There are so many things which I could point to which help me keep the faith on this long weight management journey, that its hard to single out the most significant factors. I know that number one for me is remaining aware of what Iím eating and the choices Iím making. But I think a close second is accountability.
Prior to five years ago, I had never journalled my food and I had never lost weight in a healthy way. This time around, Iíve attended group meetings, worked on changing my behaviors, and brought a level of accountability into my life that I never had before.
Going to meetings was something that worked well for me when I was losing weight but which I slacked off on once I had reached my goal. I continued to work in weight management as a meeting facilitator, but I stopped attending my own group. That really took away not only the ability for me to vent my own frustrations, but gave me an Ďoutí when I didnít feel up to the difficulty of staying on track. Now that Iíve been going back and getting regular group support for the past four months, Iím feeling much better and have a greater level of confidence that I can keep doing this.
Iím also fortunate to have a group of friends that allow me to share in their daily journey, and whom I can talk to about my own life. We open our food journals to one another, not in order to judge or evaluate, but simply to be honest with ourselves and clear about what we are (and arenít!) eating. I canít tell you how valuable it is when Iím about to eat something, to know that Iím not only going to be writing it down, but that Iím also going to be offering others the chance to read about it.
Ultimately, I hold myself responsible for my actions and my food choices. Nevertheless, itís a tremendous relief to know that not only do I not have to go it alone, I also have a variety of ways that I can be clear about what Iím doing, and to share the results in a supportive environment. Accountability is therefore a sort of proactive honesty, without prejudice, of the balance of my eating and exercising.
Iím sure there are some people who could lose weight by reading a diet book, buying a scale, and monitoring the results themself. As for me, I need to do this publicly, openly, and sharing the ups and downs of the journey.