I'm a big Weight Watchers fan. I lost nearly 30 pounds and became a lifetime member back in the early 1990s. It's a healthy balanced program.
Some people need only Weight Watchers to achieve lasting weight loss success. Unfortunately, I wasn't one of those people. It took more for me to lose the weight, keep it off, end my "weight suffering" and achieve what I can only describe as true "food freedom."
To get to where I am today, I also:
1) Took up yoga, completed yoga teacher training and began teaching students how to support their health through yoga.
2) Worked for several months with a private health coach specializing in food freedom, who helped me see the connection between a balanced diet and a balanced life.
3) Completed the Institute for Integrative Nutrition Healthy Coach Training Program, a yearlong course taught by leading experts in the fields of nutrition, health, and wellness, which helped me fully appreciate that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to healthy eating or living. The best approach is the one that works for you.
4) Completed a Psychology of Eating Course through the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, which introduced me to the ancient Greek concept of "symptom as soul's messenger," that your weight has an important message for you. When you allow yourself to hear the message and address it, the weight will release itself in a way that feels easy and effortless. It's helpful to ask yourself what's really weighing you down.
5) Completed the Basic Healthy Cooking Core Course through the Natural Gourmet Institute, where I received an introduction to the fundamental theory and principles of health-supportive cooking.
6) Read and studied extensively on the topics of weight loss and healthy eating, testing out lots of different things for myself.
What Does It take to Achieve Lasting Weight Loss?
1) Practice. Practice. Practice. After years of struggle, I now realize that living a happy, healthy, slim and balanced life is an ongoing practice. I'm a big believer in the saying, "What you practice you become." I've practiced being "naturally thin" for years and now I feel like I finally am.
2) Persistence. There is no quitting once you "reach your goals." You're never done. When something isn't working try something else. Never, ever allow yourself to stop trying.
3) Self-acceptance and compassion. I am not perfect and that's okay. You don't have to be perfect to be successful. But, I do have to accept myself and all my strengths, weaknesses and quirks. Learn to treat yourself as well as or better than you would your best friend!
4) Self-Care. You need to make yourself a priority, figure out what you need and learn how to give it to yourself. Taking charge of your body, your mind, and your health is an incredibly empowering experience that spills over into every aspect of your life. Once you get a taste, you don't want to let it go.
5) Patience. There's no silver bullet. No quick-fix. It's all about small changes. Lasting change comes from making incremental changes over time. Slow and steady really does win the weight loss race.
6) Fun. Your journey to lasting weight loss can actually be pleasurable and fun if you approach it with the right mindset. For me it's become about tricking myself into making (mostly) the right food decisions, which requires healthy doses of self-talk, and deal making. I find ways to give myself what I really want and don't believe in denial or deprivation. And I've learned to diversify my pleasure so that includes lots of things besides food.
7) Moderation. It's about finding the middle way, between the extremes of all or nothing. Weight Watchers calls it "flexible restraint." For me it's been helpful to think about my diet like I do my bank account. If I treat myself in one area, I'm going to need to cut back in another to keep everything in balance. I can have it all, but not all at once and not all the time. When I need a role model, all I have to do is think of my grandmother, a master of moderate living.
I've come to understand that your weight is a reflection of not just what you eat, but how you live and how happy you are.
Have you been able to achieve your weight loss goals with Weight Watchers alone or did you need something more?
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