Buddy Up for Weight Loss

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Finding a Buddy

You may think the encouragement of your family is all the support you will need, but don't count on it. While they may be sympathetic, your family may not always understand the frustrations you will face with regard to your weight. Your buddy will be the positive, non-judgmental advocate you need. The concept is pretty simple, and finding one can be as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Step One: Establishing Your Need

The first thing you need to do is figure out precisely what kind of support you will want your buddy to provide-because it can differ for each individual. Are you hoping to find someone who will help you stick to your diet, especially during the tempting hours at work (you know those two hours immediately before or after lunch when the munchies come calling), or to go with you to market on grocery day to keep you away from the snack aisle? Maybe you want a workout buddy; someone who will not only encourage you to maintain your exercise plan, but who will go on that power walk with you each morning. Or perhaps you're looking for a peer group where you can share tips and advice, and receive positive feedback when you hit your weight loss wall.

Whatever your need(s), you should clearly establish them before beginning your search. And once you find your buddy, be sure to take the time to discuss your mutual goals with each other; remember this will be a give and take arrangement.

Step Two: Finding the Right Fit

Your ideal buddy should be like a comfortable pair of shoes: a comfortable fit. When thinking about candidates, consider:

Location -- you'll want someone who is readily accessible. A hard to reach buddy is going to be less effective than someone who can be there for you in a flash.

Lifestyle -- the best candidate will be someone who has a similar schedule as yours and is available to meet when you are. If you're a stay-at-home mom with two small kids, your single friend with the 9-to-5-office job may not be an ideal match.

Personality -- someone who is supportive yet stern is your best bet. Your buddy shouldn't intimidate you, nor should they be overly indulgent. They should be even handed in their ability to encourage you without being too tolerant of whining or laziness.

Step Three: Making Your Choice

So where can you go to find a buddy? Anywhere, really, but again, it's about finding the right fit in terms of location, personality and lifestyle. Consider the following:

The Office -- work based buddies can help each other by bringing in healthful lunches and snacks on alternating days, taking a lunch hour aerobics class together several times a week, or setting aside an allotted period of time at the end of each work day to discuss any progress or setbacks.

The Office -- work based buddies can help each other by bringing in healthful lunches and snacks on alternating days, taking a lunch hour aerobics class together several times a week, or setting aside an allotted period of time at the end of each work day to discuss any progress or setbacks.

Friends and Family -- whether it's your mom, your best friend or your baby brother, the people close to you are often ideal choices because they know your limits as well as your strengths. And it's all the more rewarding to be working towards a healthier you with someone you love.

Organize a Group -- organizations like Weight Watchers? champion the idea of group support as an aid for weight loss. You can create your own support group by starting with a pre-existing group-like your playgroup, or friends from your local church or temple-then setting a weekly meeting time and place. As the saying goes, "If you build it, they will come!"

Connect Online -- this is ideal if you live in a rural area where friends are often far away. Many women's issues or parenting web sites often have {entire community areas} dedicated to weight loss where you can be sure to find a like-minded soul ready to team up with you.

 
Continued on page 3:  Being a Good Buddy

 

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