I was surprised to see that last week’s blog “How obsessing with weight loss prevent weight loss” got the traction that it did. If losing weight is the ultimate goal, than it truly is the last thing to directly focus on. Changing up your eating habits and exercising can facilitate the weight loss process but ultimately, they are not the catalysts that bring the significant change you are hoping to achieve. Bottom line: If you are trying to lose weight (or prevent weight gain) simply to lose weight, you are going to have a very difficult time. Before I jump into new more effective ways to lose weight I first want to put a big X on some of the old ways.
What not to do.
- Count calories
- Skip meals
- Extreme dieting of any kind.
- Extreme exercising of any kind.
- Juicing (as meal replacements)
- Diet pills
If you are subscribing to any of the methods above to achieve significant weight loss — STOP immediately! Each of these can have significantly harmful long term effects on the body and to your health. Counting calories typically leads to eating too few calories which not only leads to fatigue, nausea, unstable blood sugar, constipation and more. #notworth
Skipping meals can lead to severe spikes in your blood sugar causing similar side effects but ultimately leads to MAJOR health complications.
Extreme dieting and exercising will only keep your body in a constant state of stress — which as we learned in the last blog, triggers your body to only lock onto fat that much more creating an adverse effect.
Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way. Let’s move onto the good stuff!
Ready for it? Successfully losing weight (and keeping it off) is like figuring out a riddle or completing a puzzle that YOU designed… only forgot how to. So not only is it a matter of asking yourself the right questions but when you figure out the answer and the picture becomes clear (as to why you put on the weight or why you’ve struggled with losing it) — something happens where in that moment you and your body are finally on the same page — and that’s when the magic happens.
Weight loss requires a level of introspection and self honesty that will not be found anywhere or in anyone else. The only way, is to practice, practice, practice listening to your body and keeping open lines of communication with it. How do you do that? By maintaining honesty with yourself.
For example: You’ve recently noticed a change in your body and you’re not happy with it. The first step is to recognize the change and then to ask yourself “What is different in my life that could have caused this change in my body?” It could be a number of things:
- Perhaps with the change in weather you haven’t given yourself enough opportunity to be active. Your body may be telling you it needs to be more active.
- Perhaps you started a new job and your body is still adjusting to the tempo change. Recognize that your body, like your mind, needs to adapt to the changes. Try not to take on too much or make any other big changes while in transition.
- Perhaps you’ve experienced a lifestyle change or tragedy. Anything from a car accident, a break-up or death in the family will cause stress and trauma to the body regardless of whether you identify with the incident. Be sure to take it easy and your time in processing these events before hopping back into the daily grind.
- Perhaps your schedule with work and home (kids) has you been stretched thin. Recognize that you are not super woman (or man) and also need time to rest and recharge. Don’t be afraid to ask those close to you for help — even if just for an afternoon to unwind and decompress.
As you can see an infinite number of ways exist that have the ability to cause weight gain and many of these happen daily. Other examples include:
- Self hate
- Lack of self confidence
- Emotional Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Financial Instability
- Creative stifling
- Needing and seeking approval in others
- Needing ‘closure’ to move on
- Stress and anxiety
- Lack of spirituality
Weight gain is one of the ways your body communicates that it’s experiencing a stressful state and that it’s not okay. That YOU are not okay. Learn to think of weight gain as the courier delivering that message. Picture looking out the window and seeing a man aggressively running towards you waving and flapping his arms with an envelope in hand. Once you make the connection that weight gain is one of your bodies many red flags to a problem, it becomes easier to keep open lines of communication with yourself.
The reality is — there is no one weight loss program or plan. There is no pill you can take or workout regiment you can adopt that will work indefinitely. Countless times people shed the weight only to put it back on within a year’s’ time or end up dedicating their lives to an unhealthy regiment just to keep the wheels turning on weight loss.
My point is, weight gain is the symptom to a problem and if it was easy — people like me would not have dedicated their lives to wellness. There would be no need.