I Asked for Help

Mt. McKinley Alaska

I grew up in Alaska and learned some really valuable lessons in self-sufficiency. My father added his own emphasis to the importance of handling things on my own. So to this day, I try to do things on my own and can find it difficult to ask for help.

However, I’ve also learned that sometimes asking for support and help is actually the smarter and stronger choice, rather than stubbornly muddling through on my own.

This past year has been a very steep learning curve for my husband, Charlie, and me. When we decided we wanted to share our life-saving message of eating a healthy plant-based diet with a broader community than we could serve with only live classes, the challenges began! Now, instead of just figuring out how to pack our kitchen into our little Prius to take our cooking classes on the road, we are figuring out how to package and deliver our information and support online. As with most things, there are MANY things that need to happen behind the scenes to make it all work.

Most of the time, we struggled on our own, but I want to share an instance when we actually hired some help, and how totally valuable that has been to us!

One example is this website. Although we had a website before, we needed to create a new one to reflect the changes we were making. We decided to “upgrade” to a different web-based program, and then our struggles began. Charlie was a pro with our old program, but this one is totally different!

I floundered around trying to build the website for about a week, and got nowhere. Then Charlie took over the floundering job for a couple more weeks. We still didn’t have a website that we liked, and not having a decent website when you’re offering online programs is like being homeless in the digital world!

So I sheepishly decided it was time to ask for help. I got a referral from someone I trusted, contacted Susan, and immediately recognized that our lives were about to dramatically change for the better! We told Susan what we wanted, and in a very short time she had everything done, and added her own expertise to the design. We loved it!

Why didn’t we do that sooner?! What it cost to hire help was a drop in the bucket compared to the value we received. What was expensive was the amount of time Charlie and I both spent, our frustration and feelings of helplessness, and the lack of results we got before getting help.

So, this got me thinking. How can I better support you? How can my own experience and expertise help you succeed in changing your diet and lifestyle so you can lose your extra weight and keep it off, and reverse your health problems — permanently? How can I help reduce your feelings of frustration and helplessness?

Those of you who have taken classes from me in person know that I’m passionate about wanting to help you succeed.

I know some people find it relatively easy to make permanent changes in their diets after simply learning the reasons why, and getting some basic cooking skills under their shrinking belt.

But I think these people are in the minority. What I’ve heard from most of you is that you love the food, you really want to succeed in changing your diet, and you start seeing positive results quickly. BUT, after the class ends, you gradually slip back into old patterns, and before long you find your weight going back up, along with your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.

Of course, you don’t want this to happen! And neither do I! So I’ve spent a lot of time figuring out how to provide ongoing support to help you stay on track until your new way of eating is just as easy to follow as your old way has been.

You’ll notice that there is a new tab at the top of the page called “Personal Coaching.” There is a brief video explaining the program on that page, and more information below it. Please check it out. It might be what you need to help you follow through and stay on track with your own desires to eat healthfully.

Of course, there are other ways to get support. Reading books, watching videos, attending vegan potlucks, and finding a buddy that wants to commit to this way of eating with you are all really helpful. But sometimes, professional help and support are invaluable.

I’d love for you to share ways you’ve gotten support for your healthy diet — or share how you’ve felt about not being able to stick with your desire to eat healthfully. You are NOT alone. There are many of us in this movement toward a healthier diet, and we can all support each other!

10 Responses to I Asked for Help

  1. Ley March 4, 2013 at 10:44 AM #

    Nicely stated! I’m not always able to read your blogs, but sure like them when I do. You’re doing great things!

  2. LaVonne March 4, 2013 at 1:19 PM #

    Asking for help–I have so many times had and have a problem with this and how foolish and non productive it is! Our culture, as you point out, predisposes us to judging ourselves as weak, or that we aren’t working hard enough. I’m not able to say how you might help more in getting our habits changed; it seems to me that you are doing a great job, always moving forward. There is more awareness of the advantages of a plant based diet all the time. I just heard of someone who read the book on the China study, available when I took your class, and it convinced him to make drastic changes. Thanks for caring and sharing, Delisa.

    • Delisa Renideo March 4, 2013 at 1:47 PM #

      Thanks, LaVonne. You’re so right — there is more information available all the time. I know that helps. And I love hearing how some people read a powerful book, like The China Study, and make drastic changes in their lives.

      But I think for most people, it is still very challenging to change their habits and deal with the perceived inconveniences of eating differently from the mainstream. When plant-based diets truly do become mainstream, which I believe they will — they must, to take care of the problems in our world — it will be a lot easier. In the meantime, I think it can be helpful to be part of a supportive community, to have a coach, to keep health in your awareness every day rather than unconsciously slipping back into old habits.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and supporting our little community!


  3. Becky March 4, 2013 at 1:27 PM #

    Thanks Delisa for being so dedicated to helping us all.

    Here are my challenges.
    Stress. I can do really well with eating good whole plant based foods for weeks even months then something will happen that is very stressful and I find that I cope by eating sugary foods or fatty foods. Once I do that it’s not easy to get back on track.

    I am a dog hiker. I hike up to 3 miles a day in all kinds of weather and find I want heavy foods that will “stick to my ribs” so to speak. I’ll want bread or nut butters and these do not agree with my system.

    I live with a man that can eat anything. He loves the food I prepare but seems to be on the sidelines, so I feel like it’s all on me. He’s not demanding about it, but he loves to eat things
    that I just can’t eat successfully. These foods will be in the house so I have to be very disciplined not to eat them….sometimes I’m just not.

    Not sure what I need to ask for help with. It feels like it’s up to me.

    • Delisa Renideo March 4, 2013 at 1:52 PM #

      Hi Becky! I know it’s a lot harder to stick with a healthy habit when those in your environment aren’t doing the same. And most people are, to some extent, emotional eaters. We’ve made food into a drug to reduce our stress. But there are some wonderful ways to reduce that stress which I’ll be sharing in a video soon.

      Also, just like it is up to us to exercise, and anyone can join a gym, many people find it much easier to make progress consistently when they work with a personal trainer. In the same way,coaching can help to streamline our efforts in making lifestyle changes.

      Always great to hear from you :-)

  4. Jean March 4, 2013 at 7:33 PM #

    HI, Delisa,

    I’ve been thinking about the very same thing – how to help participants succeed in reaching their goals. I’ve been mulling over a small grout weight loss program – about 6 people at a time for more specific support, but the coaching idea is great, too!

    • Delisa Renideo March 4, 2013 at 9:05 PM #

      I think a variety of different approaches for different people is ideal, and it’s also helpful for each person to have a variety of different kinds of support.

      It will be so nice when our culture, as a whole, is supportive of this change, as has happened with smoking. Individual smokers still sometimes need help quitting, but at least the culture supports their decision!

  5. Sue April 25, 2013 at 8:04 AM #

    Hi Delisa,

    Thanks for your continued support. I’ve maintained my ideal weight for 18 months and my A1C has dropped from 6.1 (pre-diabetic) to 5.6 (normal). I am so happy with these results and I love the food. I appreciate the new recipes you give us. New report on the news this morning linking future heart disease to red meat and eggs and it has to do with the way we digest these items.

    • Delisa Renideo April 25, 2013 at 10:35 AM #

      Hi Sue,
      Thanks so much for the update and CONGRATULATIONS for turning it around! You’re a terrific example of what’s possible! Delisa

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