Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff | Coz You’re too Darn HOT

by Marianne  - June 19, 2013

Today, I saw this image (<– left)  floating around on my Facebook Newsfeed (then I found some more) and it got me thinking about how many people (women especially) buy into the idea that the MORE you sweat, the more fat you will lose.  This also ties into the popular belief that you can only get your body fat lower by working at very high intensities all the time.  Is it any wonder this myth prevails considering so many fitness GURUs are encouraging that belief with statements like these.

Correlation (between increased intensity and increased sweating) does not prove they cause increased fat loss.

Look, I know this picture meme is just a bit of fun and its main purpose is to get people motivated and excited to train with this particular guru (which I get, and I am not having a dig at her for wanting viewers), BUT there are sub-messages to everything and I would just love if: a) Trainers (and Guru’s) start taking responsibility for the statements they give and for them to stop just trying to play into these myths to make money from people’s false beliefs (just be honest) and b) for women to learn that exercise is about MORE than sweating, more than high intensities and, yes, more than fat loss. I have no problem with people wanting to lose body fat … BUT let’s try to have other things to focus on too – Like moving well, progressing, having fun and learning how to love your body no matter how it looks (this is KEY). 

The notion that sweating more burns more fat is a selling tactic, because it’s easy to get people thinking they are burning fat by the immediate fruit of their labour: However, let’s consider the individual who sweats their arse off everyday doing crazy-ass workouts, but continues to consume too much energy … are they going to lose any jiggle? I highly doubt it!  Or, a person lives in Arizona and breaks a sweat just walking to the nearest fast food joint… does that mean they get a free-pass on the McDouble McBacon McBeef Burger? Highly doubt it (if they aren’t in a healthy calorie deficit).

You simply cannot say that just because I sweat more than you, that I am burning more fat. It is probably MORE likely that I just have more sweat glands than you, or I hold more water to actually sweat with.

Sweating is the body’s cooling system to maintain homeostasis. Losing water WILL make you weigh less, but you also need to replace the fluid lost during exercise.  There is WAY more involved when it comes to “losing jiggle” than how much you sweat. Sweat just so happens to happen sometimes!

Do you ever notice there are some days you just sweat less?  Do you fear that you won’t burn as much fat that day? What does this do to your mood?

Why am I getting all hot and bothered about sweat?

Ask yourself why you are pushing yourself to the point of drowning in your own sweat… if you simply enjoy this torture, then, *please*, continue and fair play to you. However, if you are under the impression that this will get you better/faster results, then I want to let you know that this is not always true. Doing more doesn’t get you more – I discussed this in a recent blog HERE.

Let me use a simple example, from a recent thread in a Fitness Group on Facebook that I take part in, to explain why I am getting so serious over a silly catch-phrase:

A girl posted about how to improve the appearance of her armpit fat. You know, the bit that gathers at the side of your bra strap and armpit fold. She stated that she hated how it looks in tank tops.  There was a big response to her and EVERY SINGLE ONE suggested: training more, training differently, using a different diet approach etc – in other words, every one was enabling and supporting her self-hatred. She was pointing out something she hated about her body and most people were offering her solutions to getting rid of that fat in order for her to be happier with herself.

Am I the only one who sees a major problem with that?!!

Here was my response:

“What do you LOVE? While achieving your strength goals, focus on what you love, not what you want to fix. Before you know it, you’ll find it harder and harder to see what you don’t like  Might not be the answer you were hoping for, but it’s one that works 100% because you train your eyes to see what is good. Training to get rid of something you don’t like might never deliver the results because you haven’t been able to accept yourself as you are. I can attest to both the struggle and reward of these view-points. You’re never anywhere else but where you’re at, so you may as well see your beauty and refuse to let your eyes see, or your mind feel anything but beauty  Often, that stubborn area is so obvious to us because we fix our negative feelings on it. What you see is worse than what I see because you have rejected that part of you *until* it fits a mould of what is beautiful. Is love of our bodies conditional? “

I wish I could say this view-point had been so obvious to me my whole life. You know how much I have struggled with my body image (and still do sometimes), but reading things like this makes it so obvious why so many of us (me included) struggle to be happy with ourselves … we are all brainwashed into believing that the outside will satisfy the inside.  This is SO wrong! It is the inside that accepts and qualifies the outside – by loving it unconditionally.

Not sweat, not fat loss, not someone giving you a compliment, not even being popular or rich… Happiness is a choice and it MUST come first before any external changes will even have meaning or value to you – regardless of how much you sweat!



Have a great week, everyone 🙂



“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.” ~ Psalm 139: 13-15


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  1. Marianne, I just love the content of your blog! I’ve been poring over it all week long. Your message is just a beautiful, wonderful one. Self-love, seeing through our imperfections – should we choose to call them that – and trying to rise above the dictates of our society to value ourselves as individuals with pride…that is tough, but necessary to happiness!

    I’ve accomplished something few people ever (have to) do. I’ve lost 160 lbs. from my top weight (which was very high, as I’ve been obese since childhood). I’m a smaller size than I was in high school. Unlike many who lose massive amounts of weight, I didn’t have any surgeries of any kind, although I hasten to add there’s nothing necessarily wrong with doing that. I achieved what I have through clean eating, moderate cardio, and mostly…weight-training! I look better than I ever have, I’m smaller than I was even as a teenager, I’m more fit than I was at the age of thirteen, you get the drift. Yet at the age of thirty-four, it is all too easy to see what I have left as “less than”. Nobody gets as heavy as I did without getting some battle scars, and I have mine. Loose skin, stretch marks, the haunting of old injuries which came from being heavy and body-unaware for so long. As I was never thin, becoming “normal” to the world, when I’m used to seeing myself (and being seen as) “abnormal” is as much of a mind-bending experience as one wants to have! Believe me, it’s not all positive.

    Yet I celebrate each new muscle as it comes into my view. I still have joy with each inch of fat lost, every pound dropped, every new exercise I can do that once was nothing more than a wispy dream in my mind’s eye. I cherish going from fibromyalgia and extremely high weight running my life, to thinking about fibromyalgia maybe once a month. Strength-training gave me back energy, passion, and HOPE. Anyone who has had their life decimated by the physical pain and the isolation that obesity can bring will tell you, exercise is a miracle-worker. I’ve gone from not being able to get up and down off the floor to working out for seventy-five minutes and going, “That went fast! That’s all?” (I don’t work out like that every day, I promise. Just for endurance workouts!) I took photos of myself the other day in workout wear, something I never would have done in a million years before. I only wish I’d taken them at my top weight, so I could see the difference in pictures for real, and not just in my mind’s eye. With all that accomplishment behind me, I still have to stop myself from comparing my own body to that of ladies like you, who are gorgeous beyond gorgeous. Not to mention a few years ahead of me in fitness! 😀

    Like the preacher Joyce Meyer says, “I’m not where I want to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be!” That’s me. I know my current body is far from perfect. But wow, is it powerful and beautiful compared to what it was a year, six months, or even one month ago! I look at those photos, and in my mirror each day and I am PROUD of who I am, how hard I’ve worked, the example I set for the world, and what I’ve achieved. Every woman who works out regularly should feel equally so blessed, and should pause and celebrate that strength. Stop and smell that rose daily! We worked hard to gain these abilities. Sometimes our greatest asset is not the body that we work so hard to build, but the soul inside of us that persevered to build it in the first place.

    Marianne, you do some of the most enriching work in the world. God bless you, and thank you for being such an inspiration through YOUR hard work and wonderful spirit! 🙂

  2. Lots of truth in your article, more sweat doesn’t equal faster lean results. I just recently changed up my workout program had been following crossfit since 2007 (liked to and still do mix in a few of your killer routines from time to time). Had great results up to 2010 then life just got in the way, and workout time became not as consistent. Been using Reverse Pyramid Training for 9 weeks now. I’ve seen better results then I have ever seen at a fraction of the intensity and time in the gym. By the way thank you it was through one of your articles a few years back that I was introduced to Intermittent Fasting. Which lead me to which is where I discovered reverse pyramid training.

  3. What a powerful message! It was very real to me. Several years ago I decided that I was a slave to numbers, the scale, a dress size and calorie count…..I could never be good enough. I finally decided no more. No more allowing myself to let society tell me how I should look or what I should wear and alike. I have to be happy with me and by doing so, others would be attracted to me as a human being. Your words are just reinforcing my metamorphosis. Are there things I don’t like about myself…of course, that is just human, but more importantly there are things I like about myself that makes me a good person. WOW!…You words a liberating!

  4. Yuck one more reason not to be on facebook. I see those memes here and there once in a while when I am online and distracted and they actually scare me a little. I don’t see anything wrong with sweating as it does have it’s benefits,but saying that this is how you burn fat is false.
    I also think that cardio is great for the heart, circulation, well being and yes if done correctly you will burn calories and lose weight.
    What is strange is the whole idea of jumping around as fast as possible until you sweat even if it’s only 15 minutes, meanwhile trying to sustain some calorie deficient diet.
    I am glad you brought this subject up because a lot of people especially women are being (again) talked into some crazy form of exercise to lose weight and stay tight. Who buys this crap?

  5. Wow fantastic post Marianne! Hear Hear!

    You are so right, unless people deal with their heart beliefs then they will continue to be dissatisfied with themselves no matter how much they change their appearance.

    The flipside to that is like you’ve said before when you change your heart belief to that of loving and accepting yourself then the chances are you will begin to look after your body more /live healthier accidently than you ever did on purpose. Dealing with the heart issues/beliefs about yourself also produce much more lasting change because it’s no longer about will power.

    Prov 4:23 🙂

  6. Thanks for posting this, Marianne, and for taking the time to express your viewpoint on other forums too. A lot of people need to hear it. YOur websites has helped me a lot this week to break down my anxiety about restarting weight training in my mid 40s. So much else of what is put out there by the fitness industries seems to be targeted on vanity and/or body hatred and not about enjoying and helping maintain the bodies we already have. Keep up the great work!

  7. I totally agree with you.
    This is something I dislike seeing every other day when liking Fitness related page on Facebook.
    Though I object, I usually do not comment because I don’t think I could make an impact.
    Oh btw I always thought this little armpit ‘fat’ Looks cute!

  8. Marianne, you are a gift. I love that you bring the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects all into one focus. It has truly helped me find the balance and lasting motivation to live a healthy life. Thank you!

  9. Great post Marianne! You have made me aware that I need to focus on things I love about my body. I did have to think for a minute, I will confess my 1st thought was there is nothing to like. I just turned 49 and gravity is taking its toll (booo). But I did come up with my small waist, narrow hips and slender (but not stick-like) legs. We do need to give ourselves grace and when I applied your advice I immediately felt better!

    I love, love, love Psalm 139:13-15, thank you for including the scripture references. God is amazing and it is good to see Him being given glory! Thank you for your kindness and love!

  10. Just wanted to say thanks for pointing this trend out. You don’t explicitly mention it here, but I also hate the meme’s that say things like work till it hurts, then work harder. I feel like that is how people end up overtraining or doing too much too soon. If you aren’t familiar with athletic activity or training, you haven’t yet learned the difference between “burn”, “sore” and “hurt”.
    Thanks for the great post!

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