After one week of exercising more and eating better, I can honestly say that I feel so much better. I have more energy. I am more apt to just get things done. I have been super productive. Now, whether that’s the whole new year, fresh start thing taking hold or an actual impact of what I’ve done, I am not sure. But I can say for sure that I love how I feel.
Last week, we talked about our goals for Eat. Live. Be. For a Better 2011. This week, the Eat. Live. Be. crew is talking about support systems for achieving your goals. It’s a topic that’s really near and dear to my heart.
While making healthy changes comes down to you and what you do, having a support system is essential to success. Why? Because they are there to cheer you on when you are doing great, but also to hold you up when you fail (and you will fail — everyone does. What matters is what you do next). Support is the reason that I was able to lose about 70 pounds after having Will in 2005. And support is what’s going to make the difference this time.
But for the support to be truly helpful, it needs to come from people who you connect with. It needs to be honest and genuine. And you need to want it.
I want it.
My support network for ELB is found in several places:
- The Eat. Live. Be. bloggers – This is one fabulous, encouraging group. We’ve come together fast over the past week and have really connected. When Kristen shared a photo of her scale, we collectively cheered at her bravery. When Jen shared her desire not to waste anymore food, we nodded our heads in understanding. It’s a fabulous group, and we have a lovely assembling on Facebook too. As the weeks wear on, and the honeymoon period wears off, there will be struggles, and I am sure that we’ll be there supporting each other through them.
- My Friends on a Similar Journey – Good friends are an amazing help to doing things like losing a mass of weight. They listen when you are at your wits end, and offer encouragement and advice. And it helps when those good friends are also trying to lose a lot. I have many wonderful friends who I am eternally grateful for. Among them are Cate and Maris, who understand where I am and where I am going. I don’t know what I would do without them.
- SparkPeople – I’ve been using SparkPeople on and off for years. Actually five years … and I was using it before it became free to all. On there, I track my eating (not everyday, but enough that I can see if I am veering way off track), how much water I drink, exercise and weight. But the support really comes into play when you join the SparkPeople Groups. The groups come in all interests and levels. It’s key to find ones that are active and are something that binds you to the others. In the past, I have competed in Biggest Loser-style challenges there, and made some amazing connections that way. Right now, I am still looking for the right group for me there, but I am sure that I will find it soon. Having those semi-strangers to share victories, challenges and disappointments with really has made a difference for me in the past, so I welcome that again.
- Family – Family can be an awesome support during a journey like this – they aren’t always, but they can be. Little compliments from family members mean so much when you are losing weight, as little gestures that ease the journey. My husband does little things – like cooking from a low-cal cookbook or hooking the Xbox Live up again so that I can stream workout videos on Netflix.
So, now tell me, where do you find your support system?
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Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.