Day 10 of Your year to Wellness
Losing weight to get well would make anyone crazy because it is the very definition of insanity we love to cite but forget to apply; doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. If your weight is an issue for you, then seek wellness; weight loss will follow. But when you attempt to lose weight for the sake of losing weight you are doing your body, but more importantly, your mind a great deal of harm.
Diet programs are designed to make you lose a large amount of weight rapidly for one reason only; marketing success. Their research shows that if you have a great deal of success with a program early, you are more likely to continue to buy in to that program even when weight loss comes to a halt. Surprisingly, even when a person who has gained back more weight than they have lost they is likely to go back to the unhealthy program that gave them that rapid drop in weight. We will blame ourselves, our friends and even the weather all the while praising the program that induces a short period of weight loss but nothing else. This is INSANE.
To make matters even more out of wack; the brain needs certain fats which are not produced by the body to create specialized cells enabling you to think properly and feel balanced. It’s not the hunger that’s making you mad. It’s the fat free diet Americans have embraced.
I’m not a biologist but I’ve dated one and what I learned when I did was simple; eat real food. I learned other things, but that’s for another time—when we replace real food with those lose-weight-quick-processed products we are depriving out mind and body of the nutrients that are essential to being well and balanced.
Here are 5 tips for losing weight without losing your mind.
· Small steps for big results—I can’t stress the gradual approach to wellness enough. I lost weight more rapidly than I expected but it wasn’t as early as most programs promise. More importantly though, I have been able to maintain the weight loss and the muscle tone that hardly ever comes with large amounts of weight loss. As you gradually remove your trigger foods and gradually reduce the high carb and sugar foods replacing them with real vegetables and fruits you will have the healthy results you desire.
· Exercise, but increase it gradually—I rarely tell how much I exercise (and I’m not telling you either.) I exercise in small increments throughout the day but I waited for six weeks before I even began my exercise program. Your mind needs to adjust to the dietary changes before it can adjust to the new demands of your new found love for exercise. One reason that people fail to continue with an exercise program is that they do too much too soon. This is a recipe for failure. When you do start, begin with what you can do and will do. If you don’t like to ride a bike, don’t ride a bike. (I know I’m brilliant.) Start by dancing non-stop for 15 minutes and then increase the time and the intensity the following week. You will find that you are much more enjoyable to be around when you allow yourself to gradually build up your stamina. Moreover, by increasing your exercise in increments suitable to you and your lifestyle you will see a steady rate of weight loss.
· Get off of the scale—I don’t know about you but scales make me crazy. I drink water and I’ve gained 5 pounds, I go to the bathroom and I’ve lost 6. Constantly weighing yourself to get to a desired number will only make you crazy for the number. Pick a time and a day and weigh yourself the same time once each week. While we need to measure and record our achievements, constantly doing so will only frustrate you and make you even more difficult to live with. (My kids et.al.)
· Add foods rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 to your diet—flax seeds, walnuts, green leafy vegetables and cold water fish like salmon and trout are high in omega 3 while sunflower and sesame oils provide omega 6. When I read Queen of Fats; Why Omega 3s were removed from the Western Diet and What We Can Do To Replace Them, I was blown away by author Susan Allport’s research and her cross-cultural presentation. I could also see more clearly why my no-fat friends were a little on the dull side.
· It’s not how you looking, but how you living—constantly ask yourself how you feel. Watch how you react to small things and check your behavior towards your loved ones. If your diet is making you unbearable to be around, then it’s probably not the diet for you.
The point of getting well is to become the best version of you. A mean skinny person may look good in her bikini, and she may have lots of admirers on the beach, but my desire is to love and be loved for life.
The ultimate goal is to be well for life and that more abundantly (had to throw in some Bible for my Bible friends.)
Be well, be you, be SANE.
Bertice Berry, PhD.