Note: “Body Clutter” is a term coined by the Fly Lady.
Every year, around this time in the winter, thoughts of weight loss fill my head. I’ve counted calories, done low glycemic, low carb, eaten whole foods, tried to just eat until I was full, etc. etc. And I often can lose, a bit. But it inevitably comes back, with friends.
I am definitely not a nutritionist. I’m not a doctor, or any sort of expert on weight loss. I’m not an exercise guru or even enthusiast. In fact, I’m not even an average person who has had success in this area.
So why am I giving you advice on this? Because I’ve had a lot of experience failing at it.
And with each failure, I’ve learned something.
So, let me show you what I’ve learned so far:
1. Examine the “why.”
Ask yourself, why do I want to lose weight? If you want to look good in the summer, that’s great. If you want to be more agile, feel younger, that’s great as well. If you want to be healthier and happier, that’s even better. But if what you’re seeking is approval from others, even your significant other, forget it. Seeking approval is a worthless pursuit, and you’re not going to succeed if that is all you are after.
2. Examine the other “why,” and deal with it.
Now you have to ask, why am I overweight? Maybe you recently had a kid, have just been making poor food choices, or have not been active. But, most likely, you’re using food as an emotional crutch. Do you gnaw for stress relief? Use comfort food to reward yourself? Are you using the comfort of food to cope? Emotional eating is pretty common, I think, because we’re so disconnected. Connect with others, in ways beyond Facebook, and you will find ways of coping that don’t involve food. This is an area that has been a challenge for me, definitely.
3. Choose a good food plan.
What is going to work for you? It doesn’t matter what you choose, so long as it is something you can stick with. I tried counting calories many times, but found it to be too much work and too uncomfortable. Low-glycemic seems to be what works for me, because it keeps me full, helps my blood sugar, and is something I can keep as a lifestyle.
4. Get moving.
Yeah, you can lose weight without exercise, but I’ve found that a good workout program is so empowering. I’ve enjoyed running, strength training, and right now, yoga. The trick is to be patient with yourself–I look at monthly progress, when it comes to exercise. Otherwise, I’ll burn out.
5. Get support.
Old-school Weight Watchers was onto something with this. A little encouragement and accountability can go a long way. The important thing is that everyone helps each other. There can be a leader who directs the discussion, but nobody lectures or acts superior to everyone else. It’s not a matter of seeking the other person’s (people’s) approval, it’s about support. I had a lot of success when a group of us from Michigan Natural Parenting e-mailed each other everyday. Some people (including me) listed everything they had eaten, and their exercise, for the day, everyday. Other people just checked in and said how they were doing, good or bad.
Which brings me to this invitation. I’ve had people approach me about accountability, and I would also like some accountability partners. If you’re interested in losing weight, for good this time, just like I’m trying to do, then I would like to put together an accountability group. Please let me know in the comments (you will need to include your e-mail–just put it in your signature, if you want to avoid the whole registration thing), if you are interested in joining in. Or you can send me an e-mail: brosselit at gmail dot com. What I am trying to establish is a non-judgmental group, supporting each other, that checks in once a day.
Also, if you’ve had success losing weight, and keeping it off, please share your story in the comments. Positive stories are always good motivation!