Get Rid Of Your “Fattitude” and Develop a “Fittitude”

shutterstock_420555958Written by: Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Kim Feinstein, Tucson Medical Weight Loss Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist

Have you ever wondered how some people balance their eating and exercise habits while maintaining a stable and healthy weight? We might think of these people as “genetically lucky” or believe they have a fast metabolism. In very few cases, you may be correct, however, what about those people who were once unhealthy, overweight and inactive who eventually changed their behaviors and now manage their weight and live an active healthy lifestyle? 

Research tells us that these individuals actually developed and embraced new attitudes, values, and ways of thinking which thus guide their healthier behaviors.  If you learn how your attitudes and values regarding weight loss/management influence your behavior, you can actually change your attitudes and values so you change the way you behave. This will help motivate you to eat right and exercise more!

Research demonstrates that our attitudes and values regarding weight loss and weight management are the foundation of your success in managing your weight. Let us take a look:

The Pyramid to Weight Loss/Management Success

Research indicates that the components involved in achieving weight loss/maintenance success are like building blocks of a pyramid. Each component is vital and necessary in creating lasting weight loss and a healthier lifestyle.

Most people think that if they can get their eating and exercise habits in line that they will lose weight and keep it off. What they fail to realize is that their attitudes and values play a vital role in determining their actions. In fact, their attitudes and values are the foundation upon which all other building blocks depend — they form all of your exercise and nutritional behaviors! 

What are your Attitudes and Values Regarding Weight Loss/Maintenance?

Do you have a “Fattitude” or “Fittitude”? 

What is a Fattitude?
A “fattitude” is a negative attitude and pessimistic outlook that discourages you from taking the necessary actions to lose weight and increase exercise. It is otherwise known as a thought habit; an old way of thinking that leads to self-defeating behavior regarding weight loss and management. 

If you have a “fattitude,” you likely experience an internal war of competing goals and motivations, which leads to emotional exhaustion, yo-yo dieting, emotional eating, guilt, shame, and weight management failure.

How do you know if your attitudes are currently a roadblock to you achieving your weight loss goals? Here are some signs that indicate you have a Fattitude:

• You feel like weight loss/weight maintenance is “too hard’
• You believe that exercise is often a punishment 
• You feel that eating healthy will stop you from having fun.
• You place greater value on work, family, and/or relaxing than on your health.
• You often feel victimized by your slow metabolism
• You frequently make excuses for why you can’t lose weight or exercise

 ex: 

• “Why bother, I’m only going to gain it back”
• “I’m not losing weight fast enough”
• “It’s too hot/cold to exercise outside”
• “I don’t have time to plan and prepare my foods”
• “I travel frequently”
• “I am in chronic pain”
• “I’m just too lazy”
• “I’ll look foolish at the gym”

What is a Fittitude? 
A fittitude,” or a winning attitude in terms of weight management, is the first thing you’ll need to successfully achieve your weight loss goals. In order to be successful in this process, it is crucial that you identify amd recognize your attitudes and values regarding weight loss and maintenance.

Do You Have a “Fittitude”?
Are you committed to taking action? 
Do you believe you are capable of making lasting changes? 
Are you willing to make nutritional and/or exercise behavior changes?
Do you believe the benefits of changing outweigh the costs? 
Do you accept ownership of your behaviors or do you blame others? 
Do you focus on the consequences to your choices?
Are you willing to accept temporary discomfort? 
Are you making yourself a priority?
 

It’s Time To Lose your “Fattitude” and Develop a “Fittitude”: The 3 C’s 

Developing a positive attitude towards weight loss is the first thing you’ll need to successfully achieve your weight loss goals. Use the Catch it, Check it, Change it method to take charge of your ‘Tude and develop a winning weight loss attitude once and for all!

Use the 3 Cs Method: Catch it, Check it, Change it

1.    Catch It
The first step in changing your “’tude” is to notice or “catch” your “fattitude” in action. The best way to do this is to use your emotions as cues. Take note when you feel unmotivated and pessimistic about your weight loss journey.

• What am I thinking? 
• Could those thoughts be making me engage in self-sabotage? 

2.    Check It
After you catch your thoughts, it is time to examine them more closely. Consider whether your thought is helpful or harmful.

Ask yourself:

• What am I telling myself that is making me feel this way?
• Is this extreme thinking?
• Is this distorted thinking? 
• What is the evidence to confirm that my judgment is accurate?
• Is this thinking helpful or harmful?

3.     Change It 
If you have identified a harmful thought, it is time to work towards developing a stronger “fittitude”. 

Ask yourself: 

• What inspiring and motivating thought could replace my harmful thought?
• What will encourage me?

Remember, it’s time to get thinspired! If you stop and purposefully initiate alternate thoughts and positive self-talk phrases, you can have a significant impact on your weight loss behaviors. It’s time to fight back! You can do it and we are here to help. 

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.

Celebrating a Healthy Easter

I don’t know about you, but when I think about Easter – alongside fateful memories of happily decorating eggs – I picture ravenous children with chocolate-stained fingers, baskets filled to the brim with tempting sweets, and can even imagine the feeling after over-indulging in less than diet-friendly foods. Easter, although a joyful time, commonly ends in end-of-day regret.

Holidays are supposed to be for enjoying time with family and friends, not overindulging in brightly colored, sugar-coated, bird-shaped marshmallows. While the scavenging is fun, there are other things to appreciate besides foil-covered chocolates and limited edition pastel-colored m&ms. This Easter, shift your focus from food to family and appreciate Easter in a new light by introducing new traditions that will not only help you bond, but create new memories and instill healthier values in your loved ones’ minds.

1. Limit the candy inside the eggs
It’s not necessarily the candy inside the eggs that’s the exciting part, it’s the fact that there are eggs in general. Especially for smaller children who are completely perplexed as to how the eggs could’ve gotten there, Easter egg hunters are happy to get anything, so use this to your advantage! Fill your eggs with things other than chocolate: stickers, lip balm, small coins, or whatever will fit! Places like the dollar store, Walgreens, and CVS have an abundance of low-cost options sure to bring smiles to scavengers’ faces.

2. Turn the egg search into an intensive scavenger hunt
Where’s the fun in finding eggs in plain sight? Have a little fun and hide your eggs in unique places – floating atop pool inflatables, resting on your fence, underneath heavier toys, or whatever you deem fit! This way, some of those chocolates will be burned off before anyone can even get to them.

3. Set a cost for every clue
Always end up with some eggs that just can’t be found and have to be pointed out? Forget the freebies, make egg hunters work for their goodies! Before you hand out clues, make the searcher perform an athletic task – run across the yard one time, do 5 jumping jacks, hula-hoop for 20 seconds, throw a ball into a basket from afar, whatever! Don’t go crazy and turn egg hunting into an Olympic sport, but make sure everyone’s up and moving!

4. Prevent a chocolate-induced coma
Along with limiting the physical amount of candy, limit things slightly further and set an amount of candy allowed to be consumed by your scavengers. This way, you’re proactively disallowing a 3-course meal of sugar from happening.

5. Set out more “real” eggs than plastic ones
Eggs are great sources of protein, and egg whites are even approved on RM3, so the more the merrier! Decorate an extra few ‘real’ eggs to be set out by the Easter bunny and you probably won’t hear any complaints, especially come decoration time when everyone’s fighting over the amount of eggs they got to decorate. Added bonus: you have healthy breakfasts already prepared for the whole family for the next few days… score!

*Try our Salsa Egg White Bites recipe, available on the Tucson Medical Weight Loss app

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.

Dr. Kim: The 6-Stages of Weight Loss and Weight Management

6-Stages of Weight Loss and Weight Management

Written by: Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Kim Feinstein, Tucson Medical Weight Loss Behavioral Weight Loss Specialist

As with countless areas in life, we experience change in stages or phases; the weight loss journey is no different.

There are six stages of weight loss that people often go through on their way to creating a permanent lifestyle change in regard to their physical body and relationship with food. Some people only experience some of the stages, while others experience all six. Regardless, knowledge is power and knowing the stages will help you recognize where you stand and what may be coming next.

Stage 1: The Honeymoon
This is the stage where you are gushing about your new diet program to anyone who will listen. Your expectations are sky high and so is your motivation. You feel excited, ready, and willing to make changes. You feel eager to do whatever it takes to lose weight. You can’t wait to achieve your goal and you are 100% committed to your efforts. You are compliant and adhere to your meal plan perfectly. It is also likely that you track everything you eat and drink, plan and prep your meals, and exercise regularly and with enthusiasm. This stage feels great and you would love it to last forever. Unfortunately, as most of you know, it doesn’t last forever.

*It is important to note that research demonstrates that people who spend the majority of time in this stage yield better weight loss and long term weight management.

Stage 2: Frustration and Reality setting in
During this stage, the thrill depletes and reality sets in. Frustration builds as weight loss begins to slow down. You may be saying things like “I only lost 1lb this week,” “It doesn’t seem like it’s working,” or “Why can’t I lose weight faster?” You realize that planning for weight loss success can be tedious and time consuming. This is the time to get the support you need and reconnect with your “why” (the reasons you decided to lose weight in the first place.) We at RMWL are here to help and provide you with the skills you need to successfully move through this phase.

Stage 3: Tentative Acceptance: “It’s finally sinking in.”
This is the period of time where the reality of losing weight finally sets in. You have a clearer set of expectations while understanding how the process works. You can actually see yourself reaching your weight loss goals, but realize it will take time and effort. During this stage, you may also be ready to be more consistent about exercising, following your meal plan, controlling your portion sizes, and everything else that goes along with building new healthy habits.

Stage 4: Ambivalence: “I feel like giving up”
This stage is where a second roadblock is likely to happen. You are probably months into your weight loss journey and you begin to think “this weight loss is taking forever.” During this period, you may grow tired of the routine, bored of your meal plan, frustrated with eating differently from your friends and family, and tired of limiting alcoholic beverages. This is a crucial time to set new goals, meet with your provider, and possibly obtain extra support through counseling with a behavioral weight loss specialist to help you move through this critical phase of your weight loss journey.

Stage 5: Fear of the Future/Fear of Success
This stage is characterized by a real fear of success. It doesn’t seem to make sense on the surface, but the underlying fear is real! For some people, successfully losing weight brings up anxiety about the future. You may be asking such questions as: “What will my life be like at a lower weight?” or “Will people look at me differently after losing weight?” or “Can I maintain my weight loss long-term?”

It may seem silly, but most people who have a significant amount of weight to lose have similar fears. Be encouraged to not let the fear of a healthier future prevent you from continuing on your journey to better health. Putting your fears aside is not easy, but it is vital to long-term success. Again, seek counseling with a behavioral weight loss specialist if you need extra support.

Stage 6: Lifestyle Change
Congratulations, you have made it! You are now a successful long-term weight manager. At this stage, you keep up your new habits even when you have had a bad day or week. You cope with stress and emotions in a healthy way. This is a great and perfectly attainable place to be, and the end-goal for every journey to better health.

It is important to remember that you may move in and out of these stages many times before a permanent lifestyle change is made. In fact, expect to alternate between periods of motivation and resolve, and times of frustration where you feel like quitting. However, do not quit! Be patient, as it takes time to develop healthier attitudes, eating habits, and exercise routines. We are here to help you create the healthy lifestyle you want and deserve.

So, what stage are you in?

*Individual results may vary. Seek medical advice before starting any service including a weight loss program or med spa treatment. Contact us to make sure this is the right solution for you.