(Seventh in a Series)
Pride and independence often tell us the story we want to hear: we can do this on our own, we know we can; we don't need any help.
That may well be true if you only have ten or so pounds to lose to get into last year's dress for a party. Live on lemon juice for a week or two while you treadmill yourself ragged for two hours a day. Sure, you'll get into that dress-though you probably won't again a couple of weeks after the party.
If, however, you're facing a long-term weight loss project of fifty, seventy-five, one hundred pounds or more-and especially if you've tried, and failed, a few times already-it's time to swallow your pride and acknowledge that, yes, you could do with a hand here.
The ability to accept help, freely and without resentment, is undervalued. Few have it innately. Most have to work at it. And as a long-term dieter, you had better acquire this skill sooner rather than later. Once you have come to terms with needing a hand, however, you will find that such hands abound.
Weight Loss Sites
This paragraph opens with a warning: there are so many Internet sites devoted to weight loss that you can easily spend the rest of your days perusing them all and never quite get around to losing weight.
Also, many weight loss sites are pure money making schemes, praying on your need (getting more and more desperate as time, and failed diets, pile up) to lose weight. The best way to detect such sites is by their promises, which are always a little over the top, and always stress how easy it will be, if only you spend $50 a week with them.
This is a dead giveaway, for long-term weight loss is not easy. But there are many helpful sites as well, providing all manner of tools and tips. FitDay and SparkPeople are two of the best. There are, however, many excellent sites. Just search for what you need in terms of information and support, and watch out for outlandish promises.
If you have the financial resources to afford one, or the insurance coverage to provide one, a nutritionist can be of invaluable help to you. An experienced nutrition professional has been there and done that with almost any scenario and can provide excellent, and real, advice to follow.
It goes without saying that if you have medical problems, or even concerns, of any kind, you need to consult-and gain the support of-your doctor before you set out on a long term weight loss program. Many medical problems-although causes may appear to lie elsewhere-tend to resolve once you reach a healthy weight, for the body is an amazingly efficient self-healing organism.
Once it no longer has to cope with and battle the ills of being overweight, it can turn its attention to other, medical, problems, and more often than not successfully resolve them. Still, you need to enlist your doctor on your team. If your current doctor is less than enthusiastic about your weight loss efforts, it might serve you well to recruit a new one who is. The support guidance of a medical professional is an invaluable resource.
Possibly the most important support you will need, especially over the course of a long-term weight loss project, is members of your family and friends, whether an old roommate, significant other, co-worker, parent, or child. Knowing that those who love your are squarely in your court and willing to do anything to help you, can make all the difference; can in fact, make or break the success of long-term weight loss.
Another priceless source of support comes from those who have successfully lost the amount of weight you are setting out to lose. They have been there and done that on the field of battle, and they have won. They know what problems you will face, and they know how to overcome them.
Not unlike sponsors in an Anonymous group, they can offer you very real and applicable advice to virtually any situation. And they will, just like your loved ones, be firmly on your side against the mountain that often seems quite impossible to climb. Seek them out by any means, and stay in weekly, if not daily contact, to benefit from their experience. It cannot be overvalued.
The fact that you may have tried many times to lose weight, but has yet to succeed, is a clear indication that pride must be swallowed, and help must be sought and accepted-whether freely or grudgingly, it doesn't really matter. This can be hard to do, but for the sake of your own health and happiness, you must do it; you'll find that it is nowhere near as hard as trying to go it alone.