Those of you who read my last post may have come away thinking it is impossible or wrong to lose weight. For some of you it may be the wrong time and impossible task undertaken if set to do on a one program fits all approach. If your doctor clears you in a healthy state able to exercise and loose weight then you should be able to do so with a personalized program and the right motivation.
First know weight loss is incredibily complex and is more involved than calorie counting and exercise. My PhD dissertation was on type II diabetes management and guess what was the number one factor in managing the illness. Not calorie counting but stress management; until stress under control the blood sugar numbers didn't come down. We can learn alot about weight loss from our diabetic friends. Our weight is tied to stress more than just the fact that when we are stressed we head towards the candy machine. One key is the way our body processes foods when we are stressed compared to when we are stress free.
Think about it. Go back in your mind and when were you the most happiest stress free in your life and what was your weight like? I had a client on the table this week saying that she easily puts on 20 pounds when she is in a stressful relationship. Everytime the relationship breaks up the extra weight just falls off. For me it explains why I always lose weight on vacation, yes even on those all you can eat until you drop cruises when I eat about twice my normal food.
I'm finishing writing a book on the spiritual approach to weight loss based on my thesis research. I include diet and exercise info but the bulk of the book goes through the various common stress factors in our lives with practical solutions to help address the area. It goes to the idea that weight is not what you are eating as much as what is eating you.
If you are perfectly happy and healthy with faboulous relationships all throughout your life, you are getting enough money to survive and do everything you want, you have the right challenge in the workplace as a matter of fact work to you is fun, you get great sleep at night and enough time to do all the fun you want as well as have a truly great foundation of who you are with respect to the rest of the world and you are living in a natural toxin free environment and have processed all the pain from past traumas then weight loss is easy. Cut the calories to an appropriate level and wait for the pounds to slip off to that which your genetic makeup will allow.
You might be getting the idea that weight loss is complex. So your first homework for this blog post is to find old photographs of your relatives before the chemical revolution. Go back to around the turn of the century around 1890's or 1900's and find what your great, great grandparents looked like. These people didn't have TV, computers, chemicals or easy lives to put the weight on. They were working hard just to keep the clothes washed, the food on the table. They also did not have an abundance of food. Look at who you come from and see if you have one that looks like you from facial features. There is a good chance that you share the same body type.
Look at the person who didn't have abundance, worked physically hard and lived a more natural life. What can you learn from that relative? Also look at the relatives around you in present day life and see if anyone looks like you. What is their natural predisposition weight wise? If you are from good heftly stock don't expect to become a skinny mini. Look at the beauty you share between these relatives. Perhaps it is strong bodies or good heartedness.
From this exercise I learned I will always be above average. The photo I included has been slenderized during the upload, it is funny seeing them look a bit on the skinny side. I come from a line of stocky people. While we are extremely athletic and muscular we will never be considered skinny without new blood lines introduced into our gene pool. This has little to do with the actual food consumed, especially once age 30 hits. I aspire to be healthy and strong within the gene pool my ancestory allows.
I also know that I can weigh the same (within 5 pounds) as my best friend who is four inches taller than me and I will still be three sizes smaller than her. With her height it should be the other way around. Her weight is different than mine as what we both can do with our bodies. My body is muscular and the number on the scale reflects the density of the muscle.
The key to this post is for you to set realistic weight expectations. I know we are all trying to get to the perfect size and the perfect weight. It is different per body. I think it is time to be realistic to what perfect is. It isn't on a chart. A person whose ancestory from European countries will be very different than a person from Asian countries. I choose health over a number on the scale and I encourage you to consider chosing health too. With the weight you are at, can you complete all the tasks of your life without trouble and are your doctor's test results showing you are in good health? If both these are true, you may be at a healthy weight for your body.
Still if you want to loose weight, consider staying within 10% of this healthy weight and seeing how that changes your health and activities. For an example if you are 180 pounds consider dropping 18 pounds as your first goal even if the chart says to get to 128 for your height. If your immune system isn't impacted from the weight loss then you can always set a second goal. Your body will tell you when it has lost too much weight too fast with constant colds, allergies, exhaustion and your doctor's tests may start to show problems.
One of the major ways to increase stress is to diet. In my diabetic research there was a study of the American Diabetic Association's diet (which they have now changed). They tested doctors assuming they would be more prone to follow the diet and found that those who followed the diet the strictest died sooner than those who didn't follow the diet. It made me think. diet is important but not the only factor in your battle.
Next time I'll talk about food choices and calories. Your second homework between now and then is to log your food in an on-line food log which will calculate your calories. I like myfitnesspal.com, but use one you like. The key is to be 100% truthful of what you normally eat for 3-7 days. The hard part will be that you will naturally eat less and correct your food choices just because you are logging it. Don't, commit to eating normal. You need to know the truth and you are the only one who will look at it.
Linda Bender is a personal wellness therapist. She uses over 20 holistic life coaching and touch therapy techniques from Reiki to personal training to help you reduce stress and pain so your body invokes its natural healing ability. She is at Bender Healing on Church Street in Phoenixville. Bender Healing provides massage, reiki, reflexology, personal training, nutrition, life coaching and energy medicine. See www.BenderHealing.com or call 800-706-1354 for more information.