This week a client told me she had lost 1/2 a stone, after her doctor had suggested improvements to her liver condition would only happen with weight loss. This after a long period of mutual consent between us not to talk about losing weight for its own sake. She admits to being ambivalent about making the changes necessary to reduce her weight, and as a result, her weight gradually crept up. It took the somewhat scary news of early fatty liver to engage my client into action.
I can understand a person’s reluctance to begin behaviour change when the primary motivation is aesthetic improvements, as oppose to enhancements in health. For some people a desire to look slimmer is important but simply not important enough to initiate difficult behaviour change. That’s a good thing I think, because focussing on how we look, rather than how we feel is the route of all our negative body image issues. If we can have realistic expectations of how we can slowly change the body we were born with, accept that we are different shapes and sizes, and concentrate on improving our health instead, we may be happier. Celebrate FEELING GOOD and moving more freely rather than looking thinner.
Some of the benefits to health of regular exercise accrue after many months or even years, and are not always obvious. We can however feel safe with the knowledge that being active most days of the week, eating a moderate diet high in vegetables, whole grains and quality proteins, and maintaining a BMI between 20-25 (as near to this as you can) will set us in good stead for future well being. Possibly the most powerful motivation to be active is to be free of disease and pain, and to live a long life of good quality, rather than to look trimmer. If you are trying to lose weight, keeping the idea of improved health on the inside as your paramount goal may help you to stay motivated. A check with your GP on various measures over time such as your blood pressure and cholesterol can be true markers of progress, in addition to your own feelings of reduced bodily pain.
As the Minions would say – ‘Tulaliloo ti amo’ (we love you!) lumps, bumps and all. 🙂