Recently, I have been getting a lot of questions from others about how to help their loved ones lose weight. That is a hard question to answer in some aspects, while still simple in a different aspect. I am not a doctor or personal trainer to be giving out professional advice on how to help someone.
However, the best thing that I can tell anyone, from my perspective of a person who has been through a major life transformation is this. It applies to those who are going through situations beyond weight loss, like what I have been through. It applies to drug addicts, alcoholics, or what ever addiction the person has in their life.
My answer is this. You have to love the person through the process. The entire process. Not just the end of the journey when they in are recovery, but in all stages of their journey. Even in the very early stages where its obvious they need help, but are unwilling to accept it. Love them, and encourage them.
Don't sugar coat the situation they are in, but by no means should a person be made to be ashamed or belittled either. We all need to know the consequences of our actions and how our personal decisions affect those around us. We also need to be shown the positive rewards of what life will be like if we make the changes to do better for ourselves. Not only for ourselves, but for our loved ones as well.
There were a lot of times during my struggle with food addiction and obesity, that people would say really rude, hurtful things. I was bullied many times, looked down up and discriminated against because of my weight. Even by those who I thought were friends or cared about me.
Several people tried to talk to me about me about losing weight and how it was important for my overall health. Give me tips on what I should and should not do. All things I already knew. Things I had heard many times before from doctors and other "concerned" loved ones. What I would tell them most of the time, is that I didn't want to be lectured about food and be included on outings where some sort of physical activity was included. An activity that I could do, or slightly above what I normally did so that I could challenge myself.
In order for anybody to make a complete change in life, and for it work, first and foremost, they have to want to change. It can not be forced upon them or bullied into doing. It has to be a sincere need and want on their part.
It is also important that they have a strong support system that is going to love them through the process. It has been a great blessing for me that I have had a wonderful support system around me on my journey. My trainer especially has been absolutely amazing for me. For with out him, I know I would not have done as well. His guidance, knowledge, support and love really made a difference in my life. He never went easy on me, and never let me give up on myself. That meant a lot to me.
There are a few select others who have loved my through this and hugged me and listened to me cry when it was hard. That is what helped get me through this difficult journey. Knowing that there were people who loved me enough to see me through this.
For those who want to see their loved ones get help, the best I could tell you is to love them. Be there for them. Listen to them and give them positive feedback and encouragement, while directing them down a better life than where they currently are.
As I sign off, the song, "I'm Going To Love You Through It" by Martina McBride comes to mind. It means a lot to me. Granted, the song talks about someone who has breast cancer. However, it touched my heart just the same because the love I felt from others on my journey meant a lot.
From "I'm Going to Love You Through It" By Martina McBride
When you're weak, I'll be strong
When you let go, I'll hold on
When you need to cry, I swear that I'll be there to dry your eyes
When you feel lost and scared to death,
Like you can't take one more breath
Just take my hand, together we can do this
I'm gonna love you through it.