Member Comments for the Article:

How to Get the Support You Need to Succeed

Get Your Friends, Family and Fellow SparkPeople on Board


  • Although my husband continually points out the fact that I need to lose a few pounds and get into shape, I feel sabotaged at every turn. He does most of the cooking and makes huge meals loaded in calories (although I have told him time and time again that I want small meals) and gets mad when I eat less than half of what he puts onmy plate. And when I want to exercise, he finds something else that has to be done first and my exercising never happens. It is very frustrating but I am slowly overcoming the obstacles he puts in my path... - 6/9/2010 10:21:49 AM
    For me its hard and embarrasing to seek support since i had gastric bypass surgery and regained a lot of the weight. i basically ate my way through breast cancer treatment a couple years ago and havent been able to lose since. I feel like a failure and have noticed the eye rolling if i even talk about my weight or plans to work on it. i'm not sure what to do. - 4/29/2010 11:43:23 AM
  • While my husband has recently acknowledged his part is our unhealthy eating and sedentary life style, he has not gotten to the point where he can support my efforts to change. . He says he loves me no matter how houch I weight or that I don't need to lose weight at all because he likes me as is. I find that to be insincere on his part. I know he is trying to play it safe by not saying anything negative but I would like to be able to trust him enough to know that he of all people will tell me the truth in love.So I utimately have to be my own support and motivator. I am so thankful for this site and for all of you how are sharing your journys - 11/28/2009 2:07:15 AM
  • Something to consider why there appears to be an abundance of non-supportive people in the world....

    If over 30% of the US is morbidly obese:
    In a mathematically fair world, each of us is surrounded by 1/3 of our friends and family being obese. That is one third of the people you regularly talk to who love to lounge in the world of emotional eating, no-workouts, and generally unhealthy living lifestyles. Makes it hard to find good supprt!

    Research shows people who are fit tend to hang out with others who are fit:
    That could mean those who start out obese may have a disportional amount of "fat" could be surrounded by 60-90% of your friends and family being obese and having no clue where to start changing their lives. Ouch on the motivational support!

    The saying goes: You can lead a horse to water but you can't force it to drink without drowning it.
    You can model behaviors, you can change the family dinner, you can display Spark everywhere....but you cannot force those you love (friend or family) to change their ways. They will someday come to realize and regret their choice to ignore you. Ask yourself how often have you ignored someone else who was trying to help you?

    Remember this journey is for are not doing it for someone all comes down to you and a better life for you. You are responsible for your choices, your actions, and your life (to quote a Spark thing)...Keep strong and know that somewhere you are a motivation to someone, they just may not know how to express it yet! You can DO this! - 9/13/2009 7:16:58 PM
  • I don't have much support in my house for my healthy choices...I get sneered at constantly by my mother and father when I measure out my portions to ensure I don't take too little or too much. They also make rude comments about how I will not eat anything that I don't know the nutritional stats for. They roll their eyes when I say "I'm going out for a walk", so I've basically stopped telling them when I am leaving. They continue to make bad/unhealthy choices for themselves, but I am happy to say I am untempted by their poor lifestyle choices. Knowing that I am doing the right thing by living the way I am living is enough to keep my going.

    Plus, I have the support of my sister - she lives her life as healthily as I do, so that is another good thing. The two of us can talk and support one another and help balance out the negativity we receive from our parents. - 8/27/2009 2:52:47 PM
  • I found out how long it takes to get the hubby on board with the new plan of healthy eating - over a year and a half! It also helped that it was time for new life insurance and a physical that will reflect on his pocketbook. Now we are together on this plan - we shop together for fruit and veg and we even try new veg we never tried before. Hang in there. you may be on your own the whole time but your loved ones may eventually come along. - 8/25/2009 4:35:00 PM
  • I would say that I don't actually have the best support network. Diet and exercise is really personal for me, so I don't really share it, even with my closest friends. I also know that my choice of diet is a little odd, so if someone is interested in following in my footsteps, I'll give advice, but I certainly won't actively encourage or try to convince someone to change to my ways. I guess you could say it's leading by example.

    Fortunately, my husband accepts my diet and exercise hobby as a cute little quirk of mine and is relatively supportive. He will eat the dinners I cook and comment on how good it is, and even joke about how much healthier he'd be if he did what I did! And when I bought a bike to get to and from classes, he also went and bought a bike to get to and from work, or, if he's lucky enough to get a better job that is too far to ride to, we can at least go on excursions together. For me, that's enough support.

    But like I said, I consider my choices very personal, so I suppose I let the support come to me instead of seeking it out myself. Feeling good and looking good provide almost all the motivation I need! - 8/25/2009 11:44:51 AM
  • I agree that if we don't have a support network, especially with the ones intimately involved in our lives, we will become discouraged easily, and tend to be un-motivated and want to give up...on the other hand a healthy lifestyle is something WE need to decide to live, WE need to determine in our hearts & mind that it is the best choice for our lives. This being said, I have seen a drastic change in my husband & (adult) kids since I have made this choice. The other day while grocery shopping, my husband (who rarely joins me shopping) remembered we needed peanut butter, so he offered to go back to the isle to get it....when he returned he had the healthy option....the one he used to complain about before...he also mentioned he no longer wanted to have pop in the house b/c he should drink water more, and choose pop as a daughter suggests a walk every evening, now that she's seen me more motivated, and knows that I have a goal to be outdoors at least 1x a day.....I believe this new healthy "attitude", nurtures it in's the Spark that starts the fire...after all! - 8/25/2009 11:06:26 AM
    It's a good article, but we need to look at WHY our familes and friends don't support our efforts and how to deal with these issues.

    Many partners are worried their spouse will leave them because they'll find all this confidence and a new exciting life. many controlling spouses are worried their lover will see them for who they really are.

    Friends and colleagues don't like change and competition - maybe you'll apply for job you've never had the guts to before and leave the group.

    Familes equate food with love - if you leave half their food on your plate, they take it as saying "You don't love me."

    People may take your new lifestyle as a criticism of themselves, because it's what they think about themselves.

    This article should have made mention of these things, because it makes them easier to tackle if you know your enemy. - 8/25/2009 3:25:30 AM
    While I've been lucky enough to have support from my family and friends, I think Spark is an invaluable resource... I've had nothing but positive experiences here! Even if someone is totally alone on her/his journey in "real life," there are always tons of people here willing to give support and encouragement :) - 6/3/2009 3:02:06 PM
  • I totally relate to this article. My family says they are behind me and then bring home goodies or in today's instance, baked cookies. I have to cook two meals at dinner. Sometimes I just don't want to do it and end up skipping dinner and eating something I shouldn't. I don't know a single sole in AZ. My gym went out of business. So, when push comes to shove, I really am on this journey alone. I'm having to depend on myself and this great website for all my support. I guess it's true what they say "What doesn't kill you will make you stronger". I feel stronger every day. Thanks for all the great articles! - 2/22/2009 5:16:59 PM
    Great Article. When I did weight watchers and told my family and people started to count my points for me and told me what I should eat and shouldn't. Then my sister who I live with started to notice my weight loss and when it was her turn to cook bought pizza, chicken, and everything else to deter me. So look to others if you have to that is how I found sparkpeople! - 2/21/2009 7:03:05 PM
  • I agree that it's great to have a support system while working on any goal, but I think health and wellness are a choice we make for ourselves all day long. It's my choice to feed myself in healthy ways, so that what I eat is strengthening my body and not taxing it. It's my choice to exercise everyday and choose situations to promote that.

    An example . . . We have elderly parents who live with us and like to contribute to meals a few times a week. Most of what they cook has more unhealthy fats and calories than I'd like. So I offer to make veggies to go along with it and have those and a salad for dinner, skipping the main dish. My husband, who's much more aware of what is healthy now that I'm so invested in it, will fill most of his plate with salad and take a much smaller portion than he once would have.

    I realize that my choices are not my families choices and ultimately, it's my own health I'm responsible for. This might sound selfish, but through this very "self-involved approach, I've noticed my in-laws asking how they can adapt their recipes so that they are more healthy, my kids comparing labels to select healthier foods, and everyone in the family carving out their time in our workout room every week. - 2/21/2009 11:30:40 AM
    From the title one would assume you are talking about people without family or partners. But it is all about people with partners. No mention of what the single person can do. Not at all helpful for those of us who are not in a relationship. - 2/21/2009 10:28:21 AM
  • Even within a supportive network it's important to carve out guidelines and goals that are uniquely you. That way if friends and family are not available . . . . for whatever reason . . . . you have the ability to make progress on your own.

    My perspective comes from an experience that I had several years ago. I had a walking buddy who was far more fit than I. She pushed me in a healthy way to try harder and do more.

    When she moved, I realized that I had allowed myself to depend on her for motivation. This time my goal is to build some guidelines for myself, that will be carried forward no matter which family and friends are involved.

    Chris - 2/21/2009 6:40:23 AM

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