Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A tool is just a tool, unless it does the job by itself.

I had to do a program for T.O.P.S. last week and I have been meaning to post it here because it turned out really well.


So lately I have been listening to the Half Size Me podcast (thanks to the reader who left the suggestion) and loving the stories. I have also gotten some great tips and ideas to share. Heather is big on a maintenance mindset and using all of the tools to help you succeed. Not just in attaining weight loss goals, but especially in maintaining the weight loss you have achieved.

In one recent episode she and a guest were talking about various tools that we use to lose weight. And how there isn't one perfect tool to lose the weight, as much as we would like to think there is. So I thought more on that, about what makes a good tool versus a broken tool, and when to throw out or get a new tool.

So what makes a good tool? We hear all the time about using tools to lose weight, but how do we know it's a good tool? I had come up with some of these, some the folks in my TOPS group contributed.
A good tool is a tool that:
  • works
  • can be customized for your needs - it can be made to work for you however you need it to. Food plans, gym memberships, etc.
  • makes you feel successful, strong, hopeful
  • is something you feel comfortable using
A broken tool:
  • has one use
  • is one size fits all - it can only be one way, and that's it. I am thinking of very restrictive diets, like the Atkins diet
  • Makes you feel scared, ashamed, constantly overwhelmed
  • Tears you down
  • Uses no science or bad science 
  • People who sabotage your efforts
Ok, so what are some examples of good tools?
  • Support groups (TOPS, Weight Watchers, etc.)
  • Gym memberships (or even just a good pair of walking/running shoes)
  • Fitness trackers and pedometers
  • Books, magazines, and other literature (backed by sound science of course)
  • Podcasts
  • Inspirational stories
  • Social media
  • Vision boards
  • Visualization techniques - we may not be able to envision what our healthier bodies will look like, but we can envision what can DO with our healthier bodies. Hiking, biking, playing with kids, and so much more
  • Registered dietician - not a nutrionist. Dieticians have to have a higher degree and certified, pretty much anyone can get a nutritionist certification.
  • a good doctor
  • Bariatric Surgery (not my personal option, but it is an option for others) 
  • Supportive friends and family
  • A workout buddy
What are some examples of broken tools?
  • Fad diets - Grapefruit diet, cabbage soup diet, they are all bad
  • Cleanses - your body doesn't need to be "cleansed" of toxins. That is why you have a liver and kidneys. If those aren't working to clean your body, you are more than likely in the hospital.
  • Celebrity advice
These are just some of the things we came up with. I thought others might find it useful too.

In our lives these tools can be switched out and used in different ways to meet our needs. If a tool is broken either throw it away or fix it. Don't be afraid to get a new tool or use an old tool in a new way.

There is no such thing as a perfect tool, and no tool does every job. So stop searching for a perfect tool to lose the weight, and use the ones you already have.

You can't build a house using only a screwdriver.

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