your weight or appearance has some downfalls.
A few secrets on confidence:
· Confidence does not come from being a certain weight
· Confidence does not come from looking a particular way
· Confidence comes from your health journey, not from a weight loss result
· Confidence comes from lifestyle choices that make you FEEL good
· Confidence comes from your mind and body working together
· Confidence truly comes from the power of your thoughts
Interested in learning more about confidence? Janice Hutton’s book Unlocking Your Unlimited Potential takes a deep dive in to building confidence.
Focusing too much on weight loss
Focusing too much on aesthetics and weight loss can end up being detrimental to your health in the long run. The quest to lose weight and look a certain way can fuel self-sabotaging behaviours and too much focus on the numbers on a scale.
· Rather than exercising for the mental and physical benefits that a healthy lifestyle delivers to your body, it can become a punishment for overindulging or for a lack of movement of the numbers on a scale.
· Rather than fueling your body with a balanced diet that delivers the energy and nutrients your body needs, a focus on aesthetics and weight loss can result in restrictive diets and a never-ending cycle of diet – binge – self sabotage behaviours.
· Restricting calories and challenging your body through exercise puts stress on your body. When we focus on merely losing weight, it is easy to ignore our body’s signals that it needs a rest which can result in us getting ill or injured.
· Short term weight loss programmes that severely restrict calories or include excessive levels of exercise time or intensity can be more than our body can handle and are not sustainable long term.
When we focus on improving our health, weight loss is often a result of the healthy lifestyle changes that we make.
Our bodies need adequate food, nutrients, rest and recovery in order to achieve optimal health. It is easy to focus on our weight as the deciding factor on our level of health and fitness. The scale only provides one small part of a picture of ‘health’.
· Cannot measure your worth
· Does not look at all of the actions you have taken for yourself or others
· Does not care about how you feel
· Does not see the exercise that you have participated in, the muscles you are building, the essential rest and recovery you have allowed your body, the new activity you have participated in
· Does not see the wide range of vegetables, protein and nutritious food you have eaten or your food journey through the week
· Does not see that you consumed a lot of water and said no to sugary or fizzy drinks or an evening glass of wine
Focusing on improving your health rather than on weight loss has many benefits and is more sustainable long term. Health goals that don't revolve around the numbers on a scale:
A healthy gut
7-9 hours of sleep
Consistent energy throughout the day
Happy and relaxed mood
A regular menstrual cycle
For more information about ways to view health and fitness without looking at the number of scales, read this blog post Non-scale Ways to Track Weight Loss Progress.
Often improvements in these other areas result in better health and weight loss as well. Ultimately, the way you FEEL in both your body and mind is closely tied to your HEALTH. Neither should be determined by your weight or by your appearance.