About 8 weeks ago, I met with a woman that had struggled with her weight her entire life. She’d been a chunky child, a heavy college student and now, an obese adult. She’d always felt bad about her weight. It was tied to her self-esteem and self worth. If she gained weight, she felt awful about herself. If she lost, she’d fear she’d just put it right back on. She’d become a chronic dieter on what I call, the “bummer cycle”: Diet, cheat, repent, repeat. She simply did not know how to diet appropriately to lose weight and not feel deprived. She truly believe that to lose weight, you must punish yourself.
After our first visit, she thanked me for not “shaming” her with 2 shakes and a protein bar. After seeing her doctor, she was told she should either follow a stringent meal replacement program or see a dietitian. She chose me instead.
She weighed in today with a 22 lb loss. Granted, she’s been swimming a few days/week and cutting back on calories, but she stated these 5 things that she’s learned on losing weight:
- I will (and should) eat regular meals including foods I love.
- I should not eat foods that I don’t enjoy.
- I will not starve myself.
- It’s OK to have dark chocolate now and then.
- Eating food I like means being good to myself.
I could see the tears of joy in her eyes that she was losing weight, but still eating real food. She had no desire to be on a drastic program that only shamed her. Her goal is simple- 50 lbs down every year until she reaches her goal. While it may be a lot over time, it’s one pound per week, which is not punitive in the least.