Emotional support is the often forgotten piece of the weight loss puzzle. Everyone knows you need to watch what you eat and exercise regularly, but dealing with emotions and changing the way you think is what gets you to the final goal. However, knowing where to find emotional support is tricky—our usual go-to people may be less helpful or understanding than we would like. Read through these four types of emotional support to see which ones may be most helpful for your situation:
1. Friends and Family
If you have a friend or family member who is also trying to lose weight, you can support each other by sharing more than just recipes and workouts. Talking about your feelings, especially when you've had a bad day, helps put things back into perspective. We are often our own worst critics and your loved ones can and will support you regardless of whether you ate that whole box of cookies. Although this is usually the first choice, friends and family can also be too close to the situation, so be sure to choose your confidant wisely.
2. Online Community
Online weight loss communities are an excellent source of information and support. Message boards help like-minded individuals find each other. Plus, the online community has the best of both worlds: you can make real friends who help you deal with real issues, while maintaining a certain amount of anonymity and distance. Your online friends are not intricately involved in your daily life, so they can offer insight on situations from an unbiased perspective. Since it is a whole community, the amount of emotional support is amazing. You will find that many people are having the exact same feelings you are and you'll be able to get advice from those that have gone through these situations before.
3. Organized meetings
Whether you choose to attend meetings run by specific weight loss companies or want to opt for community support groups like Overeaters Anonymous, in-person meetings can be just the right thing. Like online communities, meetings give you a group of people going through the same struggles. Since weight gain is often tied to emotional eating, we need to learn how to deal with our personal feelings and experiences in new ways. Organized meetings give tips on how to get through universally tough food times, like the holidays, as well as helping members deal with difficult personal issues.
4. Medical professionals
Medical professionals have experience helping people lose weight and can also be a source of emotional support. Your family doctor may be able to help you fight through feelings because he or she has known you for a long time. Dietitians are experts when it comes to weight loss. They have worked with clients just like you and can be a source of both information and understanding. For many people, excess weight is a symptom of some other internal problem. By working on these private issues with a therapist you may find that once the cause has been resolved, the symptoms, in the form of extra pounds, may slowly melt away too.