Losing weight can be a very challenging time in your life. You are making big changes, changing habits that took years or even decades to develop, and going against your body's instinct to save energy and eat as much as possible. It is now more than ever that you need the support of your loved ones, either emotionally or physically.
A weight loss accountability partner is a great thing. The two of you will be losing weight together and will help each other keep on track. You will talk about your goals, your successes, your setbacks, and your emotions. You will also be there to provide moral and emotional support whenever the other needs it, such as offering forgiveness for a setback, offering an alternative to a party, and generally giving you what you need to keep on going.
But for many it is a rude awakening to discover that many people do not support their friends' and family's weight loss journeys. In fact, there has been a lot of research into whether or not your friends will support your weight loss goal, and the conclusion is almost always that even those nearest and dearest to you will sabotage you. They don't do this to be mean, because they hate you, or to see you fail. They do it almost completely unknowingly, and for a variety of reasons:
- They are not going on this journey with you, so they do not understand your struggles or needs. They don't realize that when they bring doughnuts to work, or eat something tempting around you, you are suffering.
- They are used to doing certain things with you and do not like losing your shared rituals. You probably bonded over many things, food, drinks, and afternoon activities included. If you are now eating differently, skipping the bar, and going jogging instead of shopping, they may feel abandoned.
- They feel hurt that you are trying to be less like them. If your friends are around your size, they may feel hurt that you no longer want to look that way they do. They may try and distract you or “win you back”.
For all these reasons, it is unwise to share your weight loss journey with friends who are not going to be joining you. But if you want the support of an accountability partner, then you need to find someone to help. Sometimes you can compromise. Perhaps you have a friend who has an equally challenging but different goal, such as quitting smoking, running a marathon, or passing a test. You can still offer each other the necessary support without sharing the exact same goals. It may even make it easier to be understanding and kind to each other if you do so.
If there is nobody in your life who is going through any sort of challenging self-improvement, then you may need to look further for someone to be your accountability partner. A great place to look is your local gym or exercise classes, if you are taking them. This way you know that you are sharing the same sort of experience. Just try and make friends, and see if anyone wants to support you. A huge advantage to this is that you can meet in person, and you probably live near to each other, which is a strong incentive against cheating.
If you are not in group fitness classes, then another place to look is online forums and support groups. Again, these are great places to share your success and setbacks, and to find someone who is on a similar path to you. That is the biggest advantage to this: you will be able, almost certainly, to find someone whose goals, interests, and personality match up very closely with your own. This closeness is a great way of challenging and supporting each other. The downside is you probably cannot meet each other in person, so you will not have the same level of accountability.
Whichever path you choose, an accountability partner is a great way of staying on track with your weight loss.