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Published on June 05, 2020

Group Weight Loss

two women walking

When it comes to achieving a lifestyle health goal you’ve set for yourself, be it to hit the gym four days a week, incorporate whole foods into your diet or get more sleep, it can be difficult to sustain the motivation by yourself.

Having a support system is a key factor in achieving any goal, health-related or not, but research shows this may be especially true when it comes to achieving weight loss.

Including friends and family from your social support system and inviting them to join you in a shared mission may be just the motivation you need to help you take the first of many satisfying steps toward your healthiest best.

That’s exactly what 15 members of the EvergreenHealth Family Maternity Center staff did when they formed a weight loss group last fall.

“I jumped at the chance to participate” said Christine Hayes, RN. “I had lost weight before, but didn’t keep it off. I was hopeful that having the support and accountability of the people I see frequently would make all the difference.”

The group formed organically on the floor and over lunches through conversations about shared weight goals. As news traveled, more people asked to participate.

Each of the 15 members agreed to contribute equally toward a prize purse. Everyone who lost 15 percent of their starting weight would share in an even split.

One member charted the weekly results and texted results back to the group, building motivation and sharing stories.

The Biggest Challenges

Group members shared the biggest challenges they faced:

“Staying the same weight for six weeks! The group was so helpful though, motivating me and sharing their tips to help me break my plateau. Finally, I lost five pounds!” – Christine Hayes, RN

“I struggled with trying to find a good routine for myself for eating times and workouts, but I stayed open to trying new approaches and modifying it to learn what works for me.” – Jenny Stokesbary, Health Unit Coordinator

“Seeing the scale go down each week was hugely gratifying and motivating.” – Susan Henrikson, RN

“The text conversations were incredibly helpful. It kept things private from our work in vulnerable conversations. I personally would have given up if it weren’t for the support and encouragement I felt from our group text conversations.” – Jennifer McKinlay, RN

“Portion control and making time to meal prep… meal prep means eating whatever is available…that’s usually never good!” –  Joan Glenn, RN, BSN

The Best Advice for Starting Your Own Support Circle for Weight Loss

Take the First Step

Do it! We all learned more about each other and became better friends and co-workers through this process.” – Christine Hayes, RN

“Just get started! You don’t have to be perfect. A cheat is not a failure, it’s an opportunity to learn just start again. Also, take the time to learn about yourself and why you eat the way you do. Work on behaviors and habits while you learn a new way of eating.” – Glenda Renes, RN

Set Expectations

“Be clear on the expectations—have clear goals and rules, and establish good communication—but be sure that with any rules you set, you allow the flexibility for people to go about the weight loss in a way that works for them. Some of us did the ketogenic diet, others the ideal protein plan and some just exercised. Be sure everyone feels supported in how they go about reaching their goal” – Jennifer McKinlay, RN

“Although I lost weight, I didn’t reach the group’s goal, but I have a healthier diet now and I feel better than where I started. Be kind to yourself and each other, and set the bar high to achieve whatever goal you would like, but know that any step in the right, healthier direction is worth celebrating.” – Joan Glenn, RN, BSN

Group photo of the participants in the EvergreenHealth Family Maternity Center weight loss group.

If you’re thinking about starting a journey to healthier weight or lifestyle, consider inviting your friends, family or co-workers to join you, like our group of Family Maternity Center teammates.

Surround yourself with people who share your same goal and help each other maintain a positive, focused attitude to achieve better health and improve your well-being.

What have you got to lose?

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