We in TOPS have learned that when we go along “Side by Side” with like-minded friends, we travel lighter and farther and with less frequent detours and stops.
Fellow TOPS member Julie Rogier of TOPS MI 1177 Rochester Hills contacted me offering to share her views on our awesome travels. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Julie!
Along the Journey, Encouragement Can Go Far
by Julie Rogier
All of us on the TOPS journey well know the benefits of support. By attending our weekly meetings and supporting each other, we gain accountability and the knowledge that we are not in this alone.
Active participation in our TOPS chapters helps us share our successes and challenges together.
While it is easy to see the benefits we gain from receiving support from others, there is a benefit to providing that support.
In fact, offering weight loss support to others makes a big difference in someone else’s life and a positive difference in our own.
Here are four ways that we can encourage others, while at the same time helping our own journey to go easier.
Keep Positive Together
Take the time to notice those on the journey who are making a positive change. If a fellow member is now keeping a food journal each week, comment on it and support that positive step. For those in a rut, remind them that tomorrow is another day. By focusing on the positive, we help our fellow travelers–as well as ourselves–stay on a positive path.
Be a Workout Buddy
Exercise is critical to successful weight loss and maintenance, but it’s hard to commit and sustain to a regular weekly program. When you encourage someone else to exercise, you gain many benefits. Find an activity that you both enjoy and commit to doing it regularly. Whether it’s a daily walk, or agreeing to meet at the gym on the weekend, exercising with a buddy is an effective way to show your support.
Offer a Listening Ear
One of the challenges that we all face is emotional eating. Many people make poor food choices because they are lonely, sad, angry, or stressed. Give your fellow traveler the opportunity to talk it out. The key is to listen carefully and offer emotional support. Sometimes it also means suggesting activities you can do together that do not involve eating. When you face emotional triggers to overeat, you will be less likely to succumb.
Be a Good Example
Those on the TOPS journey can look to the KOPS members (who Keep Off Pounds Sensibly) for living examples of those meeting the weight loss challenge. Even if we haven’t hit KOPS status yet, we can be a good example to others by keeping track of our food journals, drinking our water, and watching portion sizes.
How can you encourage the members of your TOPS chapter? And by doing so, how will you benefit?
We’re all on this journey together. It’s important to remember: when we encourage our fellow TOPS travelers, we make the journey easier for ourselves.
Thanks, Julie, for traveling with me and sharing your support with all of us.
I care, Barb