Friday, October 24, 2008

The Merits of Meetings

When I first started this process, I really didn't know how to lose weight. I thought that weight loss was a secret that only movie stars, athletes and Oprah shared. Along the way, I found ways to educate myself. I saw a nutritionist, surfed the web, and talked to other people who had reached their weight loss goals. Finally, I attended some Weight Watchers meetings.

By now, I know what to do. And yet, I don't always do it. In fact, I've blogged a lot recently about how this is the time of year when I seem to lose all of my motivation. As the days grow shorter and colder in my neck of the woods, pumpkin pie becomes a lot more tempting than walking the dog. I've done well up to this point, but if I'm going to stave off the wolf at the door, which is diabetes in my case, I need to do better.

That's why I've turned my attention this morning to weight loss meetings. I had attended weight loss meetings with some significant success, but I decided to stop going. A friend of my said, "You know how to lose weight! Why pay all that money to go to a meeting to hear what you already know by heart?" Her argument made sense, so I pocketed the cash and decided to try it on my own.

The result? Well, have you seen my weight loss ticker move recently? I'm not saying my recent struggles have been completely related to my decision to go it alone, but to be honest, I think there's a real connection. Many people reap serious benefits from attending weight loss meetings.

Firstly, in attempting to make any major life change, it helps to have support. You can get that in the blogging community, but face to face communication is always more powerful. I never actually shared much in my meetings, but I got a lot out of hearing others talk about their barriers and victories.

Secondly, having a meeting always helped me to stay mindful of my goal. It's easy to get diet amnesia when someone's offering me a piece of cake, but if I know that another human being is going to see my weight in bright red numbers on a digital screen, I'm more likely to stay strong. Also, the fact that I knew other people would be asking me how I did at my meeting was some serious motivation.

I also always felt that attending meetings was a concrete way to demonstrate the commitment that I was making to myself. Once a week, I set aside an hour to consider my priorities and evaluate my progress. It's easy to forget to do that now that I'm solo.

I know meetings aren't the answer for everyone, but as the holidays approach, I think I need to return to them. It's a significant financial outlay to be making at this time of year, but there's certainly no surer investment on Wall Street these days!

4 comments:

MizFit said...

AMEN ON THE SUPPORT.

IMO with everything I have on my plate from workgoals to weightgoals to fitnessgoals----sad or not my own personal motto is always:

it takes a village to help Miz do (INSERT GOAL NAME HERE).

have a great weekend.

new*me said...

good for you! I think support is really important in whatever form it takes. I remember when I was pg and getting weighed every week with my twins..........I ate better because I knew I was going to be weighed each week at my appt so I had to face the week of bad decisions or good ones :)

Karyn said...

KNOWING how to lose weight and actually DOING it are 2 different things. Support and accountability are very important factors in the DOING.

Good for you to recognize the pitfalls in your road (ie the time of year you seem to falter) and then plan not to fall this time.

You are not the same person that gave up the times before.

weight said...
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