Today’s Dear Susan comes from My Facebook Page where I had someone send me the following message:
Hi Susan! I’ve been working out most of my life. I am involved heavily in kick boxing weight training, and yoga and recently lost 55 lbs. My diet has been my biggest problem in life even though I stay active I have a weight problem which restricts my performance. I try really hard to stay on track but my wife cooks for us and she is not interested in body awareness. If I want to eat right It conflicts with my wife. We are not partners on this subject.
Sound at all familiar?
That’s a tough situation to be in and, unfortunately, it isn’t unlike many people who are looking to make significant changes to their lives but can’t get the support of the friends and family members they are closest to.
When you have a lack of social support it can really cramp your fat loss efforts, or your efforts to meet whatever goal you may have.
In fact, I would rank social support as one of the top 5 things that significantly increase the likelihood of fat loss success.
For the record, those are:
- Strength training
- Social support
Normally I will tell my clients that their best support should come first from the people they live with at home and be followed by their closest friends.
These people can help steer them away from foods that will comprimise their efforts, help with kid duty and chores so they can steal 30 minutes to do a workout, encourage them when they feel like giving up, and even perhaps go through a program with them so they do not feel so alone.
But as we can see from the message above, not everyone is lucky enough to have this support.
So we have to try to figure out how to get the support you need if it doesn’t come from home.
Here is a list of 4 places you can go to find the support you need to meet your weight loss goals without relying on the people closest to you.
1. Online weight loss community/forum – a weight loss support community is a fantastic place to hang out. I should know, because I hang out there a lot trying to help people and answer questions.
Basically, this is a place where people who are all in the same boat with the same goal come to support each other, have questions answered, share best practices, address challenges, etc.
When I was doing Joel Marion’s Xtreme Fat Loss Diet, I not only joined the facebook page for the folks doing XFLD, but I started my own XFLD community for Susan Campbell Fitness readers who were doing the program at the same time. I witnessed first hand that a fat loss support community can be very powerful.
In fact, just interacting with me and the other people on my facebook page is very similar to a support community. Interact with us there!
2. Offline weight loss community – now I’m not really a fan of Weight Watchers in terms of their program and how they educate you to lose weight. However, I do love the concept of having weekly meetings. At these meetings there are educational lessons, weight loss successes are acknowledged and shared with the group, and it is a place where people with similar goals can go for support.
In my experience, there is less support between members then there is from the leader to the members but still a very valid and powerful group.
There are probably other weight loss support groups in your town other then Weight Watchers, you just have to find them.
3. Activity groups and parters- Grab a workout buddy to do your strength training, HIIT, and cardio with. Hopefully this person will be someone with similar goals as you and at about the same fitness level as you.
You can also join a group activity such as Lean Body Bootcamp, a cycling club, a running club, a meet up group that hikes on weekends, or a nutrition group that meets to share recipes and support each other.
The possibilities in this category are endless!
4. Friends- I am very lucky in that I know that my friends would support me no matter how kooky my goals might be. And believe me, they have been behind me while I do some crazy stuff.
Your friends are important when trying to lose weight because they are the ones you are going to be with when you socialize. And when you are out having a good time, there is ALWAYS food around.
For example, when I was doing the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet, I had 25 days of very strict diet and exercise.
There were days when I was fasting, days when I couldn’t eat anything but smoothies, others when I could only eat protein. So when my friend, Betsy invited me for dinner numerous times while on the program she was happy to customize dinner to what I could or could not have.
That’s a true friend. If you don’t have one you should be on the serious look out. They are indispensable.
**The best message I can send you is to never, ever, ever give up on your goals even if you have someone at home who does not support you. Most likely, the issue lies within themselves.
For example, I had another facebook member tell me that her husband did not want her to lose weight because he was afraid she wouldn’t love him anymore and would leave him in search of someone “better”.
This is clearly an issue within her husband. But it makes it hard for her to be healthy.
But no one in this situation has a license to fail or quit because their spouse doesn’t support them.
You might have to work a little harder. You might have to deal with a lot of crap at home.
But isn’t having the body of your dreams and re-gaining your health totally worth it?
YOU are worth it!
Never give up, friends. And if you need a little extra support, come talk to me.
Your Friend & Coach,
Susan Campbell, MS, CSCS
Please let me know where you get your support from in the comments section below.
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