The road to weight loss is rarely smooth and scenic. Usually there are setbacks, plateaus, mistakes, and more than a few tears. But the principle of weight loss is not complicated. We have to train our bodies to prefer burning fat over storing it. We have to consume foods and engage in activities that help us do that. It’s simple. Simple, but not easy. The hard part is us!
The psychological factors, combined with the physical discomfort of being hungrier than normal, cause us to throw in the towel long before we’ve achieved our goals. On top of that, we’re impatient! Many of us have gradually been packing on the pounds over the course of several years. And we’ve been growing less and less active over time. The weight came on so slowly, we didn’t even notice. Finally, we’ve reached a stage we find unacceptable, and we want to carve that weight off our hips and belly in two weeks. Not bloody likely.
First of all, we have to change. Yes, the “C” word. Maybe we love starting the day with a gooey chocolate doughnut and a big cup of coffee. Maybe we love watching movies, and can’t watch a movie without popcorn, and can’t eat popcorn without rivers of butter. Maybe we have a mother-in-law that loves to bake cakes and she has threatened to kill herself and cut you out of the will (in that order, no less!) if you don’t eat what she brings over. Whatever the problem behaviors are, we know that if we want different results, we have to engage in different actions. But who wants to do that? We hate change.
Also, the body itself hates change. Our survival depends upon our body’s ability to maintain homeostasis – balance, no changing. The body’s temperature must remain within a narrow range, or we die. Our blood pH must remain within a narrow range, or we die. Weight naturally fluctuates, but usually only within a narrow range of about five to ten pounds. You get the idea. Once the body finds a happy medium, it likes to stay right where it is, thank you very much. So, what’s the way out?
The way out is patience. It takes a while for the body to get used to whatever new things we do to it. All change should be gradual (unless your hair is on fire, then, by all means, quickly change your situation). Rather than hurling yourself into a new diet plan, what’s wrong with changing one thing at a time? You’ll be more likely to stick to the new way of eating, and your body will be less likely to fight back. The weight lost is more likely to be fat rather than muscle. And you’ll experience fewer side effects. When we make too many changes at once (in any area of life) there is push-back. Go slow. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
The other way out is through self-love. Stop looking at magazines, movie stars, and fitness gurus. They get paid good money to look like that. You have a real job, so you need a real body. You have kids and family members and company functions. The goal is physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. When you’re happy and healthy, you’re a huge blessing to everyone around you. Trying to look like a fitness model when you work for a packaging company, and have 4 kids under 10, may just be a recipe for madness. On the other hand, gradually adding more fruits, vegetables, and food-that-does-NOT-come-in-a-bag to your diet is good for you AND your whole family.
So, if you want to lose weight healthily, you have to embrace change. No exceptions. But the pace of the change should be like waiting for a beard to grow in. Don’t stare at it; just trust that it’s happening. And please give yourself some love and appreciation in the meantime!
If you need help making those changes or learning how to love yourself, I offer nutritional, wellness, and spiritual coaching online. Contact me today to find out how to get started.
Peace and love,