If you need to lose 30 or more pounds, you want it off yesterday, and you’re willing to try anything to take it off. This isn’t the time to hire a personal trainer.

Hiring a personal trainer is essentially hiring a coach: someone who will motivate you and help keep you on track. The key to having a coach is that you’ve already agreed to be part of the team, committed the goals. Your trainer will show you how to get the results you want, but he or she won’t be able to take the weight off for you; you are going to have to work at it, and it’s going to take time. Research shows we can safely lose one and a half to two pounds of body fat per week. Anything more can be harmful to your health and leave your body looking very flabby.

If you have a very busy schedule and you find it hard to even make a dentist appointment, now isn’t the time to hire a personal trainer. Hiring a personal trainer to lose the weight is only part of the puzzle. You not only have to remain dedicated to that training session once or twice per week, but you also have to keep a commitment to yourself that you will work out three to four more times per week on your own. You will need to carve out time in your schedule for your exercise and eating on a regular basis; if your schedule’s too busy and you just can’t make the time, now isn’t the time to hire a personal trainer.

If you think about losing weight all the time, pondering the thought, letting it simmer in the back of your brain, but just can’t get motivated, don’t hire a personal trainer. If you keep telling yourself all sorts of lies, like “I’ll never be thin,” “I have to do this for two hours a day to even see any results,” “I can only eat tofu and rice to lose weight,” now isn’t the time to hire a personal trainer.

One of the biggest ingredients to a successful weight loss plan is belief in yourself. Believe you can do this, and a personal trainer can take your attitude and run with it.

Personal training can be expensive, and if you’re not ready for it, it becomes a dreaded monthly expense instead of a value or service to yourself. However, if you are ready to make the time for yourself, willing to put forth effort to get there, willing to be patient and realistic, and most importantly, believe you can achieve your goals, hiring a personal trainer can be a priceless health benefit.

Maybe it just isn’t the right time. But ask yourself: When is the right time going to come? Are you going to sit around and wait for it, or are you ready and willing and believe in yourself and the positive change you can make in your life by making a commitment, an investment, in yourself.

And as always, remember: You’re worth it!