How to SWOT Your Way to a Healthier Weight
There’s no doubt about it – Americans are getting bigger. According to the CDC, 31.7 percent of men, 33.9 percent of women and 25.8 percent of children are obese, and those numbers, like our waistlines, are growing each year.
With the U.S. topping the list of the world’s ten most obese countries, it’s no wonder Americans spend more than $60 billion a year trying to lose weight. In addition to that, more than $147 billion dollars are spent annually to treat obesity and related health issues.
Clearly, we are on the fast track to becoming the shapeless, chair-bound blobs as seen in the 2009 Pixar hit Wall-E. Depressing? Yes. Inevitable? No. I’m going to show you how to SWOT your way to healthier habits and losing weight. So let’s get down to business.
SWOT: It’s Not Just For Business Anymore
You’re no doubt familiar with the SWOT Analysis. Before beginning a weight loss program, I encourage my patients do a Personal SWOT Analysis specifically focused around weight. It’s a great exercise that highlights areas of strength and spotlights potential problems. Once you have a more complete picture, you can create a solid plan to reach your goal.
Strengths: List personal strengths & positive gains for losing weight.
Examples: I’m good at time management; I’m goal-oriented.
How have you been successful at changing behaviors in the past?
Losing weight will help me feel more energetic, confident and attractive.
Weaknesses: List weaknesses that could be barriers to losing weight.
Examples: I struggle balancing work and play. I eat on the run/often skip meals.
What are you not good at (meal planning, getting enough sleep, relaxing)?
I have no willpower when there’s a bag of potato chips around.
Opportunities: List opportunities that can help you lose the weight.
Example: I have a gym membership (in mint condition – also add to weakness column). I have workout equipment at home (doubles as clothes hanger – also a weakness).
I can leverage technology and use a wearable device or download a phone app to help keep me on track.
I can have the physical I’ve been putting off so I can find out if there are any medical issues contributing to my weight gain.
Threats: External factors that might affect you now or in the near future.
Example: I work long hours. I frequently travel and dine out for work. I have hectic work and family schedules; I have personal or financial problems causing stress.
When I get stressed out, I drink more or eat to calm myself.
I don’t have time to cook, so I grab fast food or takeout.
Creating Your Plan
Once you’ve completed your lists, look for ways to capitalize on your strengths and opportunities to neutralize weaknesses and threats, and then draft your plan. Don’t hesitate to enlist help. Studies show that people in medically supervised programs have a much higher rate of long-term success because they have a team of experts to work with them. Here’s to your success!
Ready to start your personal Metamorphosis? Call 844.MV4.LIFE today!