Where is the starting point? Where can we find the answers to turn the corner on obesity and create a new beginning? These are two of the most common questions asked by those wanting to reverse the trend. If we were mechanical machines without hearts and souls, the answers would be easier to attain. The difficulty comes from recognizing that the root of the problem is personal, emotional and deep inside the individual, and therefore, algorithmic answers are not possible. As much as we would like these step by step instructions, they don’t exist.
I heard a psychologist compare psychological pain and physical pain. To summarize, he stated that emotional pain was something we were instructed to “shake off.” “Be a man about.” (or woman). “Get over it.” Yet if a person broke their leg, they wouldn’t be told to “walk it off.” Why is it acceptable for physical pain to require time to heal, but emotional pain is expected to spontaneously and miraculously self resolve. Is emotional pain any less damaging and real than physical pain?
As we recognize and address the emotional pain (baggage) that has been part of our lives, a new renewed commitment to oneself becomes possible. It is at this point, that long term weight loss is achievable.
To gain a handle on weight loss we need to work on ALL ASPECTS OF LIFE (not just weight!). This is the only way to successfully achieve long term weight loss, good health and balance. As I’ve stated in previous posts, the various aspects requiring attention include:
Stress Reduction – Finding outlets that allow you to channel stress that accumulates within our bodies. Accumulation of stress PREVENTS weight loss!
Proper Rest – It is recommended that we get between 6-9 hours of sleep on a regular basis. Some claim they don’t need this much.They’re WRONG! Bodies need time to repair and recover. Inadequate rest prevents the body from operating efficiently and creates a weakness. This makes the individual more prone to all types of illnesses.
Enough Water intake – The average person leading a sedentary life needs at least 1/2 their current body weight consumed (in ounces) per day. Ex. If you weight 150 pounds, you need at least 75 oz. of water per day. Most people under estimate the amount of water essential for good health. If you are obese, check with your physician for his or her suggestion on the recommended daily intake of water.
Movement (aka exercise) – I recommend only 3X/week for people that do not enjoy exercise. You can include cardiovascular (bike, treadmill, elliptical etc…), resistive exercises (weights, resistive bands), walking outdoors, hiking, swimming, gardening, etc… You can start at 10 minutes, 3X/week to avoid overwhelming yourself. DO NOT OVER DO IT! Intentions are good, but the failure rate to maintain long term exercise if you train too frequently or for too long is over 95%. Always create a realistic time frame and intensity. You don’t want to get bored and lose your motivation.
Nutrition – Make GRADUAL improvements. Create strategies that reduce accessibility to poor food choices. Reduce portion sizes by using smaller plates and bowls. All of these little steps create long term success.
Family, Community and Religious Institutions (Spiritual)– Becoming more involved in these areas creates a greater sense of purpose. Social interaction helps to further develop self confidence which leads to personal growth. When people feel good about themselves, it is easier to remain disciplined.
Maintaining Your Physical Health – Preventative health care through medical, chiropractic, naturopathic practices will keep your system functioning at optimal levels.
By incorporating ALL these concepts in a realistic meaningful way we achieve balance in our lives. This will never happen by simply attempting to change ANY ONE COMPONENT BY ITSELF. There are no magic bullets; there are no shortcuts. Patience is essential.
DOES THIS SOUND LIKE SOMETHING YOU CAN DO?
Almetria Turner, a woman that weighed 342 pounds standing 5 feet 7 inches in 2010 lost 177 pounds as of June 2015. She created an acronym of V.I.S.I.O.N.A.R.Y goals to help her identify what was needed to achieve a well-balanced life, to be in good health, and to live life with intention. Once she transformed the inside, she knew the outside was sure to follow.
V: Vow to live on purpose and walk in your purpose. I: Inspire others to be an inspiration. S: Set realistic goals and not resolutions. I: Imagine your future is bright and the possibilities are endless. O: Observe the areas in your life where there’s a need for improvement. N: Never give in to small-minded people or small-minded thinking. A: Aspire to be a better version of you than the day before. R: Realize that Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your dreams or weight loss goals being met. Y: Yesterday is gone … so move forward in seizing the day.
To succeed, you have to be willing to put all your heart and soul into it. IT IS DIFFICULT! Temptations, eating out, emotional stress, long working hours, family responsibilities, fear and disdain for exercise are just a FEW of the hurdles you will have to overcome. This has to be pursued like you would a MISSION. There will be good days; there will be bad days, but you must always look forward. As ALL of the components gradually improve, the difficulty lessens. A new path is more clearly defined and life takes on a whole new meaning. It is ABSOLUTELY ACHIEVABLE!
Are you motivated? Wouldn’t you like to be the next Almetria Turner story. Well then, get out your journal and begin the adventure. Write it all down. Your story will help motivate others to achieve their goals. Show the world you are one of the 5% who succeed; not only in weight loss, but in achieving good health, BALANCE and QUALITY LIVING!