Just like with many things in life, there are degrees of severity in obesity and weight loss. There are people who have to lose some weight because they are trying to fit into an old pair of jeans or who have a special event coming up and want to look better. A great example of someone like this would be the woman who has a baby and can't seem to lose the last ten pounds she gained during her pregnancy. She can sign up at the local gym or maybe even try one of those programs that send in the prepackaged meals and if she keeps at it, the ten pounds will be gone soon enough. These people, the ones who have not suffered from weight issues most of their lives, are not examples of people needing extreme weight loss help.

There are other people, however, who have gone way beyond that point. There are those who truly cannot remember what it was like to NOT be overweight. These people are the ones who were the heaviest children in their class throughout all their years of school. They are the people who have developed and repeated poor eating habits and most likely non-existent exercise habits, for much more than half their lives. In some cases, they have never eaten properly and never been inside a gym. They have not only been scarred physically by their weight, but they have been emotionally damaged by it as well.

Many of these people have developed habits that are so deeply ingrained; it is as if their bodies are on automatic pilot when it comes to eating. They not only eat when they are hungry. They never would have gotten so far out of balance if that were the case. Food means a lot more than just satisfying hunger.

As they move further away from center, the amount of work and energy required to get back in balance increases. Then more motivation and determination is needed to correct the situation, but while the need for these qualities grows, the ability to conjure them up, decreases.

The effect is akin to credit card companies charging higher interest rates for people who have the least amount of money and cannot pay their monthly bills.

These people are the ones who need to look to more extreme methods of weight loss. They have gone way beyond being able to do it themselves. And thank goodness there are now alternatives for them. They no longer have to look at life filled with misery and in some cases, even death as their only alternatives.

There are medications being formulated to work on the build-up of fat. More and more of these are approved by the FDA than ever before. But it takes a lot of money to get them through the approval process and sometimes they are costly, and may not be covered by insurance companies who still view this issue as primarily cosmetic. Perhaps most importantly, they do not work by themselves. ANYTHING that makes claims to be all you need to lose the weight and keep it off, is nothing more than a scam.

Even more extreme than weight-loss medication is weight-loss surgery. Thousands upon thousands of people are opting for lap-band and gastric bypass surgery each year. And according to statistics, these numbers are still increasing.

These types of surgery alter the physical components of the digestive system in such a way, that it becomes close to impossible to eat too much. So people who choose these methods get a tremendous boost in decreasing their caloric intake. Their bodies will no longer tolerate eating the amount of food the way they did before the surgery. And, as they eat less and start to lose weight, they also begin to feel better and have more energy and develop a way to incorporate more physical activity into their lives.

Losing large amounts of weight (35 pounds or more) is not something that one accomplishes and then completes. It begins a life-long commitment of healthier eating. It takes a life-long commitment to remain physically active, to walk up the stair instead of taking the elevator. It means getting up a little earlier some mornings and getting to the gym, or investing in a treadmill for your home and working out on those days even when you don't want to.

But more than anything else, it is a commitment to care enough about yourself to accept who you are, to forgive yourself for the times that you pick up that extra slice or piece of something you told yourself you shouldn't have. It is about caring enough to do what you need to do to maintain the right attitude about health and well-being, because you're worth it.

Author's Bio: 

Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!