A multidimensional method of weight treatment is described. No single focus, no single technique, no single idea is sufficient. The base of this group approach to weight treatment is like a three legged stool with the legs being: 1) the behavioral interventions for eating, 2) the development of a positive exercise program, and 3) an increase in self understanding about feelings which motivate overeating and reinforce obesity.
A realistic weight loss plan, essential for long term success, consists of obese clients commiting themselves to changing behaviors and attitudes about the place of food in their lives. Obese clients seem consistently to be externally stimulus bound in relation to food and to eat whenever they are experiencing negative emotions such as depression, boredom and anger.
Behavioral treatments such as stimulus control techniques, assertion training, the development of responses which compete with eating, the use of successful coping models, altering private speech, and a richly positive environmental support system are all important components to our weight treatment.
Equally important is the development of an exercise program which goes beyond attempts to simply lose calories to produce feelings for clients of well being, exhilaration and enjoyment.
Another equally important treatment component is our focus on the self-concept of weight treatment clients. Topical areas here include the advantages of obesity, the promises and the difficulties change brings in self-image and new relationships and the ways obese individuals use to resist success at weight loss.