For #topictuesday, I shared about letting go of exercising for weight loss and exercise for my overall wellbeing.
One way I improved my wellbeing was by avoiding the scale. I used to go on it two/three times per week. Now, I only went on it once the last three/four months. Muscle weighs more than fat. When I start to exercise, specifically weightlifting, I gain weight.
A normal scale does not tell you if you gained muscle or not. One thing I have found helpful is use the scale at my doctor’s office. It measures your muscle per leg, arms, etc., and also computes overall fat and muscle percentages. It allows me to see my progress and my overall health compared to a number on a scale.
This may sound easier than it is but listening to my body resulted in mindset shift. My body never lies. Yet somehow when my body tells me it is tired and needs to slow down I like to push it further. I do this with exercise but used to do it with food and alcohol. If I did not sleep well and my body was begging for rest, I indulged in things like caffeine and sugar to help give me a boost. On days of stress and feeling overwhelmed, I consumed too many glasses of alcohol to make it go away.
Listening to my body in regards to exercise can look different depending on the day. It can be resting on a day I planned to run. It can also be getting off the couch when I want to veg out. This morning on my run I wanted to run six miles, but I was running faster than normal and by mile four I knew my body was asking me to slow down. I decided to walk for a minute and then ran again. I ran another mile when I realized I did not need to push my body any harder.
These are just a few helpful ways to change my perspective when it comes to exercise but I am not perfect. There are still days I want to jump on the scale and force myself to go just a little heavier or a little longer. I gently remind myself of my overall goal: health and wellbeing.
What are some of the things you can practically do to help change your perspective on exercising for wellbeing?