There are many large organisations that run programmes designed to help people lose weight. Tens of thousands of people join these organisations every year and successfully lose most or all of their excess weight. Here’s the news flash – losing weight is not rocket science. So what’s the problem?
Here it is, most people and by most I mean most people, re-gain their weight and more. In the classes each person has learnt about nutrition, counted calories and sometimes eaten only meals provided as part of the programme. Some classes teach people about exercise and some even mention self-esteem and confidence. It is not about knowledge and re-education in most cases.
I get rather irritated about how some programmes bang on about re-education as the main message saying it is about learning how to eat differently. For some people this may be true however it appears to me that most people in the western world have access to all the information they need. The problem is about changing how you feel on the inside so that making different eating and exercising choices will no longer be a challenge.
So here is my plan for how we need to make changes that last!
- Own it and let go of shame.
- Identify and process the emotional and psychological issues that have kept you stuck so far.
- Visit the doctor and get a general health check. Take action based on that health check where necessary.
- If you don’t know already find out about healthy nutrition.
- Choose an exercise plan that you are prepared to commit to, get advice and help if this is a new area for you.
- Get a decent support network. We all need support, find people who will support you in a healthy way (family may not be the best choice). Choices can be groups, friends with shared issues and commitment, professional support.
- Get a plan that manages what you eat, how you exercise, how you handle the emotional baggage both old and new.
This plan is a work in progress and I may end up adding things in as I go along. Do let me know if you think there is anything important I’ve overlooked.
At this stage I want to say something about my personal experience. I have always considered myself to be fat! I felt worthless and my weight was just another sign of how worthless I thought I was. What I find amazing when I reflect on what I’ve written was how my perception of my own body image was distorted by my feelings and what I believed about myself.
I have a picture of myself aged sixteen quite frankly looking gorgeous. In the UK system I was a size 10, I had some curves and I was definitely slim! I believed myself to be fat. This was also the year my mother said to me “Don’t worry you’ll lose your puppy fat when you’re in your twenties!” What puppy fat? I didn’t have any! But you’ve guessed it, I believed my mother’s perception that I was fat.
As I got older I did gain weight and ended up being about 50- 60 pounds overweight at various times. When I lost weight I stayed 10 pounds overweight even at my best attempt. Around the age of 30 I began my personal development journey and suddenly it all fell off as I challenged my emotional issues. The weight stayed off for about two years and then started creeping back on again. I was feeling good about myself now but still something was keeping me attached to that fat.
This year I decided Enough is Enough! I have come to realise that I held onto that weight for a reason. Part of my life purpose is to inspire others and I have been doing that in many ways for the last twenty years. Now I am ready to help others change how they feel about their body so that they can unlock their true potential. In order to do that, I have to go there first. And I have!
I have started to receive examples of personal stories from other people, with their permission I will add in some of their stories to my blogs over the coming weeks. Let me know where you are in your life right now. Is this your issue, an old issue or is this something that is unfamiliar to you. All contributions are welcome.
Next week I will begin expanding on my plan and will invite you to do some activities if you are up for it.