The 8 Essential Factors for Weight Loss

As a young woman, weight was never an issue for me. Yet, like most women, pregnancy and childbirth, family life, time constraints, stress and of course hormones began influencing my weight.  Petite, standing at 5’2”, my weight began roller coastering. Over a 40 year span my dress size would range from an 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8, with a weight gain fluctuation of 25 pounds……a significant amount if you are 5’2”.

     Now I know there are some women out there reading this and thinking I wish that dress range was my problem, yet you’re missing the point. Dress size takes into account a women's weight, height, bone structure and muscle development.  It is a useful way of determining your "healthy, feel-good weight". Dress size also gives you a clearer visual on your weight fluctuation. . . "Is the dress getting a bit too snug?; is it time to go up a size?

     I know it’s been true for me and I believe for most women: We are motivated to lose weight when our dress size or pants size increases. When our clothes are too tight, no longer can fit and we are in our “other set of clothes”. We mutter, complain, throw in the towel and vow to go on a diet.  Right?

     Finally, after having this up and down roller coaster ride with my weight and being forced to move in and between my different clothes closets, or buy a new set, my weight has stabilized!  Yep!  Since my early fifties I have been able to maintain my ideal dress size a 2 or 4…..and I am now 60.   Why still the shift between a size 2 and 4 you may ask?  Chalk it up to my seasonal behavioral habits…the  common pattern of overeating that comes so easily during times of celebration and the holidays.

     The point I want to make is that weight stabilization in our later years is attainable. Like most of you I bought into the myth that it would be doomsday when I hit 50.  Perimenopausal years translated into weight gain, and I would be powerless to do anything about it. Ugh!

     Yet let me brighten your day:  it is a myth, and not the truth.   Abandon the old way of thinking for the new:

 

Myth:  “As women age we gain weight and it is very difficult or nearly impossible to lose.”  

Truth:  “As women age successful weight loss can happen. It requires an integrated, lifestyle approach, not a single minded approach”.

    

A single minded approach embraces the concept that weight loss is ALL ABOUT THE FOOD, meaning what you eat, how much you eat and when you eat is all that matters. Indeed, food IS the primary factor in losing weight, yet there are 7 other factors in the weight loss equation.

Think about it this way:  Weight loss is an “inner team effort”. Food is the quarterback and there are 7 other members on the team.  You may be an excellent quarterback, but if you don’t have a wide receiver to catch the ball and run to the goal, how will the quarterback be successful?

The hidden truth to weight loss and maintenance is to adapt a more integrative approach.  That means a team approach where your “inner team” or all significant parts of you are engaged.

Who are the team members? Below are your Team Members, the 8 Essential Players for losing weight. The purpose of this article is to introduce this concept and future articles will focus on the nitty gritty of each factor.  The task right now is to change your thinking from a Single minded approach to an Integrative Approach for weight loss and weight maintenance.

Team Members

  1. Food & Nutritional Plan                                 

  2. Movement & Exercise                                    

  3. Stress                                                              

  4. Rest & Sleep                                                    

  5. Thinking, Self-Talk & Mindset

  6. Hormonal Balance

  7. Breathing

  8. Support & Positive Relationship

If you feel like you just can’t wait and are yearning to start an integrated approach begin by:

  1. Getting a journal or notebook

  2. Write down the 8 components on the first page

  3. On each page thereafter, put an aspect on top.

  4. For each topic write down your current behavior or habit. With team member hormones, write down what you do know and what you don’t know about your hormones.  With team member breathe, write down what you notice about your breath…..and more on that later!

  5. Write as much or as little as you want.

  6. When all the pages are complete, read them from start to finish.

  7. Gather your thoughts and on the next page, write your feelings, perceptions and insights, or what you noticed, about your current behavior.

Dispel the old myths you have been carrying. Replace them with the truth. Stay Open. Be Curious.  And know you are now following a new game plan, one that will help you make that touchdown!

Sharon Knipmeyer