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How Social Support Can Finally Help You Achieve Lasting Health Results

Bridgette Ruge Barlow M.A., RHC, CPT

People who embark on a health journey all alone and have no support are more likely to fail at their efforts.

We tend to behave similarly to the people we spend the most time around. If your relationships are toxic, or your friends are always making fun of you for trying to eat cleaner or stop drinking, or they are taunting you by eating things that you’re trying to avoid, right in front of your face, then you should think about finding some new friends or social circles. You shouldn’t have to go-it alone!

Your Friends

If you want to achieve a goal, surround yourself with people who are working on similar goals or have similar health interests! Ever been on a “diet” and go to a party or a dinner and have everyone around you drinking excessively and eating pizza? It’s not a fun feeling and much of the time, it results in breaking down, eating the pizza, and then feeling overwhelmingly guilty or like a failure. But what if you and you friends could all go to yoga together and stop at the local fresh juice bar afterwards? The first step can be to talk to your closest friends or simply ask a friend if they would like to go on walks with you or attend a weekly exercise class with you. This is a great start and could provide that motivation and support you need to really help stick to your goals. Also, you might be surprised at how excited your friend is to have someone to do these things with! MOST people have health or weight goals to work on but are reluctant to share about it with others. Working toward health goals or changing your diet should not be socially isolating. This is the fastest way to fail.

If your friend group is causing you to be influenced into a toxic and unhealthy lifestyle, it may be time to start looking for a new social circle. Social connection and relationships can make the world of difference in achieving your health goals.

IDEAS:

  • Ask one of your friends or neighbors to be your walking buddy.
  • Join an online health and support group where you can ask questions and read other’s experiences and get virtual support (PS- Facebook support group for SaJune Wellness Center coming soon!)
  • Ask a friend to attend a fitness or healthy cooking class with you.
  • Share what you’ve been learning at SaJune and how they can have a FREE consult with the health coach to get them started off on the right foot so they can do it with you.

Your Spouse and Family

Share all your health and wellness goals with your spouse and how you plan to achieve them. I can’t say this enough! If they love you, they will undoubtedly support you. And, if they are smart, they will know that this will benefit them as well! A healthy and fit person has a better mood, better sex drive, better attitude, and better energy! Right? The best scenario would be to work on health goals together! Prioritize doing something together that helps provide support toward being healthy.

IDEAS:

  • Try walking together every day after work, before or after dinner.
  • Cook a healthy meal together and then light candles, sit down at the table and bond over good conversation.
  • Go grocery shopping together but plan and make a list and commit to it.
  • Join a class together or go to the gym at the same time.
  • Set up an exercise space in the house with equipment you are both excited to use.
  • Tell them they can set up a FREE consultation with the health coach at SaJune to get more personalized recommendations and they can get healthy too, right along with you!
  • If you have kids, get them involved too so they can learn to grow up to be healthy adults. Have them assist with meal planning, shopping, and cooking. Your health efforts will be easier to stick to and everyone will be living healthier. A win-win!

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