Assemble your team

13 Sep

Losing weight is hard work. Even the most determined will need help at one point or another. Here are some people to consider adding to your support team. Someone in your life might play the role of one or more of these “characters”. For example, my food police and fitness coach is the same person. You may talk to these characters every once in a while or every day.

Medical team: depending on where you start your journey, it may be important to involve your doctor from the start. Ask about what medicine you are on, what type of exercise you are allowed to do, what you need to look out for as you get started. Your doctor is also a great resource to learn more about how your body will change during weight loss and what you can expect. Other medical people that may be part of your team over time include a nutritionist, physical therapist, or counselor/social worker.

Hard core fans: these are the people that love you no matter what. They don’t care what you look like, or that you had a bad day. They give you unconditional love and support. They are there for your highs and lows and everything in between.

Food police: somebody to hold you accountable to your eating goals. Read more about that here.

Fitness Coach: somebody who knows about exercise and will help you safely ease in to the active life. This could be a personal trainer, an exercise class instructor, a former athlete…anybody who will help you set realistic goals, give you guidance, and correct your form. This person should push you to do more than you ever have before and take no excuses from you.

Shoe specialist: Go to Dick Pond Athletics or another running store and get yourself fitted for running shoes. This is the best investment you can make. If you do only one thing, let this be it. Your feet, back and knees will thank you for it. Talk to the sales person about how long running shoes last, what kind of socks you need, etc.

Brat face: this is the person who is going to challenge your thinking. You will know this person when after describing something that just happened to you, they ask “where you really going to die from not eating a cookie? Die? Really? REALLY?” and you walk away thinking “what a brat face”. Okay, it may not look exactly like that, but just as you need someone to challenge what you can do physically, you need someone to challenge what you think about yourself. (This one will probably get its own blog soon)

Fellow soldiers: these are the friends, family, and co-workers that are also working on a change of eating or physical activity. They feel your pain and understand the encouragement you need and when you need it the most.

Logistical support: these are the people that will help you manage your time. It may be a babysitter, a carpool for your kid’s soccer team, a grocery shopping assistant…anybody, who by doing what they do, helps free up time for you to take care of you.

Inspiring stories:  these are the people you may know personally, see on TV, or read about in magazines. They are the ones with a story similar to yours and just happen to be much further along in their journey. Some of my favorites are the people featured on Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition.

Well-wishers: these are the people that will cheer you on. Some will be close to you, others may be strangers. You will find your well-wishers seem to compliment you when you need it the most.

Fashion advisers: these people don’t need to be trendy, but they are willing to be honest with you and tell you when it is time to buy new clothes. As the weight started coming off I just kept wearing what I had until I had 3 people in the same week tell me I was drowning in my clothes. (Of course I came home with some of my usual “ugly” shirts, but at least they were the right size!)

Newbies: these are the people that see a change in you and want it too. They want to know what you are eating and doing to lose weight. You have piqued their interest like others have done for you. Share what you have learned and encourage, encourage, encourage them.

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