There’s nothing noble about suffering in silence. People often treat their own weight loss as a socially-foul affliction, to be hidden away with more secrecy than Donald Trump’s ATM number.
But if you’re serious about getting some serious results this time – and keeping those results – it’s time to come out of quarantine and let someone in on the secret.
You might feel you have good reason to be reluctant to invite someone to help with your weight loss. Perhaps you feel too shy, embarrassed, or insecure. You might feel like you’re imposing. But most people would be more than willing to help, and there is no shame in asking. After all, you’re taking charge of your life, striving toward an important goal, and working hard to improve yourself. Rather than feeling sorry for yourself, you’re doing something about it. You have a lot to be proud of. If anything, you’d be doing them a favor by asking them to jump on the healthy living bandwagon!
Involving others can drive you to your destination in record time, and it can make the ride as fun as a college road trip. You could have someone by your side, facing challenges with you. When one succeeds, you both succeed; when one stumbles, you both look for ways to bounce back. You strive, survive and celebrate together. Is there a more rewarding way to lose weight?
Plus, involving others is just darned effective. A University of Pittsburgh study showed that dieters who had just one other person check in on their progress lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t have help. As the researchers said, “social support adds accountability.”
Weight loss is already tough enough – why make it tougher on yourself? Why not take advantage of every opportunity to boost your odds of hitting your goal? Involving others may be the best chance you’ll get to do exactly that.
Help can come from many places in many forms:
That’s right, the most effective weight loss partner might be sitting right next to you on the couch. Most people cringe at the idea of dieting along with a spouse. But the fact is that couples going through a fitness program together are 5 times more likely to stick with it than if they tried it alone, according to an Indiana University study. A lot of self-esteem and vulnerability are in play, but weight loss can be a positive experience and bring couples closer together. For many, it’s a caring way to accomplish something as a couple.
Fitness buddies are two or more people who commit to helping each other reach consistent goals with friendly encouragement and regular contact. The right fitness buddy can keep you upbeat when you’re feeling down, keep you motivated when you’re tempted to slack, and keep you focused on the prize. The Action Steps and Articles this week give you some tools and insight about how to find one that’s a good fit for you.
Groups & Teams
Help can be found beyond your collection of closest friends. Finding or joining an active and supportive group or team can do wonders for your consistency and confidence. Walking clubs, exercise classes, and community centers are full of people who know that social fitness is just as rewarding as it is fun.
The SparkPeople.com online community is a perfect example of what can happen when a large group of people get together and build a healthy environment for everyone. When you’re posting on the support message boards, you’re never alone. Someone is always there to lend an ear, let you vent, offer advice, or serve up some well-timed words of encouragement.
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