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Support and Accountability

Friday, January 04, 2013

Next I want to talk about 2 things I think are sort of intertwined, and very important in weight loss.

You need some sort of support system, and in that support system you can also find accountability. First and foremost, you have to realize that you are the only one who can do this. No one can get up early for you and make you exercise, and no one can force you to eat healthy. But, it does help to have support when you are going through any type of challenge in your life.

I'm the type of person who finds it difficult to ask for help because I don't want to burden anyone. I have always suffered in silence, and I really didn't know who to ask for support or help when I felt very serious about losing weight. The first place I went was online, at Sparkpeople. I joined teams and met people, and talking to them really helped. Even though they were not right in front of me, they were people who "got it." When you are changing your life, you need someone to get it. Also, I talked to my husband. I explained to him that I would need time to do the workouts and that we needed to change what we bought at the store. He was very supportive, and although he doesn't like to eat all the same things I do, his eating habits have improved a lot, and from time to time he'll even work out with me. He's always told me he's proud of me and cheers me on when I run or reach a new goal. As I lost weight, people in my life noticed. They complimented me and it made me feel good.

You may not have someone in your life who will support you. If that's the case, then you need to join some type of group online, or even something like Weight Watchers. The cost of Weight Watchers wasn't really in our budget, and I found that Sparkpeople worked for me, and it was free! So, that is what I have done, but you can do what works for you. It's hard for me sometimes because most of the people in my life are not regular exercisers and they don't commit to eating the way I do. I can't eat out a lot, or I gain weight. They do notice the changes I've made though, and I have found support in a lot of ways. Each time someone reads my blog or comments on a photo of me, it shows they care and that really helps push me through, because although it gets easier, it's never easy.

Posting my blogs and workouts online helps keep me accountable. The people who support me will notice if I go a while and don't post anything. When I declare on a public forum that I am going to run a certain race or do a certain workout, I keep myself accountable. So, tell people your plans. Post it online and tell your family and friends. I have it set up so that each time I enter a workout on Runkeeper, it automatically posts to facebook. This isn't me trying to boast (although I am excited to share when I set a new personal record or reach a new milestone), it keeps me accountable. It also motivates other people when they see what others are doing. I have a few facebook friends who regularly post their own workouts, and when they do, it makes me want to do mine, too.

Most importantly, you have to be accountable to yourself. Set a goal and work toward it, but don't make the goal an impossible one. Set small, realistic goals, and the satisfaction of meeting them helps push you forward to the next. I didn't start out running, I started out walking. Then I walked and walked, then did a training program for running called couch to 5k. Then I moved up to the program to train for an 8k, then a 10k, then a half marathon. Signing up for these races made me accountable because I knew I had spent the money and I knew I would need to train in order to finish them. I also keep myself accountable by tracking my food. The periods of time when I don't, I end up not losing as much weight, worse, I have a gain. When I have clothes I can't wear any longer, I gather them up and donate them. I have no clothes I can go back to, so I have the mindset that I will not let myself gain weight. I have only clothes I am wearing currently and occasionally if I find something cute that's cheap in the next size down, I will get it and save it for later.

Another thing I am going to do this year is plan my workouts ahead of time. I am basically doing this when I am following a training program for a race, but right now I am not training for a race. Still, I want to keep myself accountable and keep my ability to run many miles in a row, so I have to keep doing it regularly. I have a calendar I put above my makeup table, which I also use as sort of desk, and I am going to plan out for the week what my workouts will be.

Sorry it's so hard to read!

I joined the Jumpstart Challenge on Sparkpeople. The goal is to do a short workout of theirs every single day this month, and 5 days of cardio a week. I have the workouts for the week on each day, and as I do them, I will highlight them. On the 1st, I did their 8 min cardio video and then repeated it. On the 2nd, I ran 4 miles and did a lower body toning video that was scheduled. On the 3rd (tomorrow, I am writing this on the 2nd) I will go to the gym and do the arc or elliptical and the arm dumbbell workout that is scheduled.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    One of the biggest differences between the first time I lost weight and this time is the support network of friends! I didn't know anyone in my isolated lifting and treadmill circuit I did. Now I've made friends through my running group, and a close friend through it all, and a boyfriend to boot.

    They help me succeed.

    2146 days ago
    2146 days ago
    I have a workout partner who has been a great help to me. I will admit though that sometimes I am more motivated than he is! Amusingly I find it motivating to have to motivate him. If I have to get him moving then I have no chance to be a slacker myself :) Sometimes when I do want to be lazy he encourages me and we push through together. Other times when I am burnt out and want to skip a workout he is again supportive and does not judge me for not working out. Finding an accountability buddy who is both supportive and non-judgemental has been one of the most necessary parts of my journey. He wants me to do what is best for me and makes me feel good and happy. That helps me remember that I deserve to feel good and be happy and that being healthier is getting me those things.
    2146 days ago
  • MARTY728
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    2146 days ago
    Great blog. I think i need to put my exercise up on calendar so that i can be accountable as i am having a hard time getting back on track.
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    2146 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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