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How important is Support?

In this blog post I would like to discuss the importance of support and accountability when it comes to weight loss. This is an often overlooked component when someone ventures down the path of weight loss. It is also a subject I probably don’t address enough. The simple answer to the question is that “support” is extremely important if the goal is long term, sustainable, weight loss.

First, we should define “support” because it comes in a number of different iterations. “Support” could certainly be as straight forward as an individual, or group, that is there for you to pick you up or encourage you when things aren’t going right. I think this would be the standard definition that most people would think of. “Support”, however, may also mean “accountability”. Accountability is just as important and is simply another form of support. There are going to be times where what you need is encouragement and there are going to be times where what you need, whether you know it or not, is a kick in the butt (gently). In our Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky weight loss centers we often have to balance between these two forms of support with our clients. “Support” can actually take a third form however. This type of support is the “example” and is often overlooked. A very powerful way to support someone who is trying to make a change is by showing them, through your own actions and results, that the result is achievable. Having someone to look to who has done it, who has experienced the good and the bad, and has come out on the other side a success, can make all the difference. Again, in our Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky weight loss offices, many of our coaches have also been former, or are current, clients. They have been “in the trenches” and have experienced what they are asking a client to undertake.

Whichever form “support” takes it is an essential part of a sustainable weight loss program. I intentionally make the distinction here between sustainable and non-sustainable because losing a little weight and then putting it back on is pretty easy to do. It takes very little effort and minimal changes to one’s daily routine. Once the process gets difficult it is also easy to quit and end up back at the starting point. Our programs and procedures are meant to be sustainable exclusively. This does not mean that our clients need to be perfect and that they never gain weight back, etc. This means that when times get tough, which they inevitably do, we have a plan to get through these tough times and continue the journey in a successful and positive way. A large part of this process of working through “tough times” is having some form, if not all forms, of support. I wish that weight loss was as easy as handing a client a piece of paper with instructions on it and saying good luck, never to see them again. I wish there was a magic bullet, shot, pill, potion, etc. If there was everyone would be doing it and not one single person would be overweight. The process, the plan, is what is important. This is where the magic happens. A huge part of any weight loss process needs to be support.

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