I sat next to Kerry for the last two days scoring volleyball conference-duals. She scores and keeps the books [excellently, I must add!] and I take care of the score board, track the libero and time the time-outs, warm-ups, between games, etc. We’ve been doing this together about 5 years. She has young kids, my kids are grown. She’s a math teacher, I’m a custodian. She has her friends, I have mine. We don’t really visit a whole lot, but today we had a great conversation about Weight Watchers.

It was nice to connect on common ground.

I noticed about a month ago how good she looks and mentioned it to her. She’s doing it all online, counting points, using the Weight Tracker. A few of her friends have a little friendly competition going and they do water aerobics a couple of times a week.

That’s the best way to lost weight. This from streetdirectory.com:

Once you sit down and have a little chat with yourself and decided how much weight you are going to lose and by when and basically how you’re going to go about it, you might consider confiding in a friend or group of friends who tend to be supportive. They know you well and can act as cheerleaders for you. Even better if a group of friends decide to undertake the same program together.

If it’s 98 degrees, raining, snowing, your slim partner is sound asleep, or whatever, you know you absolutely have to get out of bed or off that couch and do your aerobics, strength training, and flexibility and balance exercises and prepare your five or six small meals of the day. Eventually, of course, you’ll look forward to exercise and you’ll love the way those smaller meals make you feel. When you finally work up to really vigorous exercise, the endorphins that are released will make you feel like you’re soaring. But until then, there are those other days, especially in the beginning, when it would be a great help to have some partners in the effort to meet for exercise and perhaps meal planning.

One really good thing about enlisting a group is that you’ll also be helping them reach their weight loss goals, too. Helping other people get what they want is, then, a great way to get what you want.

You might consider drafting an actual goal statement for the group which could include individual member’s personal goals, as well goals for the group and incentives for meeting them. For example, if the group lost 100 pounds in total by a certain date, they would all treat themselves to a day at the spa with a full body massage followed by a special lunch. Or maybe a day at the ball park or fishing — whatever would be a worthy reward for your group. Whenever a member reaches a milepost along the way, congratulations from the group would be in order and they should make sure the member who reached the milepost enjoys a reward as well.

So what would the group do once it got formed and all the goals were set? One possibility is that they could exercise together. Walking, jogging, lifting weights, even dancing or yoga can get a bit boring if you have to go it alone all the time. It really adds some fun if there are others as well. You could agree on a set group of exercises you would all do together or you could take turns choosing. Maybe polkas when Suzy chooses, running stadium steps at Don’s request, body weight exercises as suggested by Maria, and so on. You could all join a yoga class or a step class or play tennis or. . . The possibilities are enormous. Just do what you and your friends like or would like to learn and have some fun!

It’s easy to think of excuses to not stick with your plan. There’s always the day when you didn’t get enough sleep the night before or the rain is coming down or it’s too hot or you just don’t feel like it. While it’s true a few hours’ delay or even skipping the exercise one day wouldn’t destroy everything you had done up to that point, the big danger is that it’s then much easier to skip another day. Then another one, and so on. Pretty soon it’s more off than on. All too soon, your walking/running shoes or swim suit are tucked away in the back of the closet except for the occasional trip to the pizza parlor. Your exercise mat is rolled up and pushed into the corner of a room where you keep the door closed so as not to remind you of what you aren’t doing. The cookie jar gets refilled, the ice cream is back in the freezer, and cheeseburgers and fries are once again the staff of life.

But with a friend or group of friends banging on your door or ringing your phone or sending you emails, you can’t just slip away. It’s much easier to stick with the program. Your chances of not staying the course are significantly reduced if several of you are doing it together. You can motivate, help, maybe even goad each other a bit. You don’t want to miss out on the fun incentives, do you? And you certainly don’t want all your friends getting healthier and healthier and more and more gorgeous/handsome and drawing all the compliments, while you hide away in your bed or on your couch.

Me? If I was looking for a BFF, I’d do the above!

I usually exercise alone because I don’t like to take the chance of tooting like a bull frog around friends. My only competition is myself and right now I am motivated to get to 147. But for others, the group approach is a great addition to any plan! And to be perfectly honest, I did lose a whole bunch of weight [36 pounds] in a group environment [Weight Watchers and our Biggest Loser contest at work.]