Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Health

Let go of old ways and shed weight, stress in 2016

RECOMMENDED READING


"I lost weight during the holidays!" exclaimed Joanie.

Joanie should be excited. It's not easy to lose weight in general in our modern society, let alone during the holidays. However, Joanie shouldn't be too surprised that she lost weight during the most difficult time of the year to do so. Why? Because, as she put it, "I did all the things that I've learned I need to do for successful weight management, and I made sure to do them even if it was the holidays."

When I asked for details, Joanie enthusiastically shared the following:

• "To begin with, I decided to decorate for the holidays based only on what I wanted to do so that I could enjoy the process. I told myself that there would be no rules about how or how much I decorated. The objective was just to have fun. The signal for when to stop decorating was simply when it no longer felt like fun, instead of when everything I previously thought 'should' be done was done. Thereafter, I just enjoyed what I had joyously created."

• "Then I decided on a couple of holiday treats that I really wanted to make. I made sure that I had a plan about who I wanted to share them with and made only enough for those people. I saved a couple of small servings for me and gave the treats as gifts in pretty holiday containers. By doing this, I was able to enjoy making the treats, savored a normal amount and felt the joy of sharing. None of the treats I made were left lying around the kitchen to distract me from my health goals."

• "My husband and I chose the people that we really wanted to see during the holidays and found a way to visit with them and still be active. We invited a couple of family members to join us for a walk at a nearby nature preserve. Another day, we hosted some of my husband's co-workers by taking them to experience the downtown Tampa Riverwalk, then took a trolley ride to Ybor City for a stroll. On Christmas Day, we invited an old friend, who was alone on the holidays, to take a 5-mile hike along the Withlacoochee River on the Florida Trail. In each case, our companions were pleased, as were we, and we were all healthier for it."

• "I was very selective about the parties I went to instead of feeling obligated to accept each invitation. I made sure I wasn't hungry when I got to the parties and then took my time choosing the things I really wanted to eat. I didn't deprive myself, but I also chose not to eat anything mediocre. If I was going to eat something, it had to be worth it."

• "The biggest surprise to me was that I didn't weigh myself the entire time, and I still lost weight. My clothes went from comfortable to loose instead of comfortable to tight, which is what usually happens during a typical holiday season."

Joanie had saved the best for last. "I'm so proud of myself. I really feel like doing all the things I did during the holidays made a huge impact on my lifestyle. ... These are concepts I can use the rest of my life. I get it now. It's a great feeling getting to January without the mental burden that I have to buckle down to fix the proverbial weight gain and overeating that happen during the holidays. I have nothing to do now but carry on with being healthy."

Joanie really did get it this time. She let go of her old ways and embraced a new perspective. She put the focus where it needed to be, relaxed and enjoyed the ride.

Don't be too discouraged if you didn't do what Joanie did this holiday season. In reality, those days in December were no different than the days ahead. Get a new lease on life now and you'll be way ahead of the game come December 2016. Don't look back. Look ahead with a compassionate and wise mind, and it will show you the way. And when you feel yourself losing the gentle grip, take a deep breath and nudge yourself forward again in an encouraging manner. You won't lose anything other than what you actually needed to lose, like excess weight and stress.

Dr. Lavinia Rodriguez is a Tampa psychologist and expert in weight management. She is the author of "Mind Over Fat Matters: Conquering Psychological Barriers to Weight Management." Contact her at [email protected]

Comments
Big Tobacco’s anti-smoking ads begin after decade of delay

Big Tobacco’s anti-smoking ads begin after decade of delay

WASHINGTON — Decades after they were banned from the airwaves, Big Tobacco companies return to prime-time television this weekend — but not by choice. Under court order, the tobacco industry for the first time will be forced to advertise the deadly, ...
Published: 11/21/17

Owning dogs may be great for your heart and lower risk of death, study finds

Dog ownership correlates with lower rates of mortality and some fatal diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease, a study published this past week concluded.The study in the journal Scientific Reports found that canine ownership was associated wit...
Published: 11/19/17
New shingles vaccine touted as a breakthrough for older adults

New shingles vaccine touted as a breakthrough for older adults

Medical researchers and government health policymakers, a cautious lot, normally take pains to keep expectations modest when they’re discussing some new finding or treatment.They warn about studies’ limitations. They point out what isn’t known. They ...
Published: 11/17/17
BayCare’s HealthHub breaks ground behind Valrico shopping center

BayCare’s HealthHub breaks ground behind Valrico shopping center

VALRICO — Health care officials broke ground Thursday on the long anticipated HealthHub at Bloomingdale, which will bring about 150 jobs to an area that’s experiencing tremendous growth and provide patients with the latest in technological care.A pro...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/19/17
In Tampa Bay and elsewhere, early numbers show record sign-ups for Obamacare

In Tampa Bay and elsewhere, early numbers show record sign-ups for Obamacare

Despite the budget cuts, the attempts to repeal and replace, and reports of sharp rises in premiums, Floridians and other Americans are signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act at record rates this year.Enrollment has surged 47 p...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/17/17
Study: Mental quickness exercises can lower risk of dementia

Study: Mental quickness exercises can lower risk of dementia

Where did I leave my keys?As we age, it can take longer to answer a question like that.Humans begin to lose cognitive ability at age 25. Dementia, or the decline of memory most commonly seen in aging adults, takes hold early on and is gradual, but ac...
Published: 11/16/17
Making a list: holiday gift ideas for the water warrior, runner, fit foodie ...

Making a list: holiday gift ideas for the water warrior, runner, fit foodie ...

Given Santa’s legendary girth, one could justifiably question his ability to choose suitable gifts for the fitness-focused folks on his "nice" list. Dasher, Dancer and Prancer (all clearly more inclined to stay active) are always there to offer some ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Mayo Clinic Q&A: gangrene causes and prevention; irregular bleeding

Mayo Clinic Q&A: gangrene causes and prevention; irregular bleeding

PEOPLE WITH DIABETES, PERIPHERAL ARTERY DISEASE AT INCREASED RISK OF GANGRENEI have heard that a stubbed toe can lead to gangrene in some individuals. Is that true? What are the signs of gangrene, and how can it be avoided?Gangrene, which refers to t...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Blood pressure of 130 is the new ‘high,’ according to update of guidelines

Blood pressure of 130 is the new ‘high,’ according to update of guidelines

The nation’s heart experts tightened the guidelines for high blood pressure Monday, a change that will sharply increase the number of U.S. adults considered hypertensive in the hope that they, and their doctors, will address the deadly condition earl...
Published: 11/13/17
Are Honey Nut Cheerios healthy? A look inside the box

Are Honey Nut Cheerios healthy? A look inside the box

I had a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios recently. It had been awhile. Regular Cheerios are more my thing. But sometimes I finish my box faster than my kids do and find myself straying to their side of the cupboard.Honey Nut is America’s best-selling break...
Published: 11/11/17