Jean Croker Petke

Need help?

Need help?

Do you want to do things on your own and yet, you can’t quite pull it off? This condition afflicts many of us, in bigger or lesser ways:

  • maybe it’s a problem you can’t seem to solve
  • maybe it’s a habit you’ve had for a long time
  • maybe it’s things you “ought” to do — like becoming healthier, getting more organized, using your time better, or controlling household clutter

My personal issue is losing weight.

My first attempt was in elementary school. I wasn’t the chubbiest kid in my class, but I carried a few extra pounds. With mother’s insistence, I took my lunch to school, rather than eating cafeteria food. I learned to count calories and track what I ate. I don’t recall if I actually lost weight in those young years but I tried.

In college I gained the Freshman 10 and then lost it with increased exercise walking the campus hills. A summer in India removed another 25 pounds. My college curriculum emphasized nutrition and healthy eating. In my first job I taught nutrition to high school students. I know this stuff!

Years later, after the birth of my children, I had extra pounds to lose. I joined a group, successfully lost weight, and kept it off for a number of years.

My final career in the food business was not kind to my body — or my self-control. Being surrounded by good food, all day, every day, was both heaven and hell. Any day I resolved to eat less, was the very day a plate of some new recipe arrived on my desk for sampling. Duty overran resolve.

In my retirement, I’ve tried several different methods/groups to help with weight loss, with minimal success. I know exactly what to do, I’ve done it before, but I am unable to accomplish it now. I just want to enjoy food without thinking about it, following a plan, and being disciplined.

At my last doctor’s appointment, I said, “My eating is out of control and I need a dietitian or nutritionist who can help me get straightened out.” He made a couple of suggestions for what I might do. Subsequent lab results show my diabetes is out of control and changes must be made. His previous suggestions that I lose weight have now become a mandate.

I’ve made the appointment, met with the coach, and am working the plan. So far so good.

The principles are the same, no matter our personal struggle:

  • to admit I can’t accomplish what I know how to do feels like failure — huge failure. Paying someone to direct me in doing what I already know how to do seems like a waste of time and money.
  • to admit to myself and the doc and the dietitian that I can’t do this is an embarrassment and tarnishes my pride.
  • owning my failure is half the battle.
  • the options are few: do it myself or get help.

If such struggle is familiar to you, consider:

  • asking for help to get you started.
  • getting an accountability partner or coach or mentor


Remember, you are not the first or only one with such struggles.

Until next Tuesday . . .