In the last post of the weight loss series, I would like to focus on an important variable in successful weight loss/maintenance. Support and accountability.
When I council clients; I find it’s extremely difficult for an individual to change and make modifications to their lifestyle if they don’t have support and accountability. You can definitely do it on your own, but it helps when you have people who can identify with you, push you, and encourage you. It can be one person or an entire community. I think the most important thing is to have someone who is willing to do what it takes to help you reach your goals. Sometimes when people want to give up, it’s those who have supported you who give you the encouragement to keep going. If you are in a weight loss support group (such as weight watchers), then you have other people who are going through the same thing as you and probably the same feelings you feel. Change is difficult, scary, and frustrating at times; and it is nice to have someone who has been through your journey or who is experiencing the same thing you are. They will be able to help, because they will be able to understand what is going on. Even online, there are support groups to help keep people on the right track to reach their goals. You can find a friend(s), weight loss group, or a wellness coach who will encourage and keep you accountable. When you have support, then you usually have accountability near by. Accountability helps keep you on the right track and your eyes on the prize.
When someone begins to hold you accountable, you no longer think about yourself, but your accountability partner as well. For instance, my husband Craig is my accountability partner. There are some days when the alarm goes off at 4:30 (in the morning!) and I don’t want to get up and exercise. However, he always gets me up and even encourages me by telling me “you will feel so much better”, “you know in an hour you wish you would have gotten up”, or remind me of what I am striving for. Those are the things that definitely get me up and going! If he is holding me accountable, I don’t want to have to tell him I haven’t done my exercises or change my eating habits. I feel like I not only let myself down, but him as well. You should want your accountability partner to encourage, motivate, and be proud of you. They should not be afraid to tell you to suck it up and stick to it. Set backs are normal, but push through and make sure you have your partner to help push you to be your best. When someone is holding you accountable, it changes your outlook on what you are doing. It seems as if you are no longer doing it for yourself, but for someone else as well.
If you do not feel like you have support, then I would encourage you to find someone/group to help you. People who can keep you going and help you reach your goals. Support can be beneficial to I also encourage you to find an accountability partner. Someone who will be honest with you and let you know when you are slacking. Someone who cares about your goals and success. Someone who will be there every step of the way. Having support and accountability will help you reach your weight loss/maintenance goals.
In conclusion of the entire series, remember that weight loss/maintenance is always dependent on you. You control your weight. Your weight shouldn’t control you. Your goals are worth fighting for. You can change, you can make sacrifices, and you will. Remember five simple factors to help you succeed in long-term weight loss:
- Set goals
- Be aware of portion sizes and logging your food
- Find your motivation and stay dedicated
- Individualize your diet & don’t get caught up in fad diets
- Find support and accountability. If you already have support and accountability, then make sure they are helping you fight for change.