Make Your Weight Loss A Team Sport

“If you want to lift yourself up, lift somebody else.” - Booker T Washington.

Golf, skiing, fishing. Super fun hobbies that can be enjoyed alone. Just you, your gear, and maybe some luck is all you need. Definitely there is a time and a place (and a need!) for solo sports. But as awesome as these individual endeavors are, you never really get to score the high by yourself that can be achieved when you function as a team. Honestly, how much more fun is it to hit a new max bench press when there is a spotter there encouraging you compared to a silent affair with just you, the steel and the bench? Shooting hoops… fun. Pick-up 3 on 3 basketball game… better.

There is no reason to address obesity any different and I would argue that your weight loss will be easier, more enjoyable, and more likely to be sustainable if you recruit a team effort. Joining a group challenge fosters camaraderie and competition that directly leads to accountability.

But how? Easy enough to find a golf partner, but weight loss buddy?

  1. Your spouse. There is a fair amount of evidence that marriage is bad for your body weight. If one spouse becomes obese, the other spouse is twice as likely to become obese compared to a single person. The rate of obesity amongst married couples is significantly higher than non-married couples.  If you are battling obesity, odds are significant that your spouse/significant other could use your help. Consider enrolling in the program together. Shop for food together. Make a commitment to not rewarding each other with candy or chocolates for birthdays and holidays (and stick to it!). Take your before and after photos together. Even if your spouse or significant other does not have a weight problem, it is likely they would be happy to be your partner.
  2. Your co-workers. The office place is a hostile environment for weight loss these days. Literally as I write this blog a patient brought in two massive Krispy Kreme doughnuts boxes that were left just outside my office door! The amount of fortitude it takes to walk by those boxes 30 times a day without eating one! Actually, I often fail and succumb to temptation, so it is no wonder several of my co-workers are struggling with their weight. Suggesting a weight loss challenge at work is likely to pay significant dividends for the group considering the amount of dietary sabotage that occurs in the break room.
  3. Your golf 4-some/basketball team/pickle ball team. This is a no-brainer. If you have a regular tee time with 2-3 friends, I am guessing you enjoy some friendly competition. Likely you bet a buck a hole from time to time? No reason not to leverage that competitive spirit with a weight loss challenge.
  4. Online apps. Did you know Rainier Medical has an executive online weight loss program? It requires a 2 hour enrollment exam, but provides you access to a robust online program that is used by several clients - instant support group. But even the Rainier program is not the only option. There are several online support groups, including
  5. Your gym. Nearly every gym in town is full of folks just like you who are trying to lose excess fat and take control of their health. Many gyms already sponsor weight loss challenges assigning points and rewarding clients for “the biggest loser”. If your gym does not sponsor such a plan, recommend it or start one yourself!

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