Archive for December, 2019

LESSONS FROM LIZZO

This summer, I fell in love with the singer-songwriter, rapper, and flutist, Lizzo. download.jpgLizzo is a big girl—some would call her plus-sized, others would simply say that she’s fat. No matter your view, Lizzo belts out lyrics about self-love, body-acceptance, and being your own soulmate.

Of course, there are those Lizzo haters—the people who say that she’s encouraging others to be fat and unhealthy.  While I have not done extensive research, I have never heard Lizzo encourage people to be fat, eat junk food, or not to exercise. She, instead, wants women to stop fighting themselves and to move towards a place of acceptance, no matter what their size.

I love Lizzo’s messages.

Since Lizzo has stirred up a lot of controversy, I started thinking more about what it means to be healthy. Given that the mind and body are connected, I can make the argument that perpetual mental distress about your body can lead to stress and anxiety, which has a huge impact on physical health. So, is a skinny woman, obsessing over food, her weight, and how much she exercises, healthy? What about someone with a “perfect BMI”, who never exercises and has no muscle mass? Or someone, who needs to shed 20-30 pounds, but eats well, exercises, and is in great cardiovascular shape?

Clearly, the definition of “healthy” is not so clear.

Now that 2020 is almost here, I think we all should aim for more self-acceptance. I’m not suggesting to ditch exercise, to be sedentary, or to eat a diet full of processed food. Do the best you can, but treat yourself with kindness along the way. I have always believed that if you put yourself first (so many women can’t), you will ultimately be better to everyone. As Lizzo says, “IF I’M SHINING, EVERYBODY’S GONNA SHINE!”

Amen sister!

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

JANUARY 1st: DON’T DO IT!

Now that it’s the middle of December, this is a perfect time to talk about my least favorite 4-letter word: DIET. If you’ve been reading my posts, you will know that I don’t like diets simply because they don’t work. I promise you that if they did work, I download.pngwould feel differently. This 4-letter word might be floating around in your brain as we head into the holiday season, knowing that January 1st is just a few weeks away.

This past year, several of my clients decided go down the diet path—some of them went on Weight Watchers, others chose different plans. Not surprisingly, all of them lost weight. Not surprisingly, all of them re-gained some or all of the weight back. Long-term weight loss happens only when you make real lifestyle changes. My clients who have done that, have been successful.

So, what’s the difference between the two? A diet is a plan that you follow but has some built in restriction that prevents you from sticking to it long-term. I have two issues with this:

  1. Diets mess you up mentally: Failure leads to frustration, self-loathing and in some cases, obsessing over food and what to eat.
  2. Diets mess you up physically: When you start to lose weight, while there is fat loss there is also muscle loss. Muscle mass is what keeps us strong and metabolic. Often times, especially on a low-calorie diet where weight loss is rapid, there will be more muscle loss. If you abruptly go off the diet and re-gain the weight quickly, there will be fat gain. After all is said and done, you might weigh the same, but your body composition could have changed leaving you with more fat and less muscle. Who wants that? NOT ME!

Lifestyle changes are set up for you to do them forever. There is more freedom, no restriction, and no rigid time frame. Realistic small changes are made and once the first change seems easy, you move on to the next one.  If something doesn’t work, you tweak the process and figure out what will work. Lifestyles changes are dynamic.  They evolve over time and change since aspects of your life do as well.  The goal is to make behavioral changes that become a way of life, not something you do temporarily.

While lifestyle changes are gradual and fluid, you won’t be successful unless you are committed to making a long-term investment in yourself. This is not easy. However, obsessing about weight, going on and off diets, gaining and losing weight, is its own special kind of hell. I don’t want that for myself or for any of you! My advice? Instead of starting a new diet, take a moment to think about what you want, and what you are willing to do.

 

 

 

Leave a comment »