I love exercise [most of the time], but it wasn’t always that way.
Social psychologist, Emily Balcetis, wondered why some people found it harder to exercise than others. Her research looked at how things like perception, motivation, goal-setting and decision-making might impact the way we experience exercise and weight loss. Since I’m quite familiar with the effect perception can have on our outcomes, I was eager to learn more about her findings.
In this informative TED Talk, Belcetis explains why some people struggle more than others with weight loss. One of the key factors, she posits, is vision. Her research shows how when it comes to fitness, some people quite literally see the world differently from others.
Here’s some interesting food for thought:
A person’s waist-to-hip ratio is highly predictive of how difficult they perceive exercise to be.
What’s this? A heavier, more out-of-shape person perceives exercise to be more difficult than a fitter person? Well, thanks for that flash of breaking news..
Okay, okay – so THAT part is not surprising, but here’s what is…
Motivation is the game-changer! i.e. For an out-of-shape person who was highly motivated to workout, their perception about difficulty of the exercise shifted. Specfically, those who were motivated saw the finish line as 30% closer than those who were not motivated.
Um…HELL YEAH! How cool is that?
The body achieves what the mind believes. Don’t believe me? Watch this 14 minute video to hear the full findings of the research.
My favourite line in this video was at the very end:
And when we find a way to make the world look nicer and easier, it might actually become so.
Apropos of everything, a quick status update on Project: Breaking a Trail to Prom: My niece sent me a text yesterday. She lost 5 lbs since starting this thing on January 1!