Yesterday, I sat back to think about what has been the most important factor in my maintaining my weight loss. I would have to say the number one thing that has helped the most is support.
Not only almost daily support for meeting my weight loss goals, but support and acceptance of who I am—the good, the bad, and the ugly—as well as encouragement to be the best possible version of me.
There’s been a number of ways that I have gotten this support. My husband has been incredible, and I know how fortunate I am to have a spouse who not only cheers me on, but helps facilitate the process. My Mom has been awesome, as have some of my friends, particularly one who has been an unwavering pillar of support and accountability. (Thanks, Julia!) In fact, it was Julia’s encouragement ringing in my ears back in August 2009 that got me out of bed that first morning to go workout. I don’t think I would be where I am right now without her.
The community on Bill Phillip’s Transformation.com has also been invaluable. This is a free website for people who are focused on losing weight, getting fit, and creating the life they want to live. Checking in daily with an accountability group, working with an accountability partner, and offering support and encouragement to others has truly been a huge factor in my success so far—and was where I discovered my love of coaching.
Social media and writing this blog has also put me in contact with amazingly supportive and giving people. One of the great things about the Internet is how you can become friends with people not only that you’ve never met, but that you’ve never even spoken to!
The fact that support has been the key factor for me is not surprising because research backs that up.
When doctors and researchers from the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health set out to discover the best diet, they found that all the plans worked about the same. As long as people lowered their calorie intake, they lost weight and improved their health.
What did make a difference was attending support group sessions. Study participants in the support group lost an average of 20 pounds over two years and the people who didn’t have the support lost only 9 pounds over the course of the project. That’s a 225 percent difference!
Sometimes, all you need to do to get support is ask! (It’s surprising how many people don’t think to do this.) Tell your partner, family, and friends what you are doing and why, and what you need help with. People are often willing to help you meet your goals.
But sometimes, even when you ask, your family or friends for whatever reason are not encouraging, or are actually opposed to the changes you want to make. In these circumstances, it’s even more important that you seek out the support you need.
Transformation is a great place to start. Others you can look at include P90X, which has a partially free support group, and Tom Venuto’s Burn the Fat that has a fee-based support group. You can also get support at Weight Watchers, or you can hire a coach.
It is not weak to ask for support. It is one of the best things you can do to help you meet your goals and ensure your long-term success.
What can you do today to seek out support? How might this help you become the best possible version of you?
Together we can do it!
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