Weight loss is a multi million pound industry. You don’t need me to tell you that. That multi million pound industry is full of all sorts. And it’s full of all sorts of opinions and experiences.
Because weight loss works in different ways for different people. Forget the whole “calories in calories out” arguments, and the “quality of a calorie”, and “eat less move more” arguments. The problem is, that for every person affected by their weight, there are a multitude of reasons.
For me, weight loss and gain is powerfully linked to my mental health, to how I am feeling. And so helping to change my mental well being, to improve my feeling of self worth, and to approve of myself in the here and now is hugely important.
Love them or hate them, the big weight loss groups like Weight Watchers and Slimming World have been around for years. And they were started by women who were uncomfortable with themselves, and made changes to their lifestyle to change the things they didn’t like. In the initial stages they were two women, running groups and basing their plan on the experiences and, in the case of Weight Watchers, advice given by her local hospital dietician. They were honest with their promises. They showed what worked for them. Over the years, Weight Watchers and Slimming World have become huge companies. Their plans adapt and change with the current trends outside of their companies, but in fairness to them, whether you have “succeeded” or not on their plans, their companies employ a whole host of experts to adapt and change and put forward a healthy plan for people to follow. They undertake studies and support to show how best they work, and to find out what will keep people coming back. See Weight Watchers Scientific Catalogue for a bit of light reading (if somewhat biased)! What I am saying is there is more than one person, more than one experience. Don’t get me wrong. They are out to sell. They are out to make money. But consultants come from a place of personal experience and those personal experiences are vast. If you don’t like one class, close enough will be another class with a consultant you may resonate with more.
Because you need to feel supported.
And this is the thing. If you come to weight loss from a place of ridicule and loathing, by yourself and other people, you are on a back foot before you have started! Very few people can effectively hate themselves slim and maintain that loss. When you come from a place of using food for comfort when feeling low, and if you take away that coping mechanism and don’t replace it worth something else, how long are you going to last with your weight loss that started from a place of feeling horrid?
When I hit my limit with diets that didn’t help me long term, and I stayed to look for the alternative, I was lucky to discover a plethora of books written by doctors and psychologists who have spent chunks of their work life devoted to studying diets and the pros and cons. These experts have discussed ways of weight loss that don’t involve self loathing. (See Intuitive Eating, and Beyond Chocolate mentioned in previous blogs) And they provide step by step ways of changing a relationship with food. Because the mind is a powerful thing. And it responds to positive encouragement, positive motivation, positive rewards.
Me, I’m a couple of inches down the last week or so. And not through criticism by myself or anyone else.
Anyway, I got a run to go on. Better get to it!