WEIGHT MANAGEMENT: A New Look
By Janet Goldenbogen-Self, RN Holistic Health Counselor
Consider this. If you’re having trouble managing weight, the same is probably true with managing life.
Everyday a new diet plan, guaranteed to work without fail, hits the media. Eat this food; don’t eat that food. Raise your metabolism. Drink your water. Listen to them. Change, then change again what they say to do and you’ll be 10 pounds thinner in only 2 weeks.
Why do we even think this works? Maybe it’s because we need to believe this plan will finally the one that slides us into clothes four sizes smaller by our class reunion next month. If only it were that easy.
Fourteen years ago, as an RN and Holistic Health Counselor, I became a weight management support group facilitator. Each group, each individual taught me repeatedly the answer for weight loss management is attention to lifestyle choices. Once you realize what drains your energy, how unconscious choices cause irregular and unhealthy eating patterns, the real progress begins. Before one can even begin to change choices, readiness must come first. Next, comes the need to discover what the hidden internal kernel of motivation is that will drive the ability to change.
Sound time consuming or impossible? Well, time consuming, yes. Impossible, no. Take a deep breath and step out of the weight yo-yo drama. Now, open your mind to learning who you are and what you really need. Weight loss follows.
Let’s take a look at topics to address in addition to food:
DRAINS – Relationships, employment, finances, addictions in any form, daily crisis and mini crisis, an ever growing list of to-do items. Ongoing heavy drains can add up to a heavy body.
READINESS – How do you know when you’re really ready to do the work? Perhaps a glance in the mirror catches your attention. Maybe your pants don’t zip. Elastic waistbands loom as the only next option. You notice your mind’s readiness OFF switch turned to ON.
NUTRITION – The S.A.D. (standard American diet) of packaged, refined and fast foods sets us up for weight gain and health problems. Everyday the media tells us this. Reams of books and internet resources are available to help us change. Where to start? The trick is transitioning from the S.A.D. to a whole foods clean eating program. However, old patterns, family food favorites, procrastination all place a wedge between what we’re currently eating and what we’d like to be eating.
How to get started: Remember, small steps grow into a new path
- Discover your drains – make a list of the above Drain categories and be honest with yourself about what is working and what isn’t in your life. Then immerse yourself into working with only one item at a time until it’s resolved. Then, go on to the next.
- Ask yourself, am I ready, yet, to do whatever it takes, whatever price I need to pay to make changes? If the answer is no, then STOP here and evaluate any fears, insecurities, and anxieties you may have that are blocking action.
- What motivates you? This is different from being ready. For instance, maybe you’ve cleared your mind and schedule for the START line, but have no clue as to what’s motivating you to START. A clear, strong motivation keeps us on track. Maybe it’s the class reunion; desire to wear back-of-the closet smaller sized clothes; health concerns; urge to attract a mate; better self esteem.
- Make a personal contract. Action plans, including daily or weekly self contracts, set a course. For example: 1.) Pick one hour this week to discover drains, readiness cues and personal motivation 2.)Commit to one week of food shopping including only whole, unrefined items. Purchase no white foods i.e. white bread, white sugar, white flour, salt, white potatoes. Then eat them 3.) Pick one or more forms of movement that you like and do one three days the first week for only 10 minutes.
- Write it down. Find a small journal to daily track food eaten each day, movement, and personal discovery time. Not only does this provide you with a concrete record, but it awakens you to a conscious lifestyle.
- Get support – Some can do this work alone. Many need support. Luckily there is plenty. Find a friend who wants to work on the same things. Seek out a support group. Self-saboteurs are a reality. We have them. They derail us. So, don’t worry if you can’t make the life changes yourself. Help is available
- Make the personal commitment – Commitment to change is a crucial component to weight and life management. Making a commitment to yourself as a #1 priority can become a catalyst for change and keep personal contracts and commitments alive.
As a final note, have fun and be gentle with yourself—one step at a time.
Janet Goldenbogen-Self, RN,, Holistic Health Counselor is President of Holistic Therapies, Inc. located in Port Townsend, WA. She offers a variety of wellness services including a 12 week Conscious Eating/Conscious Living support grou. She works with individuals and groups. In addition, Janet offers Energy balancing and Shamanic techniques. She’s happy to help you design a personalized wellness program.