In the past, every time I went on a diet, I kept it to myself. Makes sense right? I didn’t want to have to explain anything, and I certainly didn’t want the judgment if/when my efforts failed to yield results. Sound familiar?
There are lots of reasons we don’t share much about weight. For me, it was always gnawing in the background. I hoped people would notice, and when they did, I would pass it off or say things like, “Thanks, I’m trying,” maybe even throw in a little eye roll, or make a joke about it. It was uncomfortable to say the least.
This week I am celebrating 50.5 pounds down in 5 months. And as I write this, I’m still uncomfortable about sharing this in a blog that is being read by people all over the world. So why is going public such an important part of this journey? Here are my top 4 reasons:
I’m not a ‘joiner.’ In the past, other programs never did much for me as far as any real bonding or support. I’m not a member of many organizations. It just isn’t my thing. This time around I decided if I wasn’t happy with the types of support groups out there, I would create my own. I wanted a way to hold myself accountable, to be transparent. The biggest reason was to take the shame away from where I was. I just let it all hang out. And guess what? A whole lot of amazing things happened. My A-Team of BadAsses is a wonderful, loving supportive bunch of humans dedicated to lifting each other up regardless of whether it’s a good day or a bad day.
2. Being Of Service
One of the biggest lessons around going public is how much impact you can have on others who not only can relate to your story, they are inspired by it. There is also magic in getting the attention off yourself and being there for someone who just might need that compassionate ear of yours. You could create a black and white rule to spend an hour or two every week volunteering. Consider just staying open to possibilities. Sometimes just raising your awareness will help you notice a place where you’re needed. And being needed can feel pretty good.
You don’t have to stand on a street corner and tell the world your story. There are other ways of going public, and journaling is one way of being a little more ‘public’ with yourself. Whether it’s writing in a food journal to help you stay focused and on point or just writing down how you’re feeling, self reflection is incredibly powerful. As for the food journal? Studies show that those who journal their food lose 50% more weight on average. That was enough to get me writing every day.
4. Going Social
Quite often the urge to eat comes out of loneliness or boredom. Consider other activities that get you out in public more, leaving less time for the couch. When was the last time you called that friend? Or had a girls’ night out? Don’t give up on a social life. You can meet the challenges of staying on your plan and still have a great night out. Or, think about taking a class or make it a rule that you’ll find one activity you haven’t done in awhile and schedule it.
We are social creatures, and so it makes sense when setting a big goal or making any significant life change that it will be easier if you’re feeling connected. Be willing to put it out there and see what comes back, whether that’s in the privacy of your journal or with newfound like-minded friends in a safe online support space.
Be proud of the changes you’re making, and own your journey. As of today, I’m officially halfway to my goal of 100 lbs down and done. Thank you for allowing me to go a little public.