There are a number of different elements involved when it comes to losing weight. Possibly the most important before you start deciding how you’ll do it and how fast and with whom, is to understand your motivation for wanting to do it. If you understand the ‘why’ of your journey, you are far more likely to succeed.
So, why wouldn’t you want to lose weight? Why, if you are overweight, wouldn’t you want to shed the excess? Well, perhaps your weight isn’t really the biggest issue.
For many of us, myself included, we want to be happy with what we see in the mirror. I don’t expect to look and see a stick thin model staring back at me (this isn’t healthy) but I would like to see my curves in all the right places and the lumps and bumps ironed out. (I measure my success by the fact that you can see my hourglass figure again). If that’s your motivation, great, you’ve achieved the first step, move on to phase 2. However, some real soul searching may just allow you to realise that, along with your process for shedding pounds you need to work on other areas.
At the moment, obesity is a national issue. The health services are spending money on promoting a healthier lifestyle and trying to reduce the obesity rates. So, very helpfully they produce guidelines for the weight you should be. But what if that’s not a good weight for you, or you have a higher proportion of muscle that the average person? This is an example of where you may want to look at your motivation and consider whether weight loss is truly the course of action you want to take or whether you are being persuaded that you should.
What about other people in your life. Are they telling you that you should lose weight. It may be a partner or a parent or even your kids but unless you really feel that you want to, then doing what someone else thinks you should is not likely to have the desired effect. Working on your self esteem or ability to politely ask them to keep their opinions to themselves may be a more useful course of action.
Do you want to lose weight for fitness or for health reasons. Or are you substituting weight loss for your real issues.
This is where a holistic approach to weight loss can be useful. Rather than focusing on the symptom of weight or fat you can explore everything in your life relating to your feelings around your body, your self esteem, your relationships (with people and food), your habits and your lifestyle. One of the key questions I use with clients is to ask them how they think their life will be different once they have lost weight. It can provide a much better answer than simply asking ‘why’ they want to lose weight.
This question can also provide you with some of the keys to your motivation around losing weight and an opportunity to start making changes, not only to food and diet and exercise but also other key areas in your life in an effort to support your weight loss. In fact if you remove or improve the other issues the weight loss may just follow with very little effort from you at all.
If you have a comment or need more information about holistic approaches to weight loss then just leave me a comment below.