On the Lighter Side: Welcome to the ‘State of Well-Being’
By Linda Trainor, RN, BSN Bariatric Nurse Coordinator
Have you lost weight only to regain weight? What if you could prevent this cycle from re-occurring?
Our bodies can give us telltale signs that we are headed in the wrong direction. However, we often choose, for one reason or another, to ignore them.
This spring, be proactive. Prevent any relapse that contributes to cluttered closets filled with clothes of many different sizes. Pay attention to these five telltale signs that can stop the cycle of weight loss/weight re-gain.
1. Need to loosen your belt buckle?
Better stop before you pop (your belt buckle). If your clothes don't fit, don't blame the person doing your laundry or your dry cleaners. Your clothes are not shrinking. Clothes too tight? Time to eat right.
2. Do you dislike your reflection in the mirror?
Mirror, Mirror on the wall, can you tell me if I gained any weight at all?
Let's be honest, we don't need to buy better-fitting clothes to adjust the image. We simply need to face facts. We are seeing more of the same wonderful person who we saw in the mirror a few months ago.
3. Are you feeling a decrease in energy?
Has your get-up-and-go gotten up and left? Not enough energy to bend over and tie your shoes? If Velcro and penny loafers are looking pretty good, it’s time to move a little more.
4. Experiencing an emotional roller coaster ride?
Do you need an umbrella to protect you from the perfect storm of emotions? Has anger, depression or apathy got you down in the dumps? Is one bite too much, a thousand never enough, to soothe your negative, unpleasant thoughts? It is imperative to recognize these emotions and practice healthy coping skills.
5. Do you feel uncomfortable in your own undergarments?
Does your own body feel like a foreigner to you? Does driving over a speed bump shock you more than your car?
If you are currently experiencing any or all of these signs, put on your seatbelt. But, don’t fret.
Most people experience one or more of these signs at some point on the highway of life. Acknowledge these signs in a positive light and use them in a positive manner to pave your road to success. The key to moving forward is awareness and acceptance.
Believe in yourself. Know that your final destination will be reached — detours are inevitable. Weight fluctuates with water retention, time of day, or if you eat more on a special occasion. These are side roads, not road blocks. Simply reset your GPS to get back on track.
Pump up the volume. Listen to your body, it is talking to you. Decreased energy is a sign that you need to fuel your body with a variety of vegetables, fruit, fiber and protein. Drink at least eight glasses of water each day.
Get out your jogging shoes. Step it up with 30 minutes of exercise a day. If 30 minutes at one time is difficult, schedule a 10-minute interval three times a day. Include resistance and aerobic activity. Try water aerobics, walking, playing tennis or hiking with others. It will double your fun.
Pay attention to potential bumps in the road. Driving on the highway of life can be stressful and filled with a variety of emotions. Find ways to deal: Identify trigger foods and keep them out of your home. Plan meals ahead of time and schedule meals/snacks to avoid grazing. Prepare healthy snacks. When dining out, have the server package half of your meal before you eat. Have a healthy network of friends or a counselor to talk to instead of eating to ease emotional discomforts.
Schedule regular check-ups. It is critical to keep scheduled follow-up appointments with your dietitian, primary care physician, counselor and weight loss surgeon. These are important for vitamin deficiency assessment, wellness and continued long-term success. You take your car for regular oil changes and tire rotations to keep it running well — the same watchfulness needs to apply to your body for maintaining vibrant health.
Remember: you are in the driver’s seat. Anticipate that there will be detours and forks in the road on your way to Healthy Street. Pay attention to the telltale signs and you will surely make the right turns to reach your wellness destination.
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