|Posted on July 24, 2020 at 2:50 PM|
Image by Ter Versalainen on PIxabay.
So many people I have worked with over the years wanted to lose weight for a special event. It was all about looking good. I remember a woman who wanted to look great for her high school reunion. She didn’t want to be “fat” when her friends from high school saw her after 20 years. We set to work, and she was diligent about exercise and food. She lost 40 pounds and looked fantastic! What she didn’t bargain for was the letdown after the event passed. Yes, her friends were surprised at how great she looked. Some of them put on more weight than she did over the years, which she gloated over. But the shallowness of her goal caught up with her. She put on 50 pounds when she returned to life as usual. Weight loss for the sake of weight loss is a waste.
What many dieters long for is to keep looking good and feeling great after the diet is done. Diets are short-term projects. Weight loss plans put people on track for healthy weight maintenance. The client I told you about is a representation of several who hired me to lose weight for a special event with no plans for after the fact. I think they believed that once they lost the weight, it would stay off for good. But it doesn’t work that way. Here are the three main reasons I’ve discovered that crash most weight loss plans:
1. It’s all about appearance. It doesn’t include the emotional, relational, and spiritual aspects of the individual. Let’s be honest. You want to lose weight to look better and feel better about yourself. Most people wanting to lose weight have this same goal. It is certainly good and noble to want to look and feel better. Still, the truth of the matter is, physical appearance is rarely the only issue behind the extra weight you carry. If it were that simple, every weight loss client I’ve worked with would be able to lose weight in their target time frame and keep it off. Voila! Appearance is only the tip of the iceberg, so they say.
2. Emotional connections make a big difference. Do you feel loved and accepted when you drown your sorrows with comfort food? Do you crunch out your stress with salty, crunchy snacks? Do you snap out your anger on something breakable like hard tack candy, crackers, or anything you can break? If the answer is yes, then you are likely a yo-yo dieter jumping from one diet to the next. Exercise? Nope, not if you can avoid it. You know well that just diet and exercise alone isn’t enough for you to lose weight and keep it off. The emotions behind your weight need attention before your weight loss plan sticks.
3. Spiritual health often shows in physical health. This reason ties in with emotions. Our deeply rooted faith issues lurk in the background. If God loved me, He wouldn’t have made me fat. Why would God let my husband leave me for someone else? Why would God make bad foods taste good and good foods taste bad? If I am a product of a dysfunctional family, then why bother care of myself? What it boils down to is a disappointment with God that creates a vacuum in our lives. He has given us all good things to enjoy, but not all things are beneficial (1 Corinthians 6:11-12) Sadly, you may try to fill that God-sized emptiness with food, people who aren’t right for you, and a fantasy to crowd out the deeply rooted disappointment with self. We often punish ourselves with food and inactivity. And to make matters worse, we tell God through our health actions that we are mad at Him by “making ourselves unlovable.”
Setting Your Sights on the Right Path
Relationships affect our emotions, which affects our relationship with God, and affects our waistlines. All aspects of our lives are tightly intertwined. You can begin making permanent change by doing these things consistently:
1. Influence the people around you for better total health. Instead of allowing people to pull you down into their unhealthy habits, encourage them to make positive changes with you, or spend less time with those people to emulate the healthy people around you.
2. Bury the fantasy. Being the princess at your wedding is lovely, but there is a whole new life with your spouse ahead of you. Why not dedicate yourself to living a healthy, balanced life of love together? Invest in your marriage and your health with consistent Bible reading together, eating healthy, and exercising together. Build a rock-solid marriage that will stand the test of time.
3. Get your priorities straight. A healthy total life balance means leaving work at work while allowing yourself some free time to distress. Put your own primary health needs as a number one priority, along with your time spent with God. Doing these will re-energize your marriage and family, as well as your church, work, and community.
The people who succeed in weight loss are healthy and secure in their worth within their relationships and grow toward maturity in their relationship with God. You can have that, too, when you plan with a greater intention than just weight loss. Partner these with a reasonable healthy eating plan and workout routine to work toward a totally healthy lifestyle you can live with.
What elements are missing with your weight loss plan? What areas do you want to succeed in for better total health?
May God bless you!
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