This is the time of year food is on our minds. Not just any food, but rich food, expensive food, once-a-year food. It’s when even the most disciplined among us vow to “wait until after the holidays”.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, half of Americans say they want to lose weight. With only a little time before the festivities begin the chances of being successfully svelte are, well, slim to none.
Here’s how to avoid being a holiday butterball:
Start early. Gold’s Gym memberships spike 40% in December and January, while the sad fact is that a hefty 80% of January joins quit within 5 months. If you’re serious about weight loss wait until February to get a membership. Statistics show that’ll improve your chances of success. Even more successful? Stick with the program all year long.
It”s not that the work is hard; the hard work is to keep going,
Dance to your own music. “Dealing effectively with stress” and “emotional regulation” are cited by 92% of 1,328 psychologists as the main reasons for their patients’ failures in weight loss. Emotional eating is a behavior learned in childhood when a sweet snack is an emotionally satisfying way to cope.
Who’s this for, anyway? Are you trying to please a critical parent, spouse, or friend who say you would be more attractive or successful if you lost weight? Putting your health first is, in the first place, about you. Addressing
underlying and longstanding messages are part of the mental health component necessary for mental and physical health.
Change defeating habits. While there are lots of reasons for societal obesity, some come from the choices we make every day. Good-for-you meals don’t have to be additive-rich, over-processed ones. Take advantage of federal law that requires calorie counts to be on menus. Buying gasoline and dinner at the same place are not healthy mealtime practice.
Rapid weight loss without healthy changes in diet and exercise is a chocolate-covered promise.
Keep it simple. Changes that are too complicated reduce chances for permanent behavioral alterations. Go easy; start slowly, feeling comfortable and confident to go on. Life changes don’t have to be complicated to work.
You can’t have it all. Even if you could, you can’t have it right now. Reasonable thought often conflicts with desire. Unfortunately, ours is a society used to short attention-spans, immediacy, and instant gratification. True lifestyle changes are accomplished over time, with consistent practice, and lots of patience. That can be a poor fit in an ersatz society.
As tempting as it sounds, having our cake and eating it, too, isn’t realistic. More than genetics alone, successful weight control relies on the sometimes challenging choices we make for a healthy mental and physical life.
Kathe Skinner is a private practice Marriage & Family Therapist in Colorado Springs where she lives with her husband and two kitties.
Copyright 2018, Being Heard, LLC