So you're overweight. . . What now?

23 January 2017

It can be a daunting task. Here's how to start.

Maybe you've always been a little on the chubby side, or you never quite recovered from the dreaded first-year syndrome. Maybe you're so busy with your kids, you haven't been to the gym in 10 years, or you just can't stop eating the office cupcakes. Whatever the reason you’re overweight, you've reached the turning point. You know you need to shed those extra kilos that have been creeping up on you over the years -- but where do you start? Dr Owen Wiese, doctor on local lifestyle channel VIA, offers his advice:

Your thoughts determine how you feel about yourself

“I’m fat and always will be, so I might as well eat.”

“Losing weight costs money.”

“I’ve tried everything. Nothing works. I might as well give up.”

These are common thought patterns of overweight people. These thoughts become the background music to their lives.

Whatever you do, you won’t get slim overnight. But getting your thoughts right doesn’t have to take an eternity. Everyone has their off days. You must realise that you won’t jump out of bed every morning filled with optimism.

Just changing how you think about your body will make a significant difference. There’s nothing to gain from continually reminding yourself that you’re overweight and can’t do anything about it. Rather think about how you can make a small change daily on your journey. Read more: Why it’s hard to shift that extra Christmas weight

Be realistic

I know of a woman who used to buy clothing three sizes too small every month. Her reason? “It drives me to lose weight.” The right motivation can help a lot but excessive expectations just set you up for additional disappointment. If things don’t go as you want them to you will spend the rest of your life believing you’re fat. Read more: How lack of sleep could be making you gain weight

Don't isolate yourself

Overweight people often avoid social occasions because they’re embarrassed by their bodies. Becoming a recluse and cutting yourself off from everything and everyone will only contribute to your weight problem.

Research has shown that people who’re idle or lonely tend to turn to food. Think about it: an evening watching TV is often accompanied by eating.

Enjoy your life but be aware of the temptations that can hamper you in reaching your target weight.

Locking yourself up until you’re slim is not a good idea.
Read more: ‘I’m still Banting all the way’: SA man stuns after losing almost HALF his body weight

Formulate a plan for success

If you’ve ever attempted a DIY project you’ll know planning is essential. Yes, you may be overweight right now, but if you know you have a well-formulated plan to change your lifestyle it will be so much easier to reach your goal weight. Be conscious of where you are now and where you want to be. Lay out a roadmap to success and stick to it.
Read more: 21-day diet: ‘I’m not even dieting anymore – it’s become my lifestyle’

Put a support network in place

I always thought there was a point to “fatty gatherings”, as some people call them. Support group meetings don’t necessarily have to be Wednesday night meetings in dusty church halls.

A few friends supporting one another on a WhatsApp group can be just as successful. And don’t forget about the people closest to you. You family are a wonderful support and they’ll definitely back you if they understand why you want to change your lifestyle.

There is no reason to hide away. Yes, you’re overweight but you’re still a person with ideals, ideas and needs. Live your life. Get your mind right. Know where you’re headed.

Before long you’ll be well on your way to being a new, healthier you.

Do you have a question for Dr Wiese? Click here to talk to him.

Find Love!