I've been thinking a lot about support systems lately. I have a few friends going through separations and divorces, and my own schedule has made me wish I had another person here to support me emotionally as well as around the house. But it was an episode of The Biggest Loser that sparked this blog post. I don't know if anyone watches the show but I pick up past episodes on Hulu since I work when it is one. I'm a few episodes behind and last night I saw the episode in which Bob goes to Texas to the home of one of the contestants for a week.
Now Bob is paid to care about these people, but it's pretty evident that not all of that caring comes from this just being his job. He wants the people on the show to do well, to lose weight, and to get healthy. I suspect that is what any trainer wants. That's why he wasn't nearly as excited when one of his girls won the contest to return home to her family for a week. He knew what it meant. It meant going back into an environment full of temptations, stressors, and support issues.
This girls family seemed to really care about her and want to do what they could to help her, but I think the key to the entire episode was in the restaurant they took Bob to. It was a BBQ place with almost nothing on the menu that she could eat (not to mention it was pretty rude to take Bob to a BBQ place when he's a vegan). Bob looked at her family and told them that that type of restaurant would not be a place she could visit very much in the future.
The looks on the faces of her family members said a lot. Until that moment I don't think they had really grasped the seriousness of the issue. They had smiles on their faces about having their loved one home and a celebrity trainer in their midst, but they hadn't really thought about their role in her weight loss.
Can people be successful in a weight loss journey without the support of those around them? Yes, if they are determined and know how important it is to their health. Is it worlds harder than it would be with support? Oh yes! I see people all the time who do not have support and they make great strides, but those who have people in their corner do so much better.
If you're starting out on a plan to get healthy, do everything you can to bring those you love along. Even if they don't need to lose weight, everyone can be healthier than they are right now. Take them to the doctor with you so they can hear how important it is to your health. If you're going to a weight loss program like Weight Watchers, bring them along. If you're seeing a personal trainer have the trainer tell them all the ways they can help you along. Do whatever it takes to show the people around you how much they can help you on your journey.
If you still can't get those people on board, do it without them! Make the changes you need to make. Many times when other people see you doing well, they want to make changes too. But if not, seek out alternatives. Look for friends, support groups, even online forums. There is always someone out there who will be your rock!