The question was how does exercise fit into a thin mentality.
Just as the diet industry has taught us to seek quick fixes or radical programs for weight loss, the fitness industry has done the same regarding exercise.
I’m sure you have seen the P90X infomercials, and the types of regimens that “Jillian” and the biggest loser recommend. They are extreme and non sustainable.
Here is what I know.
I taught aerobics, spinning and step aerobics for decades and I was a personal trainer. And the people who were in the best shape over the long haul were slow and steady like the tortoise. They weren’t obsessed by fitness, they didn’t “punish” themselves with exercise.
They had a nice routine that they enjoyed, that worked into their life. Their commitment to fitness was reasonable, and generally included a “sport,” like tennis or racket ball or basketball, volleyball, skating etc.
And working out was not so they could “eat more.”
Realize that when you rack up hours on a treadmill, Mother Nature makes you hungrier. So working out is good for endurance and to be in shape. But realize:
You are not fooling your body. When you work out more, you will be hungrier.
So don’t work out with the goal to eat more. Work out because it feels good and your body wants to move.
Work out or do a sport that leaves you feeling good, and wanting more.
So you think that isn’t enough?
Just like yo-yo dieting is harmful to your body, so is yo-yo exercise.
It is far more beneficial to do moderate exercise two times a week than to be a stud and work out like crazy for a year, only to do burn out and ditch your routine altogether for the next year. And yes, that happens all the time.
I am also a big believer in moderate weight lifting because it keeps you strong. I am not talking about anything heroic here. A little very moderate weight lifting a couple of times a week is, from my experience, very beneficial.
But, just like with food preferences, we are all different. What works for me may not work for you.
Find what kind of movement your body responds to, what you enjoy. And gently fit it into your life.
Obviously, if you are a pro athlete, training for a marathon, or in boot camp with the military, your situation is different. Your body is under extreme pressure to perform at a high capacity. Your thin mentality will be there for you craving high protein food to get you through.
That is the beauty of listening to your body.