Losing Weight is Lonely


Treats ... or temptations?

I'm a horrible dieter. I am always struggling to lose weight or keep it off. I'm pretty sure my "happy" weight is a size 14 ... but given my fitness profession, that's not good for business. So I'm constantly trying to lose another pound or two. It's nothing horrible -- not more than 10 pounds -- but it's a constant. Up a bit, heavy sigh ... down a bit, happy dance ... up a bit, heavy sigh. What I've discovered is that losing weight is pretty darned lonely.

We Make Our Own Choices

It is my choice what I put in my mouth. From cupcake to celery ... from chocolate to sweet potato ... my portion size, how long I eat, the balance of color on my plate, they are ALL up to me. Yes, there is a constant pull to the "dark side," the bad stuff from the outside world, but we brush away so many other messages without a moment's notice. Why does that ad for hot cocoa leave me wanting one two days later? There are a LOT of dynamics to weight loss and probably the biggest one is our environment. What we watch on TV, what our family prefers to eat, what our co-workers tote back to their desk for lunch. We don't just make one or two food decisions a day, we make dozens. Literally dozens of opportunities to go in the right direction instead of the wrong one. And it only takes a few bad decisions to wipe away the good. It's maddening.

Losing Weight in a Community

Dieting can definitely be isolating from the people around us. We can struggle to feel like others understand us, and that makes it so much easier to backslide on the scale. But there's an easy way to find a sense of community when you're trying to lose weight. Several studies show that weight loss with support is way more successful than solo dieters. The internet is our salvation. Ironically, what keeps us on our butts for hours at a time, couch and laptop, barely burning any calories, can also give us a portal to like-minded people. From a short term community, such as DietBet.com, to a long-term community like the Weight Watchers forums (there have been people on here literally for years), you can find a place that works for you. Maybe an action-oriented group that tracks runs and workouts or a "love your body" group like the Sweaty Betties. Through the screen you're currently staring at is a place where you'll find a place to vent frustration, a place to share a silly story, and a place to get an "atta girl" when you need one. So start Googling and see what you find. You might be surprised to find some real people who enter your life. It's definitely happened to me. And feel free to comment below and have my site be a small part of that community as well. Cheers, Lisa

photo credit: Meringue Bake Shop

About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson here. I've been a personal trainer since 1997, a Pilates instructor since 1998 and the owner of Modern Pilates since 1999. I'm hoping to give you some good ideas to get or stay in shape with a healthy dose of humor and reality. Thanks for joining me.


7 Responses to Losing Weight is Lonely

  1. Lisa January 11, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    I think it can be lonely. When I was losing my 110 pounds I did it on my own. I counted calories, so I didn’t get the support of weight watchers meetings. I also had no idea of the expansive weight loss support/healthy living genre of the internet. Had I known back then, it might have been less lonely!

  2. Nick January 13, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Your site is definitely a part of my community! Lonely indeed, it’s even worse when you’re questioned about health choices; “Why the heck would you go there when you could have a nice sausage and bacon sandwich on white bread here?!”, I hear that one a lot, so I can definitely relate to others’ understanding of my choices. Although when it does come to this kind of situation, I see my goal ahead of me, and that always helps in making an informed decision!

  3. TraceyJoy January 14, 2013 at 12:11 am #

    Awesome advice Lisa. Weight loss is lonely and especially challenging for me since everybody has been down this road with me before. They’ve lost faith in me and just aren’t supportive this time yep I’m soloing this gig. That’s OK. I’ve connected with people from Youtube to keep me going. Your blog does the same. Instead of a diet this is total lifestyle change. Thank you for sharing how much of a challenge it is for you to keep yourself up and going. I’m often under the impression that people in the industry don’t have challenges I face. They’ve got it all together and at their fingertips. You put a “humanity” spin to this that I really really appreciateā™„

    I did Body Physica Standing just made it through the segment was sweating buckets but felt good. Couldn’t get through the jumping jacks still a bit too heavy for that. Haven’t tried Modern Pilates yet I did watch it, love your cuing. Very proud of you Lisa.

  4. JoAnn January 16, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

    Losing weight can be very lonely and there are people who unintentionally sabotage your efforts with comments and offering temptations. Finding some kind of support is vital. Online communities like this, WW, myfitnesspal or fitness based ones like Fitbit can be very helpful. It’s also important to have people in your life who support the effort. I’ve lost 95 pounds because I have skinny husband who never complains about food we eat and a great coach who listens to every struggle, answers every question and props me up when I need it.

  5. MindBody January 24, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    Losing weight has to be your own choice and no one elses. You do it for yourself and no one else. That’s why it can be a lonely thing. But because you’re doing it on your own you’ll feel so much better when you reach your target because it did it all by yourself.

  6. Lisa Johnson January 27, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    MindBody, yep … harder to get to the reward which makes it that much sweeter. Then staying at the goal … always the trickiest part!

  7. Valerie Avina May 12, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

    That is the reason losing weight needs a great discipline and motivation because it could be a lonely activity, shall we say we should do and struggle on our own but there are some cases we can consider on having a weight loss buddy which can improve our confidence and motivation.

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