By Jean Copeland RD
It’s that time of year again: The weight-loss industry is in full swing, promising us that diet plans, gym memberships, exercise equipment, and diet drinks are going to make us look amazing.
To achieve healthy weight loss, consider the evidence-based tools offered free to all Vermonters through the state’s Blueprint for Health grant, the goal of which is to stop chronic illness before it starts. If you need to lose weight to improve your health now and for the future, you can call Gifford’s certified health coach, Carolyn Higgins, at 728-7717, or sign up for Gifford’s year-long Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Program, based on the National Diabetes Prevention Program.
The Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Program is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-recognized lifestyle-change program that has been proven to cut the risk of Type 2 diabetes in half if you’re younger than 60 years; those older than 60 can cut their risk by a whopping 71 percent! The program helps people lose from 5 to 7 percent of their body weight through healthier eating and 150 minutes of physical activity each week. For a person who weighs 200 pounds, losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight means losing just 10 to 14 pounds. It doesn’t take drastic weight loss to make a big impact!
Or, if you want to make changes but don’t like being in a group, consider one-on-one health coaching with Carolyn. She uses motivational interviewing to help people achieve their goals. Motivational interviewing is an evidence-based, client-centered style of talk to promote lifestyle change by helping participants break down goals into small, achievable steps, and explore and resolve barriers to change.
For example, let’s say you want to lose weight but you have never been successful at keeping it off in the past. Carolyn will help you identify what motivates you and what steps you can take right now to start moving in a healthy direction. You will also make plans for what to do when barriers arise. (Barriers may include a colleague’s birthday cake at work, that full candy dish down the hall, the frustration felt at the end of the day, or eating somewhere that offers less-healthy foods.) Motivational interviewing is simply talking out goals and challenges and making a plan, and it’s been proven to work in studies done by the National Institutes of Health.
But if you believe you need to lose weight for a reason besides your health, stop! Ask yourself if it’s worth letting others decide for you what is an acceptable weight, or an acceptable way to look. As Christy Harrison of Food Psych Podcast puts it, “It isn’t your job to ‘fit’ the world, but for spaces, services, and opportunities to be designed to accommodate the vast diversity of bodies that has always existed and will always exist, as long as there are human beings on this planet.”
As we start 2019, let’s all be more mindful of our health, a precious resource. Make more decisions today to nourish yours!
For more information, visit giffordhealthcare.org/service/community-health-team; or call Megan Sault at 802-728-7714 for “Healthier Living” workshops, Carolyn Higgins at 802-728-7717 for Certified Health Coaching, or Jean Copeland at 802-728-7711 for Medical Nutrition Therapy.