Sunday, February 27, 2011

The importance of a support system

The journey of weight loss is not just one that you go through by yourself, there are people who will join you for a portion of it, there are people who will be constants and there will people who will want nothing to do with your journey. I could not imagine doing what i'm doing if I didn't have the support of my family and friends. For the most part John will eat whatever I cook and does not buy unhealthy food, there are times when he does but I am strong enough to say no to those temptations. I don't know if i'd be strong enough when I first started if I didn't have the support of my spouse. So weather you are first starting on your journey or have been doing this for a long time having a support system is of a huge importance.

So what do you do when you feel like you have no support? What if your spouse isn't on board with eating healthy or doesn't believe that you can succeed? What if you are living on your own and have no one to look out for you? Here are my tips for success:

#1. Have a conversation with those closest to you about why you are doing this, why it's important to you and express that you would like their support.
#2. Find someone who is going through a similar journey, maybe that is through a local support group or an online community. There are so many people to reach out to and share your concerns.
#3. Journal your feelings, how does certain peoples reactions make you feel?
#4. Lead by example. Maybe your spouse isn't on board, but when they see how committed you are are see your progress they will hopefully come around. When your friends/co-workers see your progress the will want whatever magic pill you're on.
#5. Share your story. Tell anyone and everyone about your goals, about what you're doing, at least some of them will be interested.

The bottom line is you will find support where you least expect it, and that support will change over time. My support system started with an online community and now it has grown to the Biggest Winners, my family, my friends, my co-workers. Now I am a support system for other people and am so proud to be able to lead by example and show people how to change their lives. A few weeks ago I had coffee with a friend, Sandi, who was struggling with her weight and wanted to make changes like I had. I suggested to her that instead of feeling overwhelmed with the whole process of losing weight, break it down. Through discussion she broke it down to a 30 day period and challenged herself to eat healthy, continue to go to the gym, and cut out alcohol. I told her to vocalize her goals and post them on facebook so that she was forced to stay committed. She posted her 30 day challenge on facebook and I am so proud of her today! After 30 days she lost 15.2lbs and 13 inches - AWESOME!! Not everyone believed that she could do it, but she stuck with it and used her support system and was hugely successful. I am so proud of her, and it felt amazing to be able to help someone succeed like that.

"Whoever wants to reach a distant goal must take small steps." Helmut Schmidt

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