Can you count how many times you’ve lost weight and then gained it right back?
I can’t. Over the years, I’ve tried so many different kinds of diets: low carb diets, low fat diets, you-name-it diets. And many worked for a little while. But then I eventually went back to “real life” and the pounds returned. Of course, there also were times when I tried to lose weight but couldn’t reach my goals in the first place.
After all these years, I now know why. First of all, I didn’t have the tools to overcome my cravings for foods I love, like most desserts. Also, the diets weren’t realistic. I was starving myself of foods and nutrients that my body needed. Sometimes I also was exercising way too much to sustain over the long term.
But the biggest reason I didn’t find long-lasting success was that I never got to the root causes of my weight issues. I now know that I have food sensitivities that I wasn’t aware of. These were inflaming my digestive system and making it hard for my body to metabolize food. And now that I’m at mid-life, my metabolism has slowed down, to boot!
So, I learned an important lesson: if I wanted to lose weight, I had to stop dieting. “What’s that?” you ask. “Stop dieting?” That’s right. It sounds radical, but it’s true.
This revelation, that to lose weight you have to stop dieting, is one of Kelly Cornell’s key messages. I recently interviewed her for my radio program, Push the Reset Button. Kelly has a B.S. in nutrition and is a certified holistic health coach. For years, she’s been helping people over the age of 40 lose weight and keep it off. The first thing she said when we talked was, “Stop dieting.” I had to ask, if her clients don’t diet, how do they lose weight?
She had a lot of great stuff to say, including that she has a healthy recipe for chocolate pudding called Creamy, Dreamy Chocolate Delight. She and her clients are able to stay fit and enjoy something that’s absolutely delicious, too. How do they do it? Here’s my summary with some of my own commentary from the interview:
1. You have to believe that you can succeed. Yes, you may be middle aged or older, you may have tried before and not succeeded, you may have an injury or body pain that limits your exercise, or you may have a family history of being overweight. But if you have hope and are committed, none of these things can stop you. You CAN shed the pounds.
2. Identify the root causes. Many people suffer from one or more specific issues that are holding them back from maintaining a healthy weight. Common causes are food sensitivities, hormone imbalances, emotional issues, old habits, cravings, lack of nutrition knowledge, midlife metabolism changes, stress, and simply not prioritizing their own health. Until the root causes are addressed, they hamper weight loss efforts.
3. Take a holistic approach. Look at the whole picture. As you can see, the common root causes span mind, body, and spirit. In order to slim down for good, you have to address them that way, too.
4. Use the natural healing power of food. As I’ve said before, people evolved over millions of years in relation to nature. So the nutrition and restorative materials you need often are right in nature, too. This is a fundamental tenet of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). (The west has only recently started to catch on!) A well-trained health care provider can help you identify what you need and how to use it.
5. Learn to love yourself as you are, body and all. Often, people are defeated by their own negative body images. They look at their thighs in the mirror and decide they hate them. Or they are embarrassed because of extra weight on their stomachs. But in order to be happy with your body, you have to love it as it is, have a vision of how you want to shape it, and love it through the process. Otherwise, as Kelly points out, once your thighs or stomach are molded to meet your criteria, you’ll just find something else to criticize.
6. Have a well-thought-out plan. You need to figure out how emotions play into your weight, what foods to eat, which foods to avoid, how to exercise, what to do when cravings strike, and more.
7. Get support. All of this requires expertise, encouragement, and often, accountability. A certified holistic health coach like Kelly can provide these. You can reach Kelly via her web site at Kelly Cornell Wellness.
I hope this blog post has inspired you to think about weight loss in a different way. And I encourage you to listen to the full interview. We discuss all these points in much more detail, and Kelly relates exciting stories about her patients’ successes.
Watch this space for insights about healing your relationship with food and cleansing.
Until next time, best wishes for getting to the root causes and enjoying life, including delicious foods!