Managing Weight Loss
Are you a yo-yo dieter, always on the diet roller coaster? Know why? When you start a diet that means at some point you have to stop the diet. And then return to what? The same way you were eating that helped you gain the weight.
Diets are not the solution to losing weight. They don’t work. It’s time to stop dieting. Ninety-five percent of people fail on diets and most people regain their lost weight in one to five years, according to Statistics on Weight Discrimination: A Waste of Talent by The Council on Size and Weight Discrimination.
Most diets focus on food. Others focus on food and exercise. Then how come diets don’t work? Because they fail to incorporate the most important component for success, your …
The mental ability to nurture yourself and grow beyond your life-long habits related to food is the fundamental key to overcoming weight issues.
This week the American Medical Association classified obesity as a disease. But what is still being ignored is the addiction to food.
Similar to an alcohol addiction, drug addiction, or any other addiction, in order to overcome and/or manage a food addiction there must be a psychological component that deals with healing a person and helping them to change their habits (thoughts and actions). Addressing the chemical dependency component of a food addiction cannot be overlooked either, but I will cover that topic in another blog.
I have helped an elderly woman, size 20 go to a size 14 in two months. Helped a 20 year-old man drop 20 pounds in one month, and a busy 30 year-old mom steadily drop weight and get in shape within four months.
How? By guiding them through a self-assessment that gets to the root issues related to overeating and not taking care of themselves. The most difficult thing to do is get to root causes, for any issue a person is experiencing. However discovering a root issue and healing yourself so that that challenge no longer exists, is one of the most rewarding things people can do for themselves.
1. Do A Self-Assessment To Love & Appreciate Who You Are
You need to try to get to the bottom of why you overeat. Usually there is a void food is filling.
- Ask yourself, from what void, fear or pain is food temporarily giving me relief?
- Determine the trigger moments/points in your past that cause you to use food for false relief or happiness. Identify those moments in your present.
- For those moments, try to replace food with other things that are good for your well-being, like meditation, positive and supportive thoughts, a walk, reading, calling someone who makes you smile, etc. Resolving the situation and filling it with a healthy solution versus food is better for you. Accepting that you can heal yourself with the support of others who are loving and supportive is a great strategy for improved mental health.
2. Make An Agreement With Yourself To Better Yourself
Every day, say three affirmations in the morning and three at night – until you wholeheartedly accept the affirmations. Then switch to three new affirmations.
- I have a choice, and I chose to be good to myself.
- I am the only one who can control me.
- Each day I will do something to nurture and love me.
- I am the most important person in my life.
- When I am good to myself, I can be better to others.
- The person I love most in this world is me.
- I am a loving human being and each day I will try to better myself.
- When I love me first, then others, I am able to love others better.
- I will acknowledge my moments of progress with a smile and say “thank you” to myself.
3. Don’t Step On Weight Scales
Scales and tape measures are okay for professional athletes, because their job requires such strict measurement tools (e.g. boxing, wrestling, body building). These athletes’ careers depend on them being controlled by the scale. But don’t think it isn’t stressful for an athlete to make a weigh-in. Many of them go into near starvation mode, maniac workouts, and take synthetic metabolic boosters.
In general, a scale is an self-inflicted emotional roller coaster.
I don’t believe in stepping on a scale. Keeping track of pounds has a negative impact on your psyche. Before you step on the scale, you either experience … the internal storm of tension, hoping for a good number, and then experience elation when you see it’s a lower number. Or you have the tension, hoping for a good number, then feel depressed seeing your weight is the higher or the same.
I recommend not stepping on a scale except when visiting a doctor. Even then, step on the scale backwards or close your eyes and ask not to be told your weight. You receive enough judgement about your weight. Stop judging yourself by your weight. It feels good if your are dropping in numbers, but when you increase in weight, it’s depressing.
Stay off the scale and reduce shame-filled moments and insecurities. Chose to increase self-esteem. From now on, only go by how you feel in your clothes. Or if you are brave, how you look naked.
4. Set Reasonable Goals
- Decide what size you ultimately want to be.
- Create a reasonable timeline to achieve the ultimate goal and put it in writing.
It is best not to have one big goal. Instead, break a goal down into smaller increments and timeframes. Be reasonable and kind to yourself. Do not force yourself to be uncomfortable going through the weight loss, but it is important to have a timeline that you follow.
Pick an outfit that you presently wear as a primary barometer for weight loss. You may want to take a picture of yourself in it as well. Define your weight loss goals and milestones based on a clothing size you would like to progress to – how you want your clothes to fit you on a specific body part – how you would like body parts to look when naked.
Let’s say you decided to lose three sizes in weight. A reasonable timeline to create may be, after:
- 3 weeks – my clothes will be loose fitting
- 6 weeks – I will be close to having lost 1 shirt/dress/pant size
- 8 weeks – I will have lost 1 shirt/pant/dress size
Continue defining your timeline to the end goal, the week or month when you complete your weight loss goal. Of course, there are adjustments in food consumption that must be incorporated in an overall weight loss plan, as well as exercise goals to set, but I’ll cover food and physical activity in the upcoming blog posts (Part 2 and 3).
You can be as aggressive or relaxed with your goals as you like. Just be sure to set goals that are reachable. Be sure to consider the stress that is going on in your life too. If you set hard to achieve goals, then you will actually inflict more stress on yourself and decrease your change at being successful with weight loss.
5. Establish And Rely On A Support Network
Please don’t try to achieve your weight loss goals on your own. We are much stronger when we have others supporting us. Perhaps tell one or many trusting and supportive people in your life about your new approach to losing weight and managing it. Their positive energy and happiness for you will help you more easily accomplish your goals.
6. Celebrate Each Milestone
Plan to have milestone celebrations with your support network. No milestone is too small to celebrate! A simple hug from a friend, a celebratory drink or outing will encourage you to continue your quest to well-being.
Getting control of the mental issues related to a struggle with food is the hardest component of a weight management plan. If you do this in conjunction with a proper food regimen and physical activity you are bound to be a success.
Wouldn’t it be nice to no longer stress over weight management? We overcome many challenges in our life. Why not make weight management one of your success stories?
Wishing you happiness.