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Weight Loss: Finding Support

Create Your Support Group

Putting together and orchestrating a support group is an excellent way for you to reach your goals, especially if you're willing to remain the group leader. When you devote the time and energy to help the group succeed, you'll accelerate reaching your ideal size and staying there.

First, determine what you want for your group in terms of time, cost, number of people, forms of interaction, and eating and weight philosophy. Since you already know plenty of people who also want to get to their ideal size, let them know you want to start a group. Set up the format and guidelines and get started.

Here are some suggestions for the format:

  • Weekly meetings in person. To succeed, group members must really commit to get to the meetings. The advantage is that you support each other's weight-loss efforts from week to week, and you'll literally see how others are doing. That, in itself, can be motivating. If weekly face-to-face meetings are inconvenient or take too much time, use the phone.

  • Weekly meetings on the phone. Conference call or set up a daisy chain using three-way calling. These meetings are easy to get to—they're as close as your phone—and can be done from virtually anywhere. It's a good idea for your group to get together in person every month or at least every other month.

  • Live online chat. Your group can schedule to “meet” via the Internet at the same time. Generally speaking, if you're willing to schedule an e-mail chat, you might as well schedule a phone meeting, but an Internet group meeting might meet some groups' needs. An added benefit is that you won't have any long-distance bills.

  • Frequent e-mail contact. This is excellent for between-meeting contact and follow-up. If you add a threaded-discussion format, you can follow and discuss topics over time.

  • One-on-one phone calls for emergencies. The group members can exchange telephone numbers and agree to call each other for support. A support call helps soothe the feelings of isolation and fear that occur when a person is highly stressed, overeats, and even when he or she wants to binge.

In support groups, people come and go, so be prepared to accept the flow and continue to invite others to join your group. People who are losing weight tend to be skittish about such things as accountability, progress, and bumps along the way. Some will drop out. Keep the group upbeat about losing and adding members.


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Healthy Weight Loss © 2005 by Lucy Beale and Sandy G. Couvillon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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