I totally agree with the suggestion of joining a class at the gym and making friends that way. I really don't feel I have the support of my family (except my brother, who is awesome), and none of my friends 'get' why i'm 'bothering' to do this. But I started going to classes at the gym: aerobics, step, spinning etc, and there were LOADS of regulars. We all eventually started saying hi and stuff to each other. And now one of the girls is literally one of my best friends. We text each other and make sure the other one is coming to class, we meet up outside of the gym now and we both always order healthy meals, and no one questions or judges the other. It's brilliant.
Spark is also, obviously, a support I most definitely could not do without.
While I understand that SP articles are necessarily written for the general public, I agree that an article called how to succeed without support ought to have a few suggestions for going it alone. I live a very isolated life as a result of my husband's work. It isn't that my friends wouldn't support me, but they are hundreds of miles away. I see no one but my husband 6 days a week, and on the 7th I see only passing strangers in the grocery store. My husband is not UN-supportive, but he does encourage me to loosen control now and again, eat without planning or logging it, or have something that I know won't fit into my calorie budget. He is trying to be kind, and I am not weak enough to allow that to derail me, but support system? Other than SP, which thank goodness is enough, a support system is not in the cards.
A couple of comments on the comments. I looked up the percentage of morbidly obese Americans, and while it is a staggering 3%, that's much lower than the 30% mentioned below - much to my relief!
As to other people sabotaging your efforts instead of supporting you - well, you need to tell them that you'll still love them when you're thin and healthy. :) So many people I know are "happy" with their out of shape spouses because they then don't feel personally threatened.
As to my own experience with support systems, I know it made a huge difference to me when I was smoke-quitting to have my husband smoke outside or in the basement. He never gave me any rah-rah cheerleading, but making that relatively small sacrifice was enough to help me through the process. If he had offerred me a lightup during those first few difficult weeks I probably would have caved in.
So, even having a relatively neutral amount of support can make a world of difference. If you're being sabotaged in your positive efforts it's time to look for a counterbalance of support elsewhere.
My husband and I eat healthfully at home. After 10 years of marriage, he has gotten used to lower sugar products (not artificial though), and he will eat my Barrilla Plus Omega 3 pasta. He hates whole wheat pasta, so we compromise there. He has his own organic garden, so we usually have lots of veggies. The one thing he whines about is meat. If we have a vegetarian meal, he may add a hot dog. That is fine with me, it doesn't affect what I do. My biggest problem is the holidays. His parents eat mostly starchy vegetables and his mother bakes homemade pies and is pretty offended if you do not eat any. They also have a doughnut with breakfast and encourage us to have one. I may have one once or twice to make them happy, this is not my usual way of eating. An article with dealing with holiday travel where you are not in control of the menu would be great.
I think that you don't have to have the support of your spouse/significant other, family, friends or coworkers. I think it's up to you whether you want to lose weight or make life style changes. I think that there are support groups and Spark People message boards and blogs you can go to for support. I think also if you belong to a gym or jazzersize or some form of activity there are going to be other people who share wanting to loose weight and you can connect that way. But when it all comes down to it you have to be your own support system. It is you that has to decide that you can do it and that you will do it and committ. It is also ultimately you that decides what you will and won't eat. I think responsibility lays at your own feet. Something I heard the other day sums it up we come into this world alone unless your a twin and we go out alone. It's the individual experience. I am not saying that our family, friends and co workers can't be supportive but we can not expect them to be our cheerleaders. Nor should we put that on them. I think we can be supportive and people can cheer others on but I don't think we should expect them to. I think we need to do that for ourselves. We need to make ourselves a priority
11/4/2010 2:03:26 PM
How to Succeed Without Support Achieve Your Goals Even Without Friends & Family On Board
the title of this email connect to this article is very misleading. When in fact the article is all about support from family etc. Not about how to find support when you don't have any.
I want to support, encourage people to examine the idea that they 'need support'. If you were on a deserted island, would you gain weight because you 'need support'? I doubt it. As a psychologist, I know that this is not a real need. Trying to get support is often just a result of some felt lack, or some emotional difficulty. It's far better to examine this difficulty that leads us to get support than it is to ignore the difficulty and then get attached to the idea of 'another need' on top of it.
My mom (who lives in another state) and SparkPeople are my support systems. My husband isn't much support as he thinks I 'look fine the way I am'. He thinks women should have 'meat on their bones'. As I keep telling him, I felt SO much better physically when I was 30 pounds lighter. Thanks so much for this article!!
11/4/2010 9:29:23 AM
I've read the article and shared it with family members and now I think their will be a better support group from family and friends. I thank God for your articles, they are a great benefit to me.
My only support system is Spark People! I thank God every day for these people!! I've been a member for a year and I've received lots of advice and information to help through my journey. I don't think I would have been able to do this alone. I'm at a plateau right now after losing 93 lbs. and I'm a little frustrated, but I know I'm not alone.
I am lucky. My fiance is like that. He wakes me up to my favorite egg whites with fruit and a whole wheat english muffin breakfast all the time. He has even started eating better himself. It does make it easier to have that kind of support.
My family is always make me confuse whether they do support of me getting fitter and healthier - one day they "suggested" me to stop exercise, then next they will give some tips on how to do an exercise. So, I just do my war with them silently (don't want to hurt their feeling), try to encourage myself not to give up!
8/11/2010 7:04:50 AM
My husband and I split up aboui 1 yr. ago. My family lives in another state. I was always healthy and had a healthy diet. I started "comfort foods" this past fall and winter. I realized it was time to get back on track. Thanks to the great articles and support of Spark, I do feel support.
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkTeams, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.