A weight off your mind
As a nation, we’ve got a weight problem. Two thirds of Scottish adults are overweight, with around 30% of us being obese.
Almost a third of kids entering Primary 1 are judged to be at risk of being overweight or obese, and it’s a problem that’s associated with heightened risk of everything from strokes and cardiac issues to depression, diabetes and even some cancers.
Despite us being well aware of the health risks, losing weight isn’t always easy, but there are a wide variety of local resources you can draw on, whether it’s that stubborn ten pounds you’d feel happier without or an issue that’s putting your health and wellbeing at risk…
There are diets out there to suit every preference, some more effective than others. You could try intermittent fasting, or go keto, low-carb, paleo or vegan. There are slimming clubs and groups, or you could opt for the exercise route and head for the gym. Aesthetic or surgical procedures like fat freezing, body sculpting, liposuction or tummy tucks offer another approach.
It’s tempting to turn to wonder drugs like Wegovy, but prescriptions are only available to those with a BMI of over 30, or an associated co-morbidity. Supplies might also be rationed as the drug’s primary use is in managing diabetes. It is possible to get a private prescription from online doctors, but this is not without its own risks. Users lose around 15% of body weight over 68 weeks, so it’s not an overnight cure.
For many of us, our weight is a complex issue, so looking into the reasons of why we eat as we do – reaching for chocolate when we’re stressed or opening the fridge door when we’re bored, or simply making poor choices – can often help us understand our actions and form a basis for changing our behaviours.
Claire Spence of The Lavender Theory specialises in helping her clients eat more mindfully. She explained, ‘Diets promise quick fixes, but they don’t address the emotional aspects of eating or the uniqueness of your body’s needs. Instead, they reinforce restrictive tendencies, creating a perpetual loop of hope and disappointment. Mindful eating tunes into your body and understanding its hunger and fullness signals to foster a compassionate relationship with food, responding when your body truly needs nourishment, differentiating between genuine hunger and other triggers like boredom, stress, or habit.’
Transformational coach Judith Stephens (judithstevens.com) commented, ‘Working with a coach to create a vision for how you want to feel in your skin can be hugely beneficial when we are trapped in a cycle of self-loathing and criticism. Identifying how you want to feel and how important it is to you can help motivate you towards a more compassionate and caring attitude towards yourself. Real change takes time and effort. There will be wins and losses along the way – partnering with a Transformational Coach might give you the support and encouragement you need.’
Hypnotherapy is another avenue worth exploring. Vicki Rebecca (vickyrebecca.com) said, ‘Hypnotherapy speaks to the subconscious mind, which is where our habits – good and bad – are formed. Our relationship with food and how we think of ourselves is part of that. Hypnotherapy has been shown to be effective in helping many people get rid of unwanted habits and behaviours and to help instil healthier behaviours.’
Whatever option works for you, you’ll gain a whole new sense of vitality and wellbeing. What have you got to lose?