Have you tried losing weight or getting fit on your own?
For that matter, have you tried doing anything alone?
You need support.
You also need to look at who IS NOT supporting you as this is just as crucial.
Today I want to talk about the important of getting support around you if you are in pursuit of fitness goals (this also goes for any goal really).
You know the best way to tell if somebody will achieve their fitness goals?
When somebody comes into the gym and I ask them 'is your partner supportive of you making this health change?'
If the answer to this is yes then the chances of this person succeeding are MUCH higher than those who say no or give me a shifty answer.
Why you need support
Getting fit can be tough!
If it were easy then everybody would be in great shape and never struggle at all with their health. The reality is that you are going to have ups and downs.
There will be times that you question why you are getting out of bed to workout.
There will be times that you feel bad after a long day at work and feel like cracking straight into a 6-pack and eating a few large pizzas.
If you are alone on this journey then you are making something hard even harder!
Utilise the support you already have
We all have support around us. Some of us have a lot and some of us don't. The important part is looking at who you DO have and how you can make that better.
Who do you live with?
Parents, siblings, children?
Who do you live near in your family or who can you keep in touch with regularly?
Family is for most people the first spot to go to for support as we tend to build the closest relationships with them.
Identify who in your family you think can support you.
Friends are the second closest thing to family for many people, and in some cases become as close as family!
Who are your closest friends? Are they also trying to improve their health and fitness?
What could you do to help each other out?
Could you workout together? Meet up at healthier restaurants or simply discuss your issues together around your fitness goals?
A workout partner is usually a friend but it can also be more of an acquaintance.
The important part is that they help to keep you on track with your workouts.
The idea here is to book in gym/workout times each week and keep each other honest. A good idea here is to think of somebody who is actually very keen to get to the gym regularly rather than somebody who lacks any motivation to begin with!
Professional help can also be a source of support for many people.
I help out my clients to ensure they are on track outside our gym sessions and make sure lifestyle factors are intruding on their ability to get the results they want!
When looking for a professional to help you with your fitness and health, ensure that you have a good rapport and that they are interested in supporting you throughout what can be a long journey for many people.
You have to ASK!
Identifying support systems in your life is just the beginning.
You now have to do the hardest part which is ASKING for their help!
This is where most people fall down. They think that they are being supported but they have never asked these people directly. Maybe you have occasionally commented halfheartedly about a new fitness regime but never sat down and talked about it in detail.
You need to sit down with either your family, friends, workout partners etc and discuss exactly what your goals are and why their support would mean a lot to you.
For some of my clients this support can be minor things like going on a 30 minute walk with their partner each night.
For others it is hiding some of the junk food they bring home so their partner is not tempted.
For a friend it might be giving up the take-out to go to a healthier lunch option when you meet up.
Whatever type of support you think will help you, you need to ASK the question. You will be surprised how willing people are to help you out on your journey but you will never know this unless you take the plunge and ASK!
Ensuring the anti-support brigade aren’t bringing you down!
So now we have covered why you need SUPPORT in your life. We need to talk about the opposite. The people who will actively try and bring you down.
Sadly there are people in your world who will likely try to criticise, condemn or comment in some way on what you are doing with your health. Often their goal is not purposely harmful but the end result can often be that you cave into their bullying behaviour and keep doing things the way you used to!
You know the comments. Commenting on you going to the gym. What you are eating for dinner, for lunch, why you should be or shouldn't be doing any number of things.
Don't let this happen.
The most important thing you can do is work towards building up your support base as the first task. You want more positive interactions than negative to keep you going.
You then need to make a decision based on the situation.
How close is this person to you?
In situations where they are not a very close friend or relative then the best course of action is avoidance. Simply avoid the person as much as possible unless they are willing to support you in your goals.
Now you can't always escape these people so the next best thing is to work on curating the relationship.
For instance, if you are used to talking about your new diet or fitness regime and being met with negative comments then don't talk about that topic around these people.
Don't bring up anything to do with fitness, your diet, your goals or any part of you trying to improve yourself in their company. You want to avoid the opportunity for them to take aim at something that you find difficult as much as possible.
Don't leave your fitness goals to chance! Making sure you have the right support around you can make the biggest difference between success and failure.
Do you have support systems in your life?