Saturday, May 5, 2007

Weight Loss Recipe

If you have read my intro post you know that my chosen career path is to help people become more aware, and control, their health. With this is weight management. I work for a Dr. as an exercise specialist, counseling people on how to re-engineer their bodies to be more healthy.

I will tell you, basically, what I tell them, regardless of what amount of weight these people are that come in to see me. Many patients are seeking 'the cure' to their problems. Maybe that cure is a quick trip to the surgeon for lap banding or by-pass surgery. Although it is serious stuff, being cut open, many people are very cavalier about going for surgery.

Basically I let them know that each human body responds to generally the same recipe for weight loss. Yes, there may be some tweaks that need to be made based on thyroid function, diabetes, or other health issues. But generally, we are all human and all respond, physically, about the same. The formula is, in it's simplest form, energy in vs. energy out. To some extent I try to get patients and clients to begin the process of accepting where they are and their role in how they got to the 'now'.

I explain that life "Is not fair".

Most of us understand this well in regards to our regular life. Things happen and there is no rhyme or reason and certainly no sense of fairness to them. But it is always fascinating that patients and clients seem to desire some amount of equability and fairness in body dynamics. If I had a nickle for every time a patient said, "But my roommate can eat what ever she wants! It's just not fair!" I explain right up front that it ISN'T fair and that some will never have a weight problem and others may only have to change their habits very little to drop 50 lbs and be their ideal body weight. Many are not so lucky. The sooner a person understands this they can accept and begin working on a plan that will help them move toward their goal.

The next step is to help the patient or client understand that there is no 'condition' or physical ailment that creates their weight. This is true almost 100% of the time. Instead it is their psychology that has allowed them to gain the extra weight. More specifically, the psychology behind the habits and choices these people make on a regular basis as they conduct their lives.

When psychology comes in line with the 'habits of doing', truly cataclysmic changes occur. This can work both in a positive way as well as negative. When someone is depressed, fatigued and uncaring, and their food choices and habits reflect this...massive weight gain and health deterioration is almost inevitable. When the psychology of self improvement and responsibility are backed with the habits of doing..people melt away and unveil a life worth living, and one they could hardly have imagined before. Sometimes, but not often, we can work on the habits first and hope the psychology comes later. It is possible to DO changes that will make an end point a forgone conclusion but it is extremely difficult to get maintenance of these changes with out the psychological component in place.

So as I counsel patients and clients toward their goals of a more healthier lifestyle and weight, I find, continually, that it is between the ears that most of the work needs to be done. If more people understood that they can achieve what their brain and heart truly wants, and took responsibility for their habits and choices, weight would never be an issue.


Kanani said...

I started losing weight by doing yoga a few times a week, walking dogs everyday and eating 3 meals a day, and chewing my food slowly. And no food after 7 p.m.

When people ask me the hardest thing about writing... I say, "weight gain."

Matty said...

Ha Ha! ;) I love it. PLEASE tell John Robison this as we have to keep him moving though he will be a successful writer.

PS. My opinion is that you began losing weight with a decision. The activities reflect that decision and your changed lifestyle habits. Keep it up! Great work.

Kanani said...

Yes, weight gain is a devastating result of sitting around writing. I'm terrified of either having a heart attack or a stroke --both of which have befallen cousins who weren't much older than me.

My workout 3 years ago was 45 minutes of weights and cardio, then 30 minutes lap swimming. I did this 3 - 4 times a week.

It was wonderful. But it was difficult because the gym was grungy and their pool....yechhh....

Last summer I had my foot rebuilt. I went through orthopedic surgery and got rid of the bunion that was limiting my mobility. I burned out on physical therapy after 8 weeks and started yoga.

Yoga is great. It makes me slow down. In the summer I'll start swimming again at the city pool (which is much cleaner than the gym pool ....yech..... The City even has a masters team, and I might plod along next to them. They seem pretty nice, and I like to swim. I just love the water.

I can't run because my foot is still healing. And in the fall, I'm having the other foot done!