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Living Well : Support and Motivation

Information to Share With Your Friends and Family

Friends and family have your best interests at heart—but they may not know exactly what to say or do. Here's how to help them help you

Talking about Qsymia® (phentermine and topiramate extended-release) capsules CIV and Q and Me®

Your friends and family members may have many questions about Qsymia—or they may want to know about Q and Me. If people see you losing weight and keeping it off, many will be curious about how you are doing it!

Sometimes, it can be hard to know what to say when people ask you about your weight loss. For example, Debra preferred not to talk about her weight loss. When her friends and family asked her how she did it, she had a simple answer: she told them that her healthcare provider was helping her to improve her diet and be more active.

Remember, it’s up to you whether you want to share the changes you’ve been making! Do whatever feels most comfortable for you.

How friends and family can help you lose weight

Friends and family members can be a great resource as you lose weight. But getting them on board may take a special effort on everyone’s part. Communication is the first step. It is important to let your loved ones know how you feel and how they can help. This may be difficult—people may not have always been kind about your weight and may not have encouraged your past efforts to lose weight. Still, it’s important that you communicate and express how you feel.

Help loved ones help you

It’s no different with your friends and family. You may not know how they feel, but when they do express their feelings, you may be relieved to have the cards on the table. This lets everyone talk about how to work together.

There are things your friends and family can do if they wish to support your weight loss. There are also things they should avoid. You may want to review these things with your friends and family.

Things to do:

  • Keep a positive attitude. This may sound silly, but it can be very important. It’s not easy to stay upbeat and encouraging when a program goes on for months. Extra effort from family can make life much easier
  • Talk with others in your situation. Weight issues can lead to strong feelings in a family. Talking to others with the same issues can help
  • Keep the home and family relaxed. This will help the person focus on the task at hand, which is to change bad habits
  • Forgive setbacks. Mistakes, weight gain, and binges can happen. Remember that the person trying to lose weight feels bad about this, too. Be supportive
  • Ask how you can help. The best way to learn how is to ask. You may be surprised by what the individual wants
  • Be physically active with the person trying to lose weight. This is a wonderful and healthy way to spend time together. Even if you only take walks together, this lets you help the person with his or her weight-loss efforts
  • Develop new interests together. This can be good for everybody. Losing weight can feel like starting a new life; new activities can involve you in this process

Things to avoid:

  • Do not hide food. This leads to hurt and resentment
  • Do not threaten. Behavior is best changed with a soft touch
  • Do not avoid social situations because of the person’s weight. This will hurt the person’s self-esteem and may lead to resentment
  • Do not expect a full recovery right away. Weight problems are something a person learns to manage, not cure. There will be setbacks. Appreciate achievements and meet setbacks with compassion
  • Do not lecture or scold. It rarely helps. The person needs to feel better, not worse
  • Do not play martyr. Overweight has many causes, some are physical, others emotional. Blame does not help. Support does

Choose a dedicated partner

Sometimes a close family member or very good friend may look for more ways to help. If you’d like more help from them, here are some suggestions for what they can do. Each of you should read this section, then talk about it together and find concrete ways for your partner to help. Also, find ways you can help your partner. Here are some ways your partner can help:

  • Model good habits. A partner can help you a great deal by doing what you would like to do. Eating slowly is a good example. A partner can take part in physical activity with you or can help by just showing a positive attitude. This will remind you to do the same thing. It also shows you that your partner wants to help
  • Praise your efforts. A few kind words go a long way. Your partner should not wait for you to lose weight to offer a little praise—he or she can point out the healthy changes you make as you make them. A partner who waits for your weight to change may miss small, but important, chances to show support
  • Give practical support. A partner can watch your children while you go for a walk. Sometimes, a partner may help you shop for food or bring you a healthy take-out meal
  • Help with the weigh-in. Not everyone will want a partner to know his or her weight. But, if the relationship can handle this, having a partner be there at weigh-in can help. This lets your partner see how you are doing—but, do warn your partner that you might not lose weight every week, and that’s OK

If you decide to work closely with a weight-loss partner, remember:

  • Be kind to your partner. Find ways to thank your partner for his or her help. This rewards your partner for helping and it may lead your partner to want to help more. It can make you feel good, too
  • Be candid when you ask your partner for support. Be clear about your needs. This goes both ways: your partner should tell you specific ways you can show your appreciation. A specific request might be something like, “I would like you to go to the movies with me once each week.”

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Do not take Qsymia if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or become pregnant during Qsymia treatment; have glaucoma; have thyroid problems (hyperthyroidism); are taking certain medicines called monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) or have taken MAOIs in the past 14 days; are allergic to topiramate, sympathomimetic amines such as phentermine, or any of the ingredients in Qsymia. See the end of the Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients in Qsymia.