Sara Valente of Tomorrow’s Pharmacist describes how people need to mentally prepare themselves if they are to maintain any successful weight loss. I agree that you won’t lose weight and keep it off unless you really want to.
Scott Adams, US cartoonist and author (b.1957) said “I’m slowly becoming a convert to the principle that you can’t motivate people to do things, you can only demotivate them. The primary job of the manager/mentor/etc is not to empower, but to remove obstacles”. In other words, nothing and no-one can motivate a person to change; motivation has to come from within ourselves.
My 8 year old daughter, who has sucked her thumb since she was 5 months old has been advised by our dentist to stop before her habit interferes with her dental growth. Fearing years of wearing braces, my daughter made a few half hearted attempts to give up. This ended in tears as she cried “But how can I stop? I just can’t help it!” My reply to her was that if she couldn’t stop, that was OK. However,if she did want to stop, she would find a way and the reason why she hadn’t been successful so far is that she hadn’t wanted success badly enough. I told her to find a reason to stop that was really important to her and remind herself repeatedly. Within 2 days, she had stopped sucking her thumb! Her reason – surpirisingly was not to avoid wearing braces but because she couldn’t accept the thought of failing at something.
Perhaps as pharmacists, we need to help patients find their inner motivation to succeed in the fight against obesity and tackle the problem at the root cause rather than treating the symptoms. For most of us, maintaining our weight is for life and any attempt at a quick fix is destined for failure. Onerous as that sounds, a good friend of mine described how one bad day (of overeating or making bad food choices) doesn’t have to lead to another. We can accept having fallen off the bandwagon and get back on! The 80:20 rule comes to mind – eat healthily 80% of the time and relax the rules 20% of the time. I still practice this today!