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Sep - Oct 2016
The Newsletter for Bariatric Patient Education and Motivation

How Friends and Family Can Help You Reach Your Goal

By Barb Brathwaite, RN MSN CS


It’s natural to seek love and support from those closest to you. In fact, connecting with your friends and family during your weight loss journey is invaluable. They can provide encouragement, inspiration, praise, support, and respect. Getting support for your vision may be the best tool you have to prepare you for the life that awaits you. Here’s how:


Encouragement:  Supportive people will encourage you and listen to your fears and feelings. Attending support groups can be a strong motivation to stick with your weight loss goals. Listening to the journey of others helps provide reassurance and encouragement.


Pay attention to positive feedback from others. It confirms that the results of all of your hard work is starting to pay off. But remember, the attention from others does not last. You have to learn to affirm yourself.


Ask your friends to help you make healthy food choices when going out to eat – instead of enticing you to go off your food plan. Choose friends who are interested in healthy living.


Reach out to others when you have the urge to overeat. Not only will the distraction of calling decrease your urges, but your friends will probably talk you out of it and provide encouragement.


Plan exercise dates and set fitness goals with a buddy. Having a person close to you who shares your goals will help you achieve them. And it makes it more fun.


Reinforcement: Family and friends see you regularly and can reinforce positive changes. Surround yourself with healthy food and healthy people. Creating a supportive, nurturing environment will help strengthen your resolve. If you have toxic people in your life, do not associate with them. Assert yourself. Take care of yourself. Negative people will affect your mental health and weight loss success.


Inspiration: Share ideas with others. Boredom can occur so keep things interesting by exchanging healthy recipes, workout ideas, health magazines, and fitness apps. Cooking, shopping, and exercising together can be very validating and a fun way to help keep you on track.


Accountability: Being involved in support groups helps ensure you stay on the right track. Connecting with others involved in weight loss provides information, understanding and accountability. We may fall off the track occasionally but those who are involved and connected with others and have the support of others get back on the track faster and tend to stay on the track.


Sharing your daily food journal with someone else helps hold you responsible by knowing someone else is reading the list of foods you consumed that day.


Celebration: Don’t forget to tell your friends and family that their support means a great deal to you. Then celebrate your milestones with them. When you reach a goal, go out and treat yourself. Remember, your true friends will recognize all that you have to offer the world and support you. All you have to do is show them you have the right intentions.