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Oprah’s Committed To Weight Watchers, In Spite Of Criticism

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Oprah Winfrey has been open about her efforts to lose weight. She even made a video that she posted on her website about what her weight-loss journey has been like thus far.

“I am one of those people who has dieted and gained and dieted and gained, and since I’ve started dieting I’ve gained 70 pounds,” the former talk show host and OWN founder said in a video clip from 1985. “It’s been the battle of my life,” Winfrey said in a voiceover for the video. “It is a battle that I’m still fighting every waking moment of my life.”

Now, she says in a new interview that it’s understandable people may not think her current 42-pound weight loss is for real. “People who say, ‘She’ll put the weight back on’—they’re right,” Winfrey told People. “I will if I don’t manage it. It’s not like I’m home free.”

Winfrey joined Weight Watchers more than a year ago after she purchased stake in the company, and she says she’s finally on a plan that she enjoys. “This has been the easiest process that I’ve ever experienced,” she says.

Fatima Cody Stanford, M.D., M.P.H., M.P.A., instructor of medicine and pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and obesity medicine physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, tells SELF the weight-loss rollercoaster that Winfrey has experienced is “extremely common.”

Part of the reason people have such a hard time losing weight is because there are so many misconceptions about what weight loss is really about. It’s a wildly different process for each person, which is why following a specific eating plan or workout regimen may boost someone’s results while not making a difference for another person. (For some people, such as those who have or are recovering from eating disorders, strict plans aren’t appropriate or healthy.) It also involves much more than just eating and exercise, though those are important components. Losing weight is also dependent on stress, sleep, hormones, and any health conditions that may not even be under your control.

Another reason this often happens is that people typically have a general set point for weight that their body likes to maintain, Stanford explains. “In the efforts to lose weight, their body is going to do what it can to defend its set point,” she says. That’s why someone can lose weight but may struggle to keep it off.

Alissa Rumsey, M.S., R.D., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, tells SELF that many people who struggle with weight loss also do so because the way they originally lost the weight wasn’t sustainable. “Once they go back to their ‘regular’ eating, they regain the weight,” she says. “This cycle of yo-yo dieting is very common.”

The mental aspect of weight loss can also be a challenge, and Jessica Cording, a New York-based R.D., tells SELF that this topic comes up a lot for her clients. “Something I hear a lot from people who have struggled to keep weight off is, ‘I know what to do—it’s doing it that’s the hard part,’” she says. “The mental and emotional components to weight loss are so important—I consider them at least as important as the physical.” Cording points out that she can tell people what to eat, but the real work often involves identifying what a person’s barriers are to reaching their weight-loss goals and how they can work through those challenges to establish a stable eating pattern that leads to weight loss that stays off.

Stanford agrees. “The mental aspect is important, and it’s important not to give up,” she says. “In order for this to be continuously successful, people need to continue their efforts.” People often get to a certain point of weight loss and then think their efforts are done, but Stanford says the healthy habits need to be “lifelong.” And, if you find that one method of weight loss isn’t working for you or isn’t sustainable, she says that it’s important to find another.

For most people, baby steps are key for weight loss instead of drastic measures, which are often difficult to maintain. “Focus on small, simple changes to start, and you’re less likely to get overwhelmed and more likely to continue those changes for the long term,” Rumsey says.

Cording says it’s also crucial to have a plan for keeping the weight off in addition to getting it off in the first place. “Knowing what your barriers and problem areas are and planning ahead for how to address those can help you avoid falling into the same old traps,” she says.

If you’ve struggled with weight loss in the past and have people in your life who aren’t convinced that you can win this battle, Stanford says it’s important to shut out the criticism and surround yourself with those who will support you. “Having a group of individuals that support you, that’s going to help you eat healthy,” she says. “Surround yourself with those people and drown out all the naysayers.”

Finally, be mindful of what works for you—which may be totally different from what works for a friend. “I’ve worked with plenty of people who eat bread and dairy and drink wine and still lose weight and keep it off successfully,” Cording says. “You don’t have to go all or nothing.”

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5 Lifestyle Changes You Should Do in 2020

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Doing various lifestyle changes can be difficult especially when you attempt to initiate huge modifications that merely remain unfulfilled over time. Experts assert that planning small changes is more practical and achievable in real life.

Drink more water

The regular intake of water provides a multitude of benefits. Water helps reduce the frequency of migraines; it helps slow down aging; it aids in digestion; it assists in weight loss, among others. Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water each day provides you with more energy, enabling you to manage the daily grind.

Go for daily walks

We all know that exercise helps keep us healthy, as well. However, not everyone has the time—or inclination—to start a rigorous and time-consuming exercise routine. Nonetheless, you can still keep yourself healthy by taking daily walks. You can start by taking a walk after you get up from bed each day and then do another round when you get home from work in the afternoon. If you are working from home, take several breaks and walk in your front yard or garden for a few minutes each time.

Begin writing a gratitude journal

Stress gets accumulated due to the many upheavals of daily life. There is a lot to complain about and work can become too stressful at times. You should know, though, that stress and worry can be debilitating to your health. Starting a gratitude diary allows you to destress yourself, realize how blessed you are, and allow catharsis to unfold.

Do a few minutes of reflection and meditation

Because you tend to be so busy each day, you forget to find time to reassess all the things that you are already blessed with. Worries are everyday facts of living. However, you do not have to dwell on them all the time. Find a few minutes to reflect upon the good things in life. Stay still and silent for a bit. Listen to the birds and smell some flowers if you can.

Ask for help when you need it

The funny thing about most people is that it is considered a crime to ask help from others. Most people think that admitting the need for help is tantamount to admitting weakness—a terrible blunder for one’s dignity. However, it is essential to remember that no one’s perfect and that a lot of us need assistance from time to time. Learning to lower yourself and admit the need for aid ultimately lightens your soul—and even helps you learn the virtue of humility.

In essence

It is necessary to plan some changes in your life. These changes can help lighten your everyday burden and eventually welcome more positivity in the different aspects of your existence. However, you should start with doing small modifications. Keeping them small allows you to easily fulfill them because big goals tend to be too difficult especially when you’re too busy trying to keep up with the daily hustle and bustle. Also, laugh a little. Accept your frailty and be at peace with the world.    

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8 Ways of Dealing with People You Don’t Like

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It always helps to note that no one in this world is perfect, according to the author of “A Paperboy’s Fable: The 11 Principles to Success,” Deep Patel. That means that everyone, including you, is filled with various weaknesses and strengths that need to be considered when attempting to understand someone else.

Patel highlights several tips for dealing with people you don’t like. He asserts that it is essential for everyone to learn—and remember—these tips, especially since the failure to do so may only mean limiting oneself in the process.

Accept that you cannot deal with everyone

Patel says that it is normal not to like everyone. Each person has his own personality. Some may have a dominant personality, and others may have a timid one. However, this does not mean that you are a “bad person,” which does not mean that the other person is one.

Attempt to find positivity in the other’s words

It is always essential to give someone the benefit of the doubt. Not everyone is out to sabotage you, and you aren’t always about to hurt anyone, too. Hence, even when someone else says something hurtful, it may not be meant that way for the other person. Learning to pick through the other’s words of the other person may be helpful, as well.

Stay in touch with your emotions

Patel also mentions that our emotions play a significant role in understanding the people around us. Our feelings can affect how we view others. As they say, when you are in a bad mood, you also tend to see the world as ugly. In contrast, feeling good tends to make us see the world in a more benevolent light.

Try not to take things personally, and put some space

Taking things personally all the time can also hinder understanding. Emotions play a massive part in analysis. Staying objective lets us see the bigger picture and permit empathy to arise. Put some space between you and the person you don’t like, as well. This will further allow you to look at things more objectively.

Calmly express how you feel and find a referee

When you’re about to burst, try to relax yourself first. Spontaneity can be good at times, although saying what you feel when you feel so may further damage communication. Try to soften your words and say things in a quiet, relaxed voice. You can also find a mediator to help you communicate your thoughts better.

Choose your battles

Remember also that not all battles are worth your time. As they say, try not to go down to the other’s level. If you can still ignore them, then you are free to do so.

Never be defensive

Defensiveness means you are on your way to the losing end. It is always best to state facts and avoid having to explain everything you say. As long as you aren’t doing anything wrong, there shouldn’t be a reason for you to explain yourself to anyone.

You are in control of your own happiness

In the end, you are the one in control of yourself—and your own happiness. Never let anyone dictate how you act or feel. When you let others irk you to no end, you are merely allowing them to control you.

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Covid -19 and its Effects on Nightmares

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 Published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, the study conducted by researchers showed that after crowdsourcing the sleep and stress data of over 4,00 people in Finland. It was found that around 800 shared information on how the virus has contributed to their anxieties. According to Dr. Anu-Katriina Pesonen, head of the Sleep & Mind Research Group at the University of Helsinki, she claims that it was quite thrilling to observe various dream content associations of individuals who have shared their thoughts on the chaotic ambiance of the COVID-19 lockdown. Personen also added that the results had enabled them to track dreaming in extreme circumstances, which showed visual imagery and memory traces of dreams sharing a mindscape across individuals.

Interpretation of Dreams

Transcribing the dreams from Finnish to English, Personen and her team then fed the data to the A. I algorithm, which scanned for word associations that frequently appeared. The computer then came up with what researchers called “dream clusters,” which were dream particles instead of the entire dream. 

After collecting the information, over 33 dream clusters were built in which twenty percent of these were grouped as bad dreams while fifty-five percent of those were pandemic related. Content such as coronavirus, social distancing failures, dystopia, personal protective equipment, and apocalypse were classified as pandemic specific. Word pairs that were labeled under “Disregard of Distancing” like hug-handshake, mistake-hug, handshake-distancing, handshake-restriction, distancing-disregard, distancing-crowd, crowd-party, and crowd restriction. 

Personen also claimed that they hope to see more assisted A. I helped dream research in the future as the computational linguistics-based, AI-assisted analytics that they used was a novel approach in dream research.

How it goes down

Aside from providing information on how the pandemic was related to a person’s dreams, the study also offered insights into people’s sleep patterns and stress levels during the pandemic lockdown. More than half of the respondents claimed to be sleeping more than before the lockdown, while ten percent claimed to have a much more difficult while more than a quarter reported having more frequent bad dreams. 

More than half of the participants also reported having an increase in stress levels, which could explain the sleep patterns of having less sleep or bad dreams. Most of them even claimed to have numerous pandemic related nightmares. The study can provide valuable information for medical experts and researchers regarding the effect of COVID-19 on a person’s mental health. According to Personen, sleep is the main factor in mental health issues, wherein intense nightmares come from post-traumatic stress. Although things happening in dreams aren’t entirely random, they can also help determine how experiencing any form of stress, trauma, and anxiety contributes to nightmares Personen added. 

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