I was watching television last night when it started — the parade of weight loss commercials encouraging women to join and lose those 10 pounds. The sheer number of advertisements being pushed on social media is just as disgusting. I can only imagine the affect this has on younger women who are already struggling with their body image.
To be clear, I am not opposed to seeking out aide in weight loss. Some weight loss programs can be incredibly helpful and can offer support to those struggling with their journey. But, these decisions are incredibly personal, and women (and men for that matter) should know there is no such thing as a quick fix. Any program promising you a 10lb loss in one or two weeks is bullshit — which means that most of them are bullshit.
This is the biggest problem with New Years. Most people treat January 1 as a reset, a time to set goals and work towards becoming your “ideal self”. It’s like all of a sudden, people reflect on the worst parts of themselves and try to come up with a plan to change them.
What some fail to realize is that things like the happiness that comes from something like changing your appearance can also come from confidence and acceptance. Instead of focusing on a number on a scale, try to learn something new. Set a goal to run a 5k, learn to skate, or go on a hike every month. Maybe it is something artistic like painting or taking up creative writing? By becoming active in something new, you gain confidence and focus that you can channel to other areas of your life.
It’s also about knowing that you can’t change overnight. If change is really what you want, you have to take it in steps. You need to be content with the journey or else you will become disappointed when you don’t achieve your goals quickly enough. Be kind to yourself. Be confident in your abilities. And know that you are perfect the way you are.
But, if weight loss is your goal for 2018 — and there is nothing I can say to change your mind — here are a few things you need to know:
- A program can help, but it is not a magic solution. Do your research and make sure your program does not deprive you of a whole food group and that it works for your lifestyle. Remember that whatever you choose, you must also be able to afford it financially. Many of these programs are not cheap in the long run, despite the New Year discounts available.
- A safe and steady weight loss is 1-2 lbs a week. Sometimes, it is less, and that is okay! Remember, it is better to lose slowly than to lose quickly — as most people who do lose weight quickly gain it all back within a year.
- Anything with a pill is most likely not good for you. The same goes for any company that insists juices and cleanses that promise you a drop on the scale.
- The best way to lose weight is to eat healthier and move your body. Be active. Enjoy life to the fullest.
I am, of course, not an expert. The advice above is from personal experience. Please consult your doctor for more information.
Best of luck in the New Year!