Support System-Do You Have It?

As many of you know I am back at school-bleh! Luckily, I am attending one of the best PT schools in the world (no bias here), and get to learn amazing new material every day that I am here. Recently, we were discussing the topic of health and the huge importance of incorporating support systems into our lives. There has been so many days where I come home from school with amazing ideas of how I am going to completely change my diet and exercise goals, (my husband can attest to this), and of course, he needs to join me!

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 He will usually join me for about a minute before he completely revolts and goes on a steak and ice cream binge and of course that ice cream looks so good so I have to have some too.

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To him it is not really that big of a deal because he does not now, nor will he ever have a weight issue and if he does gain a few pounds it most likely won’t be noticed (dang him).

So the point of this posting besides hating on my ever-skinny husband is to make the point that our family and friends have a huge impact on the choices that we make when it comes a healthy diet and fit lifestyle.

Case #1: Watch this video clip and try and guess which of these contestants won this season of “The Biggest Loser“.

http://youtu.be/WjbUknv__ME

How many times have you wanted so desperately to make good choices and it seemed like the world was plotting against you?

Case #2 What if you are the person who is holding someone back from making a change?

http://youtu.be/VOZxZBJxh18

So now you know one more of the many battles that you face when you make that choice to change your lifestyle. Now some tips to overcome this battle.
1. Compromise and start slow. You probably don’t need to start out on a n0-sugar, vegetable only diet and 18 hours a week at the gym. Try to take smaller steps that you feel you can keep forever like meatless Monday, family walks a minimum of  3 times a week, and just getting out to exercise as a family. However, more power to you if your whole family is on board with huge change and definitely make the change if it is doctor mandated.
2. Try and make it fun so your family will want to participate. Families often get insecure about you making big changes that they are not a part of. If you include them by making it fun for them, they may be more likely to get on board. What if you went for family walks and made a scavenger hunt for the kids? How about a sport you can all play? What about a family gym membership at a place with a daycare?
3. Recruit friends. Support, support, support! Get it anywhere you can. One study of 166 people showed that 66 % of those with both friend support and a standard behavioral treatment were able to maintain their weight loss in full at a 10 month follow up (Wing, R., 1999).
4. Find out why a family member is not on board with your plan. Insecurity and guilt may be holding a family member back from wanting to join you in your new fitness plans or even support you. Keep an open and honest dialogue about why you want make lifestyle changes.
5. Keep strong and carry on. There are going to be many obstacles in your way and it is up to you to have the resolution to keep it going. If you know that you are going to be put in a position to be tempted find a way to navigate around it.  Find a healthier version of your family’s favorite treat or meet up with friends for a walk instead of meeting up for coffee or food.
Related articles:
References:

Wing RRJeffery RW.J Consult Clin Psychol. 1999 Feb;67(1):132-8.Benefits of recruiting participants with friends and increasing social support for weight loss and maintenance. Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania 15213-2593, USA. wingrr@pitt.edu

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9 thoughts on “Support System-Do You Have It?

  1. I agree; starting my lifestyle transition was nowhere near an overnight success, but through time, discipline, and a lot of research, I got to where I want to be! Best of luck on the beginning stages and have a great holiday with your family and friends:))

  2. Pingback: My Personal Accountability Fitness Calendar « whohastimeforthegym

    • Figuring out a way to eat healthy with junk food in the house can be a struggle. I am an out of sight, out of mind person but I have lost an acquired taste for a lot of junk food too. Although, I would probably have a difficult time in your house too because I have seen pictures of your baked goods lol.

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