For many of us, obesity has had a major impact on our lives for years at a time, and in some cases, decades. Being obese has affected our health, our relationships, our careers and even our lifestyles. Because of this, it’s easy to let our attention focus on the physical aspects of our wellness and neglect the other significant component: the mental and emotional aspects of obesity.
I don’t need to tell anyone who has experienced serious long-term or short-term weight issues how damaging obesity can really be. Emotions like self-loathing, shame, depression and guilt are with us daily when we suffer with chronic obesity.
Perhaps you’re like me. In the past, you’ve tried to lose weight and were not successful at losing and keeping the weight off, despite trying several different diets. Now you can add feelings of embarrassment and personal failure to the pile of negative emotions you already feel.
With all that emotional negativity building up inside us, it’s likely that our resolve will be undermined with despair, which is extremely detrimental to our chances of success with medical weight loss. This is an area where a mental health professional like a psychologist can help you lose weight.
One of the promises I made to myself when I started seeing Dr. Sam was to also see someone who could help me with my depression. I was forced to admit to myself how long I’d been suffering with depression from being massively obese. I also experienced honesty in acknowledging that these feelings sometimes drove me to binge eat and feel like giving up on the goal of losing weight. In fact, I almost decided not to go meet with Dr. Sam for my first appointment because I couldn’t stand the idea of starting yet another diet, which I was convinced would be doomed to fail.
I guess I’ve already managed to prove myself wrong there, didn’t I?
Now that I had Dr. Sam and his staff behind me as my team to guide and support me in the physical aspects of losing weight, I needed another team member to help coach me in putting aside my depression and help me to truly believe that I could succeed – despite all my previous dieting failures.
As luck would have it, the psychologist I chose knew Dr. Sam and had worked with him before. Bringing her onto my wellness team was a perfect fit because she and Dr. Sam could now discuss my case from both a physical and emotional point of view. Their collaboration outlined the best ways to motivate and encourage me to keep pushing toward my goal.
In fact, I still see my psychologist periodically, despite my continued steady success over the past 16 months. At the time that I’m writing this blog, I’ve lost 245 pounds to date, and that kind of change in my life is beyond profound! When experiencing a major change like this, it’s wonderful to have someone coaching you through everything and giving you perspective; that’s what my psychologist does for me.
I would urge anyone considering medical weight loss with Dr. Sam to also think about having a psychologist as part of your support team. You will be surprised how much a mental health professional like a psychologist can help you lose weight and overcome your mental barriers. Dr. Sam will definitely be there to support your personal physical health, but you owe it to yourself to not neglect your emotional health, as well. It just might make all the difference in how awesome your weight loss success will be!
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