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

  • My husband is - has been - supportive for 20 + years. Friends are not the issue at all- I bring food I can eat to gatherings. Our main problemis finding a balance - which has developed is that my husbands does Atkins low carb, which is also high fat. If he had his way I would join him in this - a lot of info he has read says I would do well. My problem is that I have a hard time making the jump. For a while, I frequently prepare both his low carb meals and snacks and my heart healthy meals - keeping a busy household cooking wise. And I do end up eating some of his higher fat low carb meals on special occasions sometimes - like wedding anniversary., Thanksgiving,etc He knows this is harder for me, but is supportive. I think the main problem is more like eating out - for his needs and mine. - 5/14/2016 12:11:47 PM
  • I think I finally found a friend who will support me on this this. We text back and forth about our diet and exercise. Now we have a challenge against each other.
    - 4/26/2016 5:33:42 AM
  • I have no support other than my elderly mom. She gives me pep talks now and again and she's always excited when I tell her I've lost weight, even if it's only a pound. If all else fails, I have my therapist. - 4/10/2016 9:10:35 PM
  • I am so blessed to have the support of my husband, my best friends and my Champions in the Kitchen challenge team. Because of these people I know how much that support means and I am more than willing to be part of a support team for others. I have the gift of their support and it inspires me to to help others. - 3/23/2016 3:25:36 PM
  • My husband is thankfully also trying to live a healthier lifestyle. I have been working on him for over 10 years to do it. As we have aged and he learned of his diabetes, high blood pressure and other ailments, he finally started listening to me and others. Eating better is something he will do, but exercise other than walking and working in the yard is not. Being a leader sometimes feels like you are dragging a dead horse uphill. It will be worth it all to be healthy. Don't give up. - 3/22/2016 7:53:01 AM
  • Sorry, meant OCEANSUNSET22. - 3/8/2016 8:28:47 PM
  • It's the same for me Oceansunrise22, today is my 1st day of the challenge, I will be back tomorrow, hopefully you will too. And anyone else that may need a buddy. We can be here for each other. :)
    - 3/8/2016 8:27:09 PM
  • I don't have any real support around me. I have no close friends I can have for support so I am trying to do things to keep me motivated. - 3/7/2016 11:38:57 AM
  • I'm lucky to have a supportive family. I purchased a food n fitness journal, so far so good :) - 3/5/2016 11:30:03 PM
  • My husband is supportive in words, but I need to get him motivated in actions. - 2/27/2016 7:57:35 PM
  • I joined with a Spark friend and we each have a calendar and stickers to reward ours selves each day for goal reached and i have so many great friends I going to meet my goals this year. - 1/8/2016 11:32:25 PM
  • I live alone and the friends I have could care less. SP community is where I need yo bget support, along with felklow water aerobics group - 1/7/2016 2:44:50 PM
  • I used SparkPeople 6 years ago and reached my goal for various reasons I've gained it all back plus another 50. I can't do any exercise except my exercise bike due to many physical problems and I get discouraged very easily.

    Two months ago I relieved my old girls (dog....Misty)pai
    n by letting her go peacefully at the vets. She was 15 3/4 years old and the love of my life....a week later my other girl (Lady) went blind and found out from the vet she was severely diabetic and so I had to have her put down with no warning.....she was 8 and I only had her 2 years from our local OSPCA. I am still devastated and this Christmas was so hard....both my girls were rescues....I got my Misty at 2....she had been locked in a barn allowed out once a day and Lady came from a Mandarin family that was returning to their homeland....

    So now you all know my whole life even if you didn't want too...

    This time I really want to succeed so I need as much encouragement as I can get......

    Thank You - 12/27/2015 2:16:51 PM
  • I love my SP family! - 12/6/2015 11:25:51 AM
    Surprisingly this is a difficult one for me. If I tell my husband or mother it will be bad if I end up letting them down yet again. I started a new job and I'm just not close enough with my new co-workers to share something like this. Not sure who to tell. - 12/4/2015 3:43:21 PM

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