I have been reflecting on the importance of a strong support system. This topic came up twice this week (which is how I know the universe is trying to tell me something). The first time was during a workplace training for stress reduction. We were asked if we felt we had a supportive group of people in our lives. I am lucky and grateful to have been able to answer yes.
The second time the topic came up was when a weight loss support forum I have been frequenting for the past 16 years announced it was closing up shop on June 1st. I literally gasped and started bawling. This place had been such a source of information and support for me over the years and I flippantly took it for granted. The thought of it being gone left a massive black hole in my support system.
This got me reflecting on how often we don’t notice (and express gratitude) for the various support systems we have in our lives. Of course, I love and am grateful for my friends and family, but sometimes those closest to us can’t provide the type of support we need when we are fighting the demons needed to overcome life-long obesity.
This online community had provided me with something different. It accepted me for who I was, no strings attached, no expectations, no baggage, a sense of freedom to be my true self, share my true struggles (and successes) and know others could relate. I owe so much of who I am today to the plethora of information, care, humor, compassion, empathy and life experience that was shared among the hundreds of regular contributors to the boards. I am eternally grateful.
Hopefully, if you are reading this blog because you have a significant amount of weight to lose, you have a support system in your life. However, if you find yourself in a situation that is not supportive, don’t forget about this wonderful world of the interwebz! There are so many blogs and groups and forums and other people (like me) that can offer support. You don’t have to (and sorry to say, probably can’t) do this alone.
Sometimes, we all need a little help from our friends.