When we make the personal decision to start losing weight and get healthy, it's typically done in a quiet conversation inside our head. We don't trumpet this decision to the world. When starting out on the journey we don't tell anyone, as we don't want people to say something if we are unable to accomplish our goal. Our silent journey toward a difficult goal begins...alone.
Day by day we work to reduce our caloric intake and attempt to get some increased physical activity. We are stealth in our project so others again won't question our new activities. Even drinking an increase in our water might get the attention of a naysayer.
Why would we feel this way. It's because we have attempted to drop the extra pounds before and have either failed at our attempt or were discouraged and even sabotaged by someone. We will not let this happen again. It's strange that others might attempt to belittle or deride us for trying to get thinner and more fit. Why is this happening to me. I just want to feel and look my best. The main reason others become obstacles to our endeavor is that they fear a successful person creating an air of pressure for them to take action.
If I fail at my weight loss attempt, it takes the pressure off of those around me to focus on their health. As we work day to day to drop some pounds, it seems that everyone else is working against us. More cookies and snacks are brought to the workplace. Others want to go out for lunch or a drink after work. Even our spouse seems to be moving in the opposite direction.
How do we enlist others to support us without making our weight loss effort into the talk of the town. That's a great question and one that can be answered. The answer lies in being selective who you discuss your goal with. This person or persons needs to be someone who cares about you but is not vested in your success or failure. This person must be an advocate for a healthy lifestyle though may not be at their peak health also.
Once you find this person, have an open discussion with them about what you are attempting to do and why. If this person expresses interest in getting more fit and lean also, then a pact can be made to watch out for each other during the project. This must be a totally open and honest relationship when it comes to discussing eating plans, exercise, and the emotions of the journey.
As time goes on and success occurs, it will become safe to add others to your circle of awareness. The same criteria should be met when opening up conversations about your efforts and goals. Find like-minded supportive people who can be listeners and encouragers. Cheerleaders are the people who will root us on to victory. If you can have one or two of these in your corner you will commit to working a bit harder and persisting a bit longer.
When we start to build momentum in our weight loss effort, others will notice and some will jump on board and others may try to bring you back to "reality", their "reality". Don't fall for this. This is the crab pot mentality. If there are a bunch of crabs in a pot and one tries to escape by climbing over the upper edge of the pot, the others grab onto the crab and cling to it to keep it down. The crabs will hold on to each other until they all boil in the pot. No one gets out. This same mentality occurs in humans. If one is miserable, then let's keep everyone miserable.
This is easy to recognize and easy to avoid. Just smile and stay away from the crabs. The people who are positive, moving forward in their own lives will be our cheerleader as we can also be their cheerleader. Down the road, when your weight loss is highly recognizable, some of the nay-sayers will begin to climb on the wagon. They'll say things like "I knew you could do it". It's a weird human dynamic, but when you recognize it, it can be used to our advantage.
There is nothing better than reaching a goal weight and showing off a new body to everyone who didn't think you could do it. Not to do it in a mean way, but to prove a point. Reaching our best weight is possible and now you've set the example. The next thing that happens is we find out after we have achieved significant improvement in our body and health, someone will show up and tell you how you are the reason they decided to get more lean and fit. You may not even know them well. They were watching from a distance and you gave them hope.
We enter the arena of weight reduction alone. We can work to find a coach, mentor, accountability partner, or common spirited person. Sometimes that person never shows up for us. If that's the case, no worries. I am here for you. I understand the struggle, the discomfort, the past failures, and the small victories. I see you and I know how you feel. You can be victorious in creating the life you want. You can become who you want to be and you can live how you want to live.
Each day I see the anguish and sometimes genuine pain in the eyes of my patients. If only I can get to a lower weight. There is skepticism, fear, and regret for past failed attempts. It's time to brush off the past and today is Day 1 of the journey to a new and best you. If you need some daily encouragement I post Monday through Friday @FastClinicalWeightLoss on Facebook. Come be a part of our community. We're looking for other Losers (weight that is) to become winners in every aspect of their lives.
Remember, you are not alone. You are not insignificant, and you are deserving of everything you are setting out to accomplish.