It’s strange but true. Seven out of ten women fail their diets not because of a lack of willpower but because of a lack of support.
A caring support system empowers all of us to cope with the emotional, social and spiritual issues associated with foods. You see this everyday on the Biggest Loser television show.
Throughout my 35 years of research and professional observation, I have seen the power of support in action. On my own online forum (www.annlouiseforum.com), which has been in existence for almost a decade, this point was really driven home when one of my online members posted, “I would have never in my wildest imagination conceived that I could be so fed, so fortified, so supported, so connected to an online community.”
It seems that women, in particular, benefit from the support of others in achieving not only their weight loss goals but in being able to handle all aspects of life.
A landmark study from UCLA (Psychological Review, 2000) proves something that online members of dieting communities have already suspected: a unique friendship forms between women – virtual friendships that are made for years.
A circle of friends always makes life brighter, funnier, and the tough times easier.
The researchers at UCLA have demonstrated that women who are under stress produce brain chemicals that open them up to making and maintaining friendships with other women. One of the study’s leading researchers, Laura Cousin Klein, PhD, explains that before this study, it was generally assumed that when a person experiences stress, the hormones released created a fight-or-flight response. But women have a distinct response to stress. “In fact,” says Dr. Klein, “it seems that when the hormone oxycotin is released as part of the stress responses in a woman, it buffers the fight-or-flight response and encourages her to tend children and gather with other women instead.” Men do not have this response because of the high amounts of testosterone they produce when they are under stress. So when men are stressed they tend to go off by themselves, and when women are stressed they gather other women around them.
Friends may be helping us live longer and better.
And, when it comes to weight loss, as many of us are learning and experiencing, there’s no reason to do it alone, anymore.
An online support community can be one of the most nurturing, supportive, and encouraging places to call home.
I invite all of you to connect or reconnect to the Forum at www.annlouiseforum.com. Our forum includes special sections on Choosing a Plan, How to Jumpstart and Break a Plateau, a Cook’s Corner that showcases kitchen shortcuts and eating out while on vacation, and a Recipe Box that features favorite tried and true Fat Flushing recipes and will encourage you to show off your own delicious creations. Our team of moderators can help you find all the answers to your questions and concerns while offering their own seasoned advice.