I think we have missed a trick here.
This weekend, my family decided that we were going to begin to address our main health issue - weight. We sat down and we discussed what we all thought about it and why we eat as we do. With the exception of my wife we are all overweight and it is effecting the way we live and operate. The first thing I realised was that the kids know a whole helluva lot of dietary issues from school! The second thing I realised was that whilst exercise and portion size are things to be addressed, the main issue was grazing - what we used to call 'eating between meals'. So, as a first step to some sort of dietary regime, we put a housewide moratorium on eating between meals. And it has worked. Not one of us has had a bite between meal times and it has made those meals all the sweeter when they come.
The second step was to hammer home to the grandparents that this was a family wide initiative and it had to be adhered to when the kids were at their houses too. And that seems to have worked really well.
Which got me thinking...
A number of our gaming family have, for one reason or another, given up or radically reduced the amount that they drink. We were, previously, quite an alcohol-friendly group of gamers with bottles of wine and multiple pints of cider being the order of the day at most gatherings. Not once have any of us felt the need to put pressure on another of us to start drinking again. Indeed, there has been a palpable level of support and understanding for that and some other dietary-related issues that have occured.
A lot of us suffer from the traditional gamer problem of being overweight too, and some of our number have made concerted but fatally flawed efforts to lose weight. Some have considered going to slimming clubs like Weight Watchers. Personally, I have a number of issues with these establishments but I considered recently the thing which people get from them. If you are a pessimistic person, they get the threat of humiliation. If you are a optimistic person, they get support from their peers.
Gamers exist in communities. Between us, we have identified on a number of occassions a shared goal - lose some bloody weight. The way that we do it might vary, but the goal remains the same. What we lack is support. We lack that peer group support that says its OK to have a baked potato on a Wednesday night instead of a Mixed Grill. We lack the encouragement to celebrate the successes and to provide a shoulder to chew on for the setbacks.
I'm not talking about a gamer diet club or some sort of competitive dieting regime (because knowing some of our personalities, it would turn into a fact fest on exactly what is the best way to lose weight and where we are all going wrong!). Rather I'm talking about making 'losing weight' (for those that choose to) the new 'not drinking'.