Do You Want to Lose Weight?

So … you think you want to lose weight? Maybe I can change your mind before the end of this article. In the weight management classes I teach at the YMCA, I help students learn that they need to lose the goal to lose … and gain the goal to gain.

GAIN weight? You may shriek. As if I need someone to tell me to do that! But it’s not weight gain OR loss that’s the issue. The real focus to which we must switch is a goal “to gain health.”

In my personal ongoing challenge with weight, I finally came to a point where I was so disgusted with the yo-yo syndrome that I decided I would find a permanent answer. I devoted myself to finding solutions to the weight management riddle, and was surprised to find some amazing tools and resources not being popularly promoted.

First, what is being popularly promoted? Images of unhealthily thin waifs and white-knuckle, tortuous ways to become like them? Even in the healthier, nationally famous approaches to weight loss, the focus is all on pounds, body size and food. Yet, weight loss is actually a side-benefit of the true and lasting answer, which is a lifelong balanced commitment to health, mind, body and spirit.

What I will do in this and coming weight management articles is suggest one goal for you to work on in the coming week. One of the many things I realized was that I’d previously swing wildly between extremes. It was gorge-ville and “who cares?” to forays into Spartan regiments, complete with switches to low-fat foods my poor husband came to resignedly label “experimental cooking.”

In other words I either did nothing, or everything. I found “everything” too exhausting and complicated to maintain for long, so I went back to “nothing,” hence the yo-yo syndrome I endured for 15 years.

The first goal needs to be to mentally cast off the complexity and swings between extremes. Learn as I did that you first have to simply accept that this is a lifelong approach and you will do WHATEVER IT TAKES while still pursuing your goals from a position of wellness. (There is good news, which was as delightful and unexpected as walking down the street and finding a treasure chest full of jewels with a “free to finder” sign on them. The good news is that healthy weight management is a fun adventure with joys and gifts you cannot now imagine.)

HEALTHY GOAL FOR THE WEEK: Change your focus from “lose weight” to “gain health.” Answer the question “How can I change my focus from losing weight to gaining health?”

In future articles, we’ll start with “baby steps” toward recreating your life for health, which WILL result in a healthy weight.