An invitation to be free from exercising to lose weight

Girl having fun while holding balloons

As scientists gain a greater understanding about the body, it’s becoming clear the ‘calories in, calories out’ concept for weigh loss is merely an attempt to simplify something that is much more complex in our body.  What happens to the calories we eat is dependent on many factors, not just the total number we consume in a day. Factors such as stress, sleep deprivation, and the type of foods eaten all change what happens to those calories in our body. Also, the amount of calories we burn is unpredictable and does not continue to increase as we are more and more active, showing that more exercise will not necessarily lead to more weight loss. As much as we wish it were true, solving the weight loss problem is not just simple math.

Backed by science, I extend to you an invitation to be free from trying to exercise to lose weight. Enjoy this freedom in three ways:

  • Freedom from the notion your body needs fixing. The truth is every system in your body is charged with the mission for keeping you alive and well. Exercise, when well designed, helps these systems function at their best, instantly! No “fixing” or goal-reaching is required.
  • Freedom from exercises that don’t make sense to your body, for example, sit-ups and crunches. There is no functional reason to do them. Absolutely none! They do nothing to help the body in daily life, nor do they slim your middle (dare I say planks too – but that is a story for another blog!) No wonder no one likes doing them!
  • Freedom from letting the scale and the mirror (aka our culture) hijack your motivation. These external motivators can easily trigger automatic self-critical thoughts. Studies show that external motivators and criticism are great ways to get a surge of motivation.  Yet, no research has ever proven that criticism leads to lasting motivation. You no longer need to let the scale tell you exercise is “working” or waste any more time on the most common ways to “trick yourself” into wanting to exercise.

Over the years, countless people have told me why they want to lose weight. It all boils down to one reason: “I want to feel better.” Physically as well as mentally, they want to feel better. We all do! That is our motive to do anything in life: to feel better in some way. Now that you can stop trying to burn more and more calories, you are free from trying to use all kinds of gimmicky, exhausting exercise programs to get “results.” You don’t have to talk yourself into doing exercises that makes you feel worse so someday you can feel better. You are now free to work with your body and brain to design exercise in the way that leaves you feeling better every day!


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PS: Need some inspiration to enjoy exercise and stay motivated?  How about each week I send you a quick thought provoking tip on how to enjoy exercise, get what you want from, it, and stay motivated?  Click here to sign up!

Why can’t I stay motivated?

Why is it so hard to stay motivated?-3Have you had conversations with yourself or others around the theme of why can’t I stay motivated to exercise?  

Are the conversations getting old?

The crazy paradox here is that what works is right under our nose.  Motivation science reveals conclusive information about what works for temporary motivation and what works for motivation that lasts forever—and there is a big difference. We have focused way too much on those temporary motivators, like losing weight, incentives, and challenges. Unfortunately, temporary motivators will just not work when it comes to exercise because our body is a use it to keep it system.  We need to tap into the principles, known truths, about the best way to approach exercise and about lasting motivation to enjoy lasting benefits.

We have the information we need to end the struggle for exercise motivation! The key is blending all we know about how the brain and body work best, in a way we can easily use every day.  That is our mission here at Whole-person Fitness!

Join the Whole-person Fitness community in our Exercise Motivation Revolution.

Here’s how, step by step:

If you are not already on my email list, click here to join the community now and learn about bonuses for my new online coaching course Motivation Mindset that starts June 25.



Ready for some motivation inspiration?

Ready for somemotivation inspiration?We’ve been exploring what drains and what sustains motivation for exercise, but we know that information does not automatically lead to motivation. Lasting change is a process and changing your mindset about exercise and motivation takes time and practice.

How do I know? First because the science of change has shown that change does not happen overnight—it is a process and it happens in stages. Second, because I have been through this process with many people struggling specifically with motivation for exercise.

Based on what I have learned over the past three decades, I am creating tools for you to use this blend of science and experience to create your sustainable exercise motivation. If you have spent long enough draining your motivation for exercise with trying to be ‘good’ and do what you should do, wasted too much time and money on gadgets and intense programs to keep you motivated, click here to sign up for my email list.

I’ll soon be sharing some free tools for understanding motivation and clearing the motivation drains because I want you to discover how possible it is to keep yourself motivated. These tools for more reliable and sustainable ways to get what you want from exercise are only available to those on my list, so sign up today.


Janet 🙂

Turning exercise information into motivation, summary

Turning exercise information into motivation, part 3-6.pngOver the past eight weeks, we’ve been sorting through the information about exercise that is meant to motivate, but in the end, drains motivation. We are led to believe you:

  • Need someone to motivate you
  • Should exercise
  • Can get quick and amazing results
  • Need lots of accountability
  • Need to suffer to get results
  • Are good if you exercise and bad if you don’t
  • Can find the answers you need on the internet
  • Just need to burn more calories

These beliefs are part of the reason there’s a drought of motivation for exercise. They are so imbedded in our culture and our exercise mindset, it’s hard to believe that not struggling would actually work. We equate exercise with struggling so strongly that an easier way sounds like a cop-out. Yet, the struggle isn’t increasing our exercise motivation and there is another way.

For the past thirty years, I have been asking the question “why is it so difficult to stay motivated for exercise?” I have poured over the science of how the brain and the body work separately. I have shared it with those who struggle with their exercise motivation and watched them use it to find the way out of the struggle. It takes unlearning what does not work and learning skills for being your own best source for lasting motivation, but the great news is, it’s easier than you may think.

If you are ready to end the struggle with exercise motivation,  I am excited to share it with you! Stay tuned because more information on how to be your own best motivator is coming soon.

Turning exercise information into motivation, part 8

Turning exercise information into motivation, part 3-5
Thanks to technology, information about how many calories you burn with exercise can be right at your fingertips. Burning calories can feel motivating, especially when you see how many calories are in certain foods. Yikes! I ate 1000 calories last night and only burned 400 in my workout!!! I better get to the gym today to burn that off!

And so it goes. Those little numbers keep us moving, pushing to burn off what we ate. We play this numbers game in hopes of someday winning at weight loss. Well, if it makes us move, what’s the problem?

Here are some of them.

Stuck in “never enough”. It takes only a few seconds to consume the calories it would take you an hour to burn off. This numbers game can keep us feeling like we could never do enough exercise.

Unreliable. The calories burned during exercise is a rough estimate. It even changes day to day for the same exercise. It’s like trying to balance your checkbook with a rough estimate of your expenses—how would that work? We put way too much stock in the equation of calories in, calories out.  The calories out part is just not accurate enough to make it work for weight loss.

We miss out. The estimated calories burned per minute during stretching and strength training are much lower than for cardio. It seems smarter to do cardio because you can get a better return on your time investment. Yet stretching can make you feel better and strength training can make you function better (not to mention it increases metabolism much more than cardio does).

Drains the enjoyment. When the goal is to burn as many calories as possible with the limited time you have, enjoying exercise is not the goal. If enjoying exercise sounds like an oxymoron to you, this is a BIG red flag that it’s time to exercise for reasons other than calorie burning.

As humans, we are just not motivated by concepts. We are motivated by how we feel.  Playing the numbers game, living in the state of “never enough” can leave us feeling exhausted, frustrated, and discouraged. These are not feelings that sustain your motivation to keep exercising.

The biggest irony here is that when exercise leaves you feeling worse, you are moving in the opposite direction of the reason you probably want to lose weight in the first place—to feel better, have more energy, be comfortable in your skin, be free to enjoy life a bit more.

Want to stay motivated to exercise to help you lose weight? Don’t exercise for weight loss! Cover up the calories burned number. Ignore the programs touting maximum calorie burning. Block the articles about tricking your body into burning more calories (e.g., muscle confusion). Quit the calorie burning game once and for all.

Instead, exercise to feel better and function better, now and each day going forward. You will discover more sustainable motivation and be more likely to win what you ultimately want from weight loss.