Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Weight Loss Motivation: Look In The Mirror And Say "Damn You's A Sexy Person!"

I know that there are many of you out there who have given up on losing weight. You know what I’m talking about. That feeling deep inside that tells you that you will always be overweight. Once in a while you may make an attempt to change. You say things like “I’m really gonna try” or “I’ll do my best. That’s all I can do”. It doesn't sound like you believe.

That’s one part of your life that you don’t like to talk about because it reminds you of that sense of defeat. Or may be you talk about it everyday! You are constantly on a diet. People roll their eyes up when they hear about your latest attempt and they don’t even hide it from you anymore.

You are successful at work, have wonderful friends and a loving family but cannot conquer your inner self.

What motivates you to want to lose weight? Is it to be healthier? Is it to look good? Appear more attractive to potential partners? Maybe your family members are nagging you? Does your doctor bring it up in passing and try to guilt you into eating healthier and going to the gym?

I think the greatest motivation is to look in the mirror one day, not at the shape of your body but deep into your own eyes. Knowing that you have control over your mind and your body. After achieving what was seemingly insurmountable, you will feel like you can take on the world. No matter what it throws at you.

Motivation refers to the psychological forces or energies that impel a person towards a specific goal. Everything that we have mentioned so far falls under the category of extrinsic motivation. What that means is that we start to restrict our calories and physical exercise because we want to achieve weight loss and everything that we think will come with it, and not because we are particularly fond of eating healthier or going to the gym.

That’s a great way to start but as we move through this journey, we will explore ways to incorporate tools to achieve intrinsic motivation. We hope to be in a place that we derive satisfaction and enjoyment inherent in healthy living habits.

I am inviting you to start believing again.

I would like to introduce you to a recently started internet service. Someone described it once as a personal spa for the mind! At this time we will use it for its meditation and affirmation tools. Go to meisalus.com and click on inspirational videos. Under the weight loss tab watch and listen to some of the featured videos. Listen with headphones for full effect. Keep yourself motivated daily.

Remember! Until next time keep recording what you eat. It’s a crucial aspect of self monitoring.

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Lose Weight The Easy Way" and next week "Get Rich Quick, Doing Nothing"

The hunger center in my brain wasn’t very active when I was a child. It didn’t need to be. I gave it everything it wanted and more. Way more. It would only be time to leave the dinner table when the stomach pain overtook the desire to consume more food.
This along with an innate dislike of too much physical activity led me down an inevitable path which was to be known as the chubby one throughout my childhood. I know, the story is sad and you are probably trying to hold back tears but let them flow because there is more. Even now as I am in my early forties, kind relatives remind me at every opportunity of my childhood fondness for all things edible.

Any lesser man would have been left with a life long sensitivity towards his weight. But not me. No sir.

I have however, purely for professional growth had the opportunity to study and observe various weight loss measures. I have seen some amazing success stories that have proven the most reasonable approach to be the right one.

This approach is based on consuming fewer calories than you expend which is an elaborate way of saying eating less than you burn off. This is GUARANTEED! to cause weight loss. I wish that what I just said was as profound as I tried to make it sound. The importance of my statement is not that it offers a new way to lose weight but its promise to be an equal opportunity method. No matter who you are if you consume less than you expend, you must and will lose weight.

Our task for today is to find out as much about ourselves as possible;

First lets see who is at risk for complications of being overweight and obesity and needs to consider weight loss. Go to BMI Calculator and by inputing your height and weight calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). A BMI of 18.5-24.9 is considered normal. If your BMI is less than 18.5 you are considered underweight. The following are the various stages of being overweight and and their corresponding BMIs and risks of medical complications such as type2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease;

Overweight: BMI 25.0-29.9, Increased Risk

Obesity(Class I): BMI 30.0-34.9, High Risk

Moderate Obesity(Class II): 35.0-39.9, Very High Risk

Extreme Obesity(Class III): >40.0, Extremely High Risk

Realizing that you are overweight or obese is not going to be the best news that you've had today but burying your head in the sand is not the solution either. Recognizing the task at hand is the first step towards resolving it.

Second, are you ready to get started today?

Are you ready to tackle this issue once and for all? Why do you want to lose weight? What are the things that make it hard for you to start? Can you commit to 15-30 min a day to this process?

Third, we need a very clear idea of what we are eating before we can think about modifying it. There are online calorie counting sites available with smartphone applications. The one that I like is dailyburn.com.
Sometimes just realizing how many calories you are ingesting is enough to start the process of modification. Before we talk again you must become religious about tracking how many calories you are eating. The site has thousands of food item entries including ones from restaurants. You must be careful as we tend to underestimate our portion sizes. This time, stay true to this endeavor and you may be surprised at the results.

We will base our approach on the American Gastroenterological Association Medical Position on Obesity. You will need a medical evaluation before we can proceed from this point. This may include history taking, physical examination and possible lab tests which may elicit obesity related health risks. You must notify your medical provider of your intention to embark on a dieting regimen involving calorie restriction and increased physical activity.

I saw an ad for a smoking cessation aid that said "never quit quitting" and something similar needs to be our moto. Despite the title of this post, this journey will be hard and at times you will falter. It doesn't mean that your body is immune to this way of life. It means that we regroup and start again. Not in six months, or next new year's day but tomorrow or in a week.

Over the next couple posts I will try to go in a little more detail about the different aspects of this approach. Feel free to comment and even help us come up with a slogan or a name.