We have all been nothing less than inundated with advertisements and commercials about easy ways to lose weight. Everybody who is anybody, even those who have little or nothing to do with weight loss and healthful nutrition, have joined the multi-billion dollar bandwagon for quick and easy weight loss.
There are various times throughout the year when weight loss can be found more in the spotlight. Springtime is one of them because cold-weather comfort food eating is behind us, and swimsuit season is just around the corner. So, weight loss, once again, becomes the Holy Grail for many of us. There are countless new commercials on television and ads in newspapers aimed at filling our heads with hopes of transforming our out-of-shape bodies.
But here we are, months after our New Year resolutions and many of us have already resigned ourselves to yet another episode of frustration. We find ourselves facing yet another defeat in our battle against sustained, healthy weight-loss.
Why? What is it that makes for success for some of us and continued failure and frustrations for others? What tips for successful weight-loss have they found that we have not?
People tend to say that it is the diet or the weight-loss technique that fails or succeeds. This may be more than just a matter of semantics. Getting your head straight is perhaps the single most significant factor in successful, sustained weight-loss.
But, this is an intangible – something that isn’t formulated and put into a pill or beverage that can be marketed and boost sales. And we want quick results. We do not want to hear about all the work that it takes, over and over again. So, there is very little emphasis and attention put on mindset and the need to completely alter the way we look at ourselves and at food if we are in the market for successful, sustained, weight-loss.
Here are some of the main emotional and mental ‘ingredients’ we need to bring together if we are to reach our weight-loss goals and most importantly, to sustain them.
* Embrace/Rethink Setbacks
What does honesty have to do with weight loss? Well… EVERYTHING! If you need to lose more than 30 pounds and you have been overweight for a good part of your life, more than likely, you have learned to be dishonest with yourself and other people about your issues with food.
Many times, overeating is not the problem. It is the result of the other problems in our lives. We have inappropriately learned to use food as a method of coping with our feelings. We need to be brutally honest about ourselves, our lives and our relationship with food if we are to sustain weight loss and find lasting success.
Self-respect and self-acceptance go hand-in-hand. We need to sincerely feel we are worth all the hard work and effort we are going to put into losing weight and becoming healthy. If we don’t really learn to love and feel good about ourselves, then our weight loss will only be temporary. We need to believe in ourselves and in our right to a healthy and rewarding life.
Consistency and tenacity are two more ingredients that go hand-in-hand. Consistency means you keep on keeping on. It is doing what has to be done – especially at times when we feel like not doing it. Tenacity is the determination and willingness to stay on track and even more importantly, to get back on track during those times that we may find ourselves being imperfectly human.
Setbacks are inevitable. We are human. We are imperfect. We will NOT be able to keep perfectly to our plan, no matter how much we may want to succeed. And the sooner we learn to live with that aspect of our own humanity, the more likely we are to handle the ‘bumps in the road’ along our way to sustained weight loss and keep them in proportion.
How do people lose weight and keep it off? By learning the truth about themselves and staying strong in their commitment to change their lives. They need to become healthy emotionally and mentally and keep putting one foot in front of the next once they find what works for them. They need to be flexible and willing to change things up, if something that worked before doesn’t work anymore. And most importantly, they need to internalize a new way of believing and thinking about themselves and the world they live in.
I’m a licensed clinical social worker and have worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. I combine professional experience in the mental health field along with my love of writing to provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. I hope my down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life is easy to u