Monday, September 27, 2010

I Feel Your Pain - Part 6

When losing weight, friends matter.

The weeks have been counting down to the date for the 24 Hours of Moab mountain bike endurance race, and I’m glad to say so has my weight. I’m just a couple pounds shy of my goal to lose 10 pounds before race day. I’ve not been perfect in my efforts, but one thing’s for certain – it’s been easier because of those who have supported me along the way.

Helping relationships are extremely important to anyone desiring to make changes. We all go through various stages as we make changes in our lives, from just thinking about it to actually taking action. At each step along the way, there is probably nothing more vital than having aid from others. My wife has been a tremendous support by making great tasting high-fiber meals, and coming up with creative ways for us to increase physical activity beyond my dedicated workouts. She has buoyed me up when the scale didn’t want to budge. Friends and co-workers have also helped. Many have commented on my blogs and given me encouragement. Just realizing others know what I am attempting, and that they are watching, gives me motivation beyond myself to stay the course. Not only can others assist you, but they also become accountability partners in your endeavor.

I hope some of you have been taking action to lose weight with me the last several weeks, and that you’ve benefited from helping relationships just as I have. If you’ve been going it alone, then do all you can to bring others who care about you into the effort. Let them know you need help, tell them your plan and how they can best help you to achieve your goal. Then don’t be afraid to lean on them when you need to. But be careful whom you choose to rely on. A 2007 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that if you have a close friend who gains weight, your chances of gaining go up by 57%. On the other hand, the same effect is true when a friend loses weight. So be supportive of friends who are also trying to lose, and together you’ll both be more successful.

Changing habits is tough, whether you have 10 pounds or 100 to lose, but it’s certainly a lot easier if you don’t try to do it solo.

The author submits this blog posting as a health educator and not in any other capacity. You should seek the advice of your physician regarding a personal health condition or before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.


  1. Congratulations in moving closer to your goal! It is tremendously important to have the love and active participation of family and friends in moving toward any health initiative. I couldn't have quit smoking without my Mom's constant love and encouragement, and back when I was gaining weight (post-anorexia, in my youth), I needed friends to constantly remind me what I was working toward.

    Hope others are inspired by you!

  2. Thanks Gena for your encouragement and also your insights. Family and friends can certainly be our biggest allies, as can kind words from associates, such as yourself. Glad you were able to stop smoking, and also glad you have found the path to ideal healthy living as you have done! Love your blog site and also your comments here.