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The Weight Management Journey

"Everyday is a journey and the journey itself is home" Matsuo Basho.

The quote I share in today's blog resumes the intricate and complex journey weight loss can become. In his haiku, Matsuo Basho reminds us that home (used metaphorically as our goal) is not the destination of our journey but the journey itself. In simple words, we should embrace change and make the necessary modifications to our behaviours part of our daily living.

Those of us who have previously struggled with weight issues have the misconception of envisioning impractical goals. We've all dreamt of losing 10-20 kilos or achieving our optimal weight in 12 months. Our goals need to be pragmatic, and easy to achieve.

On today's blog, I would like to help you structure your journey by improving your goal setting skills. Recently, I have come across a model of coaching called G.R.O.W. The acronyms represent the four steps of the process: Goal Setting, Reality check, Options and Will.

To begin with, you need to analyse where you are going or where you'd like to be (Goal Setting). First, you need to look at the behaviour that you would like to change, and then structure this change as a goal. When setting up this goal try to make it practical and sustainable. For example, if you aim to start exercising find a sport you will enjoy and have time to practice (also look at making this a longterm option).

Then, understand where you are (Current Reality). Let's go back to the exercise example, if you have a knee injury you will not be able to commit to running or weight bearing sports. Instead, you could plan to practice a water sport to increase your chances of maintaining your commitment.

Determining the paths open to you (Options) is the third variable to review. Brainstorm as many options as possible and discuss the options with a friend or family member to find the correct one. If you do have a public swimming pool or gym that can cater to your needs then you can put a timeline to the exercise chosen.

Finally, you harness the energy and determination (Will) to actually embark on the journey. You need to commit to specific actions in order to move forward your goal. In doing this, you will improve your will and boost your motivation. So what do you do now, how and when? What else will you do? What could stop you moving forward? How will you outcome this? How can you keep yourself motivated? How are you planning your reviews? Daily, weekly monthly? This is when you need a coach to help you structure the plan (GP, Dietitian, Exercise Coach or Family Member).

In weight management the G.R.O.W model of coaching will give it a journey analogy and it will transition your awareness into accountability. So next time you see your GP or health professional be proactive and take with you a rough draft of what you intend to do.

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