First lifestyle support group meeting went well!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

First: Please note that my keyboard has for weeks been refusing to type every letter I hit, so you'll see words that are missing 'something'. Consider it a game, and read on, ok? Thanks for unerstanding?!

Tonight I held the first meeting for what wil now be called "Healthy Lifestyle RoundTable"! After lots of thinking and planning, my pet project EXISTS!!

Purpose? A social networking group (for the senior community in which I live) for people to have in-depth discussions on a myriad of healthy lifestyle topics. Originally, it was to be called "W8 RoundTable" to start with overweight people an then fanout. I had wanted to have it be for everyone regardless of circumstances physical or otherwise, but had been swayed to focus on weight. Tonight those in attendance all agreed with my original concept and said "GO FOR IT".

I'd hoped to bring SP flyers with me, but they seem to have become hidden. What a shame that the features most important to me keep disappearing or become so hard to find that you only have a chance to find them IF you know they exist. But. After 20 minutes of searching for the flyers, I gave up. Instead, people knew that much of what we do will be totally in sync with SP because I told them about it, gave out the site information to them for those interested in joining.

One interesting topic that explains this unanimous support of lifestyle rather than 'yet another diet' is that many people there do know how to lose weight... but once their method of getting to goal reaches goal... they just lain didn't know how to maintain. Of course, I inserted "yes, that's why ...etc"!! lol, I'm such a SPer!! To me, a huge memory of this meeting was: I was shocked at the number who stated they'd lost a lot of weight and regained that and more. Sure, I knew SOME would have experienced this, but... so many?! This is better proof than any distant study in showing that gradual, enjoyable changes to lifestyle is more effective and lasting than any 'diet'.

In making preparations before tnight, I got the information that covers all people on Medicare or insurance working with Medicare. Sure glad I did. Told them to get out their 2014 Medicare books, turn to Section 3, Page 46 and have that paragraph in front of them when calling their providers' customer service. Every insurance provider will handle the details differently, but must comply with Medicare law: anyone with a BMI of 30 or more can receive up to 22 free nutritional consultation visits (etc etc) during one year.

So if on Medicare and have a BMI of 30+, call the insurer, go to the primary physician for a referral for nutritional consultations.... and be sure that you go to a Registered Dietician or other qualified person who accepts your insurance. RD's LOVE seeing SP print-outs of nutrition logs, summaries and other reports: it helps them work with us in detail. I truly believe that people doing this benefit more than many others, because we are so in tune with what we need. Anyhow. Back to tonight's meeting...:

Maintenance. We all talk about goals. But reaching the ultimate weight-goal and staying there seems to be a truly defeating attempt for many people. Key words in that? "Seems" and "attempt"; think about it! We sure did discuss this tonight: how they reached their goals and then felt unsure about what to do!

One lady said she lost 150+ pounds in less than a year on a doctor-'supervised' Medifast plan; then she was under stress while moving and at a hectic time of work all while preparing for a large family gathering for Thanksgiving! Her doctor said, "you can go off the program for the week while your company is here and you're moving; eat what you want". This and other all-too-similar tales with just different details explains why those who attended AND those who were busy tonight but interested... all said "No 'diet'? GREAT! I just want to get/be healthy!" Wow. Huh?!

This and next week's meetings are the groundwork for setting the loose structure. Using principles very like those of SP, I wrote on a sheet of paper and circled separately each grouping of categories with organized sub-groups. For two hours, truly substantive conversation FLOWED. It was wonderful!

You should have heard how each time a person mentioned a challenge, at least one other discussed workable solutions. You'd have thought these folks were all long-time Sparkers. Sure am glad I provided paper, pens and oter supplies because everyone was busily writing down information the entire time. Sharing the way we all did tonight felt... great. Absolutely fantastic.

When I reserved the room for a two-hour period, I didn't really expect everyone would be thoroughly engaged the entire time... Wow, was I ever wrong! So. The beginning of my real-life support group for healthy lifestyle and all it includes.... is looking promising for future meetings.

Am expecting more people to join in next week, especially since we're expanding the scope to appeal to even those maintaining a good weight and who are active. Their input will be great. And one should never forget that they have -or should have- goals too!
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