“Confident”, “happier”, “empowered”. These are some of the words that our campers use to describe how they feel when they lose excess weight. They have set themselves a goal and worked towards achieving it in the supportive environment of the Rites of Passage Obesity Health and Wellness Camp. Research suggests that people who embrace a healthy lifestyle, have higher self-esteem, fewer bouts of depression, and are better able to manage stress.
- Confidence – Losing weight and embracing healthy lifestyles enables overweight people to silence the negative internal dialogues that may have tormented them for years. Worries about being the fattest person in the room, or feelings of disgust every time they try clothes on at the shopping mall can all be replaced with feelings of confidence through knowing that they are doing all they can do towards health and vitality.
- Happiness -There is a sense of wellness and joy associated with losing weight. Obesity is associated with increased incidence of low mood and depression. This can be a result of an imbalance within, due to poor nutrition or also from feelings of self-loathing. Additionally external factors such as bullying or ridicule can contribute to the sadness. Losing weight in a healthy manner counteracts depression and boosts feelings of happiness and contentment.
Exercise and weight loss go hand in hand and ‘feel good’ hormones (endorphins) are released as a result of working out. Exercise is a daily activity at the Rites of Passage Obesity, Health and Wellness Camp simply by from walking from point A to point B. The feel good factor is multiplied by the fact that it’s fun, with breathtaking views of the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
- Healthy stress management -Oftentimes people turn to food as a comfort during difficulties. The great thing about learning to live in a healthy way is that overweight people not only lose weight but learn how to express painful emotions in other ways rather than turning to food. With the help and support of our Rites of Passage Obesity, Health and Wellness Camp therapists, people develop new ways of expressing themselves without food. Change occurs not only with negative habits but also in mindsets, which ultimately leads to a more emotionally balanced individual.
- Career advancement -It’s a sad fact that many people still have no filter on their thoughts and words when they criticize, ridicule or discriminate against someone just because of their size. Research has shown that overweight people may miss out on jobs or promotions because of their weight, indeed it is not uncommon for overweight individuals to have lower incomes. Employers can demonstrate a subconscious bias against overweight people as they judge them to be lazy or weak-willed. Additionally, from an internal perspective, many overweight people have become accustomed to not putting themselves forward due to deep seated lack of confidence. At the Rites of Passage Obesity, Health and Wellness Camp everyone can enjoy a non-judgmental environment to lose weight, and develop their confidence and self-esteem in addition to life skills such as leadership and working as a team. These are all invaluable in the real life world.
- Social interaction -Often in our culture there is a skewed opinion that being overly thin is the ideal of physical attractiveness. It is not uncommon for overweight individuals to experience bullying and discrimination. Social outings can be uncomfortable as obese individuals can be self-conscious and also fearful of others’ opinions and judgment. It is not uncommon for overweight or obese conditions to result in persons having fewer or no romantic relationships. When a person takes their health and weight under control they can enjoy freedom from these social hindrances and enjoy their lives more fully.
It’s not about being thin but being healthy that counts.
At the Rites of Passage Obesity, Health and Wellness Camp everyone can enjoy a non-judgmental, stimulating and fun environment to develop their confidence, boost their mood and self-esteem so as to embrace and continue their new healthier lifestyle on their return home.