What you have to say is as important as what I have to offer. While I am knowledgeable in the field of weight management, my clients are the experts of their internal worlds. Rarely spoken about in weight loss programs are the individual’s feelings of loss frustration and despair that can accompany weight issues.
Sometimes this presents as a palpable physical sense of loss that is accompanied by waves of shame and apologies for inhabiting a body that either you do not want to be in, or that society says that you should not be in. Clients have described this to me in terms of missing the body they once had from previous weight loss experiences, or longing for a body they have never had, but dream of having.
There are also the challenges of staying motivated when life gets in the way, during times of fatigue, illness, caring for young children or the elderly, financial strain, long working hours, medications, ambivalence, side effects of medications, and depression. These challenges are not excuses.They are a part of your life and need to be recognized as a part of your weight management program.
In the obesity and weight management industry, the message is mostly ‘If you want to lose weight, then just lose the weight’. Sounds so easy and simple! The solution is offered in neat packages such as diets and sometimes quite major lifestyle changes. These solutions are designed to be short lived. They set people up for failure due to the complexities of our physiological and evolutionary response to starvation and restriction. Indeed, there is a multitude of causes and circumstances that can lead to weight gain and difficulties with weight loss.
Simple formulas such as “Eat less, move more” don’t work for many of us. Yet, we are still lead to believe weight gain is solely due to the person’s own failure and their inability to stay on track. You’re told you have no will power. That you failed the diet, but not that the diet has failed you.
So why might counselling and psychological support help?
When you are trying to manage your weight you are especially vulnerable: vulnerable to purchasing dreams wrapped up in promise. Many weight loss programs equate weight loss with success, control, good health and desirability. When dieting, you become hungry, which makes you even more vulnerable, and you find yourself trapped in a cycle of desiring an outcome that seems to be fraught with complications. You might not feel successful, in control, desirable or even healthy!
You will probably have found yourself in this position time and time again where you have short term weight loss followed by rapid weight regain. By the time you find your way into my rooms you are possibly feeling low in self-esteem, frustrated and very despondent.
I create a place for people to be able to safely express their feelings and frustrations. With counselling and coaching you can firstly start to build self-acceptance. Science can hold hands with empathy and compassion for people who are struggling with managing their weight. This is the corner stone of my work.
I go on to assist people by using the most recent knowledge and science of weight management while acknowledging that each client has a unique story and sense of self.
People are so much more than just their weight. They have personalities, experiences, feelings, relationships, and inner lives. I take into consideration your whole world, not just your weight. I offer support when you are struggling with motivation, disappointments, frustrations and disillusionment, as well as being there to witness the joys and happiness in your life. There will also be good things going on while you are managing your weight. Let’s not forget that. (C) 2017