By Kenneth Schwarz, Ph.D, and Julie Schwarz
Do you talk with other women about food and weight? Do you really talk, or do you only speak about it superficially―what diet you are currently on, what you ate today, how you cheated, how much you’ve lost or not lost?
Do you ever really talk about what you go through in relation to your eating and your weight? Do you think you could share your secrets as you diet with another woman? If you haven’t done this, it could be a great support system for you.
When you team up with another woman, you can bounce things off one another. You can check out your thinking. You can look to your diet buddy for new ideas. You can give one another added strength, confidence, and hope.
Here’s how to partner up when you diet.
1. Decide How You Will Meet―on the Phone, through Email, in Person
2. Decide How Often You Will Talk. It’s Good to Set up a Special Time at
least once a week and keep to it.
3. Pick a Question of the Day to Discuss from the following:
Do we feel safe enough with one another to really open up?
You can share your apprehensions about discussing very personal matters and make each other feel comfortable enough to talk about real issues.
How much do we want to fix our weight problems?
You can confirm your desire to lose weight and discuss what things about the problem are most troubling.
How critical are we of ourselves and others?
Being self-critical is an important issue for women. You can help by
supporting one another and not being critical of one another.
What has really been keeping us overweight?
You can encourage one another to find true answers.
How can we best help one another?
You can ask each other for what you really need.
What are our biggest secrets about our eating?
Sharing those things you are most ashamed of gets rid of a big burden.
What’s the hardest part of dieting for us?
You can help one another over all the rough spots.
Do we have confidence in our ability to lose weight?
Through mutual support, you can greatly boost your confidence.
How can we stay motivated?
Together you can create strategies to help you stick to it.
These are conversation openers for you. It is around issues such as these that women can really bond, really support and inspire one another. As you become a stronger dieting team, you will come up with other important questions to add to this list. You will find a deep well of knowledge and strategies to dip into when you pool your resources with another woman in this way.
It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to pick a diet partner who won’t let you down. Many times women go on diets together, and too often one will do well, one is making a serious effort, and one is not. That is hard on the diet effort and it can also be very hard on a friendship. This is a serious endeavor and it won’t help you at all if the woman you team up with takes it lightly and is not brave enough to explore the issues at hand.
Pick someone you truly like, someone you are comfortable with, someone you think will have the utmost respect for your innermost thoughts and feelings. Choose a woman whom you consider honest and straightforward, someone who will take this journey to permanent weight loss as seriously as you do. Establish this relationship with a partner who is worthy of you, someone who won’t judge you, someone who will have sensitivity to what you feel, what you think, and who you are. Choose someone to whom you can say things directly, someone who will be direct with you as well. Choose a partner who is just as interested as you are in having meaningful discussions. Find another woman who is up to your standards in every way.
About the authors: Kenneth Schwarz, Ph.D. is a psychologist and psychoanalyst specializing in personal change and goal achievement. Dr. Schwarz maintains a psychology practice in Connecticut and is a member of the allied health staff at Sharon Hospital. He and his wife, Julie Schwarz, are co-authors of the e-Booklet How to Break Through the 15 Obstacles to Achieve Diet Success. Their Dear Maria blog is filled with information and advice about successful dieting. For more expert diet strategies go to www.mariaslastdiet.com.