Monday, March 7, 2011

To weigh or not to weigh? THAT is the question

I have had a major "aha" moment - to throw out a cliche'd term.
But here it is:
MOST of my OBESE clients weigh themselves daily and are obsessed with weight.
They also have a difficult time with weight loss and have tried more fad diets than my other clients.

I was speaking with a client of mine the other day that has joined Weight Watcher's. For the most part I think Weight Watcher's is a decent program. I have a couple of issues about using leftover points and processed packaged foods - but... overall - eh - decent enough if you need a weekly support group.

SO I asked my client "how often do you weigh yourself?"
- Daily
Me: "why?"
her: to see if I lost weight
Me: Why?
Her: what do you mean why? I need to lose weight.

Me: do you get weighed at the weight watchers meeting weekly?
Her: Yes.
Me: then why do you weigh yourself at home too? weight fluctuates all the time between a 5 pound range. it can be very depressing to weigh yourself and see you have gained 2 pounds one day after you thought you lost a couple of pounds. right?
Her: yes, it gets very depressing.
Me: and if you are not losing weight at all then you should quit exercising and eating right?
her: well... no... but, something has got to change.
Me: try this - change how often you weigh yourself. and just stop then in a few months after developing habits for 3months THEN weigh yourself and see what has happened just for fun.

Here is my theory. and I know I am right.
Stress creates cortisol levels to rise creating belly fat and weight gain. right? Most everyone that has done any research on weight loss and dieting knows this.

and so - we are surrounded by ad and billboards and articles about how out of shape and overweight everyone is (guilty here too - sorry).
Those that don't fit the "ideal" weight feel stress, guilt - whatever. It causes more weight gain - no really it does! Stressing about your weight causes more weight gain!

So - quit stressing!

I have several clients that have admitted to me that all they can think about is how FAT they are and how badly they want to lose weight and they WEIGH themselves all the time!!!! Hoping for weight loss - not getting it fast enough - trying a fad diet - losing weight quickly - getting excited about their weight loss - rewarding themselves with Fatty foods they missed during the fad diet - and EXPLODING back up past the weight they were before - getting depressed - stressed - more weight gain and the cycle starts over.

It is a COMMON problem.

I would challenge everyone that is struggling with weight loss to try this for 6 months:
1 - throw out the scale
2 - throw out the processed foods and sugary fatty foods in your house
3 - EAT all the time! (veggies and fruits mostly) don't starve! ever! starving lowers your metabolism
4- exercise! Try fun forms of exercise and try a variety of different KINDS of workouts. try Zumba - try Yoga - Try Bootcamp - Try Biking - Try Hiking. Try something different ALL THE TIME! Get adventurous!
5 - do theses exercises DAILY! fit people workout daily - not 3 times a week. So if you want to be fit - act fit! "Act as if". You may have to rest more often in some of the workouts you try - BUT you are developing a habit of daily exercise!

6 - Keep it up! Just keep going and don't weigh yourself! Eat right - have fun exercising and keep going because that is what fit people do! Don't think about it as a diet or weight loss plan. Do it because it brings you joy!

7 - if you happen to have a weak moment - don't stop trying!

I had a breakdown the other day and had to have my cookie dough and donuts and chocolate. BUT - the next day I went back to eating right again and feeling better about my health.
To me it is NEVER about my weight. It is ALWAYS about my energy levels, depression, and overall health. I feel GREAT when I eat right. I feel like CRAP when I don't.

SO, if you quit weighing yourself and only do these things because they create a healthier you - you WILL get to the weight you are supposed to be. There are ways to lose weight faster through little eating and exercising tricks we personal trainers know. BUT - if you want to do it yourself and are frustrated with past results - try this for 6 months to a life time and see what happens. If nothing else, you will at least have less weight related stress.

what do you think?
To weigh or not to weigh?