Motivation Articles

How to Get the Support You Need to Succeed

Get Your Friends, Family and Fellow SparkPeople on Board

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You wake up to your husband preparing a platter of fruit and a slice of whole wheat toast for breakfast. Your wife always has a healthy dinner—lean protein and fresh veggies—ready at 6 o’clock. Your co-workers have teamed up to start a healthy lunch club. You have countless friends ready to work out at a moment’s notice. A personal trainer is programmed into the speed dial on your cell phone. Encouragement abounds. This is a healthy living utopia.

If you find support is a little bit harder to come by, you’re pretty normal. However, lacking spousal and friendly support can become quite detrimental to your weight-loss plans—if you let it. A good support system is a vital element to reaching your goals. So what can you do to ensure that you are surrounded by social support?

Start with your partner. Sit him down and explain the importance of your new goals; encourage her to join you on your healthy journey. If you are lucky, your favorite person will jump on board to support you, not to police your actions and make you feel bad if you slip up. Rather, your partner should share in the excitement of your progress and encourage you when the going gets tough.

If, however, your spouse and family complain about the new healthy meals you are eating and scoff at the idea of a walk after dinner, you might be on your own. In this case, you’ll have to lead by example. When your family sees how much progress you are making, they will be inspired. Don’t let an unsupportive spouse sabotage your dieting goals. Just because he or she wants double portions at dinner doesn’t mean that you have to give in… you just might have to look elsewhere for support.

Friends make a great support system. Consider discussing your goals, needs, and plans with a close friend. An encouraging buddy may set up a workout schedule with you and pass on that fatty dessert after dinner. If none of your friends are helping you strive towards your goals, try meeting them for a walk at a local park a few times each week. Encourage them to attend and show up yourself every time. Even if just one friend comes, you’ll have a workout buddy that will make things easier—even if just for one day. Hopefully, they’ll see your progress and want to be involved. Once the word gets out that you are staying consistent with your workouts, going to the park no matter what, they’ll come around. Another way to get support from friends is to start hosting healthy dinner parties, where everyone brings vegetables, fruits, or lean proteins, or simply share healthy recipes with one another.
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About The Author

Liz Noelcke Liz Noelcke
Liz is a journalist who often writes about health and fitness topics.

Member Comments

  • I am a widow living alone and my children are totally involved in their jobs etc. I finally persuaded my friend to join me in workouts at the local rec. centre and I'm really grateful for that. We started this week; 3 days a week; with a personal trainer.
    We both have diabetes, arthritis and chronic pain; so need similar routines. :-). - 3/27/2015 7:46:50 PM
  • SVANDERMEER
    The support starts with deciding to take charge of your health. Support from others is wonderful and a great blessing, but the first step is to be self-motivated. Surprisingly when those around you see your commitment, they will support your efforts. - 3/1/2015 4:04:09 PM
  • PINEBLISS
    Checking in. Hoping to get over negative self talk and actually do something about 20 lbs I put on in the last 2 years. Making me feel bad about myself. - 2/23/2015 8:47:22 AM
  • BROWNSHUGABABE
    I am starting today, off to good start. Made my lunch last night, focusing on portion sizes and staying away from fried foods. Got to start somewhere. - 2/18/2015 10:19:01 AM
  • DAJOBROWN
    I am an older man who has heart problems, as well as, weight problems I joined WeightWatchers and a gym a year ago and have been trying to stay on track.
    My problem is that I don't always go to the gym or eat healthy, mostly it's lack of motivation. I am hoping by joining Sparkpeople and writing about it, I will succeed this time.
    I have lost 30+ pounds but can't break 180 and my goal is 165. I need help! - 2/18/2015 9:44:34 AM
  • SUZYQVT
    I am trying for the hundredth time to lose weight. My goal right now is to get under 200 lbs. It's really important for my health. I have NAFLD. - 2/11/2015 8:30:27 PM
  • I am not new in this , i know everything that could help me to get healthier and reach my goal , there is no secret , the key is the healthy food and executrices , i managed to lose 30kg and more then sabotaged myself , now i gained lot of weights , from today 7th feb i am 90.8 kg and i am already started today in my health journey again , to be healthier , happier and live the life that i want

    my goal is to lose at least 1 kg weekly

    - 2/7/2015 4:18:28 AM
  • PERKSD43
    I am starting this today. I have told my hubby and I've told my friends on FB that today is the first day of my healthy living journey. I am an older mom with young children and my goal is to be healthier and have more endurance to keep up with them, and to live a long time. I have been here before, on the first day, many time, and I haven't succeeded at becoming healthier, in fact I have failed miserably. I will need support and motivation, and I would like to offer the same to others who need it. - 1/7/2015 12:22:41 PM
  • LUIVIC
    I started yesterday!!! I'm excited and hope to reach my goal with all your support!! - 1/6/2015 5:07:00 PM
  • AVALON90
    I'm starting over. I gave up last year and this my new start to a new year. - 1/6/2015 11:59:55 AM
  • TBROWN258
    I just want to continue my journey that I have started 2 1/2 years ago. I have lost 30 lbs. And I feel great I need to lose another 12 lbs to reach my ultimate goal!! :) - 1/6/2015 10:31:06 AM
  • I like this challenge, because it has variety. I like to change things up. The spice of life. I definitely agree about joining forums. I belong to several forums and it has been a wonderful experience. I have been given a lot of support and made online friends who I keep in touch with almost every day. For those sparkers who are new, I'm telling you having this opprtunity is a gift that 'm grateful for. t's not every day I meet caring, giving and supportive people. Find yourself a forum that fits your needs and lifestyle and jump into it. Make a commitment and keep it. You will not regret it. You will especially get a lot out of it if you stick with it for a few months. It is then and only then you will see a change in yourself. It's what you put into it you reap the rewards from it.

    For those members that are having trouble with food selection this is what I have done and recommend to you. When you go to the store to shop bring the grocery list you get from SparkPeople. Make sure you plan ahead and select healthy and clean foods. Do not buy prepared foods, diet foods, or processed foods. These are the foods that will ensure failure. If you want to succeed don't make excuses saying real food is too expensive or too time consuming to make, because it's simply not true. In terms of expense, yes real food cost a little more, but if you make two meals out of it or freeze some of it, use coupons and don't shop at expensive stores like Publix or Winn Dixie you can make it work for you. I shop with coupons for sale items in different stores to make it work for me. akes 20 minutes to grill a lean hamburger with one slice of whole grain bread. It takes 10 minutes to put one a processed one in the microwave. Big difference? I don't think so. What I'm trying to say if you don't buy it you can't eat it! Sometimes I have to make a special meal just for me. It's worth it! Don't you think so?

    Anyone who needs a friend or resources do friend me. I welcome you to.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR! :) - 1/1/2015 5:22:15 PM
  • I am recommitting to a healthier me and this 30 day challenge is a great way to jumpstart the new year. I wish us all much success in meeting our goal. - 1/1/2015 1:24:45 PM
  • I have a neighbor that I do a great deal of stuff with...We mainly work on our properties, mowing, cutting trees, burning in our burn pits. She however is not competitive and doesn't comprehend the need for speed when we ride bikes! Hence, when I ride or walk with her, it isn't a fit walk or run for me! I need to push when I workout. But, any movement is exercise too! - 11/10/2014 10:30:23 AM
  • I'm on a couple boards and teams on SP - 9/27/2013 6:07:07 PM

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