Have you ever had aspirations to improve your health and fitness and been 100% supported by everyone around you? Probably not, but that sounds pretty amazing doesn’t it? It’s very common for well-meaning friends and family to thwart good intentions at social gatherings, dinners, back yard barbecues, birthday parties etc. In my 10 years as a Certified Personal Trainer, one of the biggest issues I saw first-time clients run into is not having a support system. Friends and family members are not necessarily trying to overtly sabotage health and fitness efforts of a loved one or friend, they just don’t understand the battle that person was fighting, and that they are actually making it more difficult to stay the course for them to maintain a healthier lifestyle.
The good news is that you can very easily turn detractors into supporters in one easy step. What’s that step? Communicate your goals! Recently I had a client who was having issues sticking to her nutrition program on Monday nights. Why Monday nights? She had a Bachelor (the TV show) party every Monday where friends came over and brought unhealthy food. She didn’t want to be rude and not eat her friends’ snacks, so she sabotaged her entire week of progress in exchange for one night. This behavior couldn’t continue if she wanted to see results, so we had to make a plan around this specific night. We knew that currently we could not control what friends were bringing over. After thinking about this for a few minutes I just asked, “How many of these friends know you are on a nutrition plan, and trying to improve your health and fitness?” The answer? Zero! She had not told a single person! This became our next step in her healthy lifestyle overhaul. We made it one of our weekly goals to share with her friends that she was on a nutrition plan at the next party. We needed to create a support system. When this client came back she was pretty surprised to find out that every single friend there had the exact same goals. The party was changed the next week to be a “healthy pot luck”. She was able to turn people who were distracting her from her goals into a support system!
The biggest lesson learned from this situation is that you cannot over-communicate to friends and family. We all know that person who never shuts up about dieting, but trying to live a healthy lifestyle and communicating your goals is different. It’s a continual part of who you are trying to be and what you are trying to accomplish in your life. If you communicate your goals and allow family and friends to help you, you can absolutely create a strong support system. As a nutrition/fitness consultant I pave the way for clients to be successful, but the road is littered with distractions. The best way to avoid these distractions and eventual pitfalls is to have a support system there to pick you up when you need it most.
Three tips to help you succeed: Communicate your goals and allow others to help you, eat according to the 3 rules of nutrition which are outlined in our program, and build the right resistance and cardio program that together will help you reach your optimal health and fitness goals. You never know the impact your new lifestyle will have not only on you, but those supporting you along the way.
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