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Take the TIME to be THIN

Posted: Apr 08 in Activity Recommendations, Favorites, Nutrition, Weight loss, Weight Management Strategies by

Do you have time to be thin?

Every day at CNC, I see new patients with lofty aspirations – to lose 50 pounds, 100 pounds or even more. They come to me hoping that with a proper medical weight management program, these goals will be attainable. And, they are right! We are often successful at achieving 50 pounds, 100 pounds or more of weight loss.

Unfortunately, weight regain remains a significant challenge. But why is it that so many people have such dramatic success only to be frustrated? To answer this question, we need to look at the etiology of obesity. Obesity is a chronic disease influenced by a wide range of factors ranging from diet, activity, environment, genetics, biology and lifestyle. When we focus solely on reducing calories, unfortunately this just isn’t enough. We need to address more of the issues.

“Change is hard because we overestimate the value of what we have and underestimate the value of what we may gain by giving that up.”
-James Belasco & Ralph Stay

Successful weight control means we are changing our lifestyle and our environment. How else can real change be accomplished? We need to address the situation that got us in trouble in the first place. Otherwise weight gain is inevitable.

What led to your weight gain? Not enough activity? Not enough time for yourself? Eating out too much? Too much alcohol? Too much soda? Too much TV? Working too much? Caring for children? Caring for an ailing loved one? Too tired? No motivation? Loneliness? Boredom?

If we don’t start addressing the real causes of your weight problem, how can we prevent weight regain?

So, if we want to achieve real change, we need to make the necessary time. But how? Here are a few ideas:

1) Watch less TV. However, if we are paying for cable, we will feel obliged to watch. So, cancel the cable subscription. You’ll be amazed at all the free time you suddenly have.

2) Be active for an hour EVERY DAY. This needs to be written in your schedule! Then, you can’t put meetings or other activities during your active time. Vary the activity – walk the dog before work, take the steps at work, park in the back of the lot. Sign up for Yoga class once a week. Sign up for Spin class on Saturday mornings.

3) Take time to cook for yourself. Don’t know how? Start by getting good at protein and vegetables. Ask your dietitian for recipe ideas. Simple weekday cooking is a great tool for long-term weight control. Consider taking a healthy cooking class.

4) Find something you enjoy MORE than food. Many of us are so busy that the only reward we get is our food. Take that away and there is no enjoyment left in our lives. We need something to enjoy MORE than food. Ask yourself what you might like more than a sweet treat. Try some of the following: schedule an appointment at the spa for a massage, manicure, pedicure, or facial. Go to the mall and buy a new “thin” outfit. Learn a musical instrument. Take an art class. Take a healthy cooking class. Join a ballroom dancing lesson. Take the kids bowling. Take a class on an interesting topic at the rec center by your house or the community college. Attend a concert series or the opera. Get a new pair of hiking shoes and visit the beautiful Colorado state parks.

Real change takes time. Are you taking the time to achieve real changes in your lifestyle and environment? Life is too short to spend all of our time at the office or caring for somebody else.

You deserve to take care of yourself. You deserve some time to yourself.

-Ethan Lazarus, MD

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