Focus on sport not weight loss
There is a distinct difference between training and exercising. The word exercising lacks purpose, random activity with the sole goal being movement. Too often, those seeking to lose weight fall prey to exercise. Training on the other hand has a significantly different feel, it is goal oriented and purposeful and the goal is specific and sport based. Knowing the difference between these two is important as I feel ‘exercise’ sets the weight loss minded up for failure.
If your goal is to lose weight, more importantly if it’s a lot of weight, you have most probably already built up some pretty negative beliefs surrounding your self-image. If you become obsessed with the idea of losing weight and are bouncing a negative self-image around in your mind, chances are these thoughts are going to take over and hold you back either by adding stress (which causes weight gain) or by making you feel like even more of a failure (which can cause you to give up). The other problem with exercise is that not all exercises are good for you and can even work against you, not to mention confusion with sets, repetitions, amount of weight to use in resistance training and interval training.
If you want to lose weight, and this assuming that you have a healthy mind and body and there are no outside factors holding you back, sport is the way to go. Obviously sport can be competitive and can still lead to negative self beliefs but it takes the pressure off the weight loss goal and shifts your focus. With a sporting goal, there is no exercise, only training. You don’t do random exercises found in a fitness magazine, you do targeted exercises that are specific to your goal. Your sport goal doesn’t necessarily need to be extreme; anything that is outside of your comfort zone and brings you pleasure and growth is perfect.
Training for a sport, your body is automatically going to change into the ideal and while different types of athletes and training produce different body shapes, unless your training like a sumo wrestler, I doubt you will look like one! Creating small goals around increases in strength or endurance means you will always be making wins for yourself, staying motivated, focused and creating positive self beliefs. All this sets your body up to lose weight all by itself. Training for bigger goals than weight loss you will probably find yourself working a lot harder and taking more care when it comes to technique.
If training and eating healthily aren’t working for you, chances are you need to look deeper… And I would definitely start with your emotions and self beliefs. It is impossible to be slim or have an athletic build if your self image only sees a hippo in the mirror. Remember the body always follows the mind. I talk about the affects of a negative self-image and give affirmations in my blog Discipline is a lie.
Lauren Chandler – Health & Fitness Coach & Author