Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Buddy System

It is Monday morning and you are embarking on your new plan for wellness. The food plan is in place and your exercise regimen designed. You are committed. Oh wait….one thing is missing. Who will support you when you hit a weak spot?

Studies have shown that those who commit to making a change with a friend, family member, or loved one are far more successful in remaining committed and obtaining goals. In a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition it was found that 80 % of people who had lost weight and were able to keep it off reported using social interaction as a means of support. Of those that rebounded only 38% reported using social support.

I have recently started walking with a group of neighbors. It is hard to say no when they show up at my door laced up in their walking shoes ready to go. It also helps me to up my pace and to make the time pass more quickly than when I am on my treadmill constantly glancing at the clock.

I also decided to post my weight loss goal above my desk at work. I post my progress as how many pounds until my goal is met, as I am not brave enough to want to post my weight for all of the world to see. I do find that in posting my intention my co-workers offer support as I stick to my daily plan.

My husband and I plan meals and shop for food together on Sundays and we take turns cooking throughout the week. I admit it would be much harder to stay on track if it weren’t for his support as well. He finds that he feels better, has more energy and also maintains his weight when he is part of the planning and preparation.

These are just some ideas of how I have recruited the people in my life to support my goals. Think about those around you that might lend an ear, might want to go for a walk, or take a cooking class. A healthy lifestyle is not about dieting. It is about taking an interested in foods and activities that help your body thrive. It is about finding time to focus on things that will engage your mind and help you reduce stress. This is easier to sell than asking a friend to start a diet with you. Think of someone in your life that might be interested in trying something new. You can support each other as you both learn together about how to create a healthy lifestyle.

If you are interested in starting a wellness plan at The Center for Optimal Health, or if you already have you should know that we have a plan for family and friends. If you schedule your first appointments together or if you refer someone for your Buddy System you can both receive incentives. Call our office at 517-324-9400 to learn more.

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