Thursday, March 8, 2012

Robert's Cry For Help

In our world where videos go viral, it is no surprise that this past week there was a video that made national headlines about a man's cry for help concerning his obesity. Perhaps by now you have watched the video of Robert who weighs somewhere between 600-700 pounds. This video has brought complex and varied reactions. Some, who hide behind their keyboards, make fun of Robert and criticize his mother. Others have shown the power of human compassion and sincere concern for Robert. Obviously this issue is sensitive for me, for I like Robert, have been at that place where every thing seems hopeless and nothing will work to accomplish my desire to lose weight. Robert confesses that he has tried an array of diets to no avail. I think many of us reading this blog can relate to that statement!

Robert's story highlights an important point, which is that weight loss is not simply about will power or a certain diet plan. There are many great weight loss tools but there is not exactly one that is the magic bullet for success. I think many people read Robert's story and say "well for goodness sake Robert just stop eating so much and start some type of exercise plan!!" Of course that is true and at some point if Robert succeds he must do that very thing, but that isn't all there is to this puzzle, and indeed it is a puzzle. For those well meaning souls who give this advice to Robert, do you really think he doesn't know this already? Do you really think that it has never occurred to Robert, or myself when I was over 450 pounds, that we should stop eating so much and start to exercise?? So what does it take? Good question and here is the answer, the perfect weight loss plan for Robert is something that is tailored for Robert. We all are complex creatures and as we all know there are differences in our personality. I am so thankful that I found a team to help me start and continue my weight loss journey. I was fortunate in that I found one person, Mandy Huffman, who could be my coach, personal trainer, and nutritional adviser. This person also helped me stay accountable and gave me (and continues to give) that swift kick in the butt when needed. :) Not everyone is lucky enough to find all this in one person, but for many it is important to have all these people in your life when you begin a major transition with weight loss. Of course these can be friends they do not have to be a paid team of people, you have to be proactive to seek these people out and begin the process. I also had a team behind me as well, in the sense that the wonderful fitness center staff at Lifestyles were so encouraging and accepting of me.

I truly hope that Robert finds what he needs in terms of what it will take to make his weight loss goals a reality. But just for the record for those few people who feel like they can make fun of Robert or criticize all aspects of his life, this is NOT the way to motivate people to make positive change! I am so thankful that my road to weight loss success was paved with kindness, love, compassion, and accountability.

Wishing you joy,