Weight Loss: Finding Support
The Group Agenda
Support groups are effective when the members are getting results and when they are finding solutions to their eating problems. Plus, seeing group members lose weight motivates others to do the same, as in “If she can do it, so can I.”
Keep the meetings flowing and fun. In about one hour, people can get support, develop camaraderie, and leave feeling motivated.
Here's a suggested agenda:
Body of Knowledge
As with other important parts of your life, writing down your weekly weight-loss action plan will help you get it done. There's something about committing plans to paper that gives the tasks more focus and boosts your determination. Your written plan can include your goals, the key steps you're planning to follow, and some way to mark off or record your wins.
Open with an inspirational quote or saying.
Celebrate wins. Have each person share his or her wins for the week. If this takes too long, have each person write down their 10 wins for the week, pair up, and share in pairs. Acknowledge each other for the wins. It doesn't matter how big or small the win; what matters is that wins are acknowledged. Ooh and aah about everyone's wins and successes. Applaud. We all need this.
Address problems and solutions. Give each person the opportunity to present any roadblocks encountered during the past week. The group can brainstorm solutions. This way, everyone in the group learns to think creatively about eating and emotional situations, and they learn how to change their behavior and attitudes.
Introduce educational items. Each week a different person can present new information about nutrition, exercise, or research on weight loss. Occasionally invite a guest speaker, such as an exercise expert or nutritionist.
Commit for the upcoming week. Each person makes a personal commitment to his or her action plan for the next week. The weekly action plan includes exercise, eating, affirmations, and general goal setting.
Offer a thought for the week. Make it an inspirational or fun moment.
Consider sharing the responsibility for managing the group and meetings with several other people. That way, those who share group leadership become more committed to everyone's success, which, in turn, will motivate them toward personal success as well.
Going It Alone
Celebrating weight-loss wins sets you up for more and more success. Review your day and your week in terms of what you accomplished, not based on what you left undone or the mistakes made. View your journey to your ideal size from the perspective of the hero's path. The mere undertaking of mastering your weight and your eating makes you a hero or heroine.
If groups don't fit for you, create your own personal support system. You can even hold your own meeting with yourself. At a minimum, once a week take the time to assess your progress. You can even follow the preceding agenda.
Make sure that you celebrate your wins. A win can be a big thing, such as fitting into a smaller pair of jeans, or it can be something small. An example of a win is not overeating when you go out to dinner or passing up the donuts at the office because you weren't at 0 on the hunger scale. Write your wins down either daily or weekly so that you have written proof of your progress. All wins are significant. They represent the steps you've taken toward reaching your ideal size.
At your personal progress meeting with yourself, work out your weekly action plan. Schedule your exercise sessions for the next week. You might even make a grocery list to stock up on the foods you most enjoy that fit your nutrition plan. Look ahead to any parties and celebrations and plan your approach. For example, plan how to arrive already at 0, what to wear, and how to have the most enjoyable time.
Finally, keep your motivation strong by using positive self-talk and by finding quotes or information on how to keep your resolve and commitment strong. You might even reread chapters in this book that will reinvigorate your determination.
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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.