Studies show that one of the keys to losing and maintaining weight loss is a strong social support system. But what if you don’t have a strong social support system? Are you doomed to a future of being overweight? Nope. Not at all. If you know my story, you know that it took me a long time to get where I am today, and I don’t know if I would be where I am without my support family.
I don’t really remember when it happened, but Gary had started working out with his trainer, Mike, who was really into bodybuilding. It was through Gary that I learned about the user forums on bodybuilding.com. I started participating in the online forums there, & learned a LOT about lifting weights, eating cleanly, and losing weight. I also learned that although the forums were moderated, any shmoe with a keyboard can write whatever they want; that everything you read on the Internet is not necessarily true, and take everything you read with a grain of salt – research your information. I mainly stayed in the female forum & got to know the women there pretty well.
Soon, I was introduced to a new, smaller, forum where I really got to know the other women on the site. We learned a lot from one another about what worked, we experimented with training periodization, style, intensity & diet. Ultimately we created our own forum & closed it off from the rest of the world. It is a place where we can go to be safe; we have the support of each other, we trust that the information we get is good, or the best that the person on the other side of the keyboard is able to give. Even though I’ve never met these women in person, and I could potentially walk by them on the street & not recognize them, I consider them my friends. They live all over the country, from ‘Bobbie’ & ‘Jeep Lady’ in Florida, to ‘Sunshine Kathie’ in New Jersey & ‘Calorie Assassin’ & ‘T’ in Washington state. I’ve communicated with these women for at least 6 years now. I knew them when they were single, and now they have children. I met them when they were married & supported them through their divorces.
A support system doesn’t have to be only people who you have physical relationships with. There are a lot of fantastic people out there in the world who are going through the same things that you are going through. Use each other as support. Learn from each other. Online tools are a great way of connecting with people that you may not otherwise have had a chance to meet.
I started thinking about my cyber-sisters because there’s a new forum that has recently opened it’s doors in Austin. It’s called No Short Cutz – because there are no short cuts in the quest for life long change (I mean really — did you read that blog post about everything I’ve tried?). Sign up, get involved & get support. You’ll meet people who have the same interests as you, get answers to questions you might have & maybe even offer some advice or opinions.
PS to Amazon Chick, Stixx, Hibiscus, Digger, Tonya, Jeep Lady, One Buff Mom, Calorie Assassin, Bobbie, Mariska, Yvette, Sugar-Free, Sunshine Kathie, BluePoof, Laura1962 and Wendy: Y’all are the coolest FitChicks I know – to think we started out as MsFits! I do hope that we can meet one of these days