I started dancing Argentine tango over four years ago, following decades of curiosity about this dramatic form of dance. For me, it’s more social, and also more fun, than other types of exercise. Tango is one of the things I miss in 2020!
Prior to the pandemic, I danced several hours each week, and I was a reasonably strong intermediate (amateur!) dancer. Yet even in the face of improving to that level, I never stopped attending a beginner class each week. The instructions were familiar, and there was something about revisiting the fundamentals that I found grounding, even after taking the same class for years. I thought about the basics in different terms as I advanced in my skills, and each beginners class was a way to stay mindful about the little things. I was able to pay attention to details that weren’t on my radar four years ago.
And so it goes with weight management. You may have heard many of the facts about weight loss before, but hearing them from a new angle, said in a different way, or hearing something reviewed that you haven’t thought about recently, can be an amazing motivator. A solid foundation is critical, whether dancing tango or managing your weight. Reviewing the basics of nutrition, exercise and especially behavior change, in an ongoing fashion, embeds the concepts in your mind so you can call on your basic skills and strategies at a moment’s notice. With this kind of repetition, skipping chips (while watching Netflix at night!) requires little more effort than putting on your shoes.
Recently, a client of mine who has been wildly successful with her weight loss, asked about joining my beginner class. At first I was surprised to hear that request from her, until I thought about beginner tango. And then I understood.
Most of my clients come to me with years of dieting and weight loss experience. Most have struggled with yo-yo dieting or weight regain. Those who have the most success working with me are able to let go of that experience for a little while and behave like a beginner. For all of us, having a teachable spirit allows us to absorb information that we may have heard before. What’s different this time? Maybe the repetition helps. Maybe you’re in a place in your life where you can more easily absorb the information this time. Maybe hearing the same information explained in a new way captures your attention.
The point is that even the most advanced participants in any activity still need to get back to the basics from time to time. An advanced tango dancer needs to practice walking backwards, and needs feedback on her walking from a teacher or a coach. A client who has tried every diet out there needs to hear some of basics presented from a new angle, and needs to be all in to hear it, as if for the first time, in order to build that foundation for lifelong weight management success.
Go work on that teachable spirit! And if you’re experienced at losing weight or dieting, you’re invited to join one of my new client classes where you might just find a review of the basics, with some new science sprinkled in, is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Thanks for listening, and I wish you the best of health!
To register for our next class, please email WeightLossGroups@OldsonMedical.com.