Losing weight. Le Sigh.
A first exercise to try, but also, a rant.
In my dream, the term “losing weight” is removed from existence. Not because I don’t support exercise to burn up fat you don’t want or need anymore, I am a big supporter of people using exercise to do whatever they want, fat loss included.
No, I don’t like the weight loss term because it’s just too damned broad.
Instead of this very vague term “losing weight” which in my experience every time I have tried to lose weight (nearly my whole life) I’ve always lost the weight and found it again so it’s not particularly effective.
Instead of this term, why don’t we just say what we really mean.
I want to burn some body fat because I’m finding it harder to do handstands with the extra fat I’m holding on my body.
Or, I’d like to increase my strength because carrying all my grocery bags from car to house in one go is really appealing.
Or, I’d like to increase my body fat because my face is looking quite thin and it’s not a look I like on me.
Why do we have to bundle all the reasons we want to change about our body into this broad term of weight? Losing weight, putting on weight. It’s baffling to me because our goals are so individual. And when we make specific goals, achieving them is usually a bit easier.
So what do you want to do?
What are your goals?
Write them down.
I want to use cardio exercises to keep my heart healthy.
I want to lift weights or do some resistance training to get stronger.
I want to burn up some body fat because I don’t feel I need it anymore.
I want to increase my fitness so I don’t get puffed as quickly
I want to increase my mobility so I can get down on the floor with my kids and get back up again easily
Do you sorta see how the term “lose weight” doesn’t really fit into the equation? Do you see why when you’ve tried previously to “lose weight” it’s only worked for a little while and then you’ve found the lost weight again?
This newsletter is about size-inclusive, non-diet fitness for beginners. Some people have mobility challenges and this is what I’d like to try and help with because there is no good reason why a beginner can’t eventually do all the things an experienced person can do. But we have to practice, and we have to go at our own pace. We have to modify exercises so that our body can do them, and then progress with a different modification. Crawling, learning to walk, learning to run. You get it, right? Slow it down. Learn how to do the moves correctly so we don’t hurt ourselves. Practice. Progress. Keep your body fat while still exercising. Or not, if changing how much fat you have is a goal for you, go ahead and do that. This is mobility so we can move easier, for longer, and keep our heart healthy while we’re at it.
My intention is to share one exercise in each newsletter. I will get to filming the exercises myself next time I’m in the gym but for now, I’m using Darebee videos.
Up for your first exercise?
Now, because mobility and experience with exercise is different for everyone, I’ll start off at a beginner level, and progress from there.
The first exercise I want to talk about is a squat.
And this video here will show you a full squat so you know what the range of motion looks like. For a beginner, you’re not going to drop that low. Not even close. For an absolute beginner living in a fat body, find an armchair with a reasonably high armrest and squat down so your butt just touches the armrest. We’re aiming for a quarter of the depth this thin person is squatting at.
If you have a bit more flexibility, feel free to modify again, and squat lower. Use the seat of the armchair or a dining chair if you have one, and sit down fully on the seat, and then stand up again straight away.
Having your arms out front like in the video can help with balance. Try not to push on the tops of your thighs with your hands.
How many can you do?
An ultimate score is 10-12 reps. If you can do 1 or 2, fair play to you. That’s awesome. If you can do 6 that’s wonderful and I’m bloody proud of you. If you smash out the whole 10 or even 12, you can definitely try progressing to the next stage of sitting on the chair, or try a full squat. There is nothing stopping you.
You can approach this exercise by doing one set of how ever many you can do, a few times in a day. Or you can smash out the whole lot at once. Doesn’t matter. I squat when I’m loading the dishwasher.
Things to try or remember
When you rise back up from a squat, squeeze or tense your glutes (butt) if you can.
Keep your back flat. A curved spine is a very sore spine presenting quite quickly.
The squat move will work your core muscles, hips, abs, lower back, quads, knees and ankles. It’s one of those exercises where you get a lot of bang for your exercise buck. Get off the treadmill, and do some squats.
I’d love to hear from you if you give this a try. Or if you have some reckons, or something else to say. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org, on twitter @LouDxx, or hop over to my brand new Fitness at any Size Facebook group. It’s five minutes old, there’s nothing there yet, but there will be.