In “Weight Loss Tips – Developing an Effective Strategy (Part One and Two)” you learned about strategies to successfully incorporate physical activity and good nutrition into your weight loss program. To be honest, without a support system in place and coping strategies to help you get through the “rough” times, a physical activity program and nutrition plan are pointless.
I like to think of the human body as a car. Adding physical activity and exercise to your daily/weekly routine and making better food choices is like taking your car into an auto body repair and detailing shop on a regular basis and filling up the gas tank every day with fuel-efficient, high quality gasoline. The car looks spectacular, the engine is in great shape and you never run out of fuel. Unfortunately, no matter how good a driver you are, you could get into a car accident or fender bender at any time. That’s why we have auto insurance. Otherwise, the accident could be devastating and take you off the road permanently.
The Emotional Roller Coaster
Weight loss is a journey that is mentally, physically and emotionally challenging. The number one reason why people quit a weight loss program before they reach their goal is due to the emotional roller coaster and inability to stay motivated.
The decision to lose weight and take action is not an easy one. Admitting to yourself that you need to make a change and accepting the reality of the task ahead is the first step.
- “I am not happy with the way that I look and feel.”
- “I have to make changes in many areas of my life to lose the weight effectively and to keep it off.”
- “It will take me at least 4 weeks to see a noticeable difference (8 weeks for my friends to notice and 12 weeks for everyone else).”
- “I will need the help and support of others in order to reach my goal.”
- “I may not succeed, but that will not stop me from trying again.”
Of the statements above, people who are ready to start a weight loss program find it hardest to ask for help and include others in their weight loss journey. Admitting these statements to another person makes them accountable to more than just themselves if they don’t succeed. Unfortunately, the majority of the people who decide to go “solo” have a hard time reaching their goal weight.
Your Weight Loss Support Team
Similar to NASCAR, your Weight Loss Support Team is a group of people who are there with you throughout your journey to provide support and assistance when you are struggling to stay on track and need to help finishing the race. They each bring something different to the table but together they give you all the tools you need to make it to the finish line.
Each member provides some level of emotional support to help you during times of weakness, uncertainty and fear. They don’t necessarily have to know one another but look for the following when choosing the members of your team:
- Do they respect and care about me?
- Have they been supportive of me in the past?
- Do they provide good advice and perspective when I need it?
- Will they understand what I will be going through as I work towards reaching my weight loss goal? Have they been on their own weight loss journey in the past?
- How can they best help me reach my weight loss goals (i.e. motivator, workout partner, shoulder to cry on)?
In the weeks and months ahead you will encounter many different things on your weight loss “road trip”. There will be potholes, construction zones, detours, several forks in the road and no road signs to guide you. Your support team is there to keep you on track and become your GPS system.
Include others in your journey and you will be ready to tackle the challenge ahead with all the tools you need to succeed. Besides, the party is that much more worthwhile when you have the people who care about you there at the finish line!