Almost every weight loss advocate I’ve tuned into suggests sharing your weight loss journey. Pick a friend and work out together is often repeated. I’ve also heard check in with someone so you don’t feel like your going at it alone. My favorite is of course let your family and friends know so they can be encouraging.
I think part of the work out with a buddy is the old misery loves company adage.
But as your Mother no doubt warned you when you were younger, or at least mine did, you need to choose your friends carefully. This applies doubly so to partners in crime for weight loss.
I actually have a couple of friends currently ducking my calls because they wanted to join me in my weight loss adventure at the beginning, then changed their minds. Starting a massive weight loss journey is one of those things that sounds like a good idea at the start, then sore muscles and life sort of get in the way and it gets put on the back burner. I made a conscious effort not to let it get put on the back burner.
And trust me, it was a conscious effort.
There may be a way to lose a lot of weight with only thirty minutes a day, but I haven’t found it. I’m sure the thirty minutes are great if you are shaving off a few pounds, training for a physical event or just staying active. When your goal is to lose half of your body weight over the course of the journey it takes time. First off you know you will be on the weightloss journey for a couple of years, second its going to take up a chunk of your day.
Adding that time is an adjustment and not everyone wants to make that adjustment.
So after a few months they avoid you until they think you forgot that they ever wanted to work out with you in the first place. Then things go back to normal and it is never mentioned again.
At least in my world. Maybe I just have those sorts of friends.
I do also have some friends it is great to work out with.
But then I also have my darling dearest. My honey bun. My love.
About the time I decided I was in for the long haul with weight loss, my darling, who is no light weight either, I must say, landed in the hospital for high blood pressure mixing with a sinus infection. The result felt like a heart attack and we went to the hospital. A few terrifying hours later, we found out it wasn’t.
He was however ordered to lower his salt intake and to lose weight. The visit scared him enough that he agreed. So he began his weight loss adventure. Incidentally his first step was to hand me the list of foods he could no longer eat and make googoo eyes as he told me that he knew if anyone could make it taste good it was me.
I think he actually thinks I have a magic wand stashed somewhere for kitchen use.
At least he now complains less when I add more vegetables to his diet.
Now, I have been keeping track of my weight on a weekly basis and I do type it into a spreadsheet (because that is just me) but sometimes I don’t input it right away and add the date and weight to the corner of my dry erase board in the office and then catch up my spreadsheet later. Sometimes my darling uses my office and it turns out he noticed the numbers.
He also noticed that I have lost a little over 3 pounds more than he has.
Did I mention he is competitive?
So to give himself an edge, he started bringing home little treats for me whenever he goes out. A small wedge of a highly caloric cheese I like. A bag of salty fatty goodness I’ve been avoiding. And then he tells me in the sweetest tones that he was thinking of me and thought I might like a little treat.
I should also point out that his weaknesses are all in the sweet category so these treats don’t affect him.
I finally confronted him and he admitted that he just wanted to catch up.
He wanted to win.
So I caught up my spreadsheet, erased the dates from my figures on the dry erase board and left the last weight. Thinking I stalled he has stopped trying to sabotage me because he thinks he is now winning the ‘race’ and things have gone back to normal in our house.
Yup, a reason not to slack on catching up the paperwork.
I know that was a long way to go, but the message was that while having a weight loss companion can be good, it can provide encouragement and help in the rough patches (which despite his recent sabotage my baby does give me) partners can also be occasionally detrimental.
Whether it is the love of your life of a friend you work out with, they can have a big impact. Just remember, even if you love them, they aren’t always marching with you. they may have a bad day and feel like being negative about everything around them. they may want to be losing weight faster than they are. They may think that you are doing ‘better’ than them and resent it. Don’t get me wrong, they can easily be highly motivational and encouraging. If you think someone is dragging you down, adjust. Don’t lose the friendship, just recognize the temporary separation of the path you are both walking. Sometimes its just a bad day, other times it is not. Sometimes you can let them go, other times they are an intrinsic part of your world. Just identify the effect and figure out a way to deal with it, without derailing yourself. Even if that identification is only in your head.
After all, they can still be good company to keep, just don’t take them to the gym.