Gradual Progress and Weight Release

Posted by Nicole Darsey on Thu Jan 13th, 2011, No comments (be the first!)

The concept of Gradual Progress, introduced in the Chi Running and Chi Walking books, offers a realistic approach to finding, returning, or moving deeper into a healthy lifestyle. All too often, people approach health, fitness and weight loss in an unrealistic and unattainable way that can lead to disappointment. We get impatient with the process of self-discovery and finding out what our bodies need.

Think about the times that you might have subjected yourself to a bizarre list of foods to eat, promised yourself you’d exercise 3 hours a day, or decided you wouldn’t eat a certain type of food, only to “fail” three days later … sound familiar? The reality is these types of unrealistic expectations don’t lead you to learning why you’ve gained the weight and they don’t set up tools to help you discover what your body needs and how to restore yourself to health. And they certainly don’t restore your self respect or self love.

It’s time to let go of past failures, disappointments and defeats. All of that is in the past, and nothing can be done about it. It’s empowering to put your past in its proper place and start anew.

The practice of Gradual Progress offers you some guidelines to help you create a lifetime of fitness healthy living, rather than going for a quick fix. When it comes to your health and your diet, short-term solutions don’t work. We’ve outlined a few strategies to help you begin your weight-release journey:

  • Set incremental, attainable goals for yourself
    Instead of focusing on your total weight loss, set incremental goals with realistic timelines. It’s a lot easier to imagine and plan on losing 10 percent of your weight than to consider your total weight loss, especially if it’s more than 30 pounds.
  • Start tracking your food
    Begin to understand what exactly you are eating and how much of it. Tracking your food is an invaluable tool for weight loss. You can make this as simple or elaborate as you have time for, but find some way to record what you eat. Eventually we’ll start to incorporate how the food you eat makes you feel, but remember Gradual Progress – simply tracking is a great start.
  • Add one healthy action per week
    Consider things that you can add to your daily life that can ultimately improve the quality of your life. You might consider drinking at least eight glasses of water, eating a fruit and a vegetable each day, taking a multivitamin, walking daily, or eating whole grains. Write down your list and choose one action to start with. Do that action everyday for one week. At the start of the second week, pick the second thing on your list and you incorporate that into your daily life. With each week, you will gradually add in healthy habits that will help change your life. 
  • Eliminate one unhealthy action per week
    Next consider things you should remove from your daily life that will help you move into a healthier lifestyle. This list might feel endless … but some things might be to stop drinking soda, reduce caffeine, limit sugar, or stop eating processed and refined foods. Consider your list and start where you can. Eliminate one item the first week, another the second week, and so on. 
  • Get support
    There are plenty of resources that can assist you in your weight loss. Reach out to supportive friends or family, seek comraderie on message boards, or read something inspiring. Find ways to nurture yourself as you begin this process of self-discovery and reconnection. 
  • Start moving
    If you are not currently practicing a workout program, have never had a workout program or are not able to remain consistent with your program, you are not alone. It’s important to start moving, wherever you are. If you can walk for ten minutes a day, and that’s more than what you are doing now, that’s great! Again, using realistic, attainable goals will lead you to greater long term success. The Chi Walking technique is a pain-free, efortless way to move your body, at any size, in a pain and injury-free way. 

By beginning your weight release in this graceful and nurturing way, with the philosophy of Gradual Progress, you’ll find that your decisions in all aspects of your life will start to naturally become healthier and more holistic. This is just the beginning, and a perfect way to start moving towards overall health and fitness.  


  • gradual progress,
  • weight loss,
  • Healthy Movement

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