8 Tools for Becoming Healthyby Garth Davis, MD on July 01, 2015
We had such a great support group meeting last night at the office. For those who don’t know, we look at surgery as just a tool. Obesity is caused by many things, not the least of which is a strong genetic predisposition.
Top that off with behavioral habits ingrained since childhood, and you have a very difficult problem to fix. All of my patients have done multiple diets in the past, some even went to “fat camps” as a child.
I am in the blessed position to see people absolutely change their lives and have learned from them the tools that it takes to become healthy. Here are a few.
1) Life is a journey, not a destination.
This is not about getting to a weight and that is it. It is about constantly striving to improve yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually.
2) Set goals.
I learned last night that many people fear setting goals because they have failed them so many times before. We discussed the importance of setting small goals and large goals. Without goals you are simply floating through life. Goals motivate you and anchor you. Write them down. Constantly remind yourself.
If you do what you have always done you will get what you always got. Goals should be aimed at making you change. Status quo is no growth. Surgery helps with weight loss but if you go back to the same diet and exercise patterns that you used prep, then success will be limited.
We do everything so subconsciously. Most people cannot even tell me what they ate yesterday. Journaling helps keep you conscious and accountable. People tell stories about how they were reaching for a cookie but then stopped and thought, “do I really want to write down cookie in my journal?” “Is it worth it? Does it it with my goals?”
5) Quantify yourself.
This goes with journaling but keeping track of vital statistics is very helpful. Using a pedometer for example is a great tool for quantifying how much you move in a day. Following the above recommendations you should set a goal for movement and let the pedometer measure and keep you on track.
I am not a huge fan of weighing yourself but many of my patients note that keeping accurate weight measures helps warn them when things may be going wrong.
6) Get moving.
Weight loss is often associated with slowed metabolism. Our beautiful bodies are made for movement. Constant movement, not just zumba 3 days a week. Take the stairs, park further away, MOVE.
7) Fruits, veggies, beans, grains.
I have been sooooo impressed with the benefits of plants on decreasing weight. Fiber fuels you up and slows sugar absorption.
8) Get support.
People who attend support groups do so much better. Studies show that your weight will reflect who you hang out with. Try and find supportive environments.
What has worked for you? Let me know in comments…