I recently answered a few important questions about weight loss for members of the human community. Both were from women who felt they weren’t losing weight as easily as years past. From a life coaching perspective, it goes way deeper than the latest crash diet or bootcamp. Bodies do change, but so does lifestyle and other factors, namely stress.
Under chronic stress we produce a steady stream of cortisol (stress hormone) that often results in over eating and the body naturally holding on to weight. So instead of focusing on external factors and quick fixes, be willing to go deep.
- Putting yourself First!
Stress is often caused by selflessly giving up everything for others, and not making room for self. In order to heal and grow, we must learn to put ourselves first. Doing for others out of obligation and causing ourselves and others stress is an unhealthy exchange of energy. By putting ourselves first and learning to say no, we tell the world that WE are important too! And as a result, we model behavior for our family, friends, and colleagues.
- Taking Things Slow
Typically, when it comes to weight-loss, folks push hard with diet and exercise then typically burn out! Best approach is to take things as slow as possible in order to form long-lasting habits; to strive for a complete life-style shift. Make being active, eating right, and relaxing a way of life for you and your family.
- Setting Goals
Writing everything down and setting goals is critical for success. Goals should be specific, time driven, and positive. “I want to lose weight” works better as “Weight 130 lbs. by January 2015”. Then spend time every morning and night visualizing yourself having achieved your goal and follow up with action.
- Managing Stress
Often the underlying issue with weight is stress. A strong person with a powerful will can force behaviors, such as diet & exercise, but in the end the emotional state — greatly influenced by stress — wins. It’s only a matter of time, trust me! The best approach in my opinion is to deal with stress on every level. How you PERCEIVE/SEE stress, how you can PREVENT stress (changing what you can control), and how you can RELEASE stress (removing stress already absorbed). A part of this — the scariest part — is HEALING OLD WOUNDS! This may mean digging up the past, finding value in your experiences good or bad, forgiving, and letting go. Fair warning once you go down this road, it’s like opening Pandora’s box. There’s no turning back, only moving forward. And it WILL HURT BAD! But the only way we grow is by being willing to challenge ourselves and yes FEEL THE PAIN! You have to decide if you are ready, willing, and able to cross over.
Weight loss is 80% diet. So, finding a healthy eating style that works for you is critical. “Traffic Light Eating” is a super easy and fun way to introduce healthy eating to both adults and children. You learn which foods fall into three categories, red, yellow, and green, then make your choices… slowly.
Processed, fast foods, sugary desserts are RED = stop.
Grains, breads, legumes, root veggies are YELLOW = slow down.
Fruits and veggies are GREEN = Go!
The idea is to make one small change per week until you reach your goals. Here’s a link with more info on Traffic Light Eating.
Weight loss is only 20% exercise, so contrary to popular belief you don’t have to go hard core to lose weight. Start with 10 mins. and make sure it’s FUN! Exercise HAS TO BE FUN or eventually you will give it up. Find something(s) you love, then mix it up to prevent boredom. Don’t want to take away time from your relationship or your family? Include them!
- Accountability & Support
No one can or should make huge life changes without accountability & support. No matter how strong, smart, or independent you may be, you will have days you just want to give up. So make sure to inform and enlist family, friends, and colleagues as your circle of support. Tell them what you are doing. Ask them to hold you accountable and to be there when you need to vent. They don’t have to offer advise but merely be a shoulder to cry on. You will need it!!!