Rethinking Weight Loss

Are you feeling like you are falling short with your weight loss and wellness goals? Do you feel like there is some piece of the puzzle you are missing? It can be extremely challenging to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, particularly in a culture of conveniences, extremes and hectic schedules. Plus, with so many weight-loss programs out there (and so much conflicting advice), you can easily get exhausted working your way through them all without ever achieving an ideal balance or lasting results. The diet and fitness industry in America rakes in over 60 billion dollars every year. At any given time over 50% of the population is dieting, and I am sorry to report 80% of people on diets gain the weight back. This is great  for the dieting industry because it fuels itself but not good for the frustrated dieter seeking lasting change. Good News! You are not alone and there IS a solution. There is a way to achieve and maintain your optimal weight but more importantly create lasting wellness in your whole being: mind, body and Spirit.

When it comes down to it what is missing in most dieting plans is balance and synergy. Creating whole health is about a lot more than just eating right or exercising. Yes those are essential pieces of a healthy lifestyle but nutrition and exercise alone don’t address how stress, your unique make-up, and your experience affect your health and happiness.  That’s why I am so passionate about holistic healing modalities like Ayurveda, holistic nutrition and yoga because they aim to create harmony between mind and body and in doing so address the whole being not just the physical body. And in my experience, that is how you make peace with dieting for good and create a sustainable healthy lifestyle. 

Are you ready to Break Free from the dieter’s mentality?  Here are a few simple switches moving you from a dieter’s mind-set to a holistic approach to wellness.

Old School: Weight loss is about changing your body

Holist Approach: Weight loss is about changing your life. 

To create a lasting change diet and exercise alone don’t always work because often there is an underling emotional component to our eating habits. (See my Food Mood blog for more on the subject.) In a holistic approach to wellness, building self-awareness, cultivating self-acceptance, regularly practicing stress-management techniques (yoga and meditation) and forming trusted communities are as important to achieving and maintaining optimal weight as revamping diet and exercise routines.

Old School: To lose weight: go on a diet, restricting calories and exercising till you drop.

Holistic Approach: To lose weight empower yourself with healthy foods that fuel your life and find movement you enjoy!

The deprivation mindset of dieting goes something like this “just until I lose this weight”. This way of thinking creates conflict in the body and the mind. It causes us to alternate between extremes of “on the diet” and “off the diet” behavior rather than creating a sustainable healthy lifestyle. One of the main principles in Ayurveda is “please follow the median path”. I know from experience that living between extremes isn’t fun and that extreme ways of thinking sets us up to have an unhealthy relationship with food that can turn weight management into a life-long struggle. The holistic approach is choosing to eat healthy for life. Enjoy eating whole foods that nurture your body and choose some exercise you can commit to on a daily basis. It’s a commitment worth making.

Old School: Change your body and your happiness will follow.

Holistic Approach: Change your outlook and your body will follow.

If you begin your journey by recognizing all the amazing and wonderful things that are right with your body and your life and focus on the positive rather than losing a few pounds you will be amazed at the results.  To create the proper mindset for losing weight, you need to tap the power of positive thinking. Rather than focusing on what’s wrong with you, as most weight-loss programs suggest, it is much more effective to let your motivation come from a sense of how much better your life experience could be if you were healthy, vibrant and fully confident. In her classic, You Can Heal Your life, Louise Hay tells us, “The only diet that does work is a mental diet—dieting from negative thoughts.” She also firmly believes that the key of lasting wellness is loving and accepting ourselves just as we are now. “When we approve of ourselves exactly as we are, then everything in life works. It’s as if little miracles are everywhere. Our health improves, we attract more money, our relationships become much more fulfilling, and we begin to express ourselves in creatively fulfilling ways. All this seems to happen without even trying.”

I’ll be honest its hard work to make lasting change. There is no one right answer, no magic pill or quick fix but if you are open to a new way of thinking and willing to commit fully to the process you will empower yourself not only in your food choices but in creating lasting vibrant living. Remember lasting change happens from the inside out. It’s a journey but you have lots of support and you are so worth it! 

Wishing you Vibrant whole health!