Find Your Squad

Who’s got your back? Here are some folks to ask for help (and some ways to do it).
Published March 10, 2017

Remember that Bill Withers’ song: "We all need somebody to lean on"? It's totally true when you're trying to lose weight. The people in your life can be your cheerleaders, coaches, sounding boards, and/or sympathetic ears, helping you shed pounds—and keep them off. They can give you encouragement, fresh strategies you might not have thought of, and even a metaphorical kick in the pants when you need it.

The three steps to asking for help in your Weekly give you a template to getting the support you need. But who gets the job(s)? Family members are typically on the front lines, and you can probably name a good friend or two who encourages and cheers you on. But you can find simpatico voices and thoughtful advice in lots of places. Take Connect; it's also on the mobile app! Share a struggle, celebrate a victory (on scale and off), or ask for advice—you have thousands of members to lend a hand or an ear. Download on iTunes or Google Play.

Or check in with an expert to answer your plan questions. Just click on the *Need Help?* box at the bottom right of your My Day page.

Other sources of support? Family and friends looking to make healthy changes (just like you!) can be a natural fit, since you can tag-team for accountability and motivation. Maybe there's a cousin who's trying to get his cholesterol down, or a neighbour who's looking for a walking buddy. But here’s the thing: Many of your nearest and dearest might not be up to speed about your weight-loss or healthy living efforts—and some might be not-so-immediately on board. You'll want to enlist their support and then steer their feedback in a positive direction .A few pointers for getting them on your side:

*Plan for the specific help you want or need. Do you blossom with compliments, or need trigger foods out of your sight, or crave an exercise buddy? It's easier to be clear if you have thought things out in advance.

*Then ask! It’s generally more effective to ask someone to start doing something (asking if you want to go for a walk after dinner instead) than to get them to stop doing something (asking you if you want dessert, for instance). Keep your tone warm but firm. If they've helped you in the past, thank them for that; the reminder can help them feel invested in your success this time, too. To make the asking easier, consider: Maybe your target wants to lose a little weight or become more active themselves.

*Play up the good in your lifestyle changes. If you're feeling positive about weight loss, and can share with family and friends how your improved mobility, happiness, and health will enhance all of your lives, they're more likely to cheer your efforts. Tell your kids that you're dialing down the family's nightly ice-cream fest—so you'll have more energy to play with them. See? You both win!

*Be ready to stand up for yourself. You may get some grousing at first, and some subtle (or not-so) pressure to make unhelpful choices, especially when, say, you're out with friends for happy hour. Nicely shake it off, and remind them you're counting on them to have your back.

One Potato, Two Potato

The not-so-humble spud pairs deliciously with so many foods!