3 Ways Online Friendships Help with Weight Loss
You might sometimes hear about the negatives associated with online friendships, such as they are artificial, or they pull us away from deeper connections. But what if it’s possible that an online friendship could be just as beneficial or MORE SO than an in-person relationship?
In certain situations, this might be true for you. Weight loss is one of those times.
My Online Weight Loss Friendship Story
Please allow me to share our story with you.
Lat week Jill Csillag and I collaborated on the 7 Day Series: 7 Days to Super Star Feet , which reminded me about the history of our friendship.
Jill and I met over 10 years ago on a Weight Watchers Online message board. We started chatting via email and supporting one another. Both of us had been overweight most of our lives and had over 100 pounds to lose. We realized we had much in common.
We stayed in touch and have cheered one another on through BOTH OF US LOSING OVER 100 LBS EACH!
Jill lives in Ohio and I (Sara) live in Colorado.
We cheered each other on through each of us completing our first 5K within just a few weeks of each other in our respective states — both so nervous we didn’t sleep much the night before.
Months later, we cheered each other on through both completing our first 1/2 marathon.
I cheered when Jill completed her first FULL marathon, and then went on to do several more.
Jill cheered when I completed my first TRIATHLON, and then went on to do many more.
Jill went on to become a personal trainer and now coaches clients both in person and online.
I started a business speaking and writing about my experiences.
Now God has brought us together in an amazing way as we are both, together with Chris Drews, leading an online fitness program for women, Faithful Finish Lines.
We have supported one another through life’s many ups and downs. Jill was diagnosed with Lupus, RA, and other significant auto-immune disorders. I cannot say how much I admire her courage as she carries on despite this adversity. If you face daily pain yet want to remain healthy, Jill is the person to turn to for advice and support!
Check out Jill’s page here. Jill now offers ONLINE personal training as an option. She works with all people but I believe is especially good at working with people with chronic pain, since she knows what it’s like.
Jill has supported me as our family has lived through ministry ups and downs, the challenges of parenting children with special needs, as well as many joys.
Benefits of Online Friendships
These are some of the benefits you might see for weight loss with an online friendship or community group:
- Accountability. In our Faithful Finish Lines program, the message we hear from women is, “I know what I need to do, it’s just getting the motivation to do it.” An online friend or community can provide that accountability to make it happen. Posting to the group or emailing a friend is that network of support people who are waiting to hear if you do what you said you were going to do.
- Confidentiality. Let’s face it, you are more willing to say stuff to a far away person that you won’t say to your next door neighbor or spouse. This isn’t all bad. It’s just out-of-touch enough to give that confidentiality we crave. I’ll get online and tell my friends, “I blew it guys. I just ate 3 bowls of ice cream.” They give me that loving feedback yet encouragement to get back on track.
- Longevity. In our crazy world, people are constantly switching jobs, moving, and go-go-go. You lose touch. I’ve been surprised to discover I actually keep more in touch with some of my online friends than I do with my in-town peeps. Good or bad, this is reality, so let’s make the best of what works.
If you receive support online through a support group or from a far-away friend, has it been helpful for you? Sometimes we downplay these relationships, and there are disadvantages and cautions to meeting someone online, but God has brought Jill and I together in an incredible way that would not have been possible without an online community. It could work for you too!
If an online community has helped you with weight loss or fitness, tell us about it. Do you have a great online support person you want to thank? Share this with them!
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