The Many Facets of Weight Loss
This week’s podcast episode is a Question and Answer episode where I answer some of your personal questions about losing weight as a physician. Scroll down to listen to the episode.
Producing this episode and answering the questions made me think about how multifaceted the approach to weight loss should be. When our goal is long lasting weight loss, we need to look at all the areas of our life and thinking that are influencing our eating patterns and our weight.
Traditional diet mindset tends to only focus on what to eat and how much to exercise. This is the classic “calories in vs calories out” approach to weight loss. So we try to eat less and we try to exercise more and find it really hard to maintain. That’s because we are missing all the other things that influence our ability to stick to these plans and what our body chooses to do with the food we eat and the exercise we do.
So what else do we need to pay attention to?
First, we need to pay attention to our thoughts. What we are thinking about our past attempts and what we make them mean. If you are like many people who have tried to lose weight and were unsuccessful or regained the weight, you may be approaching future attempts with thoughts of failure or uncertainty. I would like to propose to you that this becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. What we think we can or can’t do often turns out to be true.
So how will you choose to think about this weight loss journey? If your thoughts will be self fulfilling prophecies, let’s choose some good ones!
Be Nice to Yourself
Next we need to be aware of our body image. Thinking negative thoughts about ourselves and how we look does not set us up for success. Your chances of success are much higher if you do it from a place of self love and acceptance. Body image and related thoughts do not usually get better after a weight loss. People can lose large amounts of weight and still worry they aren’t “skinny enough”.
The moral of this story is: don’t wait until some magic number on the scale or size in your clothes to appreciate your body. Your body is amazing and does amazing things for you— it deserves to be appreciated regardless of it’s size. Start practicing today!
There will be cravings… and that’s ok.
And finally, we need to recognize that regardless of where we are in the weight loss journey, there will be cravings. There is no point in the path that you can relax and assume they won’t happen. But this is good. If we accept that cravings are normal and will occur, then we just need to learn to manage them. This means we don’t need to make cravings mean anything about us or our weight loss efforts. They don’t mean that anything is wrong.
So how do we deal with cravings? Check out episode 17 for a in depth look at cravings. Basically it comes down to learning to let the craving be there, feel them without trying to push it away and not act on them. After a few times of practicing this, it will start to feel easier and they will become shorter. After you practice this lots of times, cravings become something you no longer need to fear. They come and go but don’t need to have any impact on you.
The second important thing about cravings is to think about why they are there in the first place. If you suddenly are getting lots of cravings, what is driving those cravings? Is it stress? Do you need more self care? Are you tired? Are you being exposed to more foods that you don’t usually? Knowing why they are there gives you more power. Then the craving becomes a signal to take a break, go to bed early or to get back to your normal self care activities. They become a useful tool to help identify when you are missing something your body needs, no longer something to be feared or a tripping hazard in your weight loss journey.
Not sure what your next steps should be?
I can be your personal guide regardless of where you are in your weight loss journey. My private coaching program meets you where you are and then builds solutions that are custom built for your life and body. Let me show you how I can help in a free introductory session.