|Posted on February 28, 2018 at 6:40 AM|
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Everyone loves a success story, especially when it is one’s own. Losing a lot of weight certainly is an attention-getter. This was the notion in an editor’s mind when I presented my book idea for a church-based weight management program. He looked at me and asked, “How much weight have you lost?” Personally I’ve lost 50 pounds, but he was thinking that readers would want to know that I have successfully lost more. I wish I remembered all the people I helped lose 100 pounds or more when I sat across from him. Reality is, it’s not necessary that I've lost 100 pounds, but that I have helped others successfully lose that much and more. Why is that significant? Because it takes time, patience, and perseverance to lose that much weight. It's not a journey very many could successfully walk alone.
One of my clients was never skinny; she put on a massive amount of weight after having children. That “baby fat” hung on long after the baby wasn’t a baby anymore. On top of that, she gained even more weight. By the time she started training with me, she needed to lose a whole person’s worth of weight. To make a long story short, she lost 125 pounds of the 150 of her goal! It certainly was not a short term process that took her over two years, almost three. The remaining weight could easily have been lost by having excess sagging skin surgically removed. She almost quite on several occasions, but I talked her into pressing through anyway. All her hard work paid off!
So, what does it take to lose 100 pounds?
Let me share my experience helping people lose an entire person's worth of weight. It requires a multi-faceted plan consisting of a healthy diet, exercise, counseling, and nurturing your relationship with God. This kind of weight loss often needs 3 to 4 years of dedicated effort, but keeping it off will mean living a totally new lifestyle every day. The quick loss approach by skipping over this tried-and- true method will backfire every time. You will put the weight back on and add several more once you’ve stopped the weight loss supplements, rapid loss system, or fad diet. It can cost more money than following the sensible approach and it will take a huge toll on your health. Remember, it is all about being healthy weight loss turned into an entirely new lifestyle.
Get a check-up at your doctor’s office. Your doctor needs to know about your weight loss plan because he needs to check your thyroid and other hormone levels like the pituitary gland, and adrenal glands. Problems with these will make weight loss nearly impossible unless diseases of these hormone- producing glands get proper treatment. If you suffer from clinical depression, you will need to have treatment to make progress with your weight loss plan. Also, some medications can cause weight gain like steroids, some antidepressants, antipsychotics, high blood pressure drugs, and seizure medications (WebMD). There may be options available for your treatment to cooperate with weight loss. If not, then it will be a challenge to lose all the weight you want to lose. Your doctor will be a valuable ally on your journey.
Your doctor may be able to recommend a medically supervised weight loss plan through the local hospital. These programs are multi-faceted in their approach because of the nature of obesity and are often covered by many insurance plans. I would highly recommend it for people with multiple health issues because they can best work with your medical needs. A woman in our previous church lost 150 pounds in this type of program. Her childhood was a major source of her eating problem. The hospital-based program included counseling, a liquid diet formulated for her health conditions, and she took part in aquatic exercise classes to reduce the impact on her joints which were strained under her excess weight. While she was on this program our church’s programs met a lot of her spiritual needs. Only once did she slide back into old habits, but she went back for a short-term re-start. She never allowed herself to gain all that weight back. Certainly you don’t want to gain the weight back, so this approach may be a reasonable solution for you.
Your food intake will always be a work in progress. This area is the hardest one because it is often the one most misunderstood. Your food serving sizes and food choices will need to change from day one. As you make these changes, your body will begin to change in size and performance. Power foods packed with nutrition will replace the pre-prepared and junk foods. You will need to detox from food addictions along the way. After 4-6 weeks, you will able to plan small cheats into your healthy eating plan. As you encounter plateaus and your set point—the weight your body insists in your “normal”-- halt your progress, you will need a jump start food plan to help you over those walls. A dietician or nutritionist will be a valuable asset in this area. You also may need to take vitamin and mineral supplements during your weight loss so you don’t deprive your body of necessary nutrients.
Exercise must become a way of life. Your workouts will be adjusted every four weeks, and totally changed every 12 weeks. There will also come a time you take a break, then hit a totally new workout hard. Eventually, when you approach your goal weight, you will need a maintenance plan you can continue to keep the weight off and stay healthy. Working with a personal trainer will be worth every penny because you won't be able to do this alone.
Have an assessment done for your mental and spiritual health. A common issue lurking in the background for people who are 50 or more pounds overweight is childhood trauma. Another is unhealthy teaching about food in the family. People tend to soothe painful emotions with food, whether it is for comfort, to manage stress, or to relax at the end of the day. Until these issues are dealt with properly, weight loss efforts will only last during the weight loss plan, at best.
You will need to adopt a healthy view of yourself. Carrying the burden of being “fat” brings a stigma of negative attitudes from other people that will affect how you think of yourself. When you learn your value to God and learn your unique positive qualities, you will begin to feel better about who you are. You are not your weight, instead, you are a wonderful person God uniquely created for a great purpose. Knowing this will make it will be easier to shed the faulty self-image.
This plan includes changing your wardrobe during the process. As you lose weight, take your “fat clothes” to the back door of the local Goodwill or Salvation Army, then go in the front door of the store to replace your clothes. Don’t keep them around in case you gain the weight back. I only recommend keeping one outfit as a reminder of where you started. It helps when you become discouraged later. Looking at them will become an incentive to never go back! You will also sleep better at night knowing you didn’t cause yourself a financial problem buying attractive clothes that fit. It’s a great win-win situation when you help others by donating your clothing and shopping at resale shops.
The spiritual aspect is underestimated in weight and health matters. Anger and disappointment with God often appears in appropriate eating behaviors, among other unhealthy behaviors. Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness is the New Age band-aid for a festering spiritual wound, at best. It is important to learn what your attitudes and expectations of God are in light of what the Bible tells us about Him. Jesus is the solution to sin—those attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors contrary to God. New Age tells us we are all gods, but the truth is God is God and we are not (Romans 3:23). When we admit we are sinners, accept Jesus’ death on the cross as the only way to be right with God, and allow Jesus to come into our lives, we are on the path to wholeness (1 John 1:9). Those who know Jesus as Savior can harbor sin issues that cause health problems, too. We need to allow God to reveal the problem behind the weight to heal that part of life (Psalm 51:10). Never underestimate the power of God in your journey to total health.
You will need to adopt a healthy lifestyle mindset. This plan requires a new attitude to handle the long-term weight loss needed to drop 100 pounds or more. As I said before, this kind of weight loss will take 3-4 years. When you finally reach your goal, considering muscle mass weighs more than fat, you need a maintenance plan you can live with for the rest of your life. You can never go back to your previous lifestyle without serious consequences to your health.
Need help? Our Healthy Lifestyles program is available for you. I would be honored to travel with you on your journey to total health, no matter how long it might take. If you have questions, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. May God bless you!
Medical Reasons for Obesity by WebMD www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/medical-reasons-obesity