As much as I would like to think my efforts to lose weight and get fit are completely hinged on my amazing independence, will power, self control and sheer determination – I’d be out of line to not acknowledge that being a healthier version of me has been a team effort in a lot of ways.
It’s easy to find people to help you demolish a dessert, or to go out and drink with all the time. It’s easy to find people to go out to eat with on the weekends, or to get together for a glass of wine and conversation. I’d say it’s much harder to find people who will help you make better decisions when you eat out, or to promote healthier choices like inviting you over for dinner versus meeting out for a meal. It’s harder to find people in your life who are interested in meeting up for a bike ride, a walk or run, or to hit the gym instead of just hanging out.
I am blessed to have some really amazing influences in my life who help me be a better version of myself. When I think I can’t do it on my own, they support me and remind me that I’m not in this alone. While I may be the one making the final decision on what to order, what work out to do (or not do) – they are still there for me, cheering me on.
One of my best friends here in town is someone who has been through the same ups and downs as I have with trying to live a healthier life style. We went to college together, we gained weight together, lost weight together, found it again, etc. But it’s amazing to have someone who I can say – “can we meet for a walk instead of wine?” And know that the reply is going to be “absolutely -what a great idea!” I’ve found several people over the last four years who I know I can rely on to check out a new workout class with me or support me when I pass on a dinner invite. Not everyone in my life has to fulfill this role – but it’s really been an amazing help to have supportive people in my life who are either maintaining a healthy lifestyle or working toward one like me.
I have to say that my #1 supporter is my husband. We started this journey to being healthier people basically since we started dating, and so it’s a constant part of our relationship – trying to find ways to be more active, choose healthier meals, etc. I know a lot of people who don’t have this sort of support at home – and I can only imagine that trying to make better decisions is twice as hard for them. I struggle daily even WITH this type of support.
I think the biggest struggle right now is that my husband is in a good place – as per typical, he lost weight pretty fast and has kept it off through exercise and keeping his diet mostly in check. I’d say that we eat the same things 98% of the time – yet, he’s kept the weight off and I’ve put (some of)it back on. It’s enormously frustrating to me and while I’m not frustrated at him – I’m just frustrated in general that the same decisions means such different things for 2 people.
I guess I was feeling pretty open this weekend, and I admitted I felt like it was impossible to do well on the weekend because there was just too much temptation. When he suggests we go for ice cream, I find it impossible to say no. After all, he’s in a place where he can enjoy the ice cream and not feel guilty about it – why should I hold him back from that? We had a follow up conversation where he felt the need to apologize to me, for making it more difficult for me to make the right decisions. I didn’t think he needed to apologize, I felt like I was the one who was placing blame on him when it’s my own responsibility to make good decisions.
Either way – this conversation just illuminated the importance of having support at home, at work and in your friendships. It is almost impossible to do this on your own, even if you are literally the only one who can make the right decision for yourself – it’s just a tiny bit easier when you have people to help you out along the way.
When I first started out on this journey – I didn’t have the type of support I have now. It makes a huge difference to surround yourself with like-minded people. If you are feeling alone in this process, I encourage you to seek out some new friendships. Where do you find these people? At the gym, on a blog (yay blog friends!), maybe someone at work who also is in the habit of bringing their own lunch? There are people all around you who are also trying to better themselves – just take a look for those common characteristics and make a new friend or deepen an existing relationship.
Just make sure you seek out people who will help hold you accountable and give you some tough love when you need it. Again, it’s easy to find people who will tell you that skipping your workouts and eating out fast food 3x a week isn’t a big deal or that you deserve it. You probably already have plenty of people like that around you – start looking for the people who have the same goals as you. And think big picture – the people who are already working out daily, the people who are already watching what they eat – these are people who are like-minded. It’s not just the people who are overweight…so make sure you are looking in all the right places.
It’s so much easier to make good decisions and recover from your bad ones when you have a team you can count on. And hopefully, if you are reading this – you can count me in on your team, too!