Two key ingredients to sustained and maintained weight loss are family and friends. They are just as important to your weight loss journey as healthy food, careful tracking, water, and exercise. I wrote about the first of these ingredients – family – in Part One of this blog here Two Essential Ingredients to Weight Loss – Family and Friends (Part One). On this one, I tackle Part Two – friends – in this blog.
There have been three categories of friends that have helped me as I lost 170 plus pounds and kept it off. Here is how Work Friends, Facebook Friends, and Fitness Friends at Weight Watchers and Lifetime Fitness have helped me along the way.
1. Work Friends – My friends and colleagues at Accenture have encouraged me on and challenged me over these last two years. First, my company has a program called Accenture Active where I had the good fortune to be one of 30 selected Journeyers when we initiated the program. As a Journeyer, we had bi-weekly meetings to touch base and learn from each other. We also had access to special lectures to inspire. One particular one was given by Diana Nyad who told us how she trained to be the first person to swim from Florida to Cuba. She accomplished it at 64, after several previous tries. Her story a long with the Accenture Active group inspired and made it easier to keep on plan. If someone can swim to Cuba, I can lose a 100 lbs. Here is a link to Diana’s wiki page if you want to learn more.
Second, my office friends and colleagues formed a Fitbit group. I cannot tell you how the many contests drove me to exercise more! I actually walked the halls of the Columbus Sheraton to pull ahead of my colleagues. My friends also helped me accomplish a long-term goal of walking 50 miles in one day. My friends from our sales team that walked 10 miles with me with their kids, partly in the rain! That is what I call support! Below is a the Fitbit badge to prove it.
2.Facebook Friends – My friends on Facebook were also a great help in my Weight Loss. First, they gave me Likes to my corny workout rhymes (Example: Today I did the typical, 5 miles strong on the elliptical!). They also gave me Likes and a few Loves as I hit my weight loss milestones. Along, with individual friends on Facebook, I was helped immensely by some of the Facebook groups. Four groups in particular, Weight Watchers Saturday Round Rock Group, Sheri’s FIT (my sister-in-laws great workout group), Spreading Positivity, and the West Point Class of 85 site. Each site gave me helpful hints and encouragement. For example, yesterday I learned that I could get Center Cut bacon which was only 2 Weight Watcher’s Smart Points for 3 pieces!. That made my day and helped me get my bacon fix while reducing calories and keeping the pounds off.
3. Fitness Friends – I already discussed my fellow Journeyers at Accenture Active. There are two other fitness and weight loss friends I want to give a shout out to. First is Weight Watchers in Round Rock Texas. This group literally changed my life. I love meeting with them every Saturday to trade tips, words of encouragement, and recognition. I also found out for me as a guy it was a good fit, so do not let anyone discourage you guys out there. I found that it had the accountability and recognition of the scale while it taught me to be more empathetic and listen more. Here is a link to the meeting if you decide to join us!
The second group is my exercise groups at Lifetime Fitness. As I got more fit, my fitness classes changed from Water Aerobics to the Spinning AMP course. I even have done Zumba and Yoga! In all the classes I loved the friendship, exhilaration and fun! I want to give a special shout out to Corey’s Saturday EDG class at Life Time Austin North. I now know as many hip-hop songs than some of my kids (although I will never beat my son!). I also know I can get over 130 RPMs (wait till I get my cycling shoes this Tuesday). Spinning is Winning! Here is the link to Life Time North Austin location.
In closing, weight loss is not an individual sport. It takes family and friends to help you to reach your milestones.