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2024 Paradigm Shift – A Different Approach To Successful Weight Loss

Written by: Michele DeJesus, PhD, NBC-HWC, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Michele DeJesus, PhD, NBC-HWC

There’s something about ‘Beginnings.’ It’s an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start anew. The New Year offers us that moment when we dream of something different for our futures, hope we finally reach our goals and possibly experience a different sense of who we are, who we can be and how life can shift, develop and become the vision we dreamed. In essence, we get to try again.

Happy woman with confetti

The top three New Year's resolutions made each year are living healthier (23%), personal improvement or happiness (21%) and losing weight (20%), according to a report published by Statista in Nov. 2022. In general, women tend to dominate these numbers. Over 60% of women, 45-65 years old, are dieting at any given time. For 2024, I offer these 5 Concepts to encourage embracing a different mindset and dramatically transform how you experience your midlife health, vitality and wellness.


I like to think of New Year’s Day, when it comes to goal setting during midlife, as the doorway to new possibilities beyond weight loss. Not only do we get to ‘try again’, we get to redefine how the rest of our lives will unfold, develop and move forward in this next phase of life.


1. A new paradigm for weight loss


The health & wellness conversation has shifted. Doctors, schools and influencers are turning the dialogue from treatment, to prevention and self-efficacy. There's a growing conversation about transforming our lifestyles to achieve holistic outcomes that go beyond just weight loss and aesthetics. This trend emphasizes the importance of factors like nutrition, exercise, sleep, hydration, community engagement, and when needed, pharmaceutical or nutraceutical interventions. This shift in medicine seeks to proactively delay the onset of chronic diseases, lengthen lifespan and improve a person’s overall quality of life.


This paradigm shift in healthcare and its direct effect on weight loss and overall vitality, particularly in midlife, requires a different conversation. As a Health Coach specializing in women’s weight loss, I have the chance to talk about these facets of health that not only empower each woman to achieve her weight loss goals but also present a broader perspective on lifestyle design. This more expansive approach affords the chance to improve her health, delay the onset of disease and experience a Midlife Renaissance.


2. Prospection psychology


Prospection, being able to imagine our future, is an important part of human life. For the past several decades, social science has concentrated on how the past determines the present and the future. Seligman, et. al.'s (2013) seminal paper, "Navigating into the Future or Driven by the Past" instead, points to the importance of people's ability to imagine and plan for the future. One of the most important functions of prospection is that it informs how we decide which actions to take now.


Consider this: your future determines your present. When you have your vision in place, you start making decisions today that will directly influence your ability to reach your future.


3. Embrace your vision


Having a clear vision guides us, offering a picture of our life and helping turn our goals and purpose into tangible realities. To understand what we want for ourselves, a well-defined vision is crucial. The significance of having vision and purpose goes back to Prospection and its role of influencing and shaping our decisions in the present, ultimately shaping our lifestyle.


Every coach starts here. We understand the importance of having a mind's eye view of your future. It’s the way you see yourself, the dreams you have for yourself, what you may secretly desire. Holding the Vision of who you imagine yourself becoming is essential to changing the outcome of your 2024 New Year's goals. You are never too old to have a Vision. As life shifts during midlife, it offers us so many potential options if we’re willing to accept them. Once your vision is clear, you’ll be able to reverse engineer the steps and actions you’ll need to take in order to achieve that vision.


4. The 1° principle


A core concept I teach my clients is the 1° Principle. It states that a minor alteration or deviation by just 1 degree might not appear significant initially. However, consistently embracing this 1-degree change can lead you to a markedly different destination. While a 1-degree error in flight coordinates is problematic, it's precisely what makes this approach effective for behavioral change. It’s easy. It’s simple. It’s doable.


Your Vision represents a sweeping perspective of your future self. Opting for one specific action as your starting point on that road to your ultimate destination is the same as making a 1 degree pivot, and that single decision has the potential to positively transform your life.


5. Consistency


For that 1-degree change to lead to the kind of transformation you desire, it must be performed consistently. Weight loss and lifestyle change is like anything else. To successfully reach your goals, you’ll need to consistently do the things you’ve agreed to do when you reverse-engineered the steps toward your Vision. That means regularly adhering to that 1-degree pivot and mastering that step so that it becomes your new habit. Then, pivot another 1 degree, with a new action and master that step as well. With each change, you move closer to the finish line and ultimately, become the person you envisioned.


Embracing these concepts during midlife fosters imagination, growth and achievable change during a time of life that is stereotypically described as a crisis, a challenge and a ‘done deal.’ Does midlife have challenges? Yes. And when we recognize that we are fully equipped to navigate those challenges, that our desires for our future guide the choices we’ll make to adjust and flourish beyond those challenges, that small pivots will reap big rewards, then we unlock the power of living life by design.


To follow me and learn more information about Midlife Confidence, health coaching and my online group coaching program connect with me through Facebook, IG, and LinkedIn.

Michele DeJesus, PhD, NBC-HWC Brainz Magazine
 

Michele DeJesus, PhD, NBC-HWC, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Michele DeJesus, PhD, NBC-HWC is a board-certified & Mayo Clinic-certified Health Coach and an ACE-certified Personal Trainer with a PhD. in Holistic Nutrition. She is the CEO of a 26-year coaching business, successfully guiding adults in transforming their health, fitness and weight loss. Michele has been featured in the IDEA Health & Fitness online magazine as well as numerous television appearances speaking about fitness, weight loss and health. She is the host of the Facebook group, MIDLIFE CONFIDENCE: Women Conquering Weight Loss and the creator of an online 12-week weight loss intensive for midlife women. Her mission is to support midlife women in creating their own health & wellness Renaissance.

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