Weight Loss: It's More Than Just a Number
Let’s face it, we all have this idea of what our ideal weight “should be” or how we would like our bodies to look in general. And with that, most of us have, at some point in our lives, wanted or have tried to lose weight. For some, weight loss comes easy. For others, it’s as challenging as walking a tight rope with a barbell on your shoulders. Whether one finds the process easy or more challenging, weight loss (with few exceptions) is possible for us all.
Unfortunately, considering we live in a society where things are expected in an instant, too many of us are looking for the fastest way possible to shed the unwanted pounds. Sometimes these methods can result in serious health problems and even death.
But, what if we, as a society, focused more on being healthy versus losing the weight? More importantly, what if the focus was on the mental and emotional components in addition to the physical?
In 2008 the National Institutes of Health reported on a Weight Loss Maintenance (WLM) Trial where they compared the effectiveness of using (1) monthly personal counseling on diet and physical activity, (2) a Web-based intervention with the same advice, and (3) self-direction. According to the conclusion of the study, participants receiving personal counseling retained an average weight loss of 9.2 pounds, compared to an average of 7.3 pounds for those using the Web-based intervention and 6.4 pounds for those in the self-directed group.
After gaining significant attention as a result of his weight loss journey, in a Today Show interview from 2012, David Smith said, “As much as you’ve worked on the outside, you have to work on the inside.” David admitted that while he had lost more than 400 pounds, he was still a “terrible mess” on the inside and, as a result, ended up (at the time of the interview) gaining back more than 300 hundred of the 400+ pounds initially lost.
David’s story, in my opinion, is a perfect example of the importance of each individual addressing the underlying cause of overeating and/or poor eating habits. This one element of weight loss is so crucial to maintaining one’s desired weight but is too often ignored.
As a NASM-Certified Personal Trainer, I strongly believe that anyone can lose weight if they put their mind to it. However, so many people gain the weight back, and sometimes more, because they have have not received the right education around food, exercise and facing emotional turmoil head on.
If you are looking to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, I strongly encourage you to seek the support of a Life Coach (or Therapist) in addition to working with a Personal Trainer. While this is a significant commitment, the addition of the Life Coach can help you get to the root cause of the weight gain(s) and/or fluctuations while also helping you create healthy ways to manage life’s stressors.
Let’s face it, life happens and the last thing you want to do in your journey is rely on food to help you manage your stress. One of the most important things that your Life Coach can assist with is cognitive restructuring. As seen in the video with Dave Smith, losing weight only changed the physical. Practicing cognitive restructuring with your Coach will help you change the way you think about and/or see yourself. Losing weight is great thing if you’re gaining confidence and education around maintaining your new, healthier lifestyle.
Penny Samuels is a NASM-CPT, MSW who takes great pride in not only helping her clients reach her weight loss goals, but creating a space of education that will help her clients maintain the progress made while working with her. Penny established Chrysalid Transformations, with her partner, Sherry Samuels (Certified Life Coach), with the understanding of the importance of marrying physical fitness goals with mental health goals in order to maintain the healthy lifestyle.