Look for Support in an Accountability Partner
When losing weight, there are many seemingly huge choices to make. Which diet or food plan will work best for your tastes and lifestyle? Which exercise program will not only match your ability levels, but push you accordingly? Where is your schedule going to budge to accommodate food preparation time and this newly acquired activity? While all these questions are reasonable (if needlessly overwhelming) the single most important part of exchanging current habits for healthier ones is social support.
Weight loss is as much a social process as a physical one—and in relearning eating and activity habits, we should also relearn our social patterns. While you adore your best friend, is he going to hold you accountable on the nights when you’d rather hit happy hour for a good talk? While he may be the perfect companion in every other aspect, when looking for a diet buddy, you should look for someone who doesn’t “love you no matter what” when that love is only further miring you into patterns producing results that you don’t love.
Another popular support person is a spouse or significant other. While s/he lives with you, and usually eats the same meals, there are going to be times when s/he is just going to want to order pizza and binge on Netflix. And with the intense, personal bonds the two of you hold, telling him or her otherwise might spark more than a fitness revolution. Your marriage is worth more than your weight loss goals—and while your partner absolutely should be on board with your lifestyle changes, they aren’t always the best choice for motivation.
When seeking an accountability buddy, try to find someone who is embracing the same space. Someone who will count every bite that goes into your mouth, without the opportunity for personal insult. Be brutally honest with yourself about how you got to a weight that isn’t acceptable to you, and how a support person can help guide and motivate you through challenging times—even when they might make you mad.
Joining a community-fueled fitness program, like Crossfit or other group training sessions can help you find your accountability partner more quickly. However, your person will reveal themselves to you. Whether they’re at the gym, the yoga studio, the grocery store, or the library, and together you’ll take action. For an easier transition, here are some great places to start.
- Arrange a weekly meeting. Schedule it for months out, and try to keep it as you would any other important appointment.
- Discuss your setbacks from the previous week and plan your up coming week together. Talk about your workout schedule, your food planning. This is also a great time to do menu planning.
- Bring your current weight with you. If one of you didn’t meet your goal for the week, you’re the one who buys coffee (or whatever diet friendly
alternative that you decide on).
- Arrange a daily “check-in” by text or phone. Just a few quick seconds to ensure that you’re both doing well.
As you reshape your body, you’re also reshaping your relationship with food, activity, and most importantly, people. Be sure to place the same level of importance in finding your accountability partner as you do discovering the best ways of eating and working out for your body.