I recently read a post from the Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb [LLVLC] Discussion Forum by Suzanne, a veteran low-carber, that really got me to thinking about why ‘support’ and ‘community’ are so vital to the success of the low-carb nutritional lifestyle.

“One of the reasons I need to stay active on this board [LLVLC] is…  On these boards I am in the majority with my food choices and surrounded by people who support a low carb diet.  It gives me the confidence to go out into the real world and not give in to pressure from the rest of the world to eat like they do!”  ~~Suzanne from LLVLC

Wow!  When I read those words I realized that this statement is truly one of the keys to successful low-carbing, even though it’s rarely mentioned in all the ‘how-to’ low-carb books.  There’s all the talk about legal foods,  forbidden foods, what to eat, what not to eat, stall breaking tips, what supplements to take, ordering low carb from restaurants, low carb recipes, etc, etc, but the topic of how to gain the support and encouragement to make one’s new way of eating positively successful is still missing from most writings on the subjects.

This is really no fault of most LC writers, it’s simply that the internet and discussion forums are really still in their infancy for many of us,  middle-agers, baby boomers and other AARP aged folks.  I know I’m preachin’ to the choir here, but bare with me whilst I deliver my little soapbox address.  I jokingly refer to myself as a ‘Pre-Senior’, actually I’m just a young 55, at least for a few more months.  However, I essentially trained myself in using a personal computer.  Evidence that you really can teach an old dog new tricks.  The internet may have it’s downside, but for me it’s been a very positive experience and for a myriad of other folks as well.

I started researching the low-carb lifestyle on the net when I first heard about it in 2003 and soon found a couple of discussion forums on the subject, so I joined one and semi-participated, but was mostly just a ‘lurker’.  Then last year [2007] I discovered Jimmy Moore.  Here’s a guy who was morbidly obese at 410 pounds, discovered low-carb and lost 170 pounds in nine months. You can read Jimmy’s complete weight loss success story at his Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Blog.  By the time I found Jimmy he had started his own blog and discussion forum.  So I joined his discussion forum and just wanted to take this opportunity to thank Jimmy for a job well done in providing a ‘cream-of-the-crop’ low carb support network!  It has made such a postive impact on my low-carb success as well as thousands of others.  Jimmy has also made all kinds of other valuable low-carb resources available, so check them out at his Blog.

Circle of Friends

There’s one common thread among successful people.  They surround themselves with others who have common goals, dreams and visions, and who have a positive ‘we can do it’ mindset.  That’s exactly what the Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Discussion Forum is all about…a group of people who share the same goals, dreams and visions you have about adopting the successful low-carb nutritional lifestyle.  You may not be able to rub shoulders with these folks and meet ’em at FiveBucks for a cup o’ Joe, but you can ‘meet them’ over the internet and establish a ‘Circle of Friends’ who will build you up instead of tearing you down.  Friends who will believe in your weight loss dreams, goals and visions.  Friends who will reinforce your commitment, zeal and enthusiasm.  Friends who will help you when you’ve lost your way.  Friends who will help you through the hard places.

See, the folks who are the closest to you in your ‘real world’ are sometimes the very folks that will try to rain on your parade.  I’m talking about family members, friends, co-workers and so on.  Most are well meaning folks who don’t intend to hurt you, but familiarity can sometimes work against us in these situations.  You’re weaknesses are exposed to them daily and this familiarity with those weaknesses can sometimes breed doubt and unbelief in their response to our expression of our goals, dreams and visions.   At this point you are in the minority.  That’s the very reason I encourage you to join LLVLC.  Remember what Suzanne said…

“One of the reasons I need to stay active on this board [LLVLC] is…  On these boards I am in the majority with my food choices and surrounded by people who support a low carb diet.  It gives me the confidence to go out into the real world and not give in to pressure from the rest of the world to eat like they do!”  ~~Suzanne from LLVLC

Most of the time your ‘real world’ family, friends and co-workers never have malicious intent in their comments and responses, matter of fact they’re mostly folks who love you and are well meaning in their comments and responses.  But they unwittingly apply pressure for you to ‘eat like they do’.  You can’t plug up your ears and not hear them and you certainly don’t want to close yourself off from them.  That would be likened to ‘throwing out the baby with the bathwater’.  Keep them close and reap the benefits of their love, friendship, wisdom and value in every other area of your life.

Simply overcome the negative by accentuating the positive in all your endeavors, no matter what they may be.  In this case, allow the folks at LLVLC to become your ‘Circle of Friends’ whose positive comments and responses will far outweigh any negatives by your ‘real world’ acquaintances.  I would never suggest that the internet and discussion forums will replace your ‘real world’ acquaintances, instead they will merely supplement them.

And it’s important that you become an active participant, not just a lurker.  See, active participation allows you to ask those 101 questions you have about low-carb but were afraid to ask.  This is one of the most patient groups of people you will ever meet and they are happy and eager to answer all your questions, no matter how ‘dumb’ they may seem to you.  And one of the greatest benefits of becoming an active participant is the fact that you too can become an encourager!  Remember, give and it shall be given to you.  Helping others achieve their goals, dreams and visions is as big a payoff as reaching your own goals, dreams and visions!

My Conclusion…Finally!

And yes, I really am winding down here and bringing another long winded post to a close.  Sigh!  Before I make any of the other fine folks at LLVLC feel like they’re being left out, let me just say that there’s not room nor time to mention them all…in this post.  See, I’m a collector of inspirational quotes, low-carb and otherwise.  They’re such a valuable tool.  But Suzanne’s post just kept bouncing around in my head and got hung there like a song sometimes gets hung there.  You know, like that old country song, Let’s All Go Down to Dumas Walkers.  And it wouldn’t leave ’til I blogged about it…actually I don’t think it will ever leave.  So, I hope to see you over at  the Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Discussion Forum real soon.  Just look for TheFormerDonutJunkie.

And a big thanks to Suzanne for her inspiration for this post.  Suzanne is just one of the myriad of helpful and encouraging folks you will find there, eager to chat and share with you about the low-carb nutritional lifestyle.

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie