Drop the Pounds Equals Drop the Personal Issues?

May 4, 2016
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Work on your personal and professional issues even while you are working out to drop the pounds. Weight loss is just the start of a better you and a better life.  

Despite the pervasive message that dropping the pounds will result in dropping many personal issues ranging from career advancement to love relationships, this is sadly far from the truth. While you will most likely enjoy the benefits of effective weight loss, including improved overall health due to the reduced risks from chronic degenerative diseases, you should set realistic expectations about its impact on other areas of your life.

Weight loss is not the be-all and end-all of a happier life! You have to keep in mind that many, if not most, personal and professional issues will remain unresolved if and when you refuse to take the necessary measures for resolution, with or without the added pounds. You will find, nonetheless, that effective weight loss can be the start of a better life considering that a few, perhaps even several, of your personal and professional issues are rooted in it.  

Your Self-esteem and Self-confidence

Shedding the excess pounds, especially around the middle, can give your ego a significant boost since your mental image of yourself can be tied to your physical appearance.  But it will not change your own attitude toward yourself particularly about your self-talk (i.e., “I am worthy, I am beautiful, I am lovable” as against “I am so unworthy to be loved because I am so ugly”).

Before planning your meals and exercises, you have to change your attitude toward weight loss. You have to think of it as making physical changes for a better you and for taking better care of yourself, not because you will look and feel better after losing the pounds.

Your Food Relationship

Yes, you have a relationship with food and it was likely an unhealthy one judging from your weight loss goals. Your unhealthy relationship can take one or several forms, such as yo-yo-dieting, fad dieting, emotional eating, and binge eating, all of which will put your body under stress as well as interfere with your long-term success in weight loss. You have to figure out effective ways in overcoming these unhealthy food relationship modes before, during and after shedding the pounds.

Instead of focusing your attention on dieting itself, you should focus on changing the habits that contribute to your relationship with food. For example, you should avoid eating when you are in a bad emotional shape, such as when you are feeling frustrated or disappointed. You may also want to work with a therapist in this matter.  

Your Mental Health Issues

You may think that your depression, panic attacks, and anxiety, among other mental health issues, may be related to the extra flab in your body but this is not so. Depression, for example, is a mental health disorder that has little to nothing to do with weight such that even when you shed the pounds, you can still feel its paralyzing effects.   

You have to treat weight loss and mental health as two different yet complementary aspects of your life. You must work with a therapist even when you work with a personal trainer and an aerobics instructor. You will find that your proactive approach in looking after your physical and mental health is more effective than focusing more of your attention on the former.

Your Career Advancement

While studies have shown that physical appearance contributes to career advancement, it’s not the only determinant of success. You have to apply for your dream job now instead of waiting when you have lost 20 pounds. Your career success will largely depend on your ability to grab the opportunities, perhaps even make your own opportunities, as well as on your education, training and experience coupled with your can-do attitude.

Your success in the weight loss arena will boost your self-confidence but there’s still nothing like positive self-talk and self-image to move your career along the right direction.  

Your Romantic Relationship

Fact of life: If your romantic relationship is on the rocks at your present weight, then you should not expect it to improve after you have shed the pounds. You may even find that it has gone from bad to worse! Your partner, for example, may feel insecure that your improved appearance can mean many things, such as you will find somebody better or that you have lost weight in a show of one-upmanship.  

You have to work on the kinks in your relationship while also being transparent about your weight loss goals. You may want to have a heart-to-heart talk with your partner even before engaging in a diet-and-exercise program with your personal trainer at David Barton Gym.

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