Nov - Dec 2012

Resilience and Weight Management: What Do They Have to Do with Each Other

By Jennifer A. Mason, LCSW LMFT LISW-S


Resilience has been defined as the ability to respond to stress quickly and to regain one’s equilibrium.  Many individuals with weight problems have looked to food for the help and assistance to return to some sense of stabilization. In the past, food was our friend – when no one else was around; it became our comforter when we couldn’t let anybody else in and our medicator to help take away our pain. This must remain our past. We can not let what happened to us in life define us or the way in which we chose to live or change our lives now.


In her book titled Resilience, Elizabeth Edwards said, “I have had a lot of experience in getting up after I have been knocked down, but clearly, I do not know anything at all about avoidance. We all tumble and fall.” Losing the way on this weight loss journey is pretty much part of the path of learning about ones self and requires resilience. It is not a straight path. Time and the element of boredom get in the way. You are asking yourself to begin making changes to something that has been there for a lifetime. Family gets in the way; they are supportive in the beginning but, eventually they want to return to their old way of doing things. They may, or may not come right out and say it, but you are the one identified with the “problem”. You are confronted with sabotage and it happens everywhere- friends, family, and work- you can’t seem to get away from it.


Resilience in this weight loss journey is about never letting the idea that something seems impossible stop you from doing it. Resilience is about continuing to keep on and on and on. This consistency and commitment will become your tool to long term weight management.