Calories In Vs Calories Out: An incomplete equation

Monday, March 21, 2011 • Boise, ID 83703

Weight loss is a complex issue and not fully addressed by calories in vs. calories out.  How we view ourselves, our level of happiness in life and our self awareness all plays a part. When looking at weight loss, a person needs to look at the weight as a symptom of imbalance rather than the end game.  The weight will always come back, if the underlying issue is not addressed.  These issues will vary from person to person, but it is important to be consciously aware of where you are out of balance.  Is it not dealing with stress, or maybe it is not getting adequate rest.  Are your food habits way out of whack?  Once you know those answers you need to ask yourself why?  And what can you do to change them?  Sometimes simply knowing or becoming aware of these conditioned patterns and programs that we run from is enough to make some big changes.

 How do we accept ourselves when we are not perfect?  There are things about all of us that we would like to change, but we need to strive to find joy, even when we haven't met those expectations.  How many times have you said to yourself, when I am thin I will be happy?  When my life calms down, I can take some time out for myself or when I make more money then I will be joyful?  We need to flip those declarations around to really create meaningful change in our lives.  When you are happy first, then all other thing will fall into place.  When looking at weight loss, positive choices will be easier to make once you find your happiness.  You will shed old habits like a snake sheds its skin.  Being happy, like all things in life maybe be an impermanent state, but it is a goal worthy of your continued attention.  If you do not make it a top priority in this moment, you will not make the adjustments necessary for enduring lifestyle change. 

There are various ways to create happiness in your life, here are only a few.  The first and most important is to live a purposeful life.  Ask yourself, does my life have meaning?  Do you move through life with goal directed behavior?  Secondly, we need to be more aware of the negative, incessant self talk that we say to ourselves every day.  Cognitive Behavioral Therapists, think that negative thinking is not only related to depression, but can be the cause of it.  What messages are you sending to yourself on a daily basis?  The messages all have an emotional component, as well as a chemical communicator that has an effect on the body's physiology.  Thirdly, we need to have a social support network. People who feel isolated have more feelings of depression and have less resilience to stress. 

With 2/3 of our population now overweight, it is obvious to me that just addressing diet and exercise in not working.  They play a huge role, but there are many factors at work here and they all need consideration. I am going to be running a class in Mind/Body Weight Loss in the next couple weeks.  We will be discussing weight loss as a multifactorial issue, please see the classes page to register or go to for more info.