Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sharing is caring

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Eons ago, there was this weight loss forum I belonged to.  It's long since defunct but it was glorious because it was back in the day before everyone had a mob mentality.  You could vent about your frustrations and you didn't have to sit back and wait for someone to report you for using a "bad word" or not being positive.  I belonged to another site that had that problem and while I love many people there, the climate changed and I felt very censored and like it was a virtual school yard at times with people who didn't even know me getting their undies in a twist. That's how this blog was born!  :-)  Thankfully some people from that site choose to follow me here and I'm so grateful for that.  It's nice when you have people you click with and can share in a similar journey.

I had a group of girls I connected with on the first board and I've stayed virtually in touch with them through social media.  I even made a secret group that we could connect on so if anyone wanted to talk about weight loss, track their workouts, have an accountability partner, etc they could do that without announcing it to all of their friends and family.  We had our starts and stops when we'd be doing well and reporting in every day the first week.  Then the second week, half the people who got riled up to get back to business would check in and by week four, you might have one or two people that checked in and then radio silence for a year.  Last week, I decided to just check in and say hello and talk about where I am at with things and what frustrates me, etc.  Several people responded back and most of them talked about their own frustrations and a few who had success losing weight doing low carb stuff but then for one reason or another, gained it back.  Some got caught up in the political climate, others gave up entirely because it's just "easier to be fat."  (Their quote, not mine but I totally get the mentality.)

That tends to be how it goes for many of us on this weight loss roller coaster.  You feel so motivated one day whether it's by your own devices or being inspired by another's actions.  Then you make one bad choice or worse, a string of bad decisions and you feel ashamed.  You stop leaning on those who understand the struggle the most because you fear that they'll think you're weak or a loser when in reality we've all been there.  Why is it when we need the most support, we shrink away from those who can help us rally?  If you have a group of people who are non-judgmental and are there to give you a pick me up when you're knuckle deep in the Nutella jar, use them!

I don't know how long this wave of inspiration for our little group will last but I know two of them have now gotten back to the gym in the past 4 days, one of them who is also at her highest weight and given up went out and walked two miles and another one has committed to making small changes so as not to overwhelm herself.  That's 4 more people who are on the right track than a week ago and doing something in lieu of thinking about it.  I'm not taking credit for it or anything because you can be as inspired as you want by your comrades but if you don't get off your booty, it doesn't do a whole lot.  But sometimes if you just talk about everything from the successes and the struggles you're having, you'll see that others are able to relate and it makes them feel a little less alone.  It makes them feel like "hey, I know what I need to do so this week I'm going to make one little change to help get myself back on the right track and if I slip up, my people are there for me."

Because when it comes down to it, especially when times are tough...sharing is caring.  This Valentine's Day, give yourself and those who might be struggling the gift of re-connection and a little love whether it be a little group, commenting on their social media or sending an email just asking how they're doing.

Do you have a go to group of people to lean on when you're struggling?

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6 comments:

  1. Thankfully I have you, the most supportive person I know. And thanks to you I also have this blog. Happy Valentine's Day!

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  2. I still use SP, and my surgery group online, but my initial reaction to struggle is still withdraw and isolate. Some things do not change quickly.

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  4. I got seriously burned out on SP after trying to lead the group for my city. Like you said, a lot of apathy, name calling, and pettiness created a hostile environment where I just couldn't make any progress. I kind of gave up on weight loss for awhile, but I have been trying to slowly introduce healthy habits back into my daily routine again (eating a minimum amount of veggies each day, drinking water, yoga and walking in the evenings after work, etc.)

    I really appreciate your blog because you are one of the few people on the site that I have kept up with. Your willingness to press forward even in the face of plateaus and setbacks inspires me.

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  5. I followed you from what I can only assume was the second website! I'm terrrrrible at leaving comments (awful, I know) but I always love reading what you write!

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  6. I attempted to be very involved in my local group and met up with the ladies on a couple of occasions...and did not care for it at all. I'm isolative as it is, but this took real courage for me to do, and while I wouldn't say it backfired, it was VERY clear that I did not fit in at all. That group fell apart eventually and the others I'd been a part of virtually all became almost like quick FB posts with very little content. So I dropped from all my groups and stick to doing challenges instead which I rarely post to, but just do the challenges on my own, which I enjoy. I do have a few friends that I share my struggles and successes with, and I treasure those friendships. I have some other friends that just don't get it and constantly try to correct me, minimize my struggle, or try to sabotage, so I know in those instances to not open myself up to that kind of bunk and I keep the focus elsewhere.

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