Here we goal again. It's resolution time, but wouldn't it be great if we had a better way to achieve our wellness goals? Rather than setting new resolutions every January, only to be frustrated when we start and stop and finally fizzle out, let's make this time stick by finding a buddy and becoming an Ideal Duo.
You need a great buddy for your weight loss efforts and studies prove it. "Those who reported higher levels of teammate social influence increased their odds of achieving a clinically significant weight loss by 37 percent" according to an NCBI PubMed study.
How to find a weight loss buddy
Finding a good fit for your buddy is crucial to your success. You need to find someone as motivated and engaged as you so that when times get tough, they are there to lift you up. What you don’t want is a buddy who will go down the sabotage road with you. It’s not a good path to be on.
Look for similar goals and motivation level
Even if you and your buddy have a different amount of weight to lose, the two of you working to get there by summer is working toward a similar goal. The same is true with your joint motivation; it's no fun to feel like the "Debby Downer" when your buddy wants to go off track. Sometimes you will each need a boost of motivation, and that’s to be expected. After all, that’s the purpose of a buddy, to lift you when you are down.
What’s your weakness
Another thing to consider when looking for your buddy is your weaknesses. Are you a stress eater, do you tend to lack motivation, do you get bored or resentful of being on your weight loss plan after a while? You want to have a buddy who is strong in that area. If you know you don't have good follow through, and your buddy doesn't either, you may both end up quitting before you have even begun. You need someone to balance you out so if you have trouble with follow through, find a buddy who is solid in that area.
Are they reliable
Reliability is vital in an Ideal Duo. You don’t want a buddy who says they will meet you at a weekly yoga class but then flakes on you all the time. That’s defeating and will make you feel solo in your progress. You want to have someone as committed to these goals as you are. It’s also good if they have somewhat of a similar schedule if you're going to do any activities together.
Finding a great buddy is crucial, so don’t be afraid to ask that person who has supported you but needs a little support themselves. I know it can be a hard subject to bring up, but the gift of health and wellness is the gift that keeps giving, and it’s worth it for your health. Try asking a friend, family member or co-worker who has shown interest in your weight loss if they would be willing to support you in continuing your journey by being your buddy.
Emily Countryman is a board-certified health coach and owner of Ideal Wellness located at 2639 172nd St. NE Suite 104 in Smokey Point/Marysville. She can be reached online at www.idealwellnesswa.com or email@example.com.