How Much Weight Did You Lose?


Answering This Common (But Personal) Question

“How much weight did you lose?”

how-much-weight-did-you-loseThat is the question often asked of our participants when they return home from Green Mountain. In fact, many women find themselves facing that question within days after their arrival to our program. And most likely, many of you have experienced this at some point in your own lives, whether it’s well-meaning friends, interested colleagues, supportive or skeptical family members.

That’s a lot of added pressure as you’re likely grappling with your own expectations and hopes. In our society, weight loss is seen as a primary measurement of “success,” but we teach women the importance of acknowledging all successes on the road to better health, such as:

  • increased energy,
  • decreased negative self-talk,
  • better sleep, and
  • improved cardiovascular endurance, to name a few.

Weight Loss Tunnel Vision or Self Care: Which Do You Prefer?

Stepping away from the tunnel vision around weight loss to the broader vision of self-care is especially important during the beginning stages of the process of change. Why? Because that tunnel vision feels like “I need to fix myself” while the broader perspective feels like “I choose to care for myself.” Which do you prefer?

And guess what? The “I choose to care for myself” focus makes the process of change much more doable and rewarding, and this focus produces more results in all ways, but your sense of well-being and worthiness is not as wrapped up in a number for defining success.

This new perspective is still quite fragile in a culture that is obsessed with dieting and weight, so our goal is to help participants prepare to answer the inevitable questions from a place of honoring oneself and – at times – educating others.

3 Responses to “How Much Weight Did You Lose?”

 “I’m not focused on the number as much as how I feel and I feel great!”

2  “I have no idea – I went to Green Mountain to learn how to take better care of myself and I now have the tools to do so.”

3 “I lost some, but more importantly, I learned how to eat well and exercise without pain.”

When Trying to Lose Weight, Acknowledge Your Other Successes

And maybe you did lose weight and want to shout that number out to the world, and that’s okay too, but it is my hope that the other successes were noticed and celebrated just as loudly. Shining the light on what has been gained, such as physical strength, setting healthier boundaries in relationships, and feeling appetite cues, is what is truly motivating for sustaining long-term healthy behavior.

Read This Related Article:
40 Ways to Measure Success Beyond the Scale

Acknowledging these “wins” is crucial in order to avoid getting sucked back into the vortex around dieting and weight talk. This focus is what enables a more positive experience – one that embodies a sense of self compassion and personal empowerment on the journey toward better health and well-being.

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About the Author

Erin Risius, MA, LPC

Erin Risius, MA, LPC, is a former program director of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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