For many years, I
viewed my inability to lose weight and get fit as a personal failure. Each day
I would wake up and gingerly step on the bathroom scale. An impossibly high
number would appear, followed immediately by distress over my weight.
Each day I began with good intentions and a willingness to continue, even in the face of repeated defeats. And each night I ended the day with the same ritual: I would promise myself that tomorrow would be better; tomorrow would be a new day.
After what seemed to
be about the ten-thousandth time of going down the same tunnel and finding no
cheese, I finally realized that perhaps I needed some help. So I reached out
and created two kinds of fitness teams—a team of healthcare professionals and a
team of supporters.
The first person I
put on my healthcare team was my physician, followed by a physical therapist,
who helped me figure out what exercises I could safely perform with a torn
hamstring. A personal trainer in my local gym supervised my initial workouts to
make sure I didn’t reinjure myself. I also consulted with my cardiologist, who
reduced my medication following the weight loss.
The coordinator for the local hospital wellness center, Debbie Wagner, RN, helped address questions about nutrition, the kinds of exercises I should undertake and the psychological impact of making such dramatic lifestyle changes.
I first recruited my
husband, Dick, to be on my cheerleading team. Then I added my best friend,
Dale, who shared an interest in exercise and nutrition. Next, I added my
offspring and a close neighbor. Before long, I had surrounded myself with
people who, besides cheering me on, were also committed to become more fit.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that the outcome from this effort was different than the outcomes from my prior ten thousand or so attempts.
In retrospect, I realized I was smart enough to apply the same skills that had helped me in my career to my pursuit of fitness. That is, I created a company called Fit Carole. As the CEO, I defined my mission—to lose weight, become fit and adopt permanent, healthy lifestyle habits.
Then I recruited
team members to help me realize my goals.
Of course, I relied
on myself to set priorities and measure results. But as important as my tasks
were, I couldn’t have succeeded without the support of my team.
I urge others who are beginning their fitness journey to create their own team. You may be one of those exceptional people who can achieve their dreams on their own; the rest of us mortals, however, need each other. United we succeed. Go team, go!