Many people geta great motivation to start working out, but half of them stumble at this stage. You think you can do by yourself, but unfortunately (or fortunately) you don’t live in the middle of nowhere alone. You may live with your family, or you may have a boyfriend/girlfriend. You go to a large office and have many colleagues. Or you may live in a close-knit community where everyone knows everyone. All these people affect your life and lifestyle.
For example, if your boyfriend loves to go to drink beer at a sports bar, probably you go with him, too, and have a beer or two, and eat fried chicken. That is quite a bit of calories (and not a healthy meal). Or at your office, if a secretary brings two dozens of donuts everyday for 10 o’clock meeting, and everyone get a Chinese take out lunch, isn’t it hard not joining them? Worse, if everyone in your neighborhood is in large frame, and everyone is your friend, how can you keep motivating yourself to keep losing weight?
Most people love to be a part of a group; it is comfortable to be with them, and feel loved by them, even if the group does not support your goals. For example, all your family members love to eat chocolate cake a few times a week, and if you try not to eat the piece of the cake, one of them will say to you. “Come’on, just a tiny piece of cake won’t hurt you! Or are you trying to make me guilty?” So you reluctantly eat a piece of the cake, and after that you can never refuse.
If you are among the lucky few, your family members are very supportive, and even though they may not join your daily running routine, they may accommodate your needs, even push you so that you can accomplish your goal. Unfortunately, this is rather exceptional.
Does this mean we are doomed from the beginning? Not quite. There are always ways to achieve your goal (if you are motivated enough). First, you really need to ask your closest to help; maybe your husband, your boyfriend, or your closest girlfriend. They love you and love to see whatever you can accomplish. The thing they may not understand is why you need to accomplish the goal that might demand to sacrifice some part of your relationship with them. So you really need to explain why you want to achieve this goal. If you cannot explain clearly what you want to accomplish, why you want to accomplish it, and how you can accomplish the goal, you need to go back to “motivation” section, and start again. You won’t succeed without them.
If you can clearly explain these to your closest person, he will understand you and will support you, even if he may not agree 100%. If you are lucky, he may join your effort and do it with you. That will be really a big help.
You may also openly declare your goal to your colleagues at your office. For example, you may want to send email to 10 of your colleagues who are generally supportive in your work (including your boss, if your relationship with her is a good one), saying that you want to change your lifestyle, and set several goals to achieve, and you need help from all of them. Then tell them what they can do to help you. I believe, most of them will be glad to help you.
If you are in a very competitive office, well, there is another trick. Send everyone a challenge. For example, you dare everyone to workout with you to get in a better shape. Whoever does not achieve the goal will buy champagne for the next office party! Even if that is you to buy, I think, it is a very reasonable fee to pay to achieve a good shape!
If you are not quite brave enough to ask for help openly, there are a few more good ways to find support. First, join a gym; a gym with a good supportive staff. You may need to ask around first, and may need to pay a bit more than a dime a dozen gyms, but it is very helpful if the gym staff is knowledgeable. Although it is nice to be able to work with a personal trainer at the gym, you don’t need that. Just befriend gym staff, talk with them as often as you can, and ask for advice. They like members who are friendly, too, and will help you gladly (and without charge!). Then, make friends in the gym. It is probably easier if you go to the same group class regularly. People who go to the same class have the same goal as you do, and often they know some secrets for success. In fact, many women make good friends in the gym, even for outside of the gym.
There are also national and local support groups to achieve your goal. For example, many areas have a running club, swimming club, or some other physical activity clubs. You can join them. If you think that their levels are too high, then there are many support groups for, for example, weight loss. Probably you can ask at your doctor’s about it. These support groups are often sponsored by local hospitals, especially university hospitals, as a part of health education. You can directly call them up to find the information.
Then, of course, there are many “for-profit” organizations who will help you to achieve the goal. One I can recommend is Weight Watchers© support group. If you join Weight Watchers©, you can join a support group locally or online. One university study found that Weight Watchers© system works much better than other weight loss programs, because of this support group system. You can find a similar system in many weight loss programs, and if you are doing weight loss diet, it is highly recommended to join the group.
In any case, it is very important to create a support group around yourself. You will occasionally find that you feel like you are not progressing at all, and want to quit the program you made. Without the supporting group, probably you will quit, but people in the support group will gently (or if needed, strongly) nudge you to keep moving. Before you realize, you will achieve your goal. Then you can help others to do the same; you know how, and you know, anyone can do it with your help.