News & Events
Exercise for Fun – Weight Loss is Just A Side Effect
- March 20, 2022
- Posted by: Amanda McCarroll
- Category: flowlift news
Weight loss is a hot topic item in American culture. We value being thin and it’s looked down upon to be fat. The media is starting to shift and show people of different sizes in ad campaigns and even on fashion runways. The times they are a changing, and we think it’s great! However the pressure for women to be thin is still woven deeply into the yoga and fitness industry. There are so many benefits of consistent movement besides shedding pounds. Many of us are motivated to look and feel our best, but focusing on other reasons to exercise may be a more effective way to get people moving.
Fitness For Women Has Come a Long Way…Sort of
Women’s fitness culture in America has grown and evolved over the last several decades. There are many female trailblazers to thank for breaking down barriers so that we can freely partake in any sort of exercise as we please. There was a time when women were discouraged to exert energy during their period in fear that their uterus may fall out! It was deemed unsafe for them to run or lift weights and sweating was considered unappealing to men and thus frowned upon. When it was finally more acceptable to do all of these things, exercise was sold to women as a way of “reducing their figures” to look good for their husbands. We may think we have come a long way from this silly and outdated mentality, but think again.
It is deeply ingrained in many of us to look a certain way in order to feel good about ourselves. There is a voice inside that says, if you want to be desired by men, you need to be thin. If you want other women to think you look good, you need to be skinny. Recently I read a book called “Let’s Get Physical” by Danielle Friedman. She examines the history of women’s fitness in the US and discusses all the amazing women that have revolutionized exercise for American females. While these ladies are very inspiring, they continued to perpetuate the mentality that women should be thin and exercise in order to lose weight. Mostly in the name of looking good for men.
Focus On Building Confidence Rather than Weight Loss
Telling people they need to lose weight is actually not an effective way to get people to stick to a fitness program. We understand that obesity is linked to the leading causes of death in the United States. We aren’t dismissing the fact that for some people weight loss is necessary to thrive and even survive. But the current “skinny is king” mentality seems to to discourage more than it does encourage people to exercise.
A 2002 study shows that there are psychological and emotional factors strongly associated with people’s adherence to an exercise program. “The primary factor associated with exercise adherence is a person’s physical self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is a person’s confidence in their ability to do exercise and be consistent with workouts.” The study goes on to say that “the more people think they can successfully do exercise signifies they will more likely adhere to the exercise program. Exercise adherers demonstrate an intrinsic (incentive to exercise based on the expected enjoyment) motivation to exercise.”
This shows perhaps that people need encouragement and validation rather than being constantly told to lose weight. We need to build people up and make them feel confident to set them up for success. Teach people about the profound enjoyment that can be experienced from moving our bodies and create that intrinsic motivation. Weight loss should be viewed as a side effect of exercise rather than the central focus. When losing weight is the main reason you exercise, you miss out on how fun it can be. It becomes a drag and something that you have to do rather than something to look forward to.
Let Fun and Feeling Good Be Your Motivation
Adele said it best when she discussed her motivation behind her dramatic 100 pound weight loss: “It was because of my anxiety. Working out, I would just feel better. It was never about losing weight, it was always about becoming strong and giving myself as much time as possible every day without my phone. I got quite addicted to it.”
Do yoga to let go of stress. Do FlowLIFT to get high on endorphins. If you’re inspired to make exercise and yoga a part of your life, speak with your physician to determine what “healthy” means for you and forget about the imaginary ideals that we consume in the media.
Consistent dedication to our classes will bring a landslide of benefits. I know for myself that if I don’t do at least 5 classes per week, my mental health suffers. I don’t sleep as well and I’m more irritable with my husband and children. Overall I experience less joy in my day even though I have a very easy-going lifestyle. The mental health benefits from yoga and FlowLIFT are huge. I know that I need it to stay calm, content and in love with life.
Weight Loss Is Just A Side Effect
I also hustle my bod because I love the way it feels to be strong, light and mobile. Yoga and FlowLIFT create a lean and very functional physique. This regimen makes it so I can easily do other things such as hiking, tennis and rollerskating. Sticking to these classes feels like the fountain of youth. There are so many reasons to get moving besides losing weight. Forget what the scale says and take a class because you know you’re going to feel amazing and all your stress will melt away.
The full length FlowLIFT classes are quite difficult if you’re new to exercising. We recommend starting with the LiteLIFT and XpressLITE classes. We also have a page of videos dedicated to beginners who are new to our style of movement. If you want to get started with FlowLIFT but would like some guidance, email us and we will get back to right away with tips and suggestions.