14 Apr Tackling Being Overweight and the Myths About Diet and Exercise
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During nearly 20 years of working with people battling being overweight, it never ceases to amaze me how most have been ‘brainwashed’ into thinking that success lies in the personal torture and magic ‘cure-alls’ bandied around by the press and some medical practitioners.
How we Tackle Being Overweight
The first stage of my work to help those who are overweight is to dispel these myths, educating about the billion pound industry of diets, diet aids, exercise machines, gyms and the ‘miracle regimes of the stars’ (yes, it would be great to all have a personal chef and trainer!).
Next, we work out why you want to lose weight. Is this your goal or one mostly imposed on you by others or the media? Without a genuine reason for shedding the pounds there will be fragile motivation and it would be unkind and pointless to continue. Until we have worked out the real issues behind your being overweight, we need to remain curious, steadily unravelling the ‘whys’ and ‘wherefores,’ like the layers of an onion, to make our task clear and manageable.
There are steps I have used for years that have led to clients losing weight permanently. The issues we explore include:
Why you want to lose weight.
What positive outcomes there could be; we really open this up because it reveals all the reasons why we will end up beating being overweight.
A medical check to rule out any organic factors (e.g. thyroid problems), and to check your suitability to losing weight.
How have you tried to lose weight before? What worked, what didn’t and why?
How life has been to this point and what may have contributed to your being overweight (there can be all manner of reasons why a person becomes overweight; they can often be emotionally-bound!)
How to eat well and not be hungry by turning back the clock and eating how humans are meant to eat (without breaking the bank!). Skinny chicks may not eat salad!
The best way to become naturally more active, in a way you like and can manage?
How can you keep moving forward?
Working on what comes up during your transition to losing weight. Many people bury past issues and experiences and sometimes losing weight can uncover them. These need addressing; they may be triggers for not moving forward as well as you could.
During our work, we first need to agree not to traumatise ourselves by going without or hurting ourselves! I have had many adults talk about childhood traumas, reporting that their care-givers ridiculed and ostracised them, leaving terrible scars (most care-givers knew no different). Worst of all are the adults who tell me of their continued self-abuse while attempting to diet. I’m not claiming that losing weight does not involve applying yourself and having self-discipline, just that losing weight, having worked through a few important elements of self, can be an enlightening, steadfast and kind process, especially if you discard the diet scams.
Michael runs a practice in Torbay and Central London and provides regular consulting and therapeutic work via Skype, email and telephone. He and his colleagues work with people wanting to get healthy and lose the pounds, individually or in groups.