Is My Posture Helping Me Lose Weight?

As I mentioned in the last post, I’m recovering from a subarticulate L5-S1 disc protrusion. Err, I have a disc bulge in my lower back. And I’ve been all over the map (and the web) with different practitioners giving advice and recommendations. The main theme being that when one is afflicted with such a condition, it is very important to maintain ‘extension’ in the lumbar spine, uhh, keep your butt out like a duck and your back arched. This is the spine’s natural position, and exercises serve to ‘suck’ the disc back in, allowing the tissue around it to heal.

So, I’ve been walking around feeling like a duck. I call it my walking duck pose.  It feels strange, but actually looks very normal. In fact my posture is starting to feel really great. I feel taller, I feel my gaze is more forward and alert. Even as I sit here and write this, I’m activating my multifidus to support and pull the spine into extension (I strongly suspect that prolonged sitting is the root cause of the injury.) And I think it’s working. I’ve been off painkillers for 35 days!

But since the injury, I’ve recently been finding myself doing a double-take in the bathroom mirror, following the thought, “Hey, it looks like..am I actually losing fat?”.

You’ve all got your ‘markers’ right? That little crease on the spare tire, that little area on the back of the arms, or the legs, where the fat appears, and/or disappears, fluctuating along with your tireless efforts toward lose weight. Mine is just outside the oblique abdominals, the last frontier for me, on the journey from obese to Brad-Pitt-in-Fight-Club chiseled-ness… Okay, maybe not, but hey, one can dream right?

So I notice the line is very faint on both sides, and wonder, how the hell is this possible? I have been a lame duck (no pun) for the last 8 months, doing almost zero cardio exercise!? I rack my brain a little more and it dawns on me – the posture. So I went searching the web to test the theory, and came across one article titled Improve Your Posture for Weight Loss that says:

Standing straight will help the body to build muscles around the belly and the lower back. It also gives the benefit of improving the lower back pain and allows the lungs to expand more and breathe in more oxygen which helps in boosting the metabolism.

Good posture can also help in losing weight for the fact that the muscles are stretched. The act of muscle stretching is already a simple form of exercise and can already burn up calories.

Well duh, I suppose that makes perfect sense. I’ve always been, sortof- peripherally aware of my posture, trying to keep my shoulders from slouching, etc. But I guess I never considered how closely it can be tied to physical and emotional well-being, or weight loss!

I find this inspiring, because it’s something I’m constantly doing, as opposed to (yet more) generic exercises I have to set aside time for. And if you read the rest of my site (which is currently free and will soon be not-free, so, drink up!) you know I am all about leveraging the simplest, most natural changes, when it comes to losing weight.

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One response to “Is My Posture Helping Me Lose Weight?”

  1. Ann Sullivan (@Blissflow) says :

    Wow Jeff AMAZING! I’m so excited to hear that you have been off painkillers for 35 days! Incredible!!

    What an interesting discovery about losing weight/fat because of posture. It’s true of course when one makes such a positive physical shift they are going to discover change…physically, it makes sense. And, what we are talking about here are subtle nuances that create big change!

    But we live in a culture that says attack something with everything we got…
    It’s about HITTING IT HARD. But hitting it hard tends to create more problems and has us forgetting the incredible power of our own healing capacity. Our body is made to help us heal.

    Your incredible new posture is not only building muscles in place where you NEED muscle, where you are naturally SUPPOSED to have it, it also makes space in the rest of your body.

    When our posture isn’t natural, our organ function isn’t either, and you better believe your organ function effects your weight and body shape!

    Check out this post about the connection between posture and organ function:

    Organs get forgotten cause we can’t see them, but they keep our body going, and they need oxygen, good food, exercise, and ATTENTION…but most importantly they need space to do their job.

    So keep standing tall Jeff and that you for inspiring me to sit a little taller while I write this comment 🙂

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