“I got you!” I heard a woman shout out to another woman as she grabbed her arm when she almost lost her balance getting off an elliptical machine. They were friends and I had seen them come to the club I was working for religiously for months. It quite honestly was the sweetest sentence I had heard in a long time, even made me want someone to shout it out to me! LOL.
When we are thinking about support we are thinking about those moments that can blindside us or leave us without a soft place to land if things don’t go the way we think they will, or just keep us moving forward when we think we have nothing left to give. Support is our insurance policy that provides us with perspective, motivation and stability.
Support can come in a number of different ways. Good friends are the most obvious, but complete strangers can provide support also. Any time you join a class, small group training or small gym you’ve automatically enrolled in a bigger support network than you would ever have at home alone. If that doesn’t appeal to you some gyms will find a buddy for you with similar goals and schedules so you can hold each other accountable for your workouts and diet. If that service is not available, strike up a conversation with the person next to you on the treadmill. I am always struck by the similarities I have with my treadmill or elliptical neighbors, it makes working out more fun and time passes very quickly. More often than not, those neighbors would love to have someone to talk about their workout with, especially if they are single.
You might also want the support of a professional. Personal trainers, nutritionists or metabolic specialists can be very helpful in educating you about what and how your body is functioning with your diet and physical activity. This type of support is more about knowing you are doing the right thing for you and not your friend or co-worker. This type of support offers peace of mind and allows you to release the worry about the how-to part of weight loss. Although a wellness professional may not want to join you at the gym on their off day or talk about the three pounds of chips you ate the other night (well the nutritionist might) they are usually available to answer any concerns or questions you have about your diet and exercise program even via a text or phone call.
Another type of support can come in the form of a pet. Pets allow us to key down at the end of our day, helping us to regulate heart rate, lower blood pressure. They bring our awareness to a compassionate relationship that doesn’t require anything more than getting some food and petting their soft furry coats. Pets won’t say things like “I got you!” or “Go, go, go, you can do it!” but they can reassure you that you are loved and wanted whether you’ve lost weight or not. Sometimes that is not only desirable when you are trying to lose weight but necessary. It’s great to “Crush” your workout and day after day be on point with your diet, but when you are exhausted and out of motivation it’s good to know there will still be a light at the end of the day. Tomorrow will be another day but for now you can rejuvenate yourself with your furry friend.
Entering into a weight loss program takes courage, it takes knowledge and the willingness to create new habits and form new beliefs about what is possible for you and your body. That process is often fraught with unexpected pitfalls or surprises and we need to know that we can get the support we need. Make a list of good friends and family that you can call in a pinch. Align yourself with someone from your gym or a neighbor to walk with. Find professionals in the areas you are weakest and grab you furry friend for a hug occasionally. Make this one of the priorities in your weight loss plan so you don’t have a misstep and then figure out you would have like to have had a little help.
Then always remember to return the favor! Enjoy your mind and body!