No Sweat translates years of research on exercise and motivation into a simple four-point program that will empower you to break the cycle of exercise failure once and for all.
[bluebox] Awareness helps you identify what’s been standing in your way and discover physical activities that motivate you.[/bluebox]
BODY SHAPING AND WEIGHT LOSS WHYS GUIDE US TO WORK OUT IN WAYS WE DON’T LIKE
My colleagues and I conducted a study to see if a focus on weight and body shape affected the way midlife women of similar age and weight approached being physically active. We identified two groups based on what the women wrote in answer to this prompt:
“Imagine that you are being physically active right now. Take a minute or two and go over the experience in your mind.”
Then we asked them to describe what they were feeling and thinking in three or four sentences. Participants who wrote down terms like ‘calories’, ‘weight’, or ‘how to look’ were put into a group we called ‘body-shapers’. Those who didn’t write any terms related to body weigth and shape we called ‘non-body-shapers’.
We noticed right away that body-shapers and non-body-shapers wrote very differently about being physically active. For example:
Body-shapers: ‘Im feeling winded and uncomfortable. I do feel better for making an effort to get into shape. Hoping that I can keep it up!’
Non-body-shapers: ‘Feels good to be moving. Feels good to be outside.’
The difference in tone between the two groups was apparent. The non-body shapers mentioned getting pleasure from moving their bodies more often, while the body-shapers expressed more struggle, particularly with the need to lose weight. The women with body-shaping motives exercises almost 40 percent less than those who were not exercising to shape their bodies.
*Being physically active in ways that feel bad to you turns your meaning for exercising into a ‘chore’.
*When your whys for exercising are body shaping or achieving weight loss, it frequently leads you to exercise at higher intensities even if you don’t like to exercise that way because your objective is to burn as many calories as possible.
*People tend to approach things that feel good and avoid things that feel bad. Your decisions in the moment are based on your feelings about an outcome rather than its value to you. So how you feel about an activity is more likely to determine whether you consistently decide to do it, rather than its value to you. So how you feel about an activity is more likely to determine whether you consistently decide to do it, rather than its value to you.
*In general, when people exercise at intensities past the point at which it becomes hard to hold a conversation without panting, they feel less pleasure and begin to experience displeasure can be highly demotivating.
*When people decide on their own to exercise at high intensities, they tolerate it better, if not enjoy it, and experience less displeasure compared to when higher-intensity exercise is imposed on them by others or shoulds.
*Research shows that when you choose to make movement a regular part your life for personally compelling reasons and choose to move in ways that feel good to you, you are more likely to stick with exercise and to maintain weight loss.
*In order to change exercise from a chore into a gift, you need to ‘exorcise’ it–to get rid of all the beliefs, expectations, and wrong whys that have ben undermining your relationship with movement and your motivation to move.