Welcome to 2016! I hope you are all well. It’s great to be back and doing a blog post. It’s been so quiet blog-wise because I went on overseas travel to Israel and Palestine to do research for future stories.
Mid-January is a good moment for me to pass on some learned wisdom about two common New Year’s Resolutions (at least here in the United States). By around now the excitement of possible change is fading away, to be replaced by the daily slog of reality. The two common resolutions I will cover are:
Goal 1 – Losing Weight
Goal 2 – Getting Organized
I’m not a professional expert on these two issues. I have, however, by trial and error stumbled onto advice from others that actually works and I want to pass that advice on as a way to pay it forward.
For this week’s blog post I’ll cover the goal of losing weight.
Goal 1 – Losing Weight
- Make peace with your body as it is today. Ditch the self-hate, because it gets in the way of feeling joy. Find outfits to wear that make you happy and confident now. Self-care needs to be a priority.
- Treat obesity as a disease, not a moral failing. It’s better to be dispassionate about this medical situation. Negative self-talk only increases the odds that stress eating and failure will occur.
- Schedule an appointment with your family doctor and talk about getting tested for diabetes, high cholesterol, thyroid problems, and other conditions. Also, you need a health assessment of how much weight you actually need to lose, if any. Eating disorders and unrealistic body goals are a genuine hazard.
- Before your body can permanently change, your mind must change. I strongly recommend reading a book on the psychology of weight loss before starting any diet and exercise program. Dr. Martha Beck’s The Four Day Win does a good job covering the behavioral and emotional issues involved with permanent weight loss.
- Food is fuel. Log the actual calories you’re consuming. Buy a food scale so you can measure anything you’re eating that doesn’t come with the exact calorie count. No self-shaming allowed. Watch yourself the way a scientist would and log the results each day.
- After an eating binge, pay attention to what was happening before and during the binge. Was there an emotional trigger? Log that information.
- Build a support team. If you need expert advice and guidance, get it. It’s a lot cheaper to hire a nutritionist and personal trainer for a few months than to pay the long-term medical bills involved with severe obesity.
- Aim for 1 tiny permanent healthy change in your life each week. One tiny change a week means that there will be 52 changes made in your life by the end of the year. They add up, fast. Really. Also, a tiny change is easy to manage, even during a life crisis, and so going off track is unlikely to happen.
Next week I’ll be back with tips on getting organized.