In today’s post, I’m covering three weight loss categories: which one are you in? It’s really almost like three stages or three types of clients that I typically work with, and I want to help you uncover which stage you identify with most. I also want to explain some of the common things that hold us back in our weight loss journey. Let’s dive in!
Three Weightloss Categories – Which One Are You In?
Weight Loss Category #1
The first of three weight loss categories that I see often is people who have lost weight, but either can’t figure out how to keep it off or maybe they’ve plateaued and can’t figure out how to lose more weight. I see clients who lose weight and feel good about it, but then every dang time they wind up gaining it all back. Or someone who is down 25 pounds, but their goal is to lose 40, and they can’t figure out how to get past 25. They get stuck and start to get tired of what they’re doing.
For both people, there are concerns and desires for long-term success. They don’t just want to lose weight, they realize the importance of sustainability. In other words, they want to truly change and make it sustainable.
Weight Loss Category #2
The second weight loss category I see is people where weight is a nuisance to them, but it’s not causing any major issues in life or health. There are a few subcategories here. People who want to lose 20+, maybe even 30 pounds and they’ve struggled and battled with weight almost all their life. Then there are people who maybe haven’t struggled with weight their whole life but recently gained it within the past year or two. Maybe the weight crept up on them in their adult and post-college years. There are a lot of people I know and work with who maybe gained a little bit of weight during their college years and lost it, and it wasn’t a big deal. But then they got into real life and got busy with work, family, and kids. But over the years, four or five pounds crept on here or there, then another two or three. And then before they know it, they are in this category. Their weight isn’t massive, it isn’t causing major issues in their life. And even their doctors say sure you could lose some weight, but it’s not causing any big problems.
Weight Loss Category #3
The third weight loss category is a little bit different. This is where weight is more than a nuisance. The extra weight that people are carrying is causing issues in life and health. Typically this is where people want to lose 50 pounds or more. It’s not uncommon for it to be 70 to 100 pounds. Some people, especially medical professionals, would call this category obese or say that these people have obesity issues or obesity problems. In this category, it’s not that losing weight would just be nice, it’s more than that. Losing weight would massively change this person’s life in so many ways. Their quality of life is substantially reduced because of the extra weight they carry. They experience foot pain, knee problems, back pain, etc. and it causes fatigue. And let me be clear, I am not saying any of these things to shame people. No one is better or worse than anyone else. Whatever category you fit in, this is just where you are in your life and it’s okay.
Overthinking Your Weight Loss
Regardless of which weight loss category you find yourself in, there are some commonalities. Number one, your weight, body image, and food are taking up way too much space in your brain. Those who fall into one of these three categories are thinking about their weight and body and what they should or shouldn’t be eating way too much! And here’s the crazy part, it’s not helping! It’s just like running on a treadmill. You’re wearing yourself out, but you’re not getting anywhere. There’s constant mental turmoil and stress surrounding food choices in their body. And on the surface, you think all of this energy and attention is aimed in the right direction and that it would help things out. But no. Typically it just leaves people mentally exhausted and wanting to escape it all.
This cycle of thinking way too much, feeling overwhelmed by it all, and then escaping it often leads to the next commonality: believing you can’t do it. Maybe you’ve tried and failed so many times that it just feels like there’s way too much evidence against you. You just feel like looking at your life and your track record of failed diets the only logical conclusion is you can’t do it. This is another very heartbreaking but very common thing that deep down, people believe they can’t succeed.
A Better Relationship with Yourself
The third commonality I see is that people want to lose weight, but really they want a better relationship with themselves. They want to actually like themselves, and they believe that losing weight and not hating the way they look will get them there. I, on the other hand, believe that weight loss is a side effect of repairing and improving your relationship with yourself. It is very difficult to lose weight, have a good experience, and keep it off if it comes from a place of negative disgust and hate. We start to speak negatively about ourselves because we hate the way we look. Things you would never say to someone that you love, right? So the logical conclusion is that you don’t love yourself. Then we create this unspoken promise that we will like ourselves again once we lose weight or get rid of our belly fat, etc. And I believe it couldn’t be more backward. It’s planting seeds of hate and disgust and hoping to reap love and happiness with your body. Watermelon seeds produce watermelon, tomato seeds produce tomatoes, and hate and disgust produce hate and disgust.
You Might Think You Know What To Do
The fourth commonality I see is people who think they know what to do, but if we dig below the surface, they’re confused. There’s a thin veil of knowledge. They think they need to stick to their diet and work out more. But they don’t understand food or cravings or how to be successful with consistency. They rely on short-term fixes, short-term motivation, six-week challenges, and extreme diets that aren’t sustainable but promise quick weight loss. And then they struggle to be successful, and either blame themselves or they blame the program. See blame is quicker and easier than putting on our detective hat to figure out what’s going on, to learn from it, and then to come back better equipped.
Which Category Do You Fall Into?
As we think back to these three weight loss categories, my question to you is, what category do you fall into? Have you lost weight but either you can’t figure out how to keep it off or maybe you’ve just plateaued and can’t figure out how to reach your ultimate goal? Or do you want to lose maybe 20 to 30 pounds? If you’re really honest, is your weight loss just a nuisance and doesn’t cause any major issues in life? Or do you fit into that other category where you not only want to lose 50 pounds, but you desperately need to because it would impact your life in such a major way? Regardless of which of these categories you fit into, did you gain this weight recently or was it something that trickled in through your childhood into your adult years? And then ask yourself if any of these commonalities hit home for you. If you connect with one or many of these things, you’re ready for something different.