Having a support system can be a key factor in helping you reach your weight loss goals. An source of encouragement and advice can not only help you stay on track, but can also help you learn, grow and make healthier choices and a more positive lifestyle.
“My support system helps me stay on the program during the tough times, like vacations and holidays,” says Angie Deeth, a lifetime Weight Watchers member and a Weight Watchers leader in Ajax and Oshawa. She lost 100 pounds and has kept the weight off for over 27 years. “They keep me honest and remind me how far I’ve come.”
So what can you do to ensure you are surrounded by a good support system?
Enlist your partner
A supportive partner can be incredibly helpful when starting your weight loss journey. Having someone close to you who understands you and can recognize your habits and actions will make losing weight easier.
“My husband is very, very supportive. A lot of times when we go out and socialize, he knows my actions. If he sees me hovering over the table with food, he will give me a subtle sign that means, "Do you really want to do that?" This is something that we have discussed beforehand.” Deeth says. “He also follows the program with me and eats the same healthy foods as me and encourages me to try different foods and recipes.”
A supportive spouse, friend or even close relative, can keep you feeling motivated and confident, which is imperative for attaining your weight loss goals.
Attend a local Weight Watchers meeting
Attending a Weight Watchers meeting to discuss your progress is not only a great way to receive support, but it’s also an opportunity to give support to those who are on a similar journey.
According to members from Angie’s meetings, by attending a Weight Watchers meeting they have “come to understand that they are not the only ones with these issues. They love the meetings because they get great ideas for food and how to get fitness in, and how, specifically, to make time for themselves,” says Deeth. “They’ve made the meetings a part of their routines, keeping them focused week-to-week and they are really starting to understand the importance of fulfilling their needs and taking time for themselves.” Other members credit the meetings for helping them to stay grounded, focused and on track. “Sometimes you might think you don’t need the meeting because you’ve been exercising and keeping on track, but that is when the meeting needs you,” says Deeth. “It's about supporting each other whether you’re on goal or you’re struggling.”
Be your own biggest fan
Getting support from others is a huge part of losing weight, but it’s equally important to support and love yourself. If you don’t support yourself, it becomes difficult to ask others to support you. While on your weight loss journey, you might beat yourself up over a minor slip-up, but negative thinking will only hinder your progress. “Positive self-talk is important. Always remind yourself about how far you’ve come and what you've accomplished,” says Deeth. Remember that what you say to yourself will have the same emotional effect that it would have on a friend who is struggling with the same issue.
Another important aspect of taking care of yourself is being able to ask for help. “First and foremost, if I have an issue with something, I ask for help,” says Deeth, who also credits Weight Watchers’ 24/7 Online Chat for helping her in times of need. Because even the best cheerleader realizes she needs to rely on her squad sometimes.
The benefits of having a positive support system are numerous. A support system reminds you of your goals, encourages you, and helps you get through the tough times. What is probably the most valuable aspect of a support system, though, is its ability to help you see the big picture. “My support system helps me by reminding me how far I’ve come,” says Deeth. “If I mess up, the members will say to me, ‘Okay, so you made a little slip-up, but look at what you have accomplished over 27 years by keeping your weight off.’ It’s not about focusing on making mistakes, but moving past them and remembering how much you’ve accomplished already.”