Getting the Support You Need to Reach Your Weight Goal

Losing weight isn’t easy. Sticking to your plan is challenging. Motivation can be strong one minute and seem to disappear just a few minutes later. Trying to stay strong in the presence of temptation can be overwhelming. If we aren’t giving ourselves the message, “This won’t hurt. I can make up for this ‘cheat’ tomorrow!” somebody else might do it for us. It’s not unusual to have family and friends who urge us to “go ahead, just this once!” We are good at talking ourselves into undermining our goals, we sure don’t need anybody to help us with that!

Surrounding yourself with supportive people who really want you to achieve can be extremely helpful but it’s also important that you get the right kind of help! There are some kinds of help that aren’t helpful.

Asking somebody to be your “diet police.” Relationships have ended all because one person begged a friend or family member, “don’t let me go off my diet!” The potential for problems with diet police is multi-faceted. Some diet police don’t do their job. The dieter turns over the responsibility to the “cop” and the cop fails to adequately police her eating and exercising. Instead of taking responsibility for the series of bad choices that undermine weight loss, the dieter blames the cop! Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 7.27.52 AMOther diet police take their job way too seriously. The dieter asked this person to “stop me” from eating and to “make me” workout but when those duties seem to bring joy to the cop who never misses a chance to heavy-handedly intervene the dieter isn’t pleased. The dieter builds up resentment that eventually boils over and ends up, worse case scenario, with the dieter and cop ending all ties or less drastic, the dieter and the cop are never as close again. Some dieters sneak around to engage in overeating indiscretions out of sight of the designated cop negating the purpose of even having a cop!

Some people think they’re supportive when they give you pep talks! Pep talks from somebody who doesn’t understand what you’re facing might make you resentful. At the very least you might not listen to the words meant to motivate you and instead you might think, “yeah, look at you! That’s easy for you but not for me!” Don’t think I’m suggesting you don’t ask for help. Help is a good thing when you get the kind of help that really helps. Instead of asking somebody to police your actions, try asking people to celebrate your actions! When you make choices that help your progress you might appreciate a simple, “you’re doing a great job” comment.

Finding a buddy or a group of buddies with the same challenges and goals is an effective way to get support. Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 7.33.08 AMGiving support to others oddly boosts your own dedication. Sometimes the only way to rededicate yourself to your weight-related goals is getting support from one or more people who personally understand the struggles and challenges. Support from buddies also provides you with insight. You could be struggling with a challenge and the solutions you’ve tried didn’t work. Instead of giving up you can ask your buddy or buddies if they ever had similar trouble and what worked to overcome it. You are likely to hear one or more ideas that never would have occurred to you.

It’s not weak to reach out for support when you’re losing weight; it’s smart!

Man's best friend is a great diet buddy! There's no buddy quite as eager as a dog to get you up to go for a walk!

Man’s best friend is a great diet buddy! There’s no buddy quite as eager as a dog to get you up to go for a walk!

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Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is the general manager of Weight Watchers of Maine. She is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. Her experience with her own weight management journey and raising girls has given her insight into the struggles families face with weight, healthy body image, food and physical activity. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news for more than ten years and appears monthly as a guest on FOX network morning program Good Day Maine.