Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Plan - Support

So, the final component of my plan includes how and where I plan to receive support.

However, I am first going to start with a disclaimer:

Ultimately, this is something that we all have to do for ourselves. It is good, even great, to ask for help when you need it. Letting people know about your lifestyle change lets them be there for you. BUT, remember that this is about you. If you look externally for validation, you will be disappointed. This is your journey. You need to feel good about your successes because they are good for you, not because somebody else hands you a compliment. Enjoy and revel in the compliments, but don't depend on them.

Having said that, back to me. :)

The main areas that I intend to receive support are the following: friends and family, weight watcher meetings, online, and my husband.

So, one big difference I am making in this weight loss effort, as opposed to previous ones, is that I am not hiding it in any way. In doing so, I've made myself accountable, but I've also given my friends and family the ability to be there for me. By all means, there will still be cookies at my next moms group get together, or cake at the next family gathering. The difference will be that I'm far less likely to feel pressure to partake. If anything, I may feel pressured in the opposite direction. I'll still have the occasional treat, but I will be in control of when and how much, rather then feeling like I need to try each one in order to please others.

I'll be attending my first weight watchers meeting this evening. It's worked for me before and I've spent some time examining why meetings work so well for me, but I have a much harder time doing it on my own.

I've concluded a few things:

The accountability of having somebody else weigh me and record the number is huge. There's no hiding from that number or avoiding weighing yourself. It makes me feel normal when I am surrounded by other people that share my struggle. Cheesy as it is, I loved getting stickers and applause when I hit weight loss milestones. I especially loved it when those milestones started getting above the 20 pound mark. I enjoyed the meeting topics. Even when I already knew alot about what was being discussed, it still served as a good reminder.

I do think weight watchers and their meetings have limitations, but that's another post...

Another big part of my support system is online. As much as the accountability at meetings helps me, so does the partial anonymity of the internet. I am an active participant on a couple message boards. I'm able to share challenges and successes with others.

Also, did I mention that I have a blog? ;) Seriously though, I foresee this blog being a major component of my journey. Another benefit of this outlet for me is that I express myself in writing better then I am ever able to in person. I'm able to get out some of my thoughts and feelings and share them. And, it brings in another level of accountability. In less then a week, I've already gained a small readership. Some of them are people that support me and care about me. Others are those that have never met me in person, but appreciate my writing and thoughts. I've made no secret that I've started this blog, so I now feel a level of responsibility towards it.

My husband is my final area of support. Yes, he could fall into the category of friends and family, but he is so much more then that. I am very lucky to be married to a man that doesn't care what I weigh, but completely supports me in my efforts to change it. His diet weaknesses also have very little effect on me. He eats too much sugar on his cereal and drinks pop, neither of which I'm tempted by. This gives me the ability to keep my home safe food-wise. I don't have to keep any of my trigger foods in the house just because he wants them. He encourages me and goes for walks and hikes with me. I couldn't ask for a better partner in all of this.

Right now, I'm well set up and I'm raring to go, but in the coming months when I may hit rougher patches, I know that there are people there for me.

Tonight, I have my first meeting and weigh in, so stay tuned tomorrow for my official starting weight and before pictures!

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