Most of us feel alone, unprepared, and a bit afraid when we begin the weight loss journey. We’re moving into exciting new territory, unsure of what we can accomplish, but sure that we need to change. When you first began losing weight, your friends probably wished you well, congratulated you, or maybe even celebrated. That kind of support always helps in the beginning, but what about when you’re two, four, or six months into the journey? The excitement wears off for them just as easily as it wears off for you, and the feelings of loneliness can be stronger than ever.
Weight loss expert and author Judith J. Wurtman, PhD, wrote earlier this year that “People often gain weight because food is their best friend. Emotional support is crucial to the dieter, because when their “best friend”‘ is expelled from their life due to the diet, who or what takes its place? […] Dieters need someone who is there not only to applaud their successes, but also to commiserate with over failures, share their anger at insensitive remarks from others and remind each other that no matter what their weight loss (or gain) is from week to week, their personality, intelligence and character are the same.”
So don’t diet alone! Here are a few ideas for developing friends and allies as you fight for a healthier life:
- Start close. Your family, church, neighborhood, and Bible study group are the best places to look for a close companion. These people already understand you, your goals, your strengths, and your weaknesses.
- Find a supportive program. If you’re not involved in a regular weight loss program, find one today. It’s amazing how having an encouraging doctor or trainer who understands you can transform your weight loss journey for the better!
- Take the initiative. Go out of your way to find and make new friends who have similar goals. They’re probably waiting for an encouraging friend, just like you.
Do you have any stories about how a friend helped you through the weight loss journey? Comment and share!