Resist the urge to chase the quick fix especially when trying to lose weight

For over 25 years, I searched for a quick fix to my weight problem. I chased so many different diet plans and pills that promised quick and effortless weight loss: the cabbage soup diet, appetite suppressants, herbal supplements, etc. My plan of choice for many of those years, Weight Watchers, trained me to expect Quick fix pillspredictable and steady weight loss with very few ups and downs (side note: A shout out to all Weight Watcher alums–remember the look you would get from the weigher lady when you would lose weight, as opposed to the look you would get when you either stayed the same or gained? I do. I would open my little weight tracking book with a pit in my stomach every time. Yuck!)

What did I get for the 25-year, quick-fix chase? An extra 110 pounds and a sense of hopelessness about the problem.

In my last post, I talk about Dr. Amr Barrada’s sage guidance around processing the emotions around weight loss. He taught me to be very wary of the quick fix. He also taught me a way to think about weight loss that, when paired with a great approach to nutrition, led to my losing 90 pounds. So, by choosing a slower more mindful approach, as opposed to the “lose 30 pounds by summer” approach, I lost 90 pounds in 2 1/2 years. That’s a much better result than the quick-fix chase I was on for 25 years.

Here are five of the items Dr. Barrada taught me about how to approach weight loss differently:

  1. Set out on a course to lose weight in a quiet, gentle way. Take an easy going approach and try to accept imperfection. As opposed to the high-effort, all-consuming plans that yield poor results (Slimgenics, Jenny Craig, etc.).
  2. Have low, reasonable expectations. Maybe you will only lose small amounts of weight, but over time those losses will add up.
  3. Try to accept your current weight and like yourself as you are. This will take time and practice.
  4. Try to be okay with uncertainty with your weight loss. Tell yourself to “see how it goes.”
  5. Listen to your body and try to accept the rhythm of slow weight loss. Losing weight slowing definitely has its own rhythm. It is not a straight line down, but more of a wavy line of small weight losses and gains with a downward trend.

I have more of these ideas and will continue to keep this conversation going. I hope this new way of thinking about weight loss helps you find your own way.

 

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7 Comments on “Resist the urge to chase the quick fix especially when trying to lose weight”

  1. Phil Benson says:

    I am motivated when I see all around me people who are overweight,, and that helps me to keep my weight down; but my son has a problem keeping his weight down. With my approach and your slow and persistent approach will help him.

  2. Carrie says:

    Nell,

    I find your blog so inspiring! Thank you for sharing your experiences so openly. For years I have tried (and failed) to slim down using a diet approach with lots of whole grains and low fat. I felt like such a failure. My doctor recently told me about the Nutritional Weight and Wellness website, and it has been an eye opener. I haven’t seen the immediate, incredible weight loss that so many places promise (and seems so bad for you), but I’ve seen success that feels healthy. My body feels so much better for getting the nutrients it needs. It makes so much sense intuitively that if you feed your body what it needs, it will maintain itself and not keep crying out for more. Why has it taken me so many years to realize this? I’m glad you are putting yourself and your story out there so you can help more people be healthy. Thank you!

    Carrie

  3. josie.petersen@me.com says:

    Nell! Your message couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s been very difficult to be patient with a healthy approach to weight loss. I’m a former Weight Watcher disciple as well and I think my body needs time to heal and adjust to real food like healthy fats and protein. The pounds are coming off just like you said – in a wavy line! Thank you for the renewed motivation to stay the course!

  4. It reminds me of the quote, “People forget that slow progress towards a goal is still progress.” Great advice Nell!


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