The one where I tell you that exercise is great for you, but you don’t actually have to do it in order to lose weight.
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Episode Show Notes:
Exercise has always been seen as imperative to weight loss, but what if it isn’t.
Exercise can create problems for some people who are trying to lose weight:
- Lead you to overeat because you think you have earned food you would not normally eat. This is an emotional reason you overeat that needs to be worked out first.
- Lead you to overeat because it drives up your appetite. This is a glucose and insulin issue that needs to be worked out first.
Exercise, when seen as a health tool as opposed to a weight loss tool, however, is incredibly powerful and helpful.
Exercise is great for:
- Heart health
- Muscle strength
- Bone health
- Less stress
- Better sleep
How do you know what you should do?
If you are not already exercising, focus on moving more today than what you did yesterday.
If you are already exercising or are ready to start, set a minimum baseline.
Minimum baseline is setting the minimum amount of minutes each week you will exercise, forever.
You can plan on more, but you will always do your minimum.
This does two things:
- Stop the all-or-nothing mentality that can keep up motivated to workout long term.
- Trains your brain to believe that you are a person that exercises and takes care of their health
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Make exercise a Health tool instead of a Weight Loss tool.
Either move more today than yesterday – and doing what you love – or set a minimum baseline.
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You are listening to Business Women Losing Weight with Amy Latta, episode 18 – The one where I tell you why you don’t actually have to workout to lose weight. Let’s go!
(Music) Welcome to Business Women Losing Weight, a community for fabulous women small business owners so laser focused on building their businesses….they have been sacrificing their health! Together we’re going to get back your time, get back your energy, and teach you to live naturally thin.
I’m your host, Amy Latta, and I’m all in! Are you comin’ with me? Let’s take care of you so you can take care of business!
Hello sisters! How are you today? I am doing fabulous and I hope you are, too!
I just got back from a great walk with Trey, my awesome husband. We live in a really nice neighborhood with lots of common ground and a couple small lakes, and often start our weekend mornings with walking or kayaking.
Trey is naturally athletic, and can often be found playing football or baseball or basketball with our boys in our yard. He plays softball and volleyball for fun. My boys are equally athletic.
Me, on the other hand…not a natural born athlete. At all. Now, I loved dance and gymnastics when I was a little girl, but I got boobs really early and was so self-conscious about my body, I was done by fifth grade. I know, such a bummer. I have few regrets in my life, but I do wish I had stuck with that.
I hated the physical fitness tests – remember those? The Presidential Physical Fitness Awards we had to do in school – the mile, situps, sit and reach, and oh my Lord, remember the flexed arm hang? Hated it!
Test me all day long on math or science or history, but for the love of all things holy, do not make me hang from that bar or run that track! The only thing I had going for me was my supreme flexibility and good abs, so I totally rocked sit and reach and situps. But I thought I was dying when I had to run the mile, and the flex armed hang? That was just my humiliation on display for the entire class to see.
Dodgeball? Yep. Picked last. Every time.
So it may shock the shit out of you to learn that I am actually, now, a certified personal trainer! What the what? How did I go from not an athletic bone in my body to deciding to help others exercise?
Well, it’s a long story. Not gonna lie. And all of it is not necessarily relevant for today’s conversation, but just know that I have had a twisted, convoluted, love/hate relationship with exercise almost my entire life. And exercise is what we are talking about today.
Specifically, the truth about exercise for my Grown Ass Women.
And the truth is – you don’t actually have to exercise to lose weight. Nope.
I know this is going to come as a big shocker to most of you. Because we have grown up to see exercise as imperative to our weight loss. I have so many clients and potential clients who think they won’t be able to lose weight because they can’t exercise – for whatever reason. And can’t is relative – most people can move their body in some way that constitutes exercise, we just choose not to. But we’ll get to that in a moment.
But know the truth is you can absolutely get to and stay at your goal weight without making regular exercise a part of your life. And this will conflict with most of what you have heard most of your life.
Aren’t we supposed to workout?
I ate cake. Don’t I need to workout to burn it off?
Wait. How many times have I heard the “I run so I can eat hamburgers and fries” line?
Only about a million and there’s tons of internet memes to back it up!
Remember that I am a personal trainer and believe in exercise as part of a healthy business woman’s life as I keep talking. Because your brain may get twitchy here. And I know not everyone will agree with me, and that is okay. I will bring this full circle by the end.
But the diet industry has really positioned overweight people as merely lazy people would lose some weight if they only pulled their ass off the couch.
“They need to put down the cheeseburger and go to the gym.”
We have heard this. Over and over again. It might even be a belief system of yours – and if it is, then I am here to tell you that it is not serving you. So that belief system is really bull shit.
That belief that we are overweight because we are lazy doesn’t address anything about overeating. And hormones and emotions, and everything we have talked about so far in this podcast.
And, let’s be honest, it really benefits the food industry, doesn’t it? I can eat whatever I want as long as I work out. Everyone in the weight loss industry wins if we follow that logic – the gyms and the food manufacturers have a vested interest in us believing that a dynamic workout plan is the key to our weight loss.
I am an advocate of exercise, so I promise you I am not going completely off the rails, so stick with me. This is super important!
Why should the food industry stop producing concentrated foods that create huge insulin responses if we can blame lack of exercise on the obesity epidemic?
Eat everything in moderation!
Go work it off!
This is what we have been told, and for some of us, it does work!
But for so many others, it doesn’t, and they’ve been lead to believe it’s because they are lazy.
And let’s think about it.
If you think that your weight struggles are because you are lazy, how does that make you feel?
And what kind of actions are you going to take if you feel guilty. Or ashamed. Or sad, or any negative emotion?
Those are not the kinds of emotions that create long term motivation to eat healthy foods and get you in the gym.
Short term, completely possible. But long term? It’s the rare rare bird that can maintain positive action from a negative emotional state. Never met it, personally.
And I don’t want to feel guilted or shamed into exercise, I want to feel excited and motivated!
Who the hell wants to live in negative emotion their whole life in order to get stuff done!
So please put aside every single infomercial you have ever seen. The ones that sell the workout programs that will get you from an overweight, sad, depressed mess to the thin, sleek, chiseled rockstar. For real, isn’t that how they paint it?
These commercials mention food as an aside; “and follow the included meal plan” they’ll say in 30 seconds of the 20 minute commercial.
But abs aren’t made in the gym, they are made in the kitchen.
You want to lose weight fast? Just change your diet.
You want to lose weight slowly? Just exercise.
I know, I am not making friends here. Or maybe I am. Depends on if you think exercise is the bomb diggity.
The problem is not so much exercise itself – exercise in and of itself is absolutely necessary for long term good health – as it is our mindset around exercise.
I would rather you start with the mindset work – the emotional reasons for overeating.
I would rather you address the physical reasons for overeating – the hormones and dopamine.
When you change your diet to address the hormones – holy cow. The weight will start coming off.
Let’s start there!
We will get to the exercise. Because exercise is awesome for the body. But it can create problems, too.
If you overeat as a result of exercising – I worked out, so I can eat this! – then we need to deal with that thinking. Because it’s not serving you in the long run.
It’s better to work through your overeating and reach your goal weight first.
If exercise makes you super hungry, which can happen, then we need to address your glucose and insulin issues first. We need to get those balanced, as we’ve talked about in previous episode.
Listen, exercise is awesome. It strengthens your heart and your bones and your joints and reduces your stress level and helps you sleep, and the list of benefits goes on and on!
We need cardiovascular exercise and strength training and flexibility for long term health.
Just know that exercise for weight loss is not our goal. Exercise for long term health, yes. But first, let’s address your overeating and your hormones.
A second point about holding off on exercise for the moment may be time.
If you are currently not eating so you can lose weight, and you don’t have time to meal plan, and you don’t have time to get eight hours of sleep, and you don’t have time for basic self-care, I’m not going to add exercise to the list.
If time is your greatest obstacle to good health, we are going to work on those other items first.
How can we remove some items from your to-do list.
How can we get seven or eight hours of sleep in.
How can we create a meal plan and stick with it for the rest of your life.
We are going to start there.
Once we have those locked and loaded – and we will get them locked and loaded – then let’s focus on adding in exercise!
Because I still have personal training in my arsenal. Do not think for a second that I don’t think exercise is important.
I absolutely advocate moving more, every day.
And that you can start doing now.
You can walk a little farther.
Take a stroll instead of watch another episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
Get outside with your kids.
Just getting out in nature will do wonders for your stress and your spirits.
I think from day one, more general body movement is awesome!
Get up a stretch once an hour at your desk.
Again, if you are already a regular exerciser, that’s awesome, I just ask that you answer these questions:
Does exercise trigger overeating?
Does exercise keep you from sleeping enough hours?
Does exercise prevent you from creating and sticking with a meal plan that balances your insulin levels?
If the answer is no – then exercise away!
If it is yes, you may need to pull back to address those issues – because those issues have a greater impact on your weight loss.
If you are to the point where your overeating – both physical and emotional reasons for overeating – are under control, then let’s talk about setting a minimum baseline.
A minimum baseline is simply what is the minimum amount of exercise you can commit to every single week, forever.
If you already workout, you probably already have an answer.
If you don’t, you can start with five minutes. Three times a day!
Remember, we aren’t exercising for weight loss. We are exercising for the health benefits – the heart health and the bone strength and the stronger muscles and the more flexible body.
Even a few minutes a day is great for us!
This is no-matter-what exercise. This is shit-hits-the-fan exercise.
This is scheduled in your calendar and don’t miss that date with yourself.
Rain or shine.
So five minutes, or 15 minutes. You can schedule more time, but you will do this minimum amount, no matter what.
And make sure you love what you are doing.
If you hate running…don’t run.
If you hate dancing, cancel the Zumba class.
Start with what you already love doing, and if can’t figure that our right away, just start walking five minutes while listening to this podcast! Ha! That’s a start.
When new opportunities present itself, try boxing. Trying high-intensity interval training. Try a weight lifting class. Try yoga. Try kayaking. Try biking. You never, ever know what you may love.
And what you love may be different than what your friends love, and that is ok.
I thought for the longest time that because I am got certified as a personal trainer, I should be able to run a 5K. That’s a ridiculously non-productive thought!
Because I hate running. Like, really, really don’t like it. It is so not my jam, even though I have friends friends that run half and full marathons.
So I stopped trying to force myself into something I don’t love.
I do, however, love biking. And ice skating! And lifting free weights! And yoga!
I only know that because I tried them!
So pick your minimum. And make it something you love. And be willing to try new things that will get you excited to lace up those shoes!
Here are two reasons I am such a fan of this minimum baseline.
First, it prevents that “I must work out an hour a day or doesn’t count” mentality that we have gotten from years of infomercials.
This triggers an all or nothing response. If I can’t do an hour, I can’t do it, and look what happened, I must be lazy.
That’s like my “I must enjoy running if I’m a personal trainer” thought. It totally doesn’t serve me, and neither does you thinking that exercise is all or nothing.
Setting a minimum baseline also trains your brain to believe you are a person who works out. Even if it is only 5 minutes a day.
You do it every day, five minutes on those bare minimum days, maybe longer on days when you have more time, and you rewire your brain to believe that you are a person who takes care of their health.
This is hugely powerful, and so much better than thinking you are an all-or-nothing person who is probably just lazy at heart.
Do you see those two extremely powerful, and polar opposite, belief systems?
Which one will motivate you long term to exercise?
“I am an inherently lazy person who doesn’t like exercise.”
Or”I do exercise I love every single day for my body and my health.”
So what’s your action plan this week with this truth about exercise?
Make exercise a form of self-care, not your weight loss tool.
Depending on whether or not your are already exercising and where your mindset is means that “exercise as a form of self-care” will mean different things to different listeners.
So focus on overall body movement – do some form body movement, that you look forward to, that you will enjoy.
Either moving more today than you did yesterday, or setting your minimum baseline that you can do forever.
Make exercise a health tool as opposed to a weight loss tool, and see everything change in your brain!
As you can see, this exercise thing is really individual to you, and what you need may not be what the listener sitting next to you needs. I can’t know that writing for all women business owners, which one you are.
So stick with me, okay?
First and foremost, we need to get you eating only when naturally hungry.
Have you signed up for the what to eat this week meal plan?
Let’s get you on a meal plan that you can stick with forever!
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Maybe you need more help with food. Maybe you want some exercise advice! I’m all yours for one hour!
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OK, so get your reviews in and I can’t wait to set one of you lucky ladies up with plan!
Alright, my Grown Ass Women! I believe in you. Who do you know that needs to hear this episode? I am serious. Don’t keep this awesomeness to yourself. Share this podcast with other women who need to hear it.
Let them know that there is help, there’s another way, and we are a growing tribe of Grown Ass Women who have their back.
Alright, you have been listening to Business Women Losing Weight with life and weight coach Amy Latta. And until Next Week…let’s go do Epic Stuff.