When anyone asks me about what I would have changed about my weight loss journey over the years, I continually come back to the fact that I should have gotten more help sooner.
Going it alone is hard. Sure, the struggle made me stronger, but I could have saved a lot of frustration if I knew of someone who had success at long-term weight loss and that could help me achieve it, too.
When I began my weight loss journey seven years ago, I was barely scraping by, living paycheck to paycheck. It was a sacrifice to put money down on a gym membership and say goodbye to my monthly cable television.
I knew if I was going to be serious this time about my weight loss, I had to be willing to bet on myself.
I tried a couple of sessions with a personal trainer at my gym. She showed me how to do the basics and then challenged me on some other workouts. When I asked her questions about weight loss, her answers were always vague because she never experienced what I was going through, so she couldn’t empathize or give me solid advice. She also was not a nutritionist, so any food or meal-planning advice was simplistic and never helpful.
Studies suggest that most of us would rather give help to someone in need than ask for help. I did a small survey on this too. Out of 30 people asked (friends, family, clients, and readers of my blog), only one person said they would rather ask for help than give help. I bring this up because when we take the hard way (going it alone and thinking we are strong), we often give up on ourselves because there’s no one in our corner cheering us on.
Friends and family members only offer support and advice to a certain degree. They aren’t usually there for you in the way you need someone to be there for you. Friends and family members often don’t have the best advice (like my personal trainer). They let you give up on yourself because they are tired of seeing your struggle. They also have the ability to sabotage your efforts because they don’t want you to become more “successful” than they are. They have a bias about what you’re capable of doing and who they see you as.
When we get help from someone, we often feel like we’re giving our power away. That’s almost never not the case, though. At the end of the day, YOU are the one who made decisions, and YOU are the one who took the action. Getting help from a well-trained mentor is more empowering than doing it alone.
Why get help:
- You are ready and willing to change.
- You’ve tried diet after diet on your own and always gain the weight back.
- If you’ve worked with nutritionists and personal trainers in the past who weren’t able to help you.
- If you’re ready to challenge your old ways of thinking.
- You want to work with someone that has proven success in doing exactly what you want to do.
- If you want to get your family and friends healthier, too.
- If you want something to belong to and feel like you have a big new group of girlfriends who “get” you (joining a program).
- If you don’t have a great support system at home and need encouragement and motivation regularly.
- You want to improve in other areas of your life (not just with weight loss), such as relationships with others, handling stress, becoming your own boss, etc.
- You’re super shy and feel uncomfortable speaking with someone in person about your weight or health issues.
- To have lifetime access to all program materials and the support of a community with no monthly fee (my program offers this, most don’t).
- If you know you’ll be more committed and work harder because you put your money where your mouth is.
Why not to get help:
- If the program or health coach makes unrealistic claims about expected results.
- If the program is pushing a product line (supplements or meal replacement crap).
- If the professional hosting the program doesn’t resonate with you (he/she doesn’t possess what you want, or their personality makes you feel bad about yourself).
- If the professional has never had to overcome the adversity of obesity (or an eating disorder).
- If you are unwilling to commit to your health.
- If you don’t value your health and well-being as much as you value making money, buying material possessions, or taking part in addictive substances.
- If you think you know everything already.
- If you don’t have a stable Internet connection or computer in your home.
- If you are currently extremely busy (working full-time, going to school at night, and taking care of kids kind of busy).
- If you’re living paycheck to paycheck and are barely scraping by (that means bare necessities only).
We all come up with reasons why we can’t change our health. But the biggest thing I’ve noticed is that IF you want it bad enough, you will find a way (and you’ll immediately look for ways around your excuses).
I hope this list of reasons has been helpful in your future decision making with getting help from someone on your weight loss journey. Of course, I always recommend my weight loss program first, but if you want to go another route, consider the list of reasons when looking for your own help.
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