Weight Loss Support - When does having Professional Help become a Hindrance?




aliasihaya
12-18-2011, 11:55 AM
In October I finally decided to get professional help from a Trainer and Nutritionist. And I don't regret that decision. I really liked the two women that I've found to help me. Unfortunately it didn't magically fix my motivation problem. I'm still the same person with the same bad habits. I had just hoped being accountable would push me in the right direction.

Unfortunately I'm now getting to the point where I'm dreading going to see them because I haven't done what I was supposed to. I don't like letting them down. I want to go to an appointment one week and tell them how much that I've exercised or that I didn't get takeout once during the week. But that never happens. So I go back with the same bad news. And then we have the same discussion about motivation and setting goals........blah blah blah.

Again, I really like them. They don't make me feel bad. They just state the obvious which then makes me feel bad. So when does the process of hiring professionals become counter productive to what you're doing? If you're trying to be held accountable for something that you're not doing, should you bother spending the money? Should you fix yourself first and then go to professionals? Or is this just part of the process? Do I just need to be patient? I just hate dreading to go see them now. And I'm not sure what to do about it.


Justwant2Bhealthy
12-18-2011, 12:31 PM
First of all, I would tell them the truth -- how you are really feeling. Sounds like you are feeling pressured; and then bad about not meeting goals that you've planned together.

Have you every tried the tool of SCHEDULING? I am a social worker; and we used that tool with our clients with much success. I am such a believer that I use it myself (and so does my DH). I have a large calendar right in front of me on the wall above my PC monitor. Every time I look up, there it is -- a constant reminder of things I need and want to get done each day.

We schedule everything, i.e. garbage day: take out the garbage on Thursdays (becuz we moved and the day changed). In big bold letters, we write down appointments, odd jobs, and any other important reminders. Just talking about goals isn't enuff. Scheduling our goals is more like making a commitment to them.

I even plan what I am going to have for our meals every day of the week; and I have a menu planner that I can check for ideas (it's a file that I made myself). I put lots of stuff right on my computer so that I can access them with a click of the mouse -- i.e. my Daily tracking Journal, best recipes, and menus.

Someone here wisely said ... MOTIVATION GETS YOU STARTED, BUT MAKING A COMMITMENT WILL KEEP YOU GOING!!!

Scheduling can help you keep those commitments. :hug:

sacha
12-18-2011, 12:48 PM
Unfortunately hiring fitness professionals can only help a person who is already motivated and/or ready to overcome the cause of their weight problems (the weight struggles of billionaire Oprah make this point very clear).

Maybe you're looking in the wrong direction - a trainer and nutritionist can obviously tell you what to do, but if you are interested in a professional, maybe finding one that can help you overcome motivational issues is a better investment. Do you think your lack of motivation/drive is caused by pure "I don't feel like it" or is there something deeper that perhaps a counselor can help with? I don't know the source of your struggle so I couldn't say.

Some people, like me, just lost track of their gain and needed to get back into the game. Some have deep emotional struggles with food and benefit from counseling.


ChickieChicks
12-18-2011, 01:21 PM
Unfortunately hiring fitness professionals can only help a person who is already motivated and/or ready to overcome the cause of their weight problems (the weight struggles of billionaire Oprah make this point very clear).

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Ditto. Times a million.

It sounds like you may not be ready to change your life, which is what you have to do in order to lose the weight and keep it off. I'm not saying this to be snarky. There were several times where I half-heartedly tried to lose weight, and no surprise, it didn't work. It was actually better for me mentally to know that weight loss wasn't a huge priority in my life, so I focused on not gaining MORE, but I knew I didn't have the motivation to LOSE.

Once I did..I mean REALLY DID...I lost weight very easily. It was HARD WORK, but the motivation was always there, no questioning.

dragonwoman64
12-18-2011, 01:54 PM
from what you wrote here, I don't see the help from the nutritionist and trainer as a hindrance to your weight loss necessarily. But if you aren't in the right place to take advantage of that extra support, you might want to consider holding off and working with them when you're in a more productive mind frame.

I spent money on a bunch of sessions with a personal trainer, and did not lose the weight I wanted to -- not because I didn't do the exercise, but bec I struggled with sticking to my eating program. I did get into much better shape, and I learned a lot about working out and exercising. Just didn't bring my actual weight down much (I did increase my muscle).

I don't know exactly what you mean about fixing yourself first. Sometimes professionals, whether it's a trainer, counselor, nutritionist or whatever, can help you to find what the problem is and help you strategize different possible solutions. Some people find their own way through it. Some people do a combination (probably the most common).

maybe before you make a decision, you should try telling them both your frustrations and see if they don't have some ideas. I can't believe you'd be the first client they've ever had that didn't struggle with goals, especially in the beginning.

Good luck.

Justwant2Bhealthy
12-18-2011, 02:54 PM
LADIES, I agree with what you are saying ... you really have to be ready to make a change; and make a DECISION for change. Then make a commitment to yourself. The idea of just not gaining is a really good idea for those who are struggling at the beginning.

I tell people NOT to hire a trainer, or dietician or nutritionist, or join a gym, or buy expensive equipment until they are sure they are ready for that first -- and I recommend they try any equipment before buying it. I tried a gym out on a day by day basis before I bought a membership, to make sure it was the right place & tool for me.

Some people find hiring professionals helpful, but some don't; but since you've already hired them, see if they can help you in any way ... :hug:

JohnP
12-18-2011, 04:34 PM
from what you wrote here, I don't see the help from the nutritionist and trainer as a hindrance to your weight loss necessarily. But if you aren't in the right place to take advantage of that extra support, you might want to consider holding off and working with them when you're in a more productive mind frame.

I spent money on a bunch of sessions with a personal trainer, and did not lose the weight I wanted to -- not because I didn't do the exercise, but bec I struggled with sticking to my eating program. I did get into much better shape, and I learned a lot about working out and exercising. Just didn't bring my actual weight down much (I did increase my muscle).

I don't know exactly what you mean about fixing yourself first. Sometimes professionals, whether it's a trainer, counselor, nutritionist or whatever, can help you to find what the problem is and help you strategize different possible solutions. Some people find their own way through it. Some people do a combination (probably the most common).

maybe before you make a decision, you should try telling them both your frustrations and see if they don't have some ideas. I can't believe you'd be the first client they've ever had that didn't struggle with goals, especially in the beginning.

Good luck.

Great post. Spot on IMO.

Only thing to add - just because you like a trainer or nutritionist doesn't mean that they are effective.

BostonFitGirl
12-18-2011, 04:47 PM
Only thing to add - just because you like a trainer or nutritionist doesn't mean that they are effective.

I agree. And if they were effective - they should have brought up the fact that they are not really helping you. There's a difference between having professionals that are there for you and professionals that are there just to make money.

You need someone to support you into making a change :hug:

deblosingit
12-18-2011, 07:04 PM
I think that you need to get to the place where you want this more than anything else, where you hate the fat so much that you reach your "tipping point" and decide that no matter what you are going to change. It is not something that anyone else can do for you, YOU have to make the changes. You can't hire someone to do it for you, you can't go to a store and buy your weight loss, you can't wish it would be gone and have it magically disappear. If you really want it YOU have to do it!! So, that being said, it seems that based on your history, you don't really want it bad enough yet.

I agree that the best strategy for you for the time being is to focus on not gaining. Then, some self-reflection to figure out why you think you want to lose weight but at the same time why you are not willing to do the work. Maybe there is something about weight loss that is scary to you, maybe it is a fear of failure.

I know when I started on my weight loss this year at a high weight of 255 lbs. it was overwhelming to think about how much I had to lose. I also knew that every time I ate I was making a decision that would affect my success. It was hard. It meant being tough with myself. It meant self denial. But, I wanted it, I really wanted it.

I would like to encourage you that success breeds success. When you are ready, make a "deal" with yourself and really commit to your program for 6 weeks. The success you experience will prove to you that YOU can do it. You will feel empowered. It will show you that you can scale that insurmountable mountain, one step, one pound at a time.

theox
12-18-2011, 07:06 PM
Maybe you're looking in the wrong direction - a trainer and nutritionist can obviously tell you what to do, but if you are interested in a professional, maybe finding one that can help you overcome motivational issues is a better investment. Do you think your lack of motivation/drive is caused by pure "I don't feel like it" or is there something deeper that perhaps a counselor can help with? I don't know the source of your struggle so I couldn't say.

Some people, like me, just lost track of their gain and needed to get back into the game. Some have deep emotional struggles with food and benefit from counseling.

^This.

On another note, I think it's really unlikely that you just don't want to lose weight badly enough to do it.

First off, it seems like you do want to lose weight quite badly, since you've been active here for a while, you're paying people to help you, and you are clearly actively trying to figure out why what you're doing now isn't working for you. Maybe I'm wrong (you would be the person to know), but your posts don't strike me as the posts of a person who is half-@ssing it. They read like the posts of someone who wants to lose weight very badly and is trying very hard, but for whom things just aren't clicking right now.

Second, wanting something can be an impetus to work for it, but if you don't have a workable plan, the skills to execute that plan, and an environment that you can successfully work in, then that want is going to stay a want. Motivation and goal-setting are great, but they're not enough. Knowing what to do and how to do it are essential.

Your posts indicate that you have a plan for weight loss and an environment that's okay, and that it's executing your plan that's the problem. Is that right? If that is right, have you done work on your own or with your trainer and nutritionist to find ways of executing your plan? Like Justwant2Bhealthy said, scheduling can be a useful tool, as can other organizational and time management aids. Have you seen your therapist yet? I know you said in another thread you had an appointment scheduled.

You can do this. :hug:

kaplods
12-18-2011, 09:47 PM
I think that you need to get to the place where you want this more than anything else, where you hate the fat so much that you reach your "tipping point" and decide that no matter what you are going to change.


I think this is one of the biggest, most destructive myths of weight loss.

I believed it most of my life, and it didn't help me lose weight - because every time I wasn't perfect - I had people, including my own inner voice, telling me that if I was making so many mistakes - it had to be, because I "just wasn't ready," or "just didn't want this badly enough," or "just didn't hate the fat enough."


I can tell you it's absolute BULLCRAP.

I never wanted weight loss as badly, never hated fat more, and never was more motivated, never was more willing to put absolutely everything I had into weight loss - than when I was in my 20's.

My mistake rate wasn't the problem. The problem was in my belief that tons of mistakes MEANT ANYTHING (especially that I wasn't motivated or ready).

The only thing mistakes and lack of follow-through prove is that change is difficult. Old habits are hard to break, and new habits are hard to acquire.

That's it. You don't have to be mistake-free. You can make TONS and TONS and TONS of mistakes. As long as you keep picking yourself up - and are doing better (even if very, barely, hardly measureably better).


I failed so many times, because I kept giving up (because everyone was telling me I must not be ready). I kept waiting to be ready.


My current weight loss is the sorriest excuse of effort I have ever put in. I still make tons of mistakes. I still don't follow through on half of what I intend to (and when I started, I didnt' follow through on one tenth of what I intended to).

I don't hate fat. In fact, hating fat got me into a bigger mess than loving ME at any size. I don't really care if I lose weight at all. When I started, I wasn't concerned with weight loss at all - I was concerned with getting some functionality back in my life by improving my health - even if I couldn't lose an ounce.

I failed more than I succeeded for the first four years. Heck, until THIS year, I failed more than I succeeded. I just (when I hit the 100 lb mark) tipped the "break even point" of following through more than half the time.

By most people's definition of success, I have "failed off" 101 lbs.

Don't be discouraged by mistakes - even if you make more mistakes than successes. Strive to do better than you did last week - or yesterday. Recognize the success of "better" even when it's "hardly better."





Only you can decide whether you're getting any benefit from the professional attention.

For me, it doesn't work - because I know more than most of the professionals. I've been studying weight loss since I was 5 years old, and physiology and psychology textbooks and research since high school.

But what I have always found helpful was the support group (and for me, it has to be in-person, with a weigh-in). Groups that worked were Weight Watchers, TOPS (taking off pounds sensibly), OA, Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating and Nutrisystem (but not because of the food being provided - but because when I joined, you saw a counselor and weighed in every week).

The money I spent didn't matter. The weekly support (and ideally an actual meeting), was my key - so I chose the cheapest (TOPS).

One of my incentive for weight loss in TOPS is to "break even," making my membership free. I didn't succeed my first year, but I came very close. If I had lost nothing, I would have spent about $90 for the entire year (less than $8 per month). Because I earned free monthly dues with weight loss, and won some of the contests, my membership was almost free.


The group helps me see what "normal" weight loss really looks like. And my our culture's standards - success looks like failure - and that's the real problem with weight loss. We tell suceeding people that they're failing, because they're not succeeding fast enough or well enough.

Just THINKING about changes is the first step of change - you're already on the success track - not the failure track.

Weight loss research has found that weight loss groups have a higher success rate, on average, than on-your-own programs. And in fact a recent study found that they all have very similar success rates - when the person stays in the program for at least a year.

My TOPS group has won awards for fewest gains, and for weight loss in the state, so it's not a group of slackers who "aren't ready" for weight loss - and the average weight loss is less than 1/2 pound per week.

Out of nearly 30 members it's extremely rare for more than 2 or 3 to go a month without a gain. The only reason I know this, is that every month there is a $10 prize that's split among all the members who didn't have a gain that month - and rarely do more than 2 people split the prize. Often no one wins the prize and the money is rolled over until the following month.

I've never won that prize even once in the year-and-a-half I've been a member (darned time-of-month).

It's taken me 7 years to lose 101 lbs - and I'm still beating "most people."


So don't worry about whether you're "ready" - because if you wait until you're ready, you'll never change - because almost no one is ready for change.

Just start making the changes, and start giving yourself credit and rewards for those changes.

If you can set up an incentive that revs your motivation - go for it.

My husband and I joined an incentive program at our gym in which we earned a hooded sweatshirt for attending at least 12 days during October.

Earning that "free" sweatshirt was one of my proudest accomplishments in my life.

You can do this - and you can even do it if you make tons of mistakes. I've eaten more, and exercised less in this current weight loss attempt than I ever have in the past. I've had more slips and mishaps, and I still succeeded - just by virtue of not giving up.

Don't try to be perfect, just reward yourself for doing better. If one 30 minute workout is more than the zero you had last week - then pat yourself on the back and throw yourself a five minute party - and then aim to do more.

If next week you only do one 31 minute workout or even two 20 minute workouts - praise yourself for the progress and work at doing more.

Often with weight loss, and exercise - we don't look at what we've accomplished, we only look at how we failed. We don't give ourselves credit for improving - because we fell short of our goal (even if we missed the goal by a hair's breadth).

You can do this - even if you can't do it well. Don't worry about doing it well, just work at doing it - and measure your progress so that you can SEE IT. It's very easy to forget where you started. If you beat last month's "record" for weight loss or exercise - you've made progress. And if you keep making progress (even if it's barely measureable) you'll keep having success. And slow success is still success. I haven't "failed off" 101 lbs, I've just succeeded at a much slower pace than I ever accomplished before. And all those times I quit because someone told me I wasn't ready - I wasn't failing then either- even though I thought I was. That's what makes me so mad now - I didn't quit because I WAS failing, I quit because I THOUGHT I was failing (heck everyone told me I was).



You're not failing either, so reward the success (even if it's just the success of facing up to the people you've asked to help you). You deserve credit for that. Now try to do just a teeny bit better - and know that what you're doing deserves pride, not shame (do you know how many people pay for personal help and never go to the second appointment because they're too ashamed - you've already "succeeded" more than those folks have).

Unna
12-19-2011, 04:24 AM
You've got some great advice. Wow.

Something that wasn't touched on yet:

I think the dynamic between you and the nutritionist and the personal trainer needs to change and that needs to come from you, right away. These are people you have hired to give you suggestions.

Now, you've now turned them into people that you "disappoint"; they have a type of authority over you and that authority is hindering you in your efforts and thus making you feel like a failure.

The odd thing is: you have brought about this situation. You are paying them to make you feel guilty.

The good thing: you don't have to do this. You actually have the upper-hand in this situation. You simply stop paying.

I am not implying that you stop seeing them - but you need to understand that you are transferring feelings onto them that needn't be there. They are coming parental figures that you want to rebel against.

In the end, they just want to help you and it does not make their day worse if you tell them you didn't take all their suggestions. I can imagine they are throwing TONS of suggestions at you.

Before you meet with them next time, make a list of the advice you DID follow that week and a list of the goals you hope to meet the following week.

From their perspective also, they don't want to make their clients feel bad - they want to help them get better.... in any way possible. If you believe that they are actually making you feel bad - that it is coming from them - then they are not the proper people to be working with. That shouldn't happen. In that case, they are not professionals and have a terrible understanding of human nature.

aliasihaya
12-19-2011, 06:29 PM
\First off, it seems like you do want to lose weight quite badly, since you've been active here for a while, you're paying people to help you, and you are clearly actively trying to figure out why what you're doing now isn't working for you. Maybe I'm wrong (you would be the person to know), but your posts don't strike me as the posts of a person who is half-@ssing it. They read like the posts of someone who wants to lose weight very badly and is trying very hard, but for whom things just aren't clicking right now.

Second, wanting something can be an impetus to work for it, but if you don't have a workable plan, the skills to execute that plan, and an environment that you can successfully work in, then that want is going to stay a want. Motivation and goal-setting are great, but they're not enough. Knowing what to do and how to do it are essential.

Your posts indicate that you have a plan for weight loss and an environment that's okay, and that it's executing your plan that's the problem. Is that right? If that is right, have you done work on your own or with your trainer and nutritionist to find ways of executing your plan? Like Justwant2Bhealthy said, scheduling can be a useful tool, as can other organizational and time management aids. Have you seen your therapist yet? I know you said in another thread you had an appointment scheduled.

You can do this. :hug:

Thanks Theox for noticing. Yeah, I feel as if I really do want to lose badly. And I keep trying to find my formula. But it just hasn't clicked yet. I know there are a lot of suggestions for organization and I do agree that I need to get more organized. I don't plan well enough for this. I have also thought about TOPS. I'm torn on the aspect of accountability. Part of me really wants it. And part of me gets disappointed when I don't live up to it. I'd hoped that it would fuel me more in terms of getting to the place where I'm motivated. But I'm just not there yet. I would like to keep seeing my trainer/nutritionist. I know that they want what's best for me even though I'm paying them. But I just want to get to where I don't feel as if I owe them a good report card for the week in order to see them.

I did see the nutritionist today and I was dreading it because I had such a bad week last week. And she was great. For once I actually didn't feel bad once I started talking to her. She said to set last week aside and not to beat myself up about it. To try to figure out why I made the choices that I did but not to dwell on it. It was a good session. So maybe they are helping.

I had my first therapist appointment last week and it was hard. It was partially why I crashed last week. It brought up a lot of emotions and she reaffirmed that I'm fighting depression pretty hard. I think every time I feel like I've failed that it sets me back even more. After our session I totally emotionally ate for a few days. Not really bingeing but just doing all the wrong things. So I'm meeting with her again this week and I'll discuss that. Maybe my mental block is the depression. I'm not sure.

So again, I appreciate everyone's suggestions. It means a lot that you've taken the time to help. I'm going to gather them all up and think about them for awhile and figure out what might work for me. But for now I'll 'keep on swimming'. The good thing is that I have a week and a half off work for the holidays so it'll give me some good thinking time to figure this out.

BuddysBuddy
12-20-2011, 09:45 AM
I have found for me that I get rebellious when someone tells me what to do even if I was the one that instigated the sessions. To earn extra money for our companies health savings account, we can have "coaching" sessions by phone for various healthy topics. I really hate doing these after the first few sessions. I just go by rote. Same thing with trainers and nutritionists. I don't know why I'm like that, but I find that I generally do better on my own or passive participation (reading 3FC and /or attending Weight Watchers meetings) with weight loss issues. So with my attitude at least, it has been counter productive to try to actively enlist the help of professionals. I'm not sure what personality trait is driving this attitude.

sontaikle
12-20-2011, 09:55 AM
I think that you need to get to the place where you want this more than anything else, where you hate the fat so much that you reach your "tipping point" and decide that no matter what you are going to change. It is not something that anyone else can do for you, YOU have to make the changes. You can't hire someone to do it for you, you can't go to a store and buy your weight loss, you can't wish it would be gone and have it magically disappear. If you really want it YOU have to do it!! So, that being said, it seems that based on your history, you don't really want it bad enough yet.



Hating yourself thin is a horrible way to get there.

Unna
12-20-2011, 10:19 AM
Hating yourself thin is a horrible way to get there.

Agreed. You can also appreciate your body for being able to do what it can do.

ennay
12-20-2011, 01:55 PM
And then we have the same discussion about motivation and setting goals........blah blah blah.

Again, I really like them. They don't make me feel bad. They just state the obvious which then makes me feel bad. .

Its the same thing I tell my dental hygienist. I know all about flossing. I'm not perfect at it, I dont need the lecture.

Honestly what a waste of money if they are repeating themselves. I would say "This is what I did well this week, this is what I did not so well this week, I do not need to be lectured let's just get down to work" If they continue to lecture I would be frank - The lecture is demeaning and repetitive and clearly not effective.

I dont know about a nutritionist but a personal trainer I pay to work me out. I do not pay personal trainers to weigh me, measure me, test my body fat, calculate my health scores, lecture me or in any other way waste my paid time on anything not working out. Except maybe creating a workout plan for the days I am not seeing them (one trainer I had wanted to weigh and measure EVERY session)

I also dont pay them to warm me up or cool me down so I make it clear that I will be doing that before the scheduled appointment.

I agree with the observation that YOU need to be in control. They work for you and need to not disappoint YOU. You dont need to worry about whether or not you disappoint them.