weight loss

You are exercising to lose weight and you aren’t losing any, what now?

Image description: A photo of a winding road in Iceland with lupins by the roadside
Image description: A photo of a winding road in Iceland with lupins by the roadside. Photo from Unsplash.

So maybe you set out to do things differently in 2018. Your plan was to go to the gym, tidy up your diet, drop a dress size or two. Suppose though that instead you went to the gym, and maybe even cut out the cookies and the chips, and didn’t lose any weight. It’s a common story. It’s my story usually.

So what now?

Should you just quit trying? Quit exercising?

There are dozens of lists on this topic, reasons to keep exercising that aren’t about weight loss.

Here’s my favorite because it’s the longest. It’s 45 reasons to exercise that have nothing to do with weight loss.

There are lots of good reasons for severing the tie between exercise and weight loss. For lots of us it just doesn’t happen. See my post on plus size endurance athletes.

Also I worry it sends the wrong message to thin people.

So here are my favorite reasons for working out that have nothing to do with dropping a dress size.

1. The immediate thing is that it feels good. I always feel better after.

2. For me, exercise is usually social. It’s fun. It’s friends. Sometimes it’s family too. Often dogs are involved.

3. The health benefits of exercise go far beyond weight loss.

4. Even the looks related benefits go beyond weight loss. I may not lose weight but I like building muscle. Exercise makes my posture better too.

5. Then there’s the not so immediate things like sports performance, everyday functional fitness.

6. And then there are the distant goals. I want to still be hiking in my 80s.

How about you? Why do you exercise? What non weight related goals motivate you?

4 thoughts on “You are exercising to lose weight and you aren’t losing any, what now?

  1. I exercise as a desperate existential attempt to stave off death as long as possible.

    I mean, I also do it because I genuinely enjoy and care about excelling in the the sports I do. But if you take out the skill/competition/pleasures of the sports themselves, what’s left is definitely the existential death thing.

  2. i started strength training this january. i am working with a personal trainer. i like feeling stronger and it is working to help back strain and pain. i’m hoping it helps with my biking this year

  3. I exercise to keep my anxiety lower and to help make the rest of my life easier.
    I want to feel good in my body.
    Without my daily yoga practice I stiffen up and feel old. And antsy.

  4. I joke that I am doing strength training so I’ll be better able to haul my fat ass around. This is mostly true, but I also hope to shift the density and composition of my body, and having more muscle mass and less fat mass will help my endurance and the impact on my joints in the activities I enjoy (softball/baseball and hiking). I’m not in it to lose weight per se, but to change what the scale is measuring. Also, in as much as I hate the work sometimes, I always feel better afterwards.

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