Balance and Weight Loss

balanceThat moment you decide you need to lose weight, everything changes.

It could have been a lifelong awareness that has come to the forefront, or a more recent awareness.   Any time that decision is made, finding freedom from the excess weight becomes the focus.

This post is about maintaining both physical and life balance on the weight loss journey.

Physical Balance – As body weight decreases, the center of gravity changes.  Which means how you are used to holding your body in balance is different.  When weight loss is rapid, it takes time for the nervous system to catch up. balance

Strength training and balance exercises while losing weight help to keep the nervous system and muscles in tune with these changes.  Simply standing on one foot with a chair close-by is a simple way to continually challenge the body to learn to stay in balance.  Keeping the core muscles active is also an important  tool.  Many factors impact the ability to balance.  However, just like the rest of the body – use it or lose it.  So keep up with the strength training and balance exercise practice while losing weight and the body will adapt to your new weight  with more ease, safety, and comfort.

Life Balance – There are many times in life when something can take over and stuff gets put on hold for a while.  A financial crisis, health issue, family emergency – all are times when we are hyper focused in one area.  When the dust settles, we can find that other areas have slipped.  This is often a time when weight can pile on  – some stressful period in life and there was just not enough energy and attention left for takeing care of themselves and watching their weight.  It happens easily when life stressors take over.

Changing lifestyle to lose weight permanently requires a lot of energy, especially in the beginning.  The more we can involvebalance wellness all of the aspects of our well-being in this process the better chance of sustaining weight loss long-term.  This way when stressors come, we can maintain some sense of balance by adjusting lifestyle changes but not letting them go completely.   Below are the common components of well-being and how we might enhance or sustain them while making changes:

  • Social:  Including family and friends in physical activity time. Joining a support group, exercise class, online support group.
  • Financial: Making sure that the changes in eating and exercise are financially sustainable.
  • Intellectual: Being more active at work so that it improves productivity (like a 10 minute walk at lunchtime) as well as for weight loss. Learning as much as possible from research based sources to stay away from making changes based upon myths.
  • Emotional:  Finding exercise that improves mental and emotional state as well as physical. Connecting with a counselor to discuss the challenges of making these changes.  Keeping a journal to stay in touch with any stressors that may derail efforts.
  • Environmental: making changes to home, transportation and work environments that support more activity and healthy eating. Wearing comfortable shoes so you are more likely to walk extra.  Walking as much as possible instead of driving.  Keeping exercise equipment and healthy food in sight  for easier healthy choices.  Hanging motivational quotes and images  to keep focused on goals.
  • Spiritual: Connecting this goal with what you value, with what is truly important to you.  If you have a spiritual practice, incorporating that practice into these changes, like praying while exercising.
  • Physical: Making sure that the type of exercise you choose leaves your body feeling good.  Letting go of the “no pain, no gain” or “all or nothing” approach to exercise.  Finding the right balance with what your body can do right now and doing it regularly.

Balance is a fluid process.  The key is awareness.  Avoiding putting one part of life in the blind spot while trying to lose weight can improve chances of staying in balance when challenges happen.

Please add your comments on how you practice balance on your weight loss journey.

Keep Moving, Be Well,

Janet

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by | May 20, 2015 · 6:01 pm

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