Jan - Feb 2015

Ways to Feel Full on Life

By Pamela Kuehl, LPC


When did the honeymoon end in your weight loss journey? Was it right after you reached your goal weight? Or maybe it was after a few years and a new slimmer you emerged. Do you remember the first time you were tempted to return to your old eating habits? What about the first time you realized the compliments weren't coming in anymore? If you’re the typical person that has lost a significant amount of weight, then you’ve felt a full range of emotions, from pure elation to frustration to fear to disappointment to helplessness.


Though disappointment is unavoidable in life, the ups and downs of losing weight are a necessary part of your weight loss journey. What if each frustration you felt was the key to learning to become a more focused and motivated person. The biggest barriers we have to our own success are our preconceived notions about losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle. If you look at people who struggle to maintain their weight loss, you often discover that they expect that sooner or later they will fail, and that their failure is permanent.


It is important to be aware that the honeymoon phase will fade, and you will need to find new ways to stay motivated. Here are a few suggestions of things to try.


1. Sign up for a class to learn something new. Most colleges, local parks and recreation programs offer classes on everything from exercise to photography. Check their websites to see what’s offered in your area.


2. Take up a new hobby. Most craft and hunting stores offer classes for customers to learn new things from how to make beaded jewelry to how to tie fly fishing hooks. Check your local stores for details.


3. Practice mindfulness. A lot of time people lose motivation because they get stuck in the past or worry about the future, and they forget to live in the moment. Being mindful of the present is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.


4. Make some new friends. Find people who are interested in doing similar things as you. This is the perfect place to meet new people who are like you.


5. Choose to focus on the positive. You cannot control someone else’s emotions or reactions, but YOU can choose how you are going to react to the situation.


6. Find positive coping skills to manage stress. Emotional eating is a coping skill you might have used prior to weight loss. You need to learn new coping skills that are not harmful to your health. For example, reading a book, taking a walk, or golfing.


7. Identify a stable and healthy support system. It seems everyone has an opinion about the right way to lose weight, and at this point in your journey, I’m sure you’ve heard them all. Identify people who support you unconditionally and encourage you in your journey to healthy living.


Here’s to learning to feel full on life! Best wishes for the adventures that await you!