YWM2019 Session

Acceptance and Commitment at YWM2019

The closing day of YWM2019 began and ended with acceptance and commitment. First, Jason Lillis presented a brilliant session on using our own values to empower healthy changes. Then, at the end, attendees told their own true stories of acceptance and commitment to live their best lives. It was a perfect pair of bookends for the day.

What Matters to You

Lillis explained that lasting healthy changes can only come from values that matter to you. “If it doesn’t matter, you won’t keep doing it,” he said. Lillis explained the research behind this thinking. But he went further to help us translate that science into daily living and better lives.

It starts with discovering what really matters. What are the things you care about? Think about experiences that have been the most important, meaningful, and satisfying. What do you want to have done ten years from now? What will be important to you then?

When you distill those values into goals, you can connect those goals to healthier habits that might serve those goals. Perhaps you want more energy so you can better engage with your children. Maybe a healthier mood for a healthier relationship with your partner. The possibilities are endless, but the direction should come from what’s important to you.

Finally, you need to monitor how well your behaviors are lining up with your values. Where they’re consistent, that’s great. Where you find a gap, you can shift things around. If it aligns better with your values, you’ll find the changes rewarding.

Personal Journeys

At the end of the day, everyone gathered for a emotional send-off. All the talk about OAC Community became real in an instant. People explained it in their own words, more moving than anything we can offer:

This is my new year. There are no words to express my feelings. I’m overwhelmed by the kindness of everyone I’ve met. It’s been intensely personal and inspirational. I had gastric bypass surgery 20 years ago and this is the first time I’ve been comfortable with being transparent about what I’ve experienced.

I’ve found out that my biggest bias is about myself. Maybe it’s time for me to give myself the same grace that I’ve given everyone else.

Tell your story. Be proud of who you are. Every person on this planet has problems. Let’s stop buying the judgments that people are forcing upon us.

This is a marathon, it’s not a sprint. I think I’m a lifer now.

Click here for Lillis’s presentation and here for more on acceptance-based therapy.

YWM2019 Session, photograph © Obesity Action Coalition

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August 4, 2019

3 Responses to “Acceptance and Commitment at YWM2019”

  1. August 04, 2019 at 6:38 pm, Michael said:

    Keeping your room tidy is a habit. Brushing your teeth is a habit.Talking about habits in the context of weight reinforces stigma e.g. ‘I’m too hopeless to even do these simple lifestyle habits that everyone knows’.

    A plant growing sideways towards the light is not behaving habitually. It is respoding naturally to its unbalanced environmnet. Obesity is a natural response to an unbalanced environment, not a function of poor motivation leading to poor habits.

  2. August 05, 2019 at 8:57 am, Sarah Bramblette said:

    Habits were being discussed in the context of health. Watch the presentation.

  3. August 05, 2019 at 11:02 am, Allen Browne said:

    Well said, Sarah. Thank you.