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 predictable 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:
- 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.).
- Have low, reasonable expectations. Maybe you will only lose small amounts of weight, but over time those losses will add up.
- Try to accept your current weight and like yourself as you are. This will take time and practice.
- Try to be okay with uncertainty with your weight loss. Tell yourself to “see how it goes.”
- 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.