Is therapy helpful for weight loss? | Shape Up with Jo

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I work with people who feel stuck.

Stuck in the personal frustration about their physical health.


In our video series For the Health of it, Joline Atkins provides health and wellness advice.


Stuck in the frequent and often disappointing cycle of starting and stopping a consistent exercise or healthy nutritional approach more times than they can count.

Stuck in the fear of investing more time, energy, and perhaps money, into solutions that promote a healthier lifestyle.

Stuck in envy of those who have seemed to conquer the habit of making their physical health a priority.

Stuck in the negative inner monologue that adds up all these “stucks” and repeats the destructive mantra, “You will never get a handle on this. Prepare to remain stuck!”

I read it on my in-take forms.

I hear it in new client consultations.

I recognize that part of what I do as a wellness coach is to help people get unstuck in the areas of fitness and nutrition.

Yet, often, I sense that the “stuck” I read, hear and witness on the surface is covering a deeper inner despair that weaves its way throughout other areas of one’s life.

This is when coaches recognize they cannot offer the comprehensive assistance clients may need and gently refer clients to a more qualified person to explore the roots contributing to their inability to actively and consistently take responsibility and control of their physical health.

“Nothing happens in a vacuum,” stated George Atkins, a counselor specializing in marriage and family therapy and generalized anxiety with the Christian Counselors Collaborative.

“Our physical health is not separate from our emotional health, or relational health,” he said. “Emotional and relational stress impacts us physically, particularly on our hearts. Eating is one way we compensate for stress or depression. If experiencing physical fatigue, one may want to consider whether emotional or relational fatigue is also present. An unhealthy relationship with food may indicate an unhealthy relationship with oneself or others.”

Mallori Diamond, a local fitness instructor, has experience that connection firsthand. “For most of my life fitness has always been a physical need, driving my body with what it craves and needs to work effectively and efficiently.”

Though after experiencing two heartbreaking miscarriages, she discovered fitness offered more than physical strength.

“Fitness is a tool to keep my mental and emotional stability in check.”

After taking time off from exercising for physical recovery, jumping back into fitness using a variety of forms was essential for helping Mallori as she navigated her grief, emotional turmoil and the post-partum hormonal imbalance.

“Physical strength encouraged my emotional strength. Overcoming physical challenges made me feel empowered. I learned that I am stronger than this season of heartache and can persevere. I think it is a form of therapy for people.”

Our emotions and physical actions are often linked and one may find release and healing through exercise.

But for those struggling with ongoing discouragement in fitness and nutrition specifically, seeking the assistance of a counselor may help unpack damaging behavioral similarities present in family or social relationships, on the job, with finances, decision making skills, etc.

Embarking on a journey with a counselor may seem like a weakness, but doing so should be considered a brave step forward in a healthier direction.

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Is therapy helpful for weight loss? | Shape Up with Jo

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