The Importance of Being the SOS

I’m nine days in to my newly reset Noom curriculum and already I’ve needed my SOS – three times. For me, my SOS is a person and another person and a plan and then more people.

I’m confused. Hang on. Let me start over.

My SOS’s name is Liz. Liz is my SOS because she gets animated when I tell her, “Let me run that thing there down across the other end of the building – I need to get my steps in,” cheering me on and encouraging me. Liz is my SOS because she likes all my new blog posts when I share them on Facebook. Liz likes sports and fashion and thinks kick drums are played with sticks, and Liz just makes me happier by being herself. But more importantly, Liz is my SOS because whenever I feel myself falling into what I affectionately call “The Cheeseburger Pit of Despair,” Liz reminds me that Chick-fil-A grilled sandwiches are not just less caloric than a giant Red Robin burger (or a Big Mac or a Whopper or…) but also tastier and more satisfying. When I feel like my willpower and motivation are just plain falling apart, Liz cheers me on, encourages me, and helps me make good food choices.

But Liz isn’t my only SOS. My other SOS is my Noom coach. My Noom coach checks in with me when I reach my “warning signs” on the app. If I don’t respond in the app, she sends me a text. I don’t know what comes after that because that’s usually enough of a push to talk to her and figure out a new plan to get me back on track. She, also, is encouraging, cheers me on, and helps me see where I need to make new goals or take charge in a certain area. She is never reprimanding or berating when I miss my goals or have to reset my curriculum a week for being behind but instead says, “Yes! You’re back now! I’m so proud of you for not giving up!”

Which brings me to the SOS plan. As far as the Noom app is concerned, my warning sign that I might need an extra dose of cheering on is when I haven’t read my Noom articles that day. It only takes one more day for me to get into my danger zone: not reading for two days in a row. And if I make it to three? My Noom coach knows I’m low. Real low.

So what’s the plan? It’s simple.

She checks in.

It seems like there should be more to it than that, but really, for me, that’s all it often takes to get me to slog on. If I haven’t read any Noom articles for three days in a row, my coach sends me a text message to see what’s going on. Often it’s something personal – Hubby and I are in a fight, or I’m feeling insufficient as a mom, or things at work are chaotic, or my depression is setting in, or all of the above, or fill in the blank with whatever. Sometimes it’s because I’m discouraged by not reaching my step goals, or self-loathsome because I ate too much pizza the day before. But whatever it is, getting a text from my coach keeps me in the game, even when motivation is low.

After that, I rely on the rest of the people around me and some miles away (looking at you, Claire-bear). After the plan – my coach checking in – I need more people. I talk to my therapist about any underlying issues that need taking care of. I meet with my nutritionist to do basically the same thing. I text my friends to pray for me or give me some cheer leading. I text my support group to see if anyone else is slipping; often encouraging others that are slipping makes me take my own advice and get back in there, too. I post on my blog because I thrive on the “likes.” (Just kidding. Sort of.)

There is something that makes me miss days, however, that I just can’t seem to find a valid excuse for. It’s something that drives me nuts but I’m a little too OCD to skip over it.

The blog. Yep, this one.

If I read an article on Tuesday that I want to blog about, I very frequently can’t continue on Wednesday in the app until I’ve posted about the thing I read on Tuesday. But I pretty much prioritize sleep over everything so if I’m too tired to post until Friday, whelp, that’s three whole days I’ve set myself behind.

There’s not much that seems to break this inability to move on. Maybe I’m just obsessive. Maybe it really is OCD. Maybe it’s fear. Maybe it’s procrastination. I honestly don’t know. I’ve tried tagging the articles so I can easily come back to them when I’m ready to post again. I’ve tried screen-shotting the parts I don’t want to forget about so I can move on to the next day and still remember what it was I wanted to talk about. It doesn’t help.

That’s when we circle back around to my SOS. If I go longer than a few days or even a whole week without posting, Liz comes to me with a smile on her face and asks, “When’s your next blog post?”

She doesn’t even know she’s my SOS in this moment. (Well, she does now…) She’s just genuinely excited to cheer me on and share this journey with me. Sometimes I feel like she cares about my well-being more than I care about my well-being. Which is just one of the many reasons I know I made the right choice by asking her to help me.

I don’t have a thought-provoking ending to this post, so I’ll say goodnight and encourage you all to find your own SOS person, other person, plan, and more people.

And maybe some Chick-Fil-A.

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