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Lose Weight with Some Friends

Aug 17, 2007
Once you have sat down and had a little chat with yourself and decided how much weight you are going to lose and by when and basically how you're going to go about it, you might consider confiding in a friend or group of friends who tend to be supportive. They know you well and can act as cheerleaders for you. Even better if a group of friends decide to undertake the same program together.

No matter if it's 98 degrees, raining, snowing, your slim partner is sound asleep, or whatever, you know you absolutely have to get out of bed or off that couch and do your aerobics, strength training, and flexibility and balance exercises and prepare your five or six small meals of the day. Eventually, of course, you'll grow to really look forward to the exercise and you'll love they way those many small meals make you feel. And when you finally work up to really vigorous exercise, the endorphins that are released will make you feel like you're soaring. But there are those other days, especially in the beginning, when it would be a great help to have some partners in the effort to meet for exercise and meal planning.

One really good thing about enlisting a group is that you'll also be helping them reach their weight loss goals, too. Helping other people get what they want is, then, a great way to get what you want.

You might consider drafting an actual goal statement for the group that would include each member's personal goals, as well goals for the group and incentives for meeting them. For example, if the group lost 100 pounds in total by a certain date, they would all treat themselves to a day at the spa with a full body massage followed by a special lunch. Or maybe a day at the ball park or fishing. Whatever would be a worthy reward for your group. Whenever a member reaches a milepost along the way, congratulations from the group would be in order and they should make sure the member who reached the milepost enjoys a reward as well.

So what would the group do once it got formed and all the goals were set? One major possibility is that they could exercise together. Walking, jogging, lifting weights, even dancing or yoga can get a bit boring if you have to go it alone all the time. It really adds some fun if there are others as well. You could all agree on a set group of exercises that you would all do together or you could take turns choosing what to do. Maybe polkas when Suzy chooses, running stadium steps at Don's request, body weight exercises as suggested by Maria, and so on. You could all join a yoga class or a step class or play tennis or... The possibilities are enormous. Just do what you and your friends like to do or would like to learn to do and have some FUN!

You could also help each other think of yummy meal combinations that fit into whatever your diet plan allows. Not only could you trade recipes but you could take turns preparing samples for each other, with testing and tasting and enjoying each others' efforts. You could do it potluck style or rotate kitchens. Of course you wouldn't want to go over your allotted calories for that meal, so plan carefully.

It's easy to think of excuses not to stick with your plan. There's always that day when you didn't get enough sleep the night before or the rain is coming down or it's too hot or you just don't feel like it today. While it's true that a few hours' delay or even skipping the exercise one day wouldn't destroy everything you had done up to that point, the big danger is that it's then much easier to skip another day. Then another one, and so on. So pretty soon it's more off than on. All too soon, your walking/running shoes or swim suit are tucked away in the back of the closet except for the occasional trip to the pizza parlor. Your exercise mat is rolled up and pushed into the corner of a room where you keep the door closed so as not to remind you of what you aren't doing. The cookie jar gets refilled, the ice cream is back in the freezer, and cheeseburgers and fries are once again the staff of life.

But with a friend or group of friends banging on your door or ringing your phone or sending you emails, you can't just slip away. It's much easier to just stick with the program. Your chances of not staying the course are significantly reduced if several of you are doing it together. You can motivate, help, maybe even goad each other a bit. You don't want to miss out on the fun incentives, do you? And you certainly don't want all your friends getting healthier and healthier and more and more gorgeous/handsome and drawing all the compliments, while you hide away in your bed or on your couch.

What if you're the motivated one and your one friend or somebody in the group seems to be flagging? Well, you can try to keep their spirit up for a reasonable period of time but do take care you don't get dragged down. Sometimes it's just not the right time for a person to be making changes and your friend may be at one of those times. Don't judge too harshly but you will need to get on with your own program is s/he doesn't turn around. Perhaps their time will come and then the vital slim you can help then.

Gotta go. Almost time for our group body weight exercises.
About the Author
Di Roberts runs a weight loss website that covers the many facets of weight management. You can enjoy reading articles, tips, news, and often irreverent commentary about weight loss on her site at: http://weightlossupdates.wordpress.com/
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