The Skinny Daily Post™

Short, daily essays on weight loss and fitness
from a really average woman who lost 100 lbs.
and works every day to keep it off.

Journal Exercises, Toolbox, Eating, Exercising, Gurus, Rewards

Monday, February 24, 2003  

Getting Real Help

I mentioned on Saturday that I didn’t meet my aerobic goals for last week. Rats. But I worked hard and got in three aerobic moments over the weekend. That was okay. Not what I intended. I like to use weekends for rest.

This week I’ve enlisted the help of my husband and friends to apply a little pressure. With my husband, I’m asking that he apply Feet To Butt, if I don’t succeed at Feet On Floor (find the reference under “exercising.”) Among my online friends, I’m going “public,” promising to post through the week every aerobic interval I get in.

Asking friends and family for help in your weight loss and fitness efforts is tricky business. They are likely to do and say things that really annoy or hurt you if you don’t get specific with them about what you want and need and don’t want and don’t need. The only way to do that is to communicate openly, and as directly as possible, asking for specific behaviors at specific times. Face to face is best. E-mail’s okay.

Not sure how to talk to people or ask for help? Or how to ask people to stop doing something? It’s important not to cast blame, not to judge, but just to name specific behaviors coming from them, from you. Name specific feelings. Own your own feelings, and say what you think is a good thing to do and when:

“When (I or you) (do) (this), I (feel) (that). Please (do this) (when).”

For instance:

“When you keep bowls of candy around the house, I feel weak in my resolve to lose weight. Could you keep the candy somewhere else instead?”

“When you comment on what I’m eating, I know you mean well, but I end up feeling awkward and guilty about eating at all. I need you to let me be in charge of what I eat instead. No more comments.”

“When you tell me I look great, I feel great and feel as if I can stay on my program forever. Please keep it up.”

“When I don’t exercise, I feel like poop. Tomorrow I may need your help getting out of bed. How about just telling me, “Time for the gym, babe.”?”

“Hi gang. This week I want to get in four aerobic intervals. I’m going to hold myself accountable by posting here. Please watch for my posts.”

Short, sweet direct. You name things clearly and without a lot of fanfare. I vote for picking family, friends, and support groups who really want to support you, and avoiding the subject with those who don’t. You probably know in your gut where you’re likely to find support and who to avoid.

I advise you to collect supporters. There is no need at all to transform your family and co-workers into supporters if they’re not the type. There are lots of free sources of support you can absolutely rely on, any time, to get the kind of shot in the arm you need… in classes in your community, at free support groups offered by your local health authority, and of course, on the Internet.

Aimed particularly at women, the boards at iVillage are active, well-structured, and monitored by a lot of really great women. You will always find a knowing ear and great advice there.

Fantastically responsive, brilliantly constructed, and open to everyone everywhere, the boards at, likewise are full of terrific folks and great help.

When you set goals, you need support to achieve them. When you miss your goals, you need MORE support to shake it off and set your next one.

Never face an unmet goal with self-abuse. There is absolutely no use for self-loathing. There is only onward. Only the next thing. Start over, start over, start over.

Good luck with your goals this week, friends,


iVillage’s Diet & Fitness Boards

posted by Julie |
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