We have this beautiful blog...and the facebook group to help us all on our journey. You know what? It's not just a bunch of randomness that Marie set these up for us to use - just like weights or calorie trackers or treadmills, this group is a tool that I've been using throughout this journey. Want to know why?
1. It holds me accountable. Even though no one in the group has ever said (or will ever say, I'm sure) you MUST post in this group what your activities were or your calorie intake or your pounds lost or gained. But is a place that is meant for that kind of information sharing, if you feel like it'll help you. I know myself and I know that I have to have some kind of accountability for follow through and this has helped that. If I know I "have to" post after my weigh ins, I'll do them. Even though deep down I know no one is going to come after me if I don't. I feel the sense of accountability when I see others posting their accomplishments and it makes me do it too.
2. It's a sounding board. Having a bad workout, or string of workouts? Having a weekend where everything went off the rails and you ate everything in sight and feel like you're going to have gained 25 pounds in 2 days? Need to ask someone who is further along for advice on what the next step is? This is a great place to do that - especially since we have members of this group who have reached their goals and they're maintaining well at those levels, members who are just barely getting going, members who have been working for a while but haven't quite gotten all the way to the goal yet, etc. We have a variety and that's great for all kinds of working together.
3. It's my inspiration. We have members here who are much further along their journey than I am and it's nice to have those examples to look to in order to say "see, I can do it!" It's nice to have those same people supporting posts and notes that we all share - saying good job along the way or pointing out things that you're doing right. It's also great to have someone there to say "it's ok - sometimes you have a bad day" when you know that person still reached their goals in the end. It's easy to get discouraged - but having others who have shared their success can get you back on track. It's part of why I post as much as I do in the group (and on here). Even though I'm not that far through the journey (15lbs and 4 1/2 months....) I'm making progress and if I can help someone else in the group by posting, I will.
4. It helps me learn. I don't know everything. Shocking, I know ;-) But really, I read a lot of information on the changes I'm trying to make in my life. I spend a lot of time learning about what's better for my body and the ways that what I'm putting into (and getting out of through working out) my body effect me and have learned a lot of new things. There are still a lot of things I don't know - and so sharing information with you ladies has helped me learn new things, see new perspectives, pick up new ideas. Even something as simple as the jog.fm tip that Mary gave me for helping pick the right running music was totally helpful - it's helped me hit the under 13 minute mark for a mile - which is huge for me. Little tips, new apps, articles, ideas, even funny someecards or inspirational quotes sometimes put that extra little emphasis on heath in my day. And I know that many of us have read/experienced/heard things that maybe I haven't, so if I have a question, it's likely the place I'm going to start.
5. It makes me more successful. There have been a number of studies (listen to me sounding like one of "those" articles...) that show that working with others makes exercise/weight loss goals more attainable. They even say that competition helps if we ever want to challenge each other to push harder for our own goals. I've tried "eating healthier" before and I've re-signed up for my gym probably 5 different times over the past few years that have never stuck. In fact, when we started this group, I was at the heaviest I'd ever been. In 4 1/2 months I've lost 15 pounds. I've never before seen that kind of results and I owe much of that to this group of lovely, supportive ladies who have helped me see that I can, in fact, do this!
For more community, you can find me on dailymile.com and myfitnesspal.com both of which I use to help keep myself on track. I'm either under Lauren Patton or laureate04 if you're searching :)
Let's keep it up and help each other along. I have an idea for a challenge for April - now that *hopefully* Spring is right around the corner - so I'm going to chat with Marie and see what she thinks and maybe get it set up on the Facebook group, so that we can keep our positive momentum going now that "New Year's Resolution time" has come and gone :) Have a great day, ladies!!