I have spent a lot of time with my family over this holiday break while the kids have been home from school and my husband has had an extended break from work. We have had lots of “togetherness,” if you will. We’ve shared meals, cooking, errands, playtime, chores, workouts and more. And it has been SO nice! We were in Iowa with our extended families for a few days as well, and when we returned, I looked forward to getting back to my regular workout routine, attending the classes I enjoy with the people I enjoy seeing. While I am not afraid of doing things alone, and in fact, sometimes that is what I prefer, I have also been thinking, life can be so much easier with the support of others when you need it. Especially when taking on new challenges and goals, doesn’t it seem less daunting if you know you aren’t doing it alone?
Many of you may be setting goals for 2019 regarding health and wellness, among other things. Let’s talk about how you can involve others if you think it will help you be successful. The obvious one, I think, is to get a workout buddy, or several. If you can’t think of who that might be, join a new class and it will be full of new workout buddies! There is a sense of accountability that develops when you get to know the instructor and others in the class, you depend on seeing one another there. There is always the option to hire one as well. Personal trainers will challenge you in a way that will surprise you! I have established various workout buddies over time, many serving different purposes. For YEARS I didn’t miss a Galter bootcamp class because the class was FULL of women and men who became friends. Missing a class felt like missing a social event.
My running buddy Adrienne and I have run together for years and have established a great routine together. We push each other and have therefore become faster and able to run further. It is typical for a run I do with Adrienne to take me at least two miles further than I would have done on my own, and I do it faster than I would have solo.
Some instructors, classmates and participants in the Fluidity Barre classes that I teach have become workout buddies, and inspire me to improve, work harder, stay challenged and continue to challenge them.
As a dietitian at Galter, I have clients that I have seen for years. You can rest assured that I am not sharing new earth-shattering nutrition info with them that keeps them coming back every week (at least, not every time). It’s the accountability that I provide, reviewing food logs, helping through challenging times and changing routines. I have some clients that have taken their sessions to the road (or treadmill) by walking together while we talk and discuss their food challenges. There are other ways, however, to have some accountability. You can start an online food log and join a community of people with similar goals as you. You can find a friend, family member or co-worker who agrees to check in with you so you can report your progress (and you can do the same for them). On My Fitness Pal, for example, you can allow “Friends” to see your Food Diary. How’s that for accountability?!
Don’t forget to ask for support at home. Even if others in your house don’t have the same goals as you, sharing your goals out loud and having a conversation that garnishes support can make a huge difference. It may mean you get more help at home, or less of the unhealthy food temptations brought into the house. When my husband reminds me that I don’t really need that homemade cinnamon roll his mom made and sent home with us, I may glare at him but I know that he’s right so I grab the pear right next to it instead (that actually happened yesterday). Tonight, I plan to knock his second glass of bourbon out of his hand. 😉 See how that can work both ways?! Especially over the holiday break, my kids have gotten involved in the meal planning and prep (pizza, anyone?), and my husband smoked some whole chickens so that we have some lean protein ready to go heading in to this week. I’m using it to make enchiladas (last night) and soup (tomorrow).
If you have some friends or neighbors who have similar healthy eating goals as you, work out a food swap. Make some crock pot recipes and split them. Or, plan a salad party (it’s time I do that again, see a previous post here). Maybe your next potluck at the office has a health-related theme, one that doesn’t involve donuts and birthday cake. It’s likely you can find several people around you who wish to eat healthier, leverage each other to make it happen!
Last but not least, if weight loss is a goal, keep an eye out for our next Eat Move Lose later this winter. It offers group nutrition and workouts in a supportive, safe environment. Save the date for our free information session on Monday, Feb 10 and Tuesday, Feb 11. And don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions! firstname.lastname@example.org