If you have ever tried to lose weight or change anything else about yourself, you probably know how difficult it is. Last week, I had the good fortune to meet up with a friend of mine, Jennifer McLeod, health director at Wabun Tribal Council in Timmins. She looked great and I noticed that she had lost a lot of weight. She seemed to radiate this feeling of well-being and healthiness, and I asked her what she had been doing. She told me she had been supporting her husband Keith in his weight-loss program and in doing so had put into place healthier lifestyle choices that benefited her whole family.

She also pointed out that she had received a lot of support from the Wabun Chub Club, made up of Wabun staff members. She got me to thinking about just how important it is for a person to have support when they are making any lifestyle changes. She also reminded me that people don’t have to wait until something critical happens to them so they can become motivated to change their lifestyle choices or habits that are bad for their health. Let’s face it — we have the information on what is good for us and what is not, so it is really just a matter of getting serious enough to determine any problematic areas in our lives and set about to changing them.

I think it is very difficult for anybody to change any lifestyle choice or addiction. The first thing we have to realize is that we have a problem. Most often the main reason we don’t make changes that are good for us is due to the fact that we are stuck in denial. Maybe we don’t even know we have a problem. The fact is that weigh scales don’t lie, smoking is bad for you and others, and alcohol and drug addictions are deadly.

If you think your life is suffering or is out of control because of certain lifestyle choices, don’t try to make the change on your own. Get in touch with a support group that knows where you are coming from and can give you some direction and the tools you need to make the lifestyle changes you need to implement.

I’m not saying it is easy to lose weight, follow a proper diet, quit smoking and recover from alcohol and drug abuse. However, I am pretty sure it is a lot easier than continuing down the same old destructive path.

The help is out there and it is everywhere. To deal with eating disorders and to get in touch with weight management you can call the many support groups that exist. As a matter of fact you can even start your own like the Wabun Chub Club did, with friends, at the office or in your neighborhood. You can meet to do weekly weigh-ins, talk about your successes and failures and gain the support you need to keep up the effort to manage your weight and make healthy lifestyle choices. You can even start a walking group or take up some sport to make sure you are getting enough exercise. Don’t forget that a poor diet gad lack of exercise contributes greatly to many illnesses including diabetes and heart diseased you don’t want to go there.

If you think you have a problem with alcohol or drugs then pick up the phone and call AA or NA. There are many people who care about you and will take the time to offer support and encouragement. The first move is up to you.