Since the dawn of mankind, one thing that has allowed our species to flourish is the need for community. Man is a very creative and ingenious species that constantly seeks out like minded people to share, learn, and compare notes with those who have similar interests. The key word is similar interests, not similar thoughts.
Community is also not defined by time either. Or physical presence. For instance, the first person to introduce the idea of Heliocentrism was by Aristarchus around the 3rd century BC. However, it wasn’t proven until the 16th century by Copernicus with a mathematical model and later confirmed by Galileo’s observations another century later. These thoughts were differing from the common thought that everything revolved around the earth. Yet, these men in this specific community from different times were able to collaborate and work together to prove a scientific model.
Much has not changed since then, we simply have quicker access to such community. Look at social networking. Facebook, twitter, delicious, tumblr, blogs (including this one)etc etc etc. The list goes on. And within these social networking mediums, you find specific communities that support specific interests and allow people to share their ideas, thoughts, experiences, etc. The rate of information exchange is unprecedented in human history and allows people to collaborate on specific ideas and come up with better ways to do things, debate different thoughts, etc.
That is why it is important to surround yourself with like minded people and find a community of people with similar interests. I guarantee I don’t know everything about weight loss, eating right, exercise, the navy, or heliocentrism! But by finding people with the same ideas and thoughts, I can learn more and better fine tune my own experiences.
As I stated before, communities are even easier to find now with the rise of the internet and social networking. What you put on the internet is immortalized on some hard drive somewhere, and people could be reading it years from now. For all we know, everything we know today about weight loss may be proven wrong tomorrow. But we had to start somewhere, and community gives us that base to build on.
I was thinking about this while running last night. I hate running on treadmills and ellipticals, I much prefer a track or some outdoor path. It was in the 20’s, dark, cold (yes, I am going out to purchase some new running gear today. Hoodie here I come!), and lonely. But one thing that kept me going and didn’t make me feel so alone was the communities I have met in my short time on this journey.
If you are in need of some kind of community to share your weight loss goals/ideas with, I highly recommend the community over at 344Pounds. Tyler has created a wonderful community of those looking to lose anywhere from 10 lbs to 200+ lbs. Many people are willing to share their ideas and experiences to help motivate one another. Many people, including myself, are keeping a journal of their weight loss over there as well. Currently there is a January Challenge going on, where we are trying to reach individual goals we set by January 1st.
Or perhaps you found my blog while searching for Navy related items. A great community I have found is the forums over on The Navy Cafe. There are many people there who have gone through the DEP process, are on Active Duty, etc. They will be able to answer many questions about different job functions performed by different rates, etc.
The point is, if you find people that share the same interests as you- it is best to stick with them and collaborate within. You will be surprised what you learn and how much of a greater success rate you will experience. In not only helps motivate you, but keeps you just a bit warmer on those cold dark night runs!