Well we are in the middle of the Weight Loss Challenge, and my Wednesday night group is rocking! They lost a combined total of 25 pounds in the 2 weeks since their initial weigh in, which is outstanding. We have been learning (and doing!) basic movement patterns such as hinging, lunging, squatting, and even some single leg exercises. We also learned and did some core activation exercises. Overall, this time has been a highlight of my week. I enjoy working out with them, answering questions, and brainstorming solutions to stresses and challenges in losing weight.
One thing that successful weight loss often brings is a feeling of elation and joy, which is totally natural and awesome. When we feel like we are accomplishing something hard, we often want to reward ourselves for a job well done. Very often, with ourselves, our kids, and almost everyone we meet, we treat food as a reward. And sometimes, we use food as a reward for ourselves when we have done well at losing weight. “Oh, I lost a couple of pounds, a chocolate Valentine’s heart won’t hurt!” And one heart doesn’t hurt- you’re absolutely right. But we do two things to ourselves when we do that little reward. One, we create yet another challenge to our willpower with a test of food. Many of us have trouble eating just one- I include myself in this group. Two, we tie our food to an emotion, and many times those of us trying to lose weight have serious emotional attachments to food. Food is often used as a tool for comfort in a stressful situation, or as a “treat” for a special occasion. And it doesn’t have to be chocolate- it can be a venti Starbucks, or a couple of beers.
The takeaway is two part: If you want to eat the chocolate, eat the chocolate. Just for the sake of chocolate, without emotion. And also, make sure that you are ready to challenge your willpower if you want to have just one piece. If you’re not emotionally ready, save it for another time, when you are ready to have one, and the chocolate is just a chocolate.