Lightening the Load

When my daughter was a toddler, she used to crack us up by saying, “I do it myself,” immediately followed by “Help!”   Her desire for independence was strong, but not strong enough to overcome her youthful lack of competence.

As grownups, it can be hard to admit when we need help.  I’ve written before about the ways in which I have sought professional assistance to accomplish important personal goals (see my prior tip, “Getting Help When You Need It“).  A few months ago, I added another professional to Team Sharon.

For the past two Januaries, I made a New Year’s vow that I was going to lose weight.  I’ve been successful at weight loss before, most notably through Weight Watchers, which I first joined in 1986.  I was such a good dieter that I reached my goal weight three times through Weight Watchers, most recently in 2010.  Obviously what I wasn’t so good at was keeping the weight off.

When I stepped on the scale on January 1 of last year, I was frustrated that I had once again started putting the pounds back on.  I set a weight loss goal and planned how I was going to tackle it.  After three successful bouts of Weight Watchers, I knew how to do this, right?

Apparently wrong.  Fast forward to January 1 of this year, when I weighed even more.   I knew that something had to give, but I still wasn’t ready to admit that I couldn’t do this on my own.

By April, I admitted defeat.  Luckily, my fantastic personal trainer, Stephen Flam of Pinnacle Fitness and Wellness, was affiliated with a nutritionist who had helped many of his clients lose weight.  I had been hearing about her for a couple of years but always resisted contacting her.  I was finally ready.

On May 6, I met for the first time with Carly Feigan of Head to Health.  That was 14 weeks ago, and I’m delighted to say that I am now 24 pounds lighter!  I’ve already met the goal that I set back in May, but losing weight with Carly’s help has been so empowering that I have set a new goal, and I’m going to keep on losing.  Once I get there, she will work with me to ensure that I know how to keep the pounds off.

Why is it so hard to admit that we need help?  For me, it was because I wasn’t really serious about changing my behavior.  I wanted to weigh less, but I was unwilling to stop snacking or overeating.  I thought I could succeed with small changes, but the changes I made were too small to make a difference and were easily abandoned.  I needed to commit to making some big changes, and I needed to be accountable to someone.

Carly has given me a new way to look at food, and it has been very exciting.  I’ve spent more time at the stove in past 4 months than I did in the previous 12 years that I have lived in my current home!   She has introduced me to some healthy yet convenient snacks.  I really enjoy what I’m eating.  It doesn’t even feel like “dieting”.

That is what is so surprising when you finally let down your resistance and embrace the help you’ve been craving.  Your expectations will shift.  The changes you resented making will become welcome.  You will stop feeling like a failure and your self-esteem will go through the roof.  You will ask yourself, “Why did I wait so long?!”

Do you have a goal that has been frustrating you because you just can’t get it done on your own, but you’ve been reluctant to admit it?  If it is an organizing goal, then I would love to help!  If it is an exercise goal or a weight loss goal, then consider reaching out to Stephen or Carly.  For other life goals, consider the Platinum Goals Group that my colleague Angela Kantarellis of AK Organizing is starting next month.

There is plenty of help out there.  All it takes is for you allow someone to help you lighten your load.

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