I’ll say it: I think the weight loss industry has it backwards. Being overweight doesn’t make us sick – being sick makes us overweight. Or, as I like to say, “we need to get healthy to lose weight.”
Obesity is a symptom of a bigger problem, or set of problems, not a disease to be cured. If you look at the labs of obese people, you will almost always find that there is a lot going on there – be it thyroid, blood sugar, hormone dysregulation, anemia, leaky gut, parasites, various vitamin and mineral deficiencies, high cholesterol, etc. And, if you look at their lifestyle habits, there is a good chance they aren’t moving enough, are making poor food choices foods for them (either intentionally or unintentionally), don’t sleep enough, and are under a lot of stress at work, home, or both. If you ask an obese person how they feel, they will usually tell you they feel sluggish, tired all of the time, or just generally unwell. Sure, some of it is because they are carrying around extra weight, but it’s also oftentimes because they genuinely are unwell.
Our Bodies Want to be Healthy
Your body has this incredible ability to heal itself. After all, being sick isn’t a great survival strategy (just one visit to an African game park will show you just how well THAT works out in the wild).
But, the key to having a healthy body is to give it what it needs to support itself. In computer-speak we call it, “garbage in, garbage out.” Just as a computer can only process the information you give it, your body can only react to the inputs it receives: food, sleep, movement, stress/emotions, etc – plus it’s genetic predisposition.
And once you start giving your body the support it desperately needs, it will start healing itself. You will get stronger, your brain fog will disappear, your hormones and weight control mechanisms will come back online, you will begin to lose weight, and your weight levels will start normalizing where they should be.
How Do You Lose Weight?
That’s a great question, and to give you the most annoying answer ever, “it depends.” Because we are all different, the process has to be individualized. I use an approach with my clients called balancing their Energy Bank. You can read more about it here, but the general idea is that we look at the entirety of their lifestyle, and start improving the habits that are the most in need of improving.
It’s really incredible to see how seemingly little things like adding an hour of sleep per night will virtually instantly improve food choices and get people wanting to move more. Or, you start someone on a regular exercise program, and suddenly they start eating better, decide to join a sports team, and their social life improves which improves their overall mood and attitude. That lowers their stress, which lowers their cortisol, which leads to weight loss.
Still Not Sure Where to Start?
Anywhere! That’s the beauty of the human body. It almost doesn’t matter where – just pick something and start.
If it sounds simple, but not easy, you are completely right – the old axiom “easier said than done” definitely comes into play here. If you want some additional guidance and support on this journey, drop me an email, I’d love to help.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/55158656@N06