– By Andrea M. Pampaloni, Ph.D.
Jack Welch, the iconic Chairman and CEO of General Electric, had a well-known view on the importance of mentors. He encouraged people to have multiple mentors to help them develop and overcome obstacles in their careers. So, one mentor to help with public speaking, another to help with financial advice, another for management tips, and so on. He said, “Everyone is a mentor!”
The same holds true with your approach to a weight loss. Having a personal team of “specialists” in the areas where you know you will have difficulty keeping on task can make a big difference to your weight loss success. Everyone is a possible team member! If you think that sticking to an exercise schedule will be difficult, find someone that you know walks every morning and will pick you up at your door. You don’t like to cook? Ask a friend how to make easy, nutritious meals to find you 10 recipes that you can mix and match over the month. If late night snacking is a problem, make virtual dates with another night owl to watch a movie together or discuss a book. Think about where you need the most support and create a team to help you achieve your goals.
At the same time, maybe you can be part of someone else’s team. Think about what skills or talents you have and offer to share them with friends that may be struggling with their own weight issues, family problems or mental health challenges. Can you teach them to paint or crochet or garden? Or, maybe you’re the one with great recipes to share. Taking each other’s children for one day a week will certainly keep you busy when you’re watching them, plus it will give you a day off (to paint, crochet or garden!).
Weight Loss and the Team Approach
Some weight loss programs have a team approach built in because they know what a big difference it makes. People with different areas of expertise come together to create a customized programs based on each person’s unique goals and abilities. They understand that people with obesity have struggled throughout their lives to deal with weight issues and they provide a support structure to help them deal not only with their physical and medical issues, but also address their psychological needs.
If you’re trying to lose weight on your own or through a structured program, the important takeaway here is that you don’t have to do it alone. A team offers encouragement and guidance to overcome the obstacles blocking your path to weight loss. And whether your team is two or 10 people, being accountable to someone else is key to sticking with a plan — plus they will help you celebrate your victories!
Start thinking about those family members and friends who can give you the nudge you need in the areas you need them. Remember, too, that this is a journey, so set small, achievable goals that you will help inspire you to continue. Having your own support team will give you more energy and self-confidence, and they will be with you every step of the way!
About the Author: Dr. Andrea Pampaloni has over 20 years of communication experience across corporate, academic, nonprofit and government sectors. She provides research and writing services on a range of business issues and industry-specific topics to prepare white papers, articles, proposals, presentations, technical content, and speaking points, as well as marketing-communications content such as blogs, website content, newsletters, news releases and award submissions. Dr. Pampaloni’s research findings have been presented at national and international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals, and she is a ghostwriter for three books, a Forbes article, and several corporate blogs.