The other day I was thinking more about the difference between "weight loss" and "weight management" after having to classify my blog for one of those blog directory thingies. Under "Health," the typical subcategories are either diets or weight loss, and to me Back in Skinny Jeans is not really either. Yes, I talk about diets, dieting, and weight loss, and offer tips and ideas but I'm not a program nor do I follow one. I'm not about deprivation or restriction, but balance and moderation. I also try to focus more on long term success versus short term gain.
Unlike many diet and weight loss philosophies, I believe in a more holistic approach that includes body, mind, and spirit and how all three influence and affect your weight plus your overall well-being.This I consider more management of one's overall heath because as soon as you start to create a healthier body and lifestyle one of the natural effects is the shedding of unnecessary pounds.
To me the difference between "weight loss" and "weight management" is primarily mindset and perspective, and I think understanding the difference can help you achieve your healthy weight goals and keep the pounds off for good. It definitely has helped me. Here is my two cents on some of the differences between the two:
Weight Loss Mindset
- It's more about image. Primary motivation is to fit into an idealized image of beauty or handsomeness.
- Food plans are primarily based on restriction, deprivation, and short term use to achieve desired image. Restriction triggers body into survival mode like lowering metabolism.
- Tactics are based primarily on fast, short term results. Not much consideration for maintenance afterward, long term lifestyle habits, or state of overall health.
- There is an ending point. Most diet plans are short lived.
- The focus is on numbers: pounds, inches, dress size
- There is an emotional sense of urgency, anxiousness, or self-criticism.
- Pounds yo-yo over time
Weight Management Mindset
- It's more about wellness. Primary motivation is to create a healthy body.
- Food plans are designed for lifelong eating that healthily supports your body, and maintain your desired weight. There is room for flexibility.
- Tactics are based primarily on creating lifelong healthy lifestyle habits
- There is no ending point. Creating a healthy lifestyle lasts a lifetime.
- The focus is holistic. How you feel: mind, body, spirit
- There is an emotional sense of well being, vitality, or self-loving.
- Pounds stay off for good.
A quick way to do a gut check is to ask yourself some simple questions like:
- "Can I live/eat like this the rest of my life?"
- "Am I treating my body with respect and doing things that are loving for my body and spirit?"
- "Am I sacrificing my health and risking death or illness in order to achieve my desired weight goal?"
- "Am I equating my self worth and self esteem to a number on a scale and on a pair of jeans?"
I got to thinking about the question, "Well, I want to lose weight because I want to look good. Is that bad?" Wanting to looking your best is a healthy thing but I think what makes the difference is your true motivation to look good. Do you want to look good as an expression of your self confidence and care for yourself, or more because you want to impress others, get attention, or fit into a "pretty people" image?
Also, something to ask yourself, "Is it more important for you to feel good or to look good?Am I striving for both?" Because, the two are not mutually exclusive. I've known many people (myself included once upon a time) who may look good on the outside but are truly sick and unhealthy on the inside. The ideal is to look good and feel good on both the inside and outside, and by your standards not someone else's.
Now, these lists are not all inclusive, but they are something to chew on. Important keys to lifelong health is flexibility, balance, and a loving attitude towards your body and its well being. Now, doesn't that sound like something wonderful to have?