The Weight-Loss Buck Stops Here
I’ve been doing a freelance editorial project in which I have to look at health and nutrition topics that people search for online. The vast majority of the searches are about the benefits of specific diets, including obscure ones I’ve never heard of, and methods for losing weight in specific areas of the body, like the belly or thighs.
This project is starting to make me sad. I find I’m going very slowly on it, because it’s discouraging to see how many people look for quick fixes to their weight issues – diet pills, self-hypnosis, lemon cleanses, a single food to “zap” the metabolism, a way to lose a scary amount of weight in a week or a month. I will probably never meet any of these online searchers face-to-face, yet I find myself wanting to sit down with them and talk to them about switching to a healthful diet for the long term, which would help them shed pounds. Not quickly, it’s true, but safely – and for good.
A nutritionist’s job can be difficult. So much rides on my clients’ willingness to change – will they really cut out soda, or will they come back next month and say they just couldn’t do it? Even the person who seems to motivated in our initial meeting may return for a follow-up appointment and admit she just didn’t do anything because she says she lacks “willpower.” Or worse, she may not return at all, opting instead for hypnosis or a dangerous diet.
Nutritionists can guide you and steer you, offer helpful advice and even outline healthful eating plans. They can suggest supplements that might benefit you and herbs that could support your goals. They can give you lots of pep talks, supply research on various foods and be a kind of “cheerleader,” as one client called me recently. That’s all good, and I love those parts of my job.
But ultimately, the buck stops with you. You need to show up, to actually follow through, to makes changes. If you fall off the dietary wagon one day, you get right back on. As a friend of mine puts it, “You can start your day over at any time.”
This is not passive work, but you will see change. And you will keep you moving toward your goal of a healthy weight – and a healthy life.