Eat. Live. Be. Week #2: Finding Your Support Group

by Cate on January 10, 2011

ELB logo - largeFor our second week of Eat. Live. Be. we are all tackling the topic of finding a support network.  Remember when you were in high school and your parents cautioned you against hanging out with certain crowds?  Oh.  That was just me?  Ok then, let’s pretend it wasn’t. Having a support group to help you meet your goals is kind of like that.  Hang out with negative influences and they might entice you to behave negatively.  Positive peeps bring out the positive. Yes, it really can be that simple.

One of the parts of our lives that I have worked on over the past few years is paying closer attention to the people that we interact with on a regular basis.  Not like any of our besties are like Danny Zuko pushing us to smoke cigarettes and drag race until the wee hours, but I’m sure you get my drift.  I want to be around people that are good.  That make us feel good.  That want more.  That strive for more.  That treat their bodies well. Because good begets good. And that makes me a) want to be even better and b) want to stay on the straight and narrow and stay away from detractors.  You know, like Diet Coke and potato chips.  Hello, salt, thy name is Cate.

Having a support network is absolutely 100% paramount to meeting a goal successfully.  And it’s not just about losing weight.  It can be about anything really.  It’s about surrounding yourself with people who get you. Who get what you’re working to achieve.  Who will cheer you on as you work towards it.  Who will pick you back up and bolster you if need be.  Who are like-minded folks with like-minded goals.

So now that you know you need a support network, how do you go about getting one?  For me, it happens rather organically.

  • This little grassroots Eat. Live. Be. challenge (and accompanying facebook page) has become a great source of support.  We are all working towards some sort of goal … together.  Becoming each other’s cheerleaders.  Getting new ideas.  Sharing tips and tricks.  Hey, there’s even a giveaway going on today, if you need a new exercise dvd to kick-start your own routine.
  • The gym. I take classes at a variety of places, and the people that assemble have slowly become a little bit like an adjunct family.  One of my Zumba classes I’ve been going to for a year, and there are maybe 7 or 8 of us that chat before and after class.  They notice if I’m not there.  And I ask where they’ve been when they miss a class or two.  Last week, I spent the whole hour of Thursday’s class beating myself up about a specific body part.  Just one of those days.  Afterwards, one of the women came up to me.  “I bet you’ve lost 15 pounds since the holidays,” she said.  I smiled.  “A few pounds, not quite 15.”  “Well you look great!”  She didn’t know the mind battles I was going through during the hour-long sweatfest, and her unsolicited pat on the back reminded me how far I’d come.
  • Exercise buddies. Seek out those in your posse that like to work out.  And it doesn’t have to be a regimented class.  Maybe you have a group that likes to go hiking.  Or bicycle riding.  Or chase your kids at the playground with other moms.  Seek out people that like to move.  And schedule time to move with them.
  • Friends that hold you accountable. I have a few friends that are total hardcore when it comes to working out.  Two especially come to mind.  One will text me … “I’m going by your house to pick you up in 30.  Be ready.  No excuses.” On a day that I wasn’t going.  I do work out 5-6 days a week!  She said Saturday that I’ve come too far and she will drag me out of the house if need be.  This is also coming from someone who takes three back-to-back hour-long classes on the weekend.  The word “hardcore” might not even be strong enough to describe her.  Another friend works out Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and if I’m feeling ambivalent about a specific day (weather, work, homework, fill in the blank), I know if I just shoot him an IM he will guilt me into the fact that HE is going and if I don’t, he will be one up on me.  And I can’t have that.  So I engage.  This type of guilt works in my favor every time.
  • Make Standing Appointments. In a roundabout way, this is part of creating your support network.  Because it’s about making your support network work in the best way possible.  When I was getting in shape for my wedding, I bartered services with a local personal trainer.  After we made our arrangements, he said he’d meet me the next day at 12 noon for a one-hour work-out.  And he did.  Every weekday for three months.  Because we had a standing appointment, and this goes back a bit to last week’s Putting YOU on the List, there was no putting it off for a better time.  Everything gets worked around it.  I have set classes with a few of the people I work out with too, just like the standing appointment with my old personal trainer.  They are counting on me to show up, and I them.  There is no “it’s a crazy day, I can’t make it” or “Thursday’s not good, what about Friday?”  It just is.  Period.  End of story.

As with anything in life, whether you’re working to achieve a goal or not, you want to surround yourself with people who make you feel good. I will no longer waste time on people who are toxic.  Whether it’s occupying my mind or my physical time, I just won’t do it.  Nor should you.

Now one last thing… I’m on a mailing list that Peter Shankman publishes several times a day for my freelancing work, but he also has a website with bits and pieces on how he’s trained for the Ironman, and how he’s training to shed excess weight now.  He published this post recently, and for those that need a little extra push … or support … it’s a great read.  Give yourself a few minutes and check it out.

And while you’re reading, also check out where my fellow ELBers are drawing their support from.  Here are the other bloggers accompanying me on the Eat. Live. Be. weekly challenge:

Sarah at Cucina Bella

Maris at In Good Taste

Chris at Mele Cotte

Faith at Bon Appetit

Kristen at Dine and Dish

Emily at The Anderson Crew

Joanne at Eats Well With Others

Casey at The Starnes Family

Patsy at Friends, Family and Food

Tri-Fit Mom at Tri-Fit Mom

Claire at Cooking is Medicine

Allison at Sweet Flours

Jen at NJ Epicurean

Jennifer at Lick-a-Plate

Rivki at Healthy Eating for Ordinary People

Bumped Up Brussels Sprouts
Now, just for Kris, I’m going to leave you with a recipe.  For those that come here for recipes, last week was a long week without them (sorry!), and I don’t want you to miss out.  There are tons coming up – swear.  After all, with “clean eating,” we’re actually eating now more than ever!

Sometime last year I fell in love with Brussels Sprouts.  Can I just stop and say how much I hate the silly s at the end of Brussels?  It just looks so … weird.  And I certainly don’t pronounce it when I say it, because that sounds even weirder.  So last year, the love affair began.  A few weeks ago, while catching up on some Food Network shows, I caught an episode of Guy’s Big Bite where he made a Brussels Sprouts recipe.  He mentioned that he hated them, and when he was faced with having to cook with them during The Next Food Network Star competition, he saved their dreadful taste the only way he knew how.  By adding bacon. But of course!

So obviously with bacon (or pancetta as the final version of the recipe actually calls for), it’s not as clean eating as clean eating can be, but this is a case of all things in moderation.  And this recipe?  With the heavenly roasted brussels sprouts.  And the raisins.  And the crispy pancetta.  Is just so gosh darn good, it just might make a brussels sprouts lover out of you.  Just like it did Guy.

Project 365
January 10, 2011, Photo #10

Such a Sad StateThat Neighbor Wife is in the dog house, poor thing. Saturday afternoon, Jamie was watching the kids for a bit. When I came home, Nick showed me his tooth. While I was gone, he had pulled it out. Ick. Later that afternoon, when I was starting to get dinner ready, I noticed a wine glass on the kitchen counter with water in it. I assumed it was leftover from Jamie and went to pour the leftover water into Eli’s bowl, but stopped short when I saw the tooth in it.

Flash forward a few hours. The Neighbor Wife and Payton came down to visit because Madeline had a show-and-tell for them (more on that coming Wednesday). They ended up staying for a spontaneous dinner and The Neighbor Wife did all the dishes for me, as is often our trade-off. And yeah … that wine glass with the water in it? That I had left on the kitchen counter? Into the dishwasher it went. Tooth.down.the.drain.

Nick was panic-stricken. After a brief confab with Payton the next morning, they decided if he wrote the Tooth Fairy a note, she would understand and believe him. Fairies are good like that. Always believing the good. I love the little drawing on the top right. And yes, of course, the Tooth Fairy came through for Nick. Albeit a day late because I didn’t know he had left the note underneath his pillow. Thank goodness she works during the day when he’s at school.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Casey January 10, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Go, Cate, go!


Sarah Caron January 10, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Great post! It’s so important to get support in many shapes and forms. You really make me want to take some classes … though fitting them in is a problem. It’s so convenient to work out at home in the spare moments I can steal away.


Jen January 10, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Great inspiring post Cate!

I love Nick’s note – too cute!


Jen January 11, 2011 at 1:08 am

Great post and some awesome tips! My son has had to leave a couple of notes for the tooth fairy and she’s always come through. He just lost another one and literally lost it (again) – he gave up this time and didn’t write a note. I guess he’s done. :)


Allison January 11, 2011 at 1:14 am

The gym family! I have one too and it does feel great to receive a compliment from them. I always try to give out the compliments as well because I know how good it feels to receive them. They see the changes that maybe our eyes don’t always let us see.


Joanne January 11, 2011 at 7:18 am

Love this post and the idea of filling your life only with good quality people. It’s such a common sense thing except somehow I think we all end up at some point in our lives realizing that our friends aren’t necessarily as awesome as we thought they were.


Ramona January 11, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Glad the tooth fairy was so fair!


patsyk January 11, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Too cute! I’ve got a somewhat similar tooth fairy story that I’ll be sharing later this week. :)


The Neighbor Wife January 12, 2011 at 7:50 am

OMG! I’m sorry Nick.


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