The art of getting to the size you feel your best in is to really make a conscious effort to do so. Diets are often harmful and generally force people to starve themselves, with tiny portions of food (entrees) that taste like crap. Celebrities are paid to endorse these products and with all the money they are given to do so, who wouldn’t? They later go on and write cookbooks or other health type products that show you how they really lost their weight.
You shouldn’t have to punish yourself for being overweight. Instead, you have to decide whether you are going to be a healthy person or an unhealthy person. If you choose the former, than you have to understand that this is not a diet but a whole mind, body and spirit makeover. Becoming overweight or obese was a choice one made by letting go and giving up. It comes from medications, denial of childhood issues, refusing to take responsibility, which all boils down to self-sabotage or low self-esteem.
An ex-colleague of mine who was about a size 5 told me “I have to work very hard to look like this. I wish people would stop making a fuss over my weight.” I understood what she meant because I have gone through my own hurdles to stay a size that makes me feel good inside. Pregnancy is not an excuse but all women have to deal with the body being stretched out of proportion. It does not go back to the way it was by complaining. Going into my late 30’s, early 40’s I found that gravity forced me to have to pay attention once more. Now in my late 40’s it is even worse. Again complaining about it won’t change things. I got to work on some areas I had become lax on.
I happen to have known several family friends who are obese and now two have died recently as a result of complications related to this. One person said to me “I know it is my fault for getting this way. I can tell you exactly when it began, what happened in my life. I just stopped caring and I never looked back.” This is a very sad conclusion and basically a case of very slow suicide. There are a multitude of health risks attributed to obesity.
So what can one do if they are really really really serious about changing their life?
1. Don’t go on a diet.
2. Decide what is the weight or size you wish to be and make this your goal. If you have always been overweight your whole life, don’t go for a size 5. That is unnatural. If you are not a model, than why worry about an unrealistic image? Generally, we know what size makes us happy. When we have the energy to do things, when we like the way we fit into clothes, when you feel you look good – that is the size you need to be. If you aren’t sure though, ask your doctor.
3. Seek out a Nutritional counselor. If you can’t afford this go to a health food store or Whole Foods and discuss food with them. Find out what foods are good for your body and which foods are not. Start eating them. It might take some time if you were raised in a non-healthy food household. Don’t say it is yuccky. Slowly introduce these new healthy foods. Start with the new foods you like and over time your taste buds will change.
4. Join a gym and pay for a personal trainer. Can’t afford a trainer? A good gym will generally start you out with a fitness coach to go over the machines there and get you started on a routine based on your physical condition. Can’t afford a gym? Get videos from the library. Yoga and Tai-Chi classes are often very inexpensive or even free (you find the free one’s in the park or a community center).
5. If you are on medications that cause weight gain discuss this with your doctor – what are other possible solutions to dealing with the disorder? If they won’t tell you get online and research alternative health options.
6. Do not ever go to a fast food restaurant ever again. If you go out to eat, choose healthy food restaurants but don’t go to McDonalds and order a salad and kid yourself that you did something good for your body. Eating in a facility that enforces improper eating with their “Supersize” techniques or who force you to order a certain way for a “deal” are hoping to make you come back and keep them wealthy. Going into a fast food chain is like a recovering alcoholic sitting in a bar “to talk with their friends.” The negative atmosphere makes it difficult to continue with your progress.
7. Find a Psychotherapist. This one you can’t get out of because you can get free EAP counseling sessions through most jobs (ask HR if you have an EAP as part of your benefits). Your insurance will pay for it if you don’t have EAP. If that doesn’t work, check with the local university in your neighborhood to see if they offer a mental health clinic. If they have a graduate program for psychotherapy, marriage and family therapy or professional counselor, chances are they will have a clinic. This is always supervised and staffed by students who are obtaining a license to practice on their own. We, psychotherapists, all started out in one of these clinics.
The reason for the psychotherapist is many. Overweight people and those who are obese are not this way because they came from healthy childhoods or have not experienced some form of stress or trauma in their adult life. You will never get to the weight that you wish for unless you are dealing with the emotional needs that brought you to this place.
8. Don’t buy cookies or candy. Don’t eat deserts when you go out with friends or family. One day after you have reconditioned your mind, body and spirit to be able to control your habits, this will be okay to have as a treat once in a while – but not while it is an addiction.
9. Don’t look for compliments. You are doing this so that you feel good, not because you are expecting to get the attention of others. This is your body and your health, not someone else’s . Sometimes people notice changes but forget to mention it. We live in a very stressful society now. However, do get a support group of friends and share your successes online if you need to.
10. Don’t choose surgery. This seems so lazy to me. I have known several people who have done this and I have known those who have continued to be obese. This is not a good thing for the body. It is not reprogramming your mind, it is just taking a knife to your body or a large person’s way of cutting – bringing about self-harm. If you don’t take care of the reason that got you here in the first place, it will never go away.
Getting to a place where you feel good, look good, and are able to walk without a walker or cane, can play with your kids, can buy a bathing suit, do not pop buttons, break chairs, is a good place to be.
Being overweight and obese is an eating disorder caused by bad food behaviors that start from not feeling good inside. It is our choice to continue to gain. You owe it to yourself and your family to choose life and to fight for good health. You can do it!
- Prevention: Love Yourself Thin (mindfulconsideration.wordpress.com)
- ‘Denial’ over obesity health issues (mirror.co.uk)
- The Bridge: Dying To Eat & Eating To Death (bmia.wordpress.com)