Find a Community of Allies

Published January 3, 2017

Surrounding yourself with people who want you to win can help you stay focused when you’d rather wander off the path. Your spouse, friend, neighbour, or Leader can make all the difference in staying accountable and determined.

Don’t buy it? It’s a FACT that people who’ve participated in a weight-loss program with a group (friends or family) and incorporated social support lost greater amounts of weight than those who did it alone.1

Of course, there are folks who won’t cheer you on. Instead of (unhelpful thought alert!) doubting yourself as a result, shift mental gears. How can you get what you need? Who can you get it from?

5 ways to rally your team

  1.  State what you want (not what you don’t want): “Please put away after-school snacks when you’re finished eating” instead of “Don’t leave your food around.”
  2.  Be specific: “Can you remind me to put my gym stuff in the car tonight?” instead of “Can you help me get in my workout?”
  3.  Offer to do something in exchange—walk a friend’s dog if she can babysit your child, for instance. Help is a two-way street.
  4.  Follow up—make sure you’re getting the help you’ve asked for, and ask again if you’re not.
  5.  Say “Thanks!” Express gratitude specifically for what they did and say how it helped you.

1 Wing RR, Jeffrey RW. Benefits of recruiting participants with friends and increasing social support for weight loss and maintenance. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1999;67(1):132-138.