Monday, July 1, 2013
AIM: Maintaining Support...Or Not?
This month's topic is about support. Does it continue after all the hoopla of losing weight has ended?
I was lucky when I was losing weight in that I had a lot of support - some of it even came from unexpected sources, like my coworker, who was in charge of arranging our birthday treats. The first year, she suggested doing sugar-free sno-cones instead of a cookie cake for me. I remember feeling really touched that she went out of her way to not only think up something extra fun, but was willing to go out for sno-cones in the middle of the day (definitely a lot more effort than bringing in something from the grocery store's bakery). And of course I had support from my family and close friends - I think they were all glad to see me finally making a change toward a healthier lifestyle, and were more than willing to accommodate my new dietary needs.
But what about now? The novelty of my weight loss has certainly worn off. I've been in maintenance long enough that I now have friends who never knew me as an overweight person. Do I still get support in maintaining my weight loss and healthy lifestyle? At this point, do I even need it?
The answer to both questions is yes. Aside from some momentary craziness (Burgepalooza, anyone?), my family has adopted a pretty healthy way of eating, so it's normal for us to make good choices when it comes to meals. My best friend continues to show me encouragement with maintaining my new lifestyle, by gifts of healthy food (she sent a pineapple from Maui one year for the family to enjoy at Christmas, when previously a box of See's Candies might have made an appearance), cooking healthy food when I visit, and exercising with me...I've written about this before, but believe me, it's a big turnaround from how we used to behave when we would get together! And with my local friends, maybe it's because most of them are running buddies, but we all tend to choose wisely when we eat together (super long run treat days being the exception, of course). Plus there's that whole "exercising together" thing that bonds us and, even if they don't realize it, helps me to keep up with this way of life.
While I don't need as much support this far into maintenance as I once did, it's still appreciated and yes, necessary. Just because I managed to lose my weight and keep most of it off doesn't mean that I don't still have the same problems that caused me to stress eat in the past. Sometimes it happens, but I've got people in my life whose first reaction to my stress isn't to offer me food as solace, and I appreciate that immensely - let's face it, it's easy to be strong about eating healthy when things are going right, but throw a monkey wrench into the equation, and sometimes junk food starts sounding like the cure-all...and I can tell you that in my case, food never solved anything except for hunger. But having someone to talk to, or who says "let's take a walk" when things get stressful? That's support, and just the kind that I both need and receive.
AIM: Adventures in Maintenance is Lynn, Lori, Debby, Shelley, and Cammy, former weight-loss bloggers who now write about life in maintenance. We formed AIM to work together to turn up the volume on the issues facing people in weight maintenance. We publish a post on the same topic on the first Monday of each month. Let us know if there is a topic you'd like us to address!