My thoughts today are coming from a place of promoting healthy body image, as I believe this is a HUGE boost in overall wellness and our interactions with others. Being a fitness trainer, I am constantly posed questions and concerns about weight-loss and weight-gain...mainly from women.
A lot of women who begin a fitness regimen want to weigh themselves often and use weight-loss as a key progress measurement tool. I cringe when I hear that in certain situations - simply because weight loss is not always the best indicator for progress.
There are multiple factors to weight fluctuations. A lot of lifestyle habits work together to contribute to weight loss – habits that individuals slowly correct, and not always all-at-once. Also, most women don't get the relation of muscle and weight. The bottom line is that weight loss is not always as quick, easy, or as straightforward as we'd like and that can be discouraging. That is what I'd like to highlight today.
Let me start by saying that I weighed myself within the past month and I am the heaviest in pounds than I've ever been, yet I am the leanest, most fit and healthiest in overall lifestyle that I can recall. I honestly don't believe I've ever liked myself in and out of my clothes as I do in this current moment – and that's really exciting!
So, let's talk about why women should reduce worry about weight. At first thought worry causes anxiety and that is already strike one against our common goal of moving towards wholeness and wellness. Glad to nip that in the bud, SAY NO TO WORRY!
There are healthy tools that we can be aware of, that should reduce worry, because we can control these things. Being informed, gathering support and then taking the steps needed to make the changes you want to see is a great start to #BodyLove.
When participating in a consistent, balanced, full-body fitness regimen, consider some of the tips below:
1. Exercise alone, does not equal weight-loss. If anything – it may be key contributor to weight gain, if nutrition habits don't change as well.
2. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition! Exercise goes hand in hand with clean and healthy eating. Just as much emphasis should be placed on what you're putting in your body as the physical fitness program. This was a big lesson for me to learn. It wasn't until I started to monitor what I was putting into my body, that I realized changes in my physique, but also that I had much more energy to be active and felt great about myself because of the food choices I was making.
Reach out to local nutritionists (I follow some great ones on Instagram!) and dieticians about what pre and post workout food and drinks are right for you! People often over-compensate with post-workout snacks and are not choosing healthy options because they are misinformed. I think this is really important to seeing changes during your fitness program.
3. Are you cutting calories? To lose weight, it's necessary to burn more calories than you're taking in. I myself do not use a calorie-tracking app or tool, but I agree that this helps people with being accountable, and reinforcing good decisions when choosing food. There is a fine line here between worrying, and just plain making good decisions for yourself. No matter what your goals are just be aware of what, and how much you are intaking.
4. Sleep is important. When you aren't getting enough sleep, the hormones that control hunger levels are sometimes thrown off. Again – exercise alone does not equal weight-loss, nor a balanced wellness program. It takes healthy eating, exercise AND recovery (sleep). Rest yourself! #BodyLove
5. Destress your lifestyle. This may be the most important tip of the entire blog entry. I work on this daily – as this is such an important task that requires constant regrouping and help from those closest to me. Ask for help and accountability. Destressing my lifestyle creates more opportunities for me to be active, and spend more time with the people who put me at ease, and support me because I'm much more pleasant to be around when I'm not stressed. Scientifically- we know that stress can release hormones that increase appetite, and further cause medical conditions. Take destressing seriously. There are many ways to do this, so explore what works best for you – whether it be meditation, walking, listening to music, reading, working out, yoga, climbing, psychological therapy, journal writing, etc.
6. When your body starts to change resulting from your workouts, by building more dense muscle mass and decreasing your body fat – the scale weight may increase, while your body fat percentage is decreasing. The change happens over time, so continuously weighing yourself can prove to be confusing and sometimes disappointing.
7. THE SCALE SAYS NOTHING ABOUT YOUR FITNESS LEVEL OR BODY COMPOSITION. Know that this is the absolute truth! #BodyLove
While weighing yourself is one way to track progress, it shouldn't be the only way. The scale shows pounds that have been lost or gained, not that you are more fit, more balanced, healthier, have more endurance, or that you're stronger. I want to take every opportunity I can to promote self love, and love for the body. It has a lot to do with how we react to, and treat others because of the huge impact it has on our confidence. As you put forth daily efforts to improve internally and physically, consistency and dedication to your goals is the main focus. Let's put down the worry of weight, and get to loving our bodies.