Friday, August 22, 2014

My 12 Week at Work Wellness/Weight Loss Workshop Wrap-Up, Part 1: The Basics

Phew!  That title is a mouth full (pun intended lol).

Several of you have been asking me to share more about the workshop that was held through my employer over this summer.  Honestly, it has been hard for me to write about because there was a lot of work to do around it - and a lot of that work required some fairly deep introspection, which I'm not super fond of.  But I am going to give it a go and first tell you about the workshop, then write a post about me and what I learned, in particular.

The workshop was led by a woman who has worked in the health and fitness industry for years. She is a registered dietician - and she looks like it too: in a few words, tiny, tiny, tiny and FIT (you'd never guess she has given birth to 3 children, plus she's in her 40's with no sign of mid life weight gain!).  Over the years she has worked with many people to help them lose weight and began to notice that her very "successful" clients often regained weight they lost.  She realized losing weight isn't simply about calories in/out - that there was a lot more around being healthy than food and exercise.

Each week had a different talking/thinking point and we had homework around that.
  • Learn your hunger cues: Rate hunger from 1-10 with 1 being starving and 10 being stuffed. Eat when you're at a 4 or below
  • Bring your vision to life by positive affirmation - creating a vision board to support it and by using the present tense.  Not, "I will be" but "I am."
  • Learn your emotional rating: because so much eating is purely emotional and has nothing to do with hunger, if you find yourself reaching for food and you're not hungry, check your emotions - again rating them from 1-10 with 1 being super depressed to 10 being nearly euphoric.  Check in with this several times a day and do things to increase happiness if you're not at an 8 or 9 because weight loss is an emotional issue - improve your mood and you'll lose weight
  • Why is weight loss so difficult? You create your own reality by your own expectations... is any food really forbidden or is it your view of that food?  Food is not good or bad, it just is, but your view of it can color how you treat it.
  • Work the skills you're learning:  the real reason we do anything is because we believe it will make us happy (whether that is true or not).
  • Manage your stress
  • Emotional blocks: these are negative things from the past that will ultimately manifest as issues with your weight
  • Tapping for emotional freedom.  Side note:  this was a subject that was way too far out for me.  I'm not knocking anyone who does it, but it just wasn't for me! If you don't know what Tapping/EFT is, Google it.
  • Have an Attitude of Gratitude.  It's just what you think - when you find yourself being negative, think of something that you are grateful for.  It doesn't have to be big or fabulous, it can be something simple like "I survived my workout this morning."

You'll notice there are not 12 topics there because some of these went over a couple of weeks.  In any case, for our first week we were asked to create a vision.  We did this by thinking about our weight and body and writing two lists - a list of What I Don't Want, followed by a list of What I Want.

The what I don't want list we just wrote randomly:  I don't want to be fat, I don't want aches and pains, I don't want a pot belly, I don't want to be anxious...

Then we had to counter and write the list of what we wanted, which we shared (or not) with the group.

Some of the participant's visions were very simple: I want a flat belly, I want to walk up stairs without huffing and puffing, I want a smaller waist. And some more complicated: I want peace of mind, I want to stop thinking about food all the time...

As easy as this sounds, most of us think in negative terms all the time so to figure out what it is that you actually want versus what you don't want, is harder than it sounds.  It required (at least for me) some drilling down. So right there in that very first week, the hard work began for me - thank goodness she gave us some practical steps to help as we worked through it all.

By the time you read this, the workshop will be over and I'll have my results.  Next post, I'll share my vision and also some of what I've been thinking about these last weeks.  If you have any questions about the workshop topics stop lurking and ask away!