Number One New Year’s Resolution: Losing Weight

Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions this year? Some of you did. And if so, there’s a pretty good chance that losing weight is at the top of your list.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that more than one third of American adults are obese, and another one third are overweight. It’s an expensive medical problem, eating up 21% of all healthcare costs, or $190 billion annually.

If weight is YOUR challenge, the costs are much more personal. You pay in ways such as decreased energy, self-esteem, or perhaps a sense of discrimination. I see women in my office regularly who break down in tears over their struggle with weight.

But now it’s a new year, and you’ve resolved to do something about it. Yes, there are a number of lifestyle measures you can and may need to take to get healthier physically. But I want you to do something first. I want to stop thinking about your dress or pants size, the number on the scales, or yesterday’s calorie count.

I want you to think FIRST about what’s eating you!

Watch this week’s Saturday Memo for the inside foundation for much of obesity, and also what God has to say about this issue:

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7 Things I Would Say To You As My Patient

Woman Doctor with PatientYou’re tired, you don’t feel well, and you want some help. You come to see me in my office, hoping I will have an answer. Part of you hopes some test will be abnormal to explain why you feel the way you do, and that there is a pill to make everything OK again.

How I wish I could fulfill your hopes! I wish I could fix you. That would make your life, and mine, so much easier.

Occasionally there is a quick answer. But most of the time it’s a matter of you and me figuring things out together. And then it comes down to you taking responsibility for doing what you can for your own wellbeing.

Here are a few things I’d like to tell you:

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7 Benefits of Healthy Living Beyond Being Healthy

Businesswoman Crossing ArmsSure, eating right and getting enough exercise will lessen your risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. And doing so is likely to help you live longer. But is that all?

For many people, lessening the risk of disease or living longer is a rather boring, un-spectacular motivation for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Because of habit, convenience, or laziness our lifestyle naturally deteriorates in an unhealthy direction. You can blame some of that on stress, media, environment, and more.

Understanding more of the “other” benefits of healthy living can help us find more of the motivation necessary to actually make those healthy lifestyle choices. Here are some of those benefits.

A healthy lifestyle will help you:

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What Your Lifestyle Can – and Can’t – Accomplish

Green Pea on a ForkGoing to extremes is only human, but it’s not healthy. Many people have a difficult time finding a healthy balance in lifestyle choices.

On one extreme are those who throw caution to the wind. They eat – overeat – anything that tastes good, overuse alcohol, smoke, and never exercise. “It’s my life, and I want to enjoy it!” is their motto. If and when they do develop obesity, diabetes, heart disease, or some other illness, they expect a magic pill to make it all go away.

On the other extreme are those who wouldn’t eat a piece of bacon or a candy bar if they were starving. It’s raw, gluten-free, and organic, or it doesn’t pass their lips. They spend as much on supplements as they do on food, and work out ten hours a week or more. And if they get sick they desperately search for some alternative way to get better.

And then there are those who jump between those two extremes – with no better results.

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10 Tips for Losing Weight

10 Tips for Losing Weight

Losing weight is one of the top resolutions people make every year, and yet one that people find hard to follow through on. The emotional, physical, and relationship cost of being overweight is heavy! And it’s expensive: the US diet control and weight loss market is worth about $62 billion/year.

Here are some tips for losing weight that I give to my patients. I believe a lifestyle change is the safest, healthiest, and wisest way for most people to lose weight, but you may need some help along the way. Here are some tips to provide some of that help:

  1. You are more than your body weight! Your happiness, your relationships, your spiritual life – all are more important than your BMI (body mass index). Keep things in perspective.
  2. It’s not what you’re eating: it’s what’s eating you. My friend Kathrine Lee likes to talk about this. The emotional, mental, relationship, or spiritual baggage you carry may be what is really weighing you down. Deal with that, and food may become a much smaller problem.
  3. Keep it natural.
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