Friday, 11 March 2011

weight loss in happy-land

Lately I’ve been exploring the concept of ‘happy weight loss’. When I saw the scales tip considerably in the wrong direction and I thought about weight loss again my thoughts went something like this: “Oh crap, I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to find the time. I hate being hungry. I don’t want to be uncomfortable.”

There’s no denying that if my attitude stayed with the “Oh no, not again” concept, that my chances of succeeding long term would be pretty dim. In contrast, I look back at the time of my big 30kg loss and it was one of the most rewarding, exciting and happiest adventures of my life so far! Amazing, isn’t it to think that such a journey could be at all enjoyable!

I have a friend who is a successful long term ‘loser’ (weight loser, I mean) and is also a full bottle on all the mechanics of weight loss. A snippet of conversation recently went like this:

Me: Do you think there's any sort of connection to lack of weight loss and emotional state?

P: Oh gosh yes - definite link.

Me: tell me about that - if you've stuck to your plan food and diet wise, how come your weight has increased?

P: well, increase in adrenalin/cortisol from stress = bloating, constipation and inflammation of joints. My body gets busy fighting these things so the liver and kidneys are not able to function as well in clearing toxins. Poor sleep also sends body chemicals out of balance. Like my body is distracted - like someone driving while talking on a mobile phone

So what’s the answer here? How can I magically hit a switch that flips me into Happyland where smiles equal weight loss?

I’ve been exploring this idea of creating an environment of positivity in which you use your strengths to deal with self-defeating behaviours which would otherwise block you from living in alignment with your values. This brings a sense of positivity and what I’m calling ‘happy’ weight loss. This is a big subject and one that I’m fascinated with, one that I will pursue because I love to learn how I tick – both mechanically and electronically, so to speak, to get optimum performance.

It’s about wellbeing. You can’t just isolate an element of your life and think, I’m going to fix that, because it’s interconnected to everything else. Physical health overlaps with mental, social, spiritual, and emotional health. You mess with one and it affects the others. I really believe that successful, long-term weight-loss must address this wholistic wellbeing approach.

What’s your thoughts on this concept of happy weight loss? Agree? Not? Click ‘comments’ and let rip!


  1. Oh Cynthia, I totally agree. But when you have discovered how to be less "stressfull", especially when you have 3 assignments due at the same time, let me know

  2. I think 3 assignments all at the same time has potential to be highly stressful! yet it's how we choose to react. My tried and tested approach of panic leading to not thinking very clearly never paid off in the marks department ;-)
    Over time what I've found works for me puzzles my family tremendously. I read or review what I need to do and then either go for a short walk, or spend some time weeding the garden. this gives my mind time to think without badgering it, if you get what I mean.
    As we grow older and hopefully wiser, the approach that works for you and me will probably be different yet just as effective.
    Cyn - your post made me also think of a very weight loss related issue - when we're positive, it is so much easier to comply with the plans and guides we've made for ourselves. but struggling too hard to be happy, often has the flipside result of making us less happy.
    Going around in circles here!

  3. Hi Leanne, I certainly appreciate the dynamic of coping with stress while maintaining focus on health. It surprised me to find that hard exercise only increased my capacity to cope with stress, although it doesn't eliminate stress unfortunately. I read something about this too, about how exercise increases the speed that oxygen gets into our bloodstream which somehow decreases the physical impacts of stress. Something like that. Anyway, it works for me. Hope this helps.

  4. Hi K. Thanks for your comment. I am fully on board with your description of creating an atmosphere of positivity where it's easier to achieve goals and stick to a plan and is the flipside to self-defeating behaviours which in turn lead to a negative attitude. We can choose to deliberately respond to triggers in a way which ultimately create more positivity. For me, there's nothing like a little bit of success (i.e. weight loss) to boost my positivity, I can tell you! Only makes me eager to do more of whatever it took to get more good results. And I find my willingness to endure discomfort increases in order to get closer to my goal - so an ever-increasing spiral. Thanks for your comment and enjoy weeding your garden.