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Have The Courage To Lose Weight

By Tracie Johanson

The famous Greek philosopher Aristotle once said "You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor."

Does it take courage to lose weight? You bet it does! The question then we have the courage to lose weight?

Let's take a look at some of the weight-loss pitfalls we may need courage to overcome. Although all of these won't apply to everyone, we need to be aware of these traps.

* SIBLING RIVALRY - Do you have a sister that you're always competing with? Although we love our siblings, we need to realize that our weight loss success may not always get the warmest response! If we finally start exercising and drop that extra 40 lbs., but our sister doesn't, how will that impact the sibling relationship? All too often our sister will get jealous and react negatively to our success. A snide comment here, a cold shoulder there, and soon we may find ourselves regretting our own success.

* GUILT - Yes, we may even feel guilty about our weight loss success! What if we lose that extra weight, but our best friend doesn't? Similar to 'survivor syndrome', we might even call this phenomenon 'success syndrome'. Consider the woman who, with her mother, has been battling her weight all her life. This has been a journey of 15-25 years!! Suddenly the daughter is thin, and the mother is still obese.....these types of scenarios can create feelings of guilt in the successful person.

* ATTENTION - Once we start exercising regularly, we will start to lose fat and tone muscle. It's likely that, as we become successful in our weight loss efforts, we will start to attract attention from the opposite sex. As fun as that may sound, it may be uncomfortable for some of us.

* SPOUSE - "In a marital or romantic relationship there may be an equilibrium that is established over time. Take for example a marriage where a husband smokes or drinks and does not get promoted and his wife is overweight. If she then upsets the equilibrium by losing weight, there is implicit pressure on him to make progress in his own areas of struggle.

Another reason that someone may not want their partner to lose weight: Let's say one person is angry and has a difficult time talking about their feelings, so they badger the other person for having a piece of apple pie. If their partner loses weight, then they no longer have that means to control or express hostility.

Or someone may nag their partner, saying 'You don't look as good as you used to,' but then when their partner begins to lose weight they may resist, not feeling 'good enough' for them any more. One woman told me that her husband was actually feeding her off his plate. He felt threatened when she lost weight and did his best to undo her weight loss." (Source: Dr. Edward Abramson, a clinical psychologist who specializes in body image. He is the author of Body Intelligence: Lose Weight, Keep it off and Feel Great About your Body Without Dieting, due out in September, 2005 from McGraw-Hill.)

* COURAGE! - It's easy to see that some of us may need courage to cope with our weight loss once we've achieved it. But we CAN find the courage to handle these issues! Some tips for courageous weight loss:

  • Invite the jealous sister to exercise with us. If the offer is refused, then remember that we DID make the offer!

  • Remember that we can only be responsible for our OWN failure and success.....if a friend or family member fails to lose their excess weight it's not our fault! We are only in charge of us!

  • Invite our spouse to help us shop for healthier foods and cook healthier meals.

Be courageous! WE CAN DO IT!

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