Being Mindful in Exercise as in Eating

Yoga Stretch2For many chronic dieters, once you start a diet, you also start an exercise plan. And, once you go off the diet, you probably stop the exercise plan. Hmmm, sound familiar? Why bother exercising if you are not dieting.


It’s time to turn this thinking around!


First, start by asking yourself “why do I exercise?” Be honest with yourself. If you are struggling with your weight, I’d bet that you are exercising to burn calories. You watch the calorie counter on the treadmill or elliptical machine and won’t get off until you see that magic number of calories burned.


I can tell you this is problem number one. You are exercising for the wrong reason. When you exercise for the sole purpose of losing weight, you are probably not enjoying it and it becomes a chore; a dreaded chore that you know you have to do or else you weren’t “good” that day.


Let’s get rid of this thought. I’d like to do consider exercise for other reasons besides a calorie burn and weight loss. Focus on how it feels and its effect on your:


– stress level

– energy level

– general sense of well-being

– sense of empowerment

– sleep quality


When you focus on these aspects and feel these benefits, you will see that without even realizing it, you are shedding excess weight and your clothes are feeling better.


I have been an exerciser for years. But, I will share with you that I used to exercise for the sake of burning calories and losing those extra few stubborn pounds, especially after I had my babies. My choices of exercise included treadmill, elliptical, aerobic DVD’s and strength training.


Sounds good, right?


What was I missing? I’ll tell you. I was missing flexibility, stretching and balance training. Do you know why? Because in my mind I wasn’t burning calories doing those exercises and I am very busy. So, if I was spending time exercising, I wanted to get a good calorie burn.


My thinking changed many months ago. I recognized that my body was tired. Tired from all the pounding and cardio I was doing. It was time for me to explore another more gentle option for my body. I discovered a workout program called PiYO by Beachbody. This is a combination of Pilates and Yoga. I am in month number 3 of the workout program and I am thrilled with how I feel. My energy level is high, my overall sense of well-being is great and I feel empowered. I am moving my body during these workouts like I never have, and it is gentle, feels great and a lot of fun. And, without even focusing on it, my clothes are fitting differently too. I love the changes.


Your turn to take action:  I challenge you this week to me mindful in your exercise and focus on how you feel versus how many calories you are burning. Share your thoughts and comments with me below.



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