Recently I was approached by a desperate friend whose daughter is overweight and about to leave home to go to University. Worried the daughter would go off the rails having left the supportive environment of her family home, we discussed her options.
Weight gain is a really tough one; both for the individual and for their loved ones. No one likes to see someone they care about becoming unhealthier, missing out on activities because they are too overweight, feeling terrible about themselves and loosing self-esteem or possibly having work issues. Added to this list and more, people stigmatise the overweight; society is conditioned to align beauty and success with slim people.
The solution, however as I explained to my friend, is not in a healthy education although this helps with the ‘rehabilitation’ part but in resolving the root of the overeating. And this is almost exclusively a head issue, which needs careful and professional (often) dissection, exposure and resolve before it can be eradicated in a way that means it won’t bounce back next time that person feels down, unloved, vulnerable or alone. Because there is a better therapy than food and that is self-love….
So you’ve been chugging along for the last 10 years working your way up the corporate ladder in the job of your dreams, your boss is great and your colleagues really supportive.
As time has passed you have become more and more absorbed in the process; You wake you rush to the train station you sit or stand like a sardine for a couple of hours with other people rushing to get to your office/cubicle where you sit and perform the work tasks then you go back to the train station and sit or stand like a sardine for a couple more hours to get to your home where you sit down to eat followed by some more sitting to do more work tasks or watch the television.
But your doing great at work, continually promoted with a bigger and bigger financial reward. The daily grind seems worth it when you look at your bank balance and your ever growing family, you love your family and would do anything for little Isa, she’s 2 next month and just toddling.
Somehow eating an M&S pre-packed dinner in front of the lap top seems the quickest way to stop your stomach churning, after all you simply don’t have time to cook tonight and bath Isa and get the final tweaks done for your big presentation to the board tomorrow. You tell yourself it wont always be like this and in a couple of years time once you are a director you will work from home and be able to pick Isa up from school.
15 YEARS LATER….
Your fat, 45, you have high blood pressure, your stressed, tired, worn out, have a bad back, a dodgy knee, and don’t get much bedroom action!
You wake up one day and realise its all gone so quickly….Isa is doing her A-levels, her brother his GCSE’s….neither of them wants anything to do with their very un-hip father. Ever since that parents race at the school sports day when you twisted your knee in the 100 metres Dad’s race and ended up rolling around on the floor shouting “man down, man down” You have never really earned back Isa’s respect. And now your baby is nearly all grown up, so one day you decide to make a change, a change that will earn back Isa’s respect, get your wife to look at you amorously again and most importantly make you feel alive, in love, fresh, fit and fabulous….where the bloody hell do you start?
HOW TO MAKE CHANGE WORK:
- Life changing changes usually work best when you are prepared to do anything to make them stick. Without exception.
- The goal to making the changes stick is preparation.
- Remove all temptations from the areas you spend time in; chocolate, booze, fags, crisps etc…
- Build up a stock of healthy snacks in your cupboards that are tried and tested so you know you will be OK to plump for them when you get a craving rather than run out to the chocolate shop!
- Plan and write out a daily structure so that you can see you do indeed have 45mins spare to fit in an exercise session.
- Decide when you are going to start the regime and make sure it is realistic.
- Do not go on a bender the night before. Instead as the date approaches slowly start replacing some of the things you have decided to remove from your life with some of the healthier options so that you go into your regime running not flat on your arse!
- Stick to it like glue, do not ever, ever give yourself an excuse to not train or eat crap. If you fall off the wagon do not beat yourself up or further indulge just pull yourself together and keep going.