We received this question from one of our MerryBody Members, Will I lose weight and get toned doing Yoga and Pilates? After writing a well-thought answer we realised we need to share it with everyone.
We’re almost three years (MerryBody started in 2018) into making and sharing our Yoga and Pilates classes online… and let us tell you… we are so proud to NOT market our MerryBody Online Studio for weight loss and body transformation.
You will NEVER see a before and after picture on our site or social feed.
FYI: we did share personal before and afters once, we’ve also then gone on to talk about why it was a mistake. But of course, we won’t delete the original before and after blog post… after all, you can’t just wipe out history.
In our classes, we never talk about burning calories or losing the muffin top, saddlebags, tuck shop lady arms, and all that other BS you might be used to hearing during fitness classes.
We show up for filming days and photoshoots as our regular selves. We don’t photoshop any images, we barley will ever use an Instagram filter… sometimes we’ll lighten a video because we were too lazy to put a light on. We continually read over our MerryBody Info Page and check in with the words and potential triggering language. We are sure this will be forever evolving and changing… because we are always changing.
This is extremely important to us.
As two women growing up in a diet culture fuelled world, between us, we’ve experienced years and years of dieting, starving ourselves, binging, purging, grabbing at our fat, complaining about our fat, comparing ourselves, valuing ourselves on looks alone, measuring, weighing…
… and we do not want to contribute or inspire this kind of behaviour in any way.
From the beginning of MerryBody, our mission was to ALWAYS encourage acceptance and joy. The motto from day 1 has been: move your body, find your joy.
As time has passed, this mission has become stronger and stronger.
With MerryBody, you will flip the focus away from the negativity of what you’re not. And instead place it on who you are, and what you’re still to become (which is already inside of you!).
In a world that is so focussed on weight loss, booty gains, quick fixes, and skinny teas, it really is something quite different.
A way of moving your body that doesn’t remind you of what you lack… it reminds you of the amazingness already within.
It’s a daily reminder, that right here, right now, you are 1000 times enough… just as you are.
The only thing that needs to change is the fact that you forgot this.
Ok, now that we’ve got that clear… if you’ve stumbled across this post looking to lose weight… we hope the below reply provides even just a slight shift in your perspective. And if you do want to hear more about what we’ve got to say… sign up for our weekly newsletter HERE.
Q. Will I lose weight and get toned doing Yoga and Pilates?
A. We will start with… when you practise, you will progress.
You will feel and see changes. When you stretch, move, lift your body weight… you will sweat, you will feel your heart beat faster and you will feel your muscles burn (in a good way!). These are all just facts. But there is absolutely no exercise in the world where you do it for a week and you see drastic physical changes. Unless you are exercising all day and drastically changing your diet (and this extreme method will most likely also have negative health implications).
Anything that promises fast results is usually… untrue marketing… or you get fast results and it’s impossible to maintain. Or it does more damage than good, for example, diet shakes or detox diets and teas. You only lose weight because you are restricting calories and most likely starving yourself.
If you move your body 20 extra minutes a day… walking/running/riding/Pilates/Yoga/swimming… just doing a movement you enjoy. You will see and more importantly FEEL the results.
When you eat a balanced diet, wait let’s not even call it a diet, more like ‘Intuitive Eating’ you will FEEL results. This way of eating helps you connect to feelings like hunger and fullness, cravings, and how food actually makes you feel. It’s less about rules and more about tuning into YOU. And we get it, easier said than done, this takes work and dedication… but it also creates health and freedom!
Before we go on, we want to remind you that you’re amazing right here, right now. Even your arms and tummy (this member had specifically mentioned these areas of their body). They’re amazing, they take you on life’s journey, your arms hug the people you love, your tummy helps you exist and be here right now.
But it’s also ok (it’s amazing!), that you want to make changes.
Changes that will allow and welcome… more energy, more mobility, more strength, more health.
We might be Anti-Diet Culture and we might not like to focus directly on weight loss… but this doesn’t mean we are ‘Anti-Weight Loss’. We know that excess weight contributes to many health issues BUT we also know the methods and mentality often used for weight loss can have negative effects to mental and physical health.
Speaking from experience (multiple experiences we should say, of losing weight, gaining weight, losing weight, and gaining etc.), losing weight doesn’t create more love for yourself. A smaller, lighter version of YOU is not worthy of more kindness and love than the current version of you. Every version of you deserves big love.
Introducing a new workout regime can be difficult, especially if you haven’t had one in a while. But this is why MerryBody is so good! We create Masterclasses that help you move through these struggles.
We recommend tuning into one or a few of these (all available inside the Online Studio):
- Fresh Starts and New Beginnings
- 5 Steps to Create Body Confidence
- Goal Setting Workshop
These are a great place to start and they will help you feel inspired and motivated. They will help you take action.
We do Yoga or Pilates almost every day. We walk sometimes too. We are strong, fit, and healthy… this movement (when done consistently) will get you feeling all these things too. We also have fat and skin that folds over our yoga pants when we bend and we don’t have ‘perfect’ arms or thighs or tummies… or anything actually. If we listened to diet culture and paid more attention to what our competitors are like… we’d feel the pressure to diet and not have an ounce of fat on us!
But that’s not MerryBody… and oh are we glad it is not!
We continue to experience our lives with less and less restriction and rules, we enjoy food, we don’t put huge pressure on ourselves and we show up as us…
We hope some of the above, or maybe all of it helps.
Take a read, and just choose one action step. Once you have taken an action… whether it is watching a Masterclass or doing a class… reply and let us know how you are feeling.
Emma + Carla
Ps. if this post sparked your interest (we told you MerryBody is different!) sign up for our 7 Day Free Trial of the MerryBody App.
You’ll get unlimited access to hundreds of online Yoga, Pilates, and Meditation Classes.