Weight Management in Grand Rapids, MI—Counseling and Therapy
Jenna walked out of the dressing room, fighting tears. Buying clothes may be fun for others, but Jenna hates it. Even as a kid, Jenna was aware that her body did not fit the mold. She vividly remembers the first time someone else called her “chubby.” Even a few decades later, Jenna thinks about that comment, especially as she is standing in a dressing room, with mirrors on all sides and having to fit into clothes that she just knows will not work. The hardest part is that Jenna has tried. Several times, she has lost a significant amount of weight, only to regain it. When Jenna lost the weight, she loved her body. When Jenna regained the weight, she hated her body. She is tired of trying each new health craze and this love/hate relationship. Jenna wants long-term results, but she is not sure what her next steps should be. Can you relate? Most likely, you can. A lot of people—men and women, child and adult—struggle to manage their weight. More and more, people are finding the answers they need at the counseling office as well as at the gym. People’s minds and bodies are connected, and healthy is holistic. Sometimes, there are emotional barriers as well as physical barriers when people are seeking to manage their weight. When people go to counseling for weight management, they are often empowered to make the long-term changes they may need to make.
“I personally battled with my own body image for years. I used to tell myself, ‘You can’t wear anything sleeveless or strapless.’ And all of a sudden I was like, ‘What if I just didn’t send such negative messages to my brain’ and said, ‘wear it and enjoy it?’ And now I’m more comfortable in clothes than ever.”
If you understand Jenna’s experiences, know that Thriveworks Grand Rapids offers therapy for weight management. Our counselors understand that craze diets and exercise fads can leave people yo-yoing between weight gain and loss. We take a different approach. Our therapists want to help their clients be both emotionally and physically healthy. The goal of weight management therapy is not a number on a scale or a size of clothing, but the goal is self-acceptance and holistic health.
The Challenge: Obesity in America
It is not a secret that many Americans are having difficulty with their weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is a challenge with many people leading busy lives with few support systems for their health. Weight is a current and growing problem for both adults and kids in the US. The Centers for Disease Control found that…
- 20 percent are overweight.
- 20 percent are obese.
- Ages 2-5—9 percent are obese.
- Ages 6-11—17 percent are obese.
- 12-19—20 percent are obese.
There are untold ways to measure health: cholesterol, numbers on a scale, blood-sugar, clothing size. One metric for health may not be as obvious: emotional well-being. Physical health and emotional health are intertwined because people are whole beings. When people are struggling with their weight, they may need to work with a trainer or a nutritionist, but they may also need to work with a counselor.
Therapy and Body Image
What are the benefits of working with a therapist while managing one’s weight? First, experienced counselors can often help people find a diagnosis and/or treatment for any underlying mental illnesses that are impeding a healthy relationship with their body. Second, experienced therapists can often help people learn the emotional skills they need to sustain long-term change.
Mental illness and weight management: When people are managing a undiagnosed or an untreated mental illness while they are managing their weight, the fight can be exhausting. It is important for people to seek treatment for any underlying mental illnesses because these can impede their physical health as well. Depression and anxiety, for example, can disrupt people’s appetite so that their either over or under eat. They may also distort an individual’s view of themselves. The same is true for eating disorders. There are many different types of eating disorders, and people of all weights can struggle with them. Finding a diagnosis and/or treatment for these issues is often an important step for weight management.
Long-term change: Diets focus upon strict restrictions and particular rules that are easily broken and may not be applicable to everyone. Therapy, instead focuses upon developing the emotional skills it takes to sustain long-term change and establish a loving, accepting view of one’s body. For example, many people tell themselves untrue and negative things that impede their weight management journey. Without knowing that they are sabotaging their own health, people may tell themselves that…
- It is impossible to love this body.
- After being so good, I get a treat (reward).
- After being so bad, I need to skip a meal (punishment).
Through therapy, people may become aware of these thoughts and change them to positive, true thoughts.
Sessions at Thriveworks Grand Rapids for Weight Management Counseling
If you are ready to hit the gym and the therapy room, the professionals at Thriveworks Grand Rapids are ready for you. When you contact our office for an appointment, your first session may be within 24 hours. We work with many insurance companies and accept many plans. We also offer evening and weekend sessions. Let’s work toward holistic health together. Call today.