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Do what works
Building your strength in numbersBy TERESA HAMMOND

I would be lying if I said it gets easier.

Earlier this year, I shared a bit of my weight loss journey and what it took to get back to the healthy ‘me’ I remembered or better yet, recognized. With just so much space allotted for magazine writing, there was much I was unable to touch on.

One key and intricate piece in the early days of my weight loss journey still holds true today: there is strength in numbers. The numbers I speak of are the people who surround me as we battle through this together.

Complete candor: I still remember the day I pulled on a pair of jeans in a size I thought I had left in my twenties. The first thing I did was snap a picture and shoot a text to my weight loss partner in crime and very close friend ‘G.’

The text which accompanied was simple … “OMG! Look at this!?!?”

Celebratory words of encouragement came back and on we went with our day. Now, four years later we’re still texting each other as we get back on track, struggle through a tough workout or recognize beer is just too good.

Yep! Beer — my struggle, oh and pizza, pizza is also evil and I do love and enjoy them both.

This is where the words balance and accountability play an equally important part. Even the toughest of trainers or life coach will offer cheat days or ‘treat’ days (as some say) which are just as crucial to long term success. To hear the successful tout the buzz words ‘life changing’ and ‘not a diet,’ are also true.

I don’t have all the answers. I’m not a nutritionist and hold zeros college degrees in health. Quite simply I’m like many of you. I’m a busy mom, shuffling two kids, working full time and trying to keep my jeans from getting too tight. Toned legs and a good endurance run are double bonus.

I am, however, a person who has lived the struggle of how to do it, make the time and where to start. A person who still, four years later, eats my fair share of salads, fruits and healthy nuts.

This is where it all comes back to the true buzz words of this piece: support, balance and accountability.

The key to the latter two is to have the support of friends not afraid to offer up those words.

An example of this would be a most recent text exchange between G and I as I commiserated over the notion of my favorite shorts not fitting this summer. Time to get it back in gear, was my text. The IPAs have caught up with me, I continued. To which she replied, but they’re just so good. That’s why we gotta do the work.

She’s right.

In the end, we’re all different. We are different physically, mentally and find our challenges in different places. Make no mistake, the struggle is real. It’s real just as much for the 5 foot, 2 inch girl who makes it look effortless or the plus size girl who is content to maintain her curves and maybe tone up a little.

Seek productive support. Become accountable and then learn to balance.

Lastly, be brave enough to see what can be. In the words of Marianne Williamson, “Nothing binds you except your thoughts; nothing limits you except fears; and nothing controls you except your beliefs.”

Now, go be brave.