Weight Loss Drugs: An Easy Way Out?

No Avoiding Lifestyle Changes

To successfully lose weight, you have to make major lifestyle changes. Maybe you need to learn about appropriate portion sizes and how to stick to them. Maybe you need to learn a whole new way of cooking and eating. Maybe you're going to have to spend more money on healthier food choices and gym memberships. Maybe you'll actually have to start going to the gym, even after a long day at work when you are dead tired. And, in order to make your weight loss "stick," you'll have to commit to keeping up those changes for the long run.
 
Weight loss medications don't let you avoid lifestyle changes. You still have to make the major shifts in thinking, cooking, eating, and moving in order to drop those pounds.
 

No Different From Other "Lifestyle" Diseases

Would you feel like you were cheating if you needed to take a blood pressure medication, a diabetes drug, or a treatment to help you stop smoking? Probably not. Why is it that we sometimes feel we're cheating if we need the help of a drug to lose weight?
 
These other conditions (high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and smoking) are very similar, in that they can often be managed with lifestyle changes alone. However, if you've been unsuccessful dealing with your weight (or your blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or smoking) on your own, you shouldn't avoid treatment just because you could have done it alone.
 
Taking charge of your health and being strong enough to admit when you need help are admirable things. Doing what you have to do in order to help preserve or improve your long-term health is a smart choice.
 

A Final Word About Bravery and Shame

Let's face it -- it's embarrassing to have your healthcare provider bring up the subject of your excess weight. It's probably even harder to bring the subject up yourself. It's difficult to spend your hard-earned money at the pharmacy for a medication to help you do something you really feel you should be able to do yourself.
 
It's hard to face up to the reality that no matter how hard you've tried, you haven't been successful. It's difficult to have your weight loss journey carefully monitored at your healthcare provider's office. It's probably much easier to simply continue on living with your excess weight or to resort to potentially unsafe diets or supplements just to avoid involving your healthcare provider. Congratulate yourself for doing the brave and difficult thing.  
 
And while you certainly shouldn't be ashamed of your weight loss efforts, you also shouldn't feel the need to explain it to anyone. Your coworkers, friends, and even relatives don't have the right to know anything about the medications you are taking, unless you care to discuss it with them. Everyone needs some degree of privacy. If you feel that this is a private issue for you, don't feel bad about keeping it private. There is a big difference between feeling shame and needing privacy. Allow yourself the privacy you need.
 
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