I've said this, and will say it again. The road to losing weight and wellness is a journey you don't want to take alone. Even if you're this super-strong of a person who can do everything in solitude, somewhere along the way you'll realize you will need the help of another person and you will realize that it can be fun and much easier for all of these to bear if there is someone whom you can consult to or air our sentiments to.
Today is about Finding a Diet Coach. I do understand that some dieters prefer to keep things to themselves, because letting people know they are on a diet would often times cause other people to be critical - making them see things negatively. When I started this journey, I was basically alone, too... but I sort of told people about how I am doing (I have this blog and I sometimes would comment about friends' Facebook statuses). Even so, I didn't really have a "Diet Coach" then, simply because my family would always tell me to "go for it" every time I'd consult them should I eat something "unhealthy."
So... why the need for a diet coach?
- To keep you motivated. You can psyche yourself every second that "you can do it," but sometimes, emotions do get the better of us, and if we have a diet coach, he / she can help us carry ourselves during emotional days.
- To build your self-confidence. During moments of defeat, the diet coach can give that push and can help you stay on track. He / she can also shower you with positive words that will help build your self-confidence.
- To help you solve problems. Sometimes, we encounter problems not related to dieting and fitness - perhaps you had a fight with your significant other or you had a quarrel with your siblings or perhaps you encountered a problem at work. These problems can cause you to slip off track because you needed to focus on the other problems first. Your diet coach can help you solve problems by giving you a fresh set of eyes - a new perspective to look at the problem, he / she can give out suggestions how to come up with a solution.
- To keep you accountable. Knowing that you have to be really honest to your coach, he / she will help you stick to your plan. Sometimes, the thought of you having the need to report to your coach (about what you plan to eat and do) will help you stay on track.
- To help you take a more useful perspective. Says in the book, when you plan to stay away from your plan, think, "What would my coach say to me?"
Simply put, the diet coach isn't just there for the fitness part of your journey... he / she is there for you - no matter what the situation is.
Personally, my diet coach is no other than Mr. Pipoy. Ever since we became friends, we would tell each other what we plan to eat, or what we ate from the previous meal. He is very supportive to say, "Oh that's a good food choice," but there were times he would be strict on me when I plan to eat something that will sabotage my diet. Like when I first told him I plan to eat pork. He wasn't so okay about it, but he told me lessen the pork intake, even challenged me not to eat a morsel of pork for one week. I was able to survive that, but after that one week, I allowed myself to eat pork and one instance he really got mad at me. It was all for the best of me (we all know pork isn't a healthy meat) - and eating it just seem not worthy of hearing him upset at me. I'd rather say goodbye to pork than lose my precious Mr. Pipoy.
Anyway, he and I talk everyday, so I always consult him about food choices, and I tell him if I plan to eat out. No, I am not being too dependent, I just wanted to tell him about these things so if I overlooked something, he can give me a reminder. Actually, I did ask him if I was too dependent, he answered, "I want you to." Well, for the most part of it, he would let me make my own choice - like whenever I ask him if it would be a good idea to attend this food event or not - he would often say "your choice... do what you needed to do," but whenever I raise doubts about how I will carry myself if I was served a lot of food at the event, that's when he would tell his thoughts about it. Basically, he will allow me to make my choice first, then whatever option I'd go for, he will share his thoughts just to help me stay on track even if I decided to go ahead and attend the event.
You don't need to tell everyone or shout it out to the world that you're on a journey to losing weight if you don't feel like it, but do consider having that one person or a small group of people whom you can share the journey with. In the book, Dr. Beck gave out suggestions on how to find a Diet Coach:
- Enlist the help of a close friend or a family member. If you want to keep your diet a hush-hush, then go for your best friend or a family member. They may or may not have the experience about dieting, but what's important is that you choose someone you know will be supportive and proud of you.
- Consider starting this program with a friend or family member. If you're on the same journey, you can motivate and keep track of each other.
- Join an organized group. You might go and check if your neighborhood has a group for this or maybe check the Internet and see if there's a group you might want to belong to. Personally, I am a member of Belle Today since 2008 (I go for "janujennifer" as my handle there), but while I am not good friends with anyone in the site, it just feels great to know that there are people doing the same journey. The Belle Today team are actually very easy to approach, I just haven't really had the chance to make friends with them yet. In time, I will.
- Find a diet professional. You may also consider going with professional help, but that's totally up to you. I guess Dr. Beck listed this, because some people can be productive if they deal with a person that really related to them.
- Investigate Internet Support. There are so many blogs about weight-loss, and it can help to share the journey with other people even if you don't see each other. Likewise, there are forums about weight-loss, too, which you might want to be a member of, because talking to people on the same boat as you are may help you reach your goals easier.
Sharing an important detail Dr. Beck highlighted: You want a Diet Coach who helps you identify and counter your unhelpful thinking, gives practical advice, is highly encouraging and motivating, and is willing to help you implement this program.
When you found that person you want to become your Diet Coach, you should tell him / her about your diet program and your plans. Likewise, it will be best if you are honest about everything that has to do with your program. Mr. Pipoy and I are very honest to each other. Whenever he asks what I plan to eat or if I went out to walk, I'd tell him about it - even that one instance when I ate pork even if I promised him that I won't anymore. Why? because we are responsible for each other. We want to be really honest because we are looking at each other's welfare.
It is true that certain things we should keep to ourselves. However, it is much better if we have someone to share things with - to give that morale boost and to help us get back on track when we are slowly slipping away from our program. I hope you'd find that person.