GREENWICH, Conn. -- Losing weight can be difficult, and while it is important to consult with dietitians and fitness experts, Joshua Hrabosky at Greenwich Hospital helps patients with the psychological aspects of weight loss.
Hrabosky is a psychologist specializing in weight management and issues related to body image and self esteem. He works with individuals at the hospital's Weight Loss and Diabetes Center to help people who may experience relapses or difficulty losing weight.
"There are a lot of variables that influence the outcome of diets," Hrabosky said. It's not just a matter of how many calories people consume or how much they exercise. Losing weight also requires changes to a person's lifestyle and how they think, and relapses in a diet are quiet common.
"When you're dealing with any kind of behavior changes and overcoming habits, there's going to be relapses," Hrabosky said. "My job is to help people be OK and more accepting and forgiving of those relapses, and to help them understand why those relapses may occur."
There are many reasons why a person may relapse on a weight loss program. Stress at work or family issues may pull someone's attention away from their fitness regimen, Hrabosky said. For others, a sense of perfectionism or an "all or nothing" way of thinking may discourage them if they do not see the results they desire. Because the media sometimes portrays weight loss as an easy and attainable goal, people become frustrated when they cannot achieve their preferred outcome.
"We like to see a reward or a payoff for all of our work," Hrabosky said. Even though a person may not see much of a difference when they look in the mirror or step on a scale, Hrabosky helps them see other benefits to their work, such as changes in cholesterol levels, blood sugar or body fat percentages. "I work the the patients to help them redefine those rewards, and help them feel like they're moving toward something."
Though he deals with a lot of people who may have hit a wall in their weight loss program, Hrabosky said he likes to work with patients at the beginning stages of trying to lose weight.
"It's important to be there in the beginning to help them change their behaviors, understand healthy goals and come up with reasonable, objective, measurable goals that they can achieve on a weekly basis."