Weight Loss Tips from a Rock Hill Weight Watchers Leader
This article was originally featured in the January issue of Rock Hill Reader the Magazine entitled “Resolutions”.
Losing weight is hard. So, we asked Lynn Thompson, who has been involved with many weight loss programs over the years, including Weight Watchers since 1975, her thoughts on the subject. Lynn has successfully lost 196.4 pounds and is now a lifetime member of Weight Watchers as well as a meeting leader.
It’s a bumpy road to lose weight. Starting and stopping many weight loss programs, setbacks, and successes have taught Lynn more than a few things about how to tackle weight loss.
Change Your Mindset
If a person wants to quit smoking, they need to be mentally and physically prepared for the undertaking. The same goes for weight loss. One of the most important questions for Lynn has been why do you eat? Many times we eat emotionally; When we’re happy or sad or stressed or tired or a host of other emotions. The fact that so many people eat for emotional reasons, and keep eating for those same reasons is very telling about the everyday habits that we don’t always stop to consider. Lynn says to start losing weight we have to change our actions. And not eating when we aren’t hungry is one aspect.
The other aspect concerns occasions when we overindulge; like the holiday feasting that we drag ourselves away from a few pounds heavier. Many times we go into something knowing there will be food that isn’t good for us or food that we like to eat too much of. Mentally preparing to have small amounts of what we enjoy without overdoing it is a proactive approach and one that Lynn suggests we think through ahead of time. Eating too much of our favorite foods may need to be combated with extra hard work in the gym that week, so going in with that prepared mindset may help prevent gluttonous behavior.
Set Your Goals
“If you don’t set goals,” Lynn says, “you’re going to fail.” Resolutions to lose weight are more likely to succeed when the goal is very specific. Instead of vaguely saying ‘I want to lose weight’, you want to have a specific goal: How much weight do you want to lose and in what time frame. Then, what specifically are you going to do to reach your goal?
Or ‘I want to run a marathon’, you want to set the marathon date and come up with a workout plan to help you reach that goal.
Lynn told us that when she walked into her first Weight Watcher meeting, her leader gave her a goal to lose five pounds. Knowing that she had to lose almost 200 pounds was overwhelming but 5 pounds didn’t seem so bad and it was doable.
Additionally, writing down what you want to achieve will help you reach that specific goal:
“If you don’t write it down, it’s a dream,” Lynn says. “A goal you write down is one you won’t lose track of.”
Diet Vs. Lifestyle
Lynn says people often ask if she can eat a particular food on her diet. For Lynn, it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. And the answer is yes, she can eat what she wants, but she knows she will have to work extra hard to combat any poor eating choices she makes.
Most importantly though, a diet is about deprivation. A weight loss program like Weight Watchers helps a person change their eating and activity habits, in turn helping them live a healthy life.
Starting can be scary. So don’t think about all those things you can’t have anymore. Change your mindset to choosing what you really want in smaller portions and finding an activity that you enjoy. In the long run, you will give yourself the opportunity to do more than just lose weight. In order to do that,
Lynn has some sound advice: “Find a program that works for you and stick with it.”
Part of being in a weight loss program or starting a membership at the gym is finding a support network. Weight Watchers has meetings for example, and it’s easy to find a trusted friend or family member to join you at the gym and help keep you accountable. This is especially helpful for those who might be going it alone at home. Lynn told us that she was lucky that her family was on board when she joined Weight Watchers but acknowledges others aren’t as lucky.
At home, Lynn tells us a family can still make just one meal but watch portions and don’t forget the addition of healthy sides. We all know that vegetables are important in not only losing weight but adding nutrition.
A support network is your “magic”, Lynn says. “It’s the community that says we understand”
Lynn says to be accountable inside and out. “Your body is going to keep a really good record of what you eat whether you own it or not. Be true to yourself the way you would be to a friend.”
As a Weight Watchers leader, Lynn is the primary role model for each member at her meetings. She has her own struggles but remembers her ‘why’. She says the goal is what brings you in, but the why is what keeps you going.