Part of our ongoing Fitness Friday series.
Quick question, why are you trying to lose weight?
Losing weight because “it’s healthier” is a commendable, existential reason to start getting in shape. But for a lot of guys, myself included, it’s not a very tangible reason to get moving. The fact is, I enjoy large quantities of food and extended periods of inactivity as much as the next guy.
So allow me to give you a better reason for losing weight that taps into the way guys are naturally wired: the more weight you lose, the more you’ll kick butt at the sports you love.
A selfish reason? Sure. A motivating reason? Sure is for me! Regardless of what sports you enjoy – whether it’s basketball, cycling, baseball, swimming, tennis, running, etc. – the less unnecessary fat you’re carrying around, the more powerful you’ll be. Every pound counts exponentially because the more you weigh, the less efficient your body is as an engine.
I recently saw this short video with Lance Armstrong. And the statement that, “every 1 kilo of extra body weight adds an additional minute to your time over a 10 kilometer climb,” blew me away! I race bikes and still have some weight to drop, so that statement drove it home for me. It made it very, very tangible.
If you’re already in tremendous shape than losing that last pound or two isn’t going to be a healthy move or really make a huge difference. But for those of us tacking on an extra 20, 30, 50, 100 pounds, the difference adds up fast!
I read another article earlier this year that talked about the fact that a lot of folks doing triathlons recreationally are carrying around an extra 10 or 20 pounds of extra weight on their bodies, which they ignore. Yet they spend thousands of $ on very expensive, aerodynamic equipment. The article went on to show the math behind how much faster a racer’s time would be if they just lost the weight -vs- dropping the dough on the equipment. The weight loss won out every time by a landslide.
Don’t get me wrong, we absolutely need to lose weight for all the right reasons. Health, wellness, more energy in our day, lowered risk of various diseases, not dying a preventable death, etc. But as guys there’s nothing wrong with wrapping our brains around the fact that the more weight we lose, the better we’ll be at the sports we love. And, since guys are natural competitors, “you’ll kick more butt” can be a much bigger motivator to lose weight than “it’s healthy to weigh less.”
Now get out there and go kick some butt.
Ben Murphy, founder of The Father Life, is an Adventure Athlete, Writer, and Wellness Advocate who used to be obese. You can ask him your questions at www.BenMurphyOnline.com. He lives in upstate New York with his wife and three daughters.