Even Emily Post would approve, if you say “please” first!
And this is one four-letter word you can utter in polite company.
If you find that you’re having trouble “getting with the program” or fatty, salty, sweet foods are calling your name too many times, and you’ve tried every trick you can think of, your next step is to make a strategic call, and say, “Please HELP me!”
Real men (and women) DO ask for directions. When you’re running a business, you seek the expertise of consultants. Getting and staying healthy and appropriately fit are your personal business, and success in this endeavor requires the same savvy and attention as your professional projects.
Working at Pritikin and having the delightful opportunity to get to know so many of you, I have observed that asking for “help” is quite difficult for guests. I’m not surprised though; without exception, you are dynamic, creative, and highly successful! You’re not used to asking for help. As Nike encourages in their ad campaign, you “just do it.”
While this “can do” attitude is positive and motivating, when it comes to lifestyle change, you may often be able to “just do it” but sometimes, you may need the help of people who are as expert in this area as you are in yours.
So when do you need help? Have you noticed a consistent 5-pound weight gain over the course of several weeks? Are you slacking off at the gym, exercising only 2 or 3 times a week, if at all? Has your cholesterol or blood pressure gone up? Does food, not loved ones, keep you company too often? Are you saying “I’ll start eating right/exercising on Monday” every Sunday night?
These are the times you have to reach out. The first step is to figure out what kind of help you need. Perhaps you need to engage a personal trainer so you can’t skip exercise. Or if you’re using food to deal with stress or unhappiness, a cognitive-behavioral therapist can help you work through the issues that are feeding your hunger. A coach who can organize you so that you have an action plan that makes a Pritikin lifestyle possible at home can be enormously beneficial. And a psychologist/coach can teach you to train your mind (where all real change happens first) in strategies for success.
When the zipper won’t zip, or you’re feeling tired and have lost the spring in your step, call one of Pritikin’s staff to help you prevent a lapse from becoming a relapse. All of us are available for phone sessions that can kick-start your motivation. Or access an expert in your community.
Remember, if you don’t ask for directions, you may get there, but it will take a lot longer, and, when it comes to your health, you have no time to waste!
Susan E. Grober, Ph.D.