Monday, March 22, 2010


One of the biggest obstacles that people face on this journey of weight loss is finding a support system. Sure, one could argue that food choices and healthy exercise are the big ones and I'm sure they are, but I firmly believe that without a good support system you won't get anywhere. It all ties together, you see.

For someone who is going it alone, not discussing their path with anyone, holding in all the feelings that come part and parcel with this adventure, it can be very difficult. When that person comes up against a difficult menu choice in a restaurant, how do they make the right choice without input (previous or at the moment) from other people. When the numbers on the scale plateau and they're confused as to why, how do they wrestle with those internal demons that sit in their overstuffed armchairs, eating chocolate and saying "See? It's not working. You might as well QUIT!" Or when, heaven forbid, the numbers on the scale go UP, how do they silence those same demons that are saying "Gawd, you can't do anything right. You're supposed to be losing weight, fatty. Just go cry into your pillow and eat a chocolate bar." There's no one around to offer encouragement or advice. There's no one to suggest that maybe taking their measurements would be a good step now because that gain might actually be muscle. It can be difficult for these people to travel the road in secret, knowing that it's all on them to succeed. I know, I've been there. And each and every time, I failed.

But! If you are one of the lucky people like me, who has finally seen the proverbial light, and you have a support system in place then you should consider yourself very blessed.

As I said, I've played this gig before. I've been there, done that, bought the freakin' T-Shirt. I did it alone. I didn't tell my friends what I was trying to do. I didn't tell my husband what weight I was or even where I was trying to get to. If someone offered me chocolate or chips it wasn't because they were trying to sabotage my journey, it was because they didn't know any better. When I accepted, it was because it would have been to embarrassing to admit what I was doing. Or so I thought.

So what do I think now?

I think I was stupid. And untrusting. And reckless.

I was stupid to think that I could do it on my own. I may be outspoken, but I am not very strong in this department. I NEED my support system.

I was untrusting because in the past when I'd discussed it with a "friend" I had said that I remembered the first times when my mother told me I was getting fat. My "friend" said "And just look at you now!" and dissolved into laughter. That hurt. And it prevented me from opening up about my problems with my weight to anyone else.

I was untrusting because I was having problems in my marriage, whether I wanted to admit it or not, and I was scared. I knew that my husband wasn't partial to twigs. I knew he preferred a girl with some meat on her. I knew he thought I was beautiful (even at 340 lbs!!). I was scared and untrusting because I thought that if I lost the weight that he wouldn't think I was beautiful anymore, that he wouldn't want me.

I was reckless. Horribly reckless. I have two small children who depend on having their mother around to love them, care for them, shape them into the people they will be as they grow. They needed me to be there for them on graduation and wedding days. They needed me to be able to just run in the park with them and play, instead of sitting on a bench watching them because running with them might make me collapse in a wheezing heap.

I was reckless because instead of remembering all that and doing something about my weight problem, I ignored it (and other health issues), and kept stuffing my face with crap. I didn't care that to carry on doing that might kill me and leave my children without a mother.

Reckless. Stupid. Untrusting.

Those are three words that are no longer part of my vocabulary. I can't afford for them to be. If I let them back into my life, they will kill me. If I let them have power over me, they will win and it will all be for naught.

But what has changed?

Well, my location did for a start. Our move to New Zealand was a catalyst for change in many many areas of my life. This country is healthier to begin with. Sports and healthy activities abound! Hiking, swimming, rugby, netball, cricket,'s all there to take part in and enjoy. Hard to when you're seriously overweight though.

My mind set changed. My husband and I had reached (and stayed at) a better place in our marriage, I realised I NEEDED to be here for my children, and I finally got the fact that the only person holding me back was me. We are our own worst enemies.

So in November, I started going to Weight Watchers. Even if I had told no one else what I was doing, that was the beginning of a support system right there. The women at this meeting only see me once a week, but every week they ask how I'm doing and offer encouragement or advice as needed.

I put my trust in my spouse and told him what I needed from him, what I was hoping to acheive and how I was hoping to do it. I told my children how they could help. I told my mother and sister what I was doing. I opened up to people and allowed them to help in the ways that they could. My husband even knows how much I weighed when I started, the heaviest I've ever been, and all he did was hug me and tell me I could do it. That was a huge burden off my shoulders.

As important as all that was, one of the biggest things for me was letting go of the shame and switching it for something else. I took my shame and buried it in a box. And then I held onto the pride. Pride that I am doing something for myself. Pride that I am getting healthier.

And then I opened myself up even further.

I came back here and started blogging very honestly about this journey. All of you who come here and read my ramblings support me. You push me on, you give me the courage to keep going every week. Every day. Every hour.

I talk about it on Facebook where everyone can see. People who are in my life now, people from my past. My first love, the "cool" kids from high school, my family and friends from over the years. Everyone has been very supportive and it keeps me pushing on.

Go back to the beginning and read that paragraph about the person who has talked about this with no one. Imagine how difficult that must be. Now think about someone in your life who may be on their own journey to health and think about ways you can support them. Most of us can't do this on our own and it's important to know that the people in our lives will be there without judgment.

I am thankful each and every day for the people in my life who are my support system. My life line.

Thank you!


  1. Bless your heart! You are doing an amazing job! My younger sister lost 100 pounds with Weight Watchers in about 7 months. She also walked about a mile, rain or shine, every day. You'll be better off at a healthy weight! Good for you! I'm truly impressed with what you are accomplishing! Keep it up!

  2. I am so proud of you! I know exactly how hard it is to open up and trust. If anybody gives you a hard time, you tell me and I will kick some booty. Metaphorically, of course.

  3. This is an utterly amazing post and one that everyone beginning a journey to health should read. Thanks for writing this, Maggie. Your willingness to share your journey in such an open, honest way is an inspiration to others - me, included. Love ya, woman. *smooches*

  4. mumma boo said it exactly the way I would want to, so let me just add my own thank you, and a big hug. I am so glad you share with us. :)

  5. Difficult roads are often more easily travelled when done in the company of others. I think you have some of the greatest travelling companions and they will do their utmost to see you to the end of your journey.

    I think that what you are doing is one of the hardest things that a person has to do in life and doing it alone makes it even harder.

    Everyone wants to share your journey so that they can help to ease your burden.

    I am proud to be your father and am here for you. I love you

  6. This was such an honest post and has touched me deeply!! You should be very proud of yourself! I am trying to lose weight too and this time because of my age,it is very hard! You are right we should all support one another!! Good luck!