Weight Loss Support - Better Solo or with a Group?

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05-14-2012, 11:09 PM
Does everyone do better working with a group, or alone? Do you like the support of a group, or do you prefer to just keep to yourself? Maybe you like competition and do better when you're competing against friends or coworkers?

I think I do better working alone, or at least when it's a non-competitive type of situation. Although I love to have company, and to be able to talk about losing weight and working with others, it seems like as soon as they get serious, I don't. Or as soon as they are succeeding, if I'm not, I lose interest.

A year ago, when I got serious about my weight loss again, I was doing great. I kept up a decent momentum through the holidays and enjoyed talking about weight loss, fitness, what I was doing, etc. One other woman was seriously losing as well, and we'd talk and compliment each others' progress.

In the new year, as is typical of the new year, my other coworkers got on to the weight loss bandwagon and started getting serious about their own weight loss. They started talking about plans, recipes and we all began weighing ourselves weekly using a scale at work and keeping track of where everyone was and how everyone was doing. They were enthusiastic and I thought it was great to have others around me who were trying to lose weight too. It didn't last, though.

I wasn't doing well, and kind lost my motivation. This lasted a couple of... well, more like several weeks. Week after week, I'd weigh in only to be up from or about the same as the week before. I wasn't doing well sticking to my food plan, my exercise dwindled, and I just wasn't doing well. Although I had these people to work with and we could support each other, I wasn't able to regain my footing, and just kind of dropped out, quit weighing and didn't participate in discussions as often.

Finally, about 2 or 3 weeks ago, I got serious again. I got back to weighing, measuring, recording every bite, exercising and I also started losing again. I'm back on track. Meanwhile, my coworkers have lost interest in the diet and weight loss thing. No one is weighing in any more. In fact, no one is talking about it at all.

When I realized that my coworkers kind of lost interest, I started to wonder if the two are connected. Maybe I"m easily threatened by others' success? Maybe I need to feel successful in order to keep going and I wasn't going to get that if others' did better? Maybe the competition turned me off? I don't know.

05-14-2012, 11:31 PM
I can go both ways.

I am extremely motivated by challenges and other people's success around me (IRL or in virtual land). I thrive on accountability. If I think no one will know of my success or failure, it can sometimes sway me one way or the other.

That being said, I wouldn't say I absolutely need other people to succeed. At this point I know I'm committed. But I know it definitely helps when I have others around me who read my blog every post and send emails of encouragement, or when I succeed on a challenge I've set out for myself that others know about, or challenges here on 3FC. Overall I definitely like having others know what I'm doing and being involved.

05-14-2012, 11:53 PM
Hmmm. I was going to post that I definitely do better alone than as a part of a group, but LockItUp brings up an interesting point; I really enjoy challenges on this site, and think they've played an important role in my weight loss and keeping me accountable. It's definitely a matter of challenging myself though, not competition; I am not a competitive person, don't enjoy it, and it stresses me out to feel like I'm in competition with someone over anything. It doesn't push me in a positive way; it just makes me anxious that I might fall short or fail. Call it a lack of confidence or whatever; it is what it is, and that's just how it affects me. I challenge myself though, regularly, and being able to share that with others here has been key for me. So I guess I'd say that group support has been good for me, but a situation that was/became competitive wouldn't be.

05-15-2012, 12:14 AM
I agree about the actual competition. I just like the competition with myself to be out there. But I also get stressed out by competing with other people!