If someone were to ask me what’s the most important ingredient for achieving success at any new activity – exercising and eating healthy qualifies for many of us – I would pause, look thoughtful and say one word: support. I wouldn’t really need to pause, would do it just for effect.
We all begin a new activity with the best of intentions, sometimes with goals that are too ambitious. Then, we hit a stumbling block; we get sick, travel, lose motivation, whatever, and those best intentions disappear. The new activity becomes a thing of the past. Following is a story of one person’s success as a result of support.
A few years ago Sally decided in mid- November that she was going to lose fifty pounds before she turned fifty years of age on the following October 15. She had eleven months to do it. The weight had built up slowly over a thirty-year span of having kids and not exercising.
She told her friend Janice who said, “I’ll do it, too!” Her support group was formed. She picked a winner, a friend who cared about her as well as herself.
Sally visualized how she wanted to feel and what she wanted to look like. She then just told herself to go; don’t think about it, just go. At least six days a week she got out of bed, put on her shoes and hopped on her treadmill. Every other day she also did strength training. She and Janice shared their successes daily.
The other big step was building the muscles in her two hands — to push away from the table so that she didn’t eat too much. She cut down on the quantity plus eliminated food like potato chips and ice cream. They were still in the house for her teenage kids, but she pretended they weren’t there. If there was a birthday cake for someone at her office she drank the coffee and skipped the cake.
She missed her goal; on her fiftieth birthday she’d lost forty-five pounds. But when she thought about it, she’d added at least five pounds of muscle by doing strength training, so she’d really lost fifty pounds or more of fat.
Sally and Janice decided they should do something new, so they signed up for a year of thirty minutes a day three times a week at Curves. The next year they joined the LA Fitness gym near work where they go three times a week for aerobics and strength training. Like everyone Sally has had some lapses, but she and Janice always get each other back on track. Having someone who cares makes a huge difference.
We’re at the time of year when many of us make resolutions. Increase your chances of success by building a support group of one or more friends and family.