Livestrong is one of my favorite web sites –mostly because they have the greatest information that applies directly to my life.
For example, recently I received an article about Weight-Loss Buddies, and when do I NOT talk about my workout partner (often referring to her as my personal trainer) Ashley R.? That’s right. Never. Or always… You know what I mean.
According to the article, when you challenge yourself to change yourself, doing so with a friend will keep you accountable and motivated. I know this to be true. –Eddie Izzard
In a study conducted by Stanford University, highlighted in the article, the research showed that small amounts of social support can produce large and lasting gains (or losses). Other studies have shown that after eight weeks of regular exercise (I think I’m on week three), many people are able to settle into a long-term habit. Ashley R. has been a track star for a long while. It seems simple for her to fall into exercise, while it is difficult for me. (Remember, I haven’t really done anything regular since high school.)
The Mayo Clinic suggests choosing a person who will also listen to your concerns and feelings and share the priority you have placed on developing a healthier lifestyle. Ashley R. and I (in my opinion) have developed that sort of relationship –the kind where she’ll tell me how she’s feeling, and I’ll admit to her that I’m afraid of step aerobics, which now all of you know. :(
After you find your buddy (check!), you have to schedule accountability sessions. An accountability session is best done in-person and are times for you to follow up on each other’s progress. Ashley R. and I usually do this when we see each other at work or during the now rare times when we can work out together. She is a pusher, too. If I admit to snarfing bad-for-me food, she’ll immediately get on my tail about it in one of the nicest ways possible. She’s a pusher and a great motivator.
While the article suggests meeting once a week, I suggest meeting as often as possible. Once a week might keep you on track, but will you really be able to get the full satisfaction of having a workout buddy? No. Whenever Ashley R. and I can work out together, we do (and we both feel terrible when we ditch).
When you have a solid support system (even if it is just one other person), you will be able to make a lasting behavior change. (I’m still working on my behavior change, but my attitude toward weight loss is less “hate” and more “tolerate.” I think that’s a step in the right direction.)
And it’s all thanks to my workout buddy!
UNFORTUNATELY, she’s gone for spring break and my motivation levels are low to say the least.
MISS MY FRIEND! Hope you’re safe missy!