Health Goals and the New Year

Tis the season to be jolly!  Yes, that time of year is here again.  We are all happy to be with family, friends and colleagues celebrating the end of another year and talking about resolutions for 2012.

As we pass through the holiday season and finally get the courage to step back on the scale in January, we can easily see that weight loss needs to be a priority in our thinking.  This can be challenging. We also know that unnecessary stress around this time of year can lead to being fat.  As we reflect back on our holiday season, we conclude that we ate a lot of “good stuff” while spending quality time with those we love. In an instant we realize the time is here again for us to focus inwardly on our own health and think about how we will be good to ourselves in 2012.

The first thought that comes to mind is to sign up for a quick weight loss program and maybe incorporate some exercise.  This can be quite daunting for us, and many procrastinators may never move beyond this initial thought.  Studies have shown that more than half of the people who do engaged in rapid weight loss and achieve their goal manage to put all the weight back on almost as fast as it came off.  Lacking a long term strategy with commitment and guidance will keep the “off again – on again” phenomenon alive in all of us.  As you can imagine, this routine becomes more dangerous with age.

Losing weight feels great and we can all imagine having more energy, improved moods, increased confidence and better health as a result.  Having a mechanism for consistency, focus and accountability is what will eventually cause positive changes in behavior and lifestyle.  The mechanics of weight loss are relatively simple compared to the long lasting strategies required to keep weight off once at goal weight has been achieved.  The focus needs to be on the long term and nothing less.  As many people know, regaining weight that has been lost can be a depressing experience.  The real challenge is to maintain achieved goal weight by staying true to newly adopted behaviors and lifestyle changes.  The solution for long term success lies in having a cross functional staff serving as the support mechanism that the patient can rely on through the journey, for as long as it takes.

A team of medical professionals enable a patient to incorporate the essential elements of balanced weight loss into his/her lifestyle.  The foundation of such an approach is based on medical supervision, metabolic assessment, changes in nutrition, behavior, exercise and most of all a component of accountability.  In other words true success comes from working with a team that is concerned with all aspects of wellbeing, to include not only the physical, but the emotional and spiritual. A successful weight loss team consists of a practitioner, counselor, dietitian and a physical trainer, all on the same page in terms of understanding the needs of each patient.

It can be difficult to find this combination, simple because the different medical disciplines are not often found together under one roof with a common philosophy and understanding.  For this exact reason, the birth of New Horizon Medical in Norwood, MA came about to have the complete team of diverse professionals at one location so that each of them is able to contribute harmoniously to each patients wellness plan.  The key to success is to be working with professionals that will help keep us focused, honest with ourselves and on track.

As this holiday season passes, let us understand that resolutions can stick when there is a consistent focus on goals and the controllable actions leading to those goals.  Encouragement for small steps of progress in the right direction can make a big contribution to one’s success. The staff at New Horizon has at its core such a philosophy and is ready to participate with each patient that can commit to getting started.  The short term view of weight loss is to lose the weight.  Long term success however, comes from taking the long view which means adopting changes in behavior and lifestyle that will live on with patients long after the pounds are lost.  This “health care plan” will be the most beneficial to your health and the least expensive over one’s remaining lifetime.



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