September 24, 2014

...Health & Happiness: Find Your Support Team...

Happy Wednesday homies!  Hope you are all having a fantastic week and enjoying the awesome sleeping weather we've been having.  (aka, being able to sleep under the covers comfortably with the window open)  Fall is officially here and as nature gets ready for its yearly nap, I'm feeling more alive than ever!

In this series, Health & Happiness I'm addressing different areas that go along with living a healthy and fit lifestyle.  Last time I talked about getting started and some of the things that can help one get moving and make small changes towards a healthier life. 

This week:
Health & Happiness: Find Your Support Team
I've discovered over the past 18+ months that having a support team behind you when you ware working towards a healthier existence is VITAL.  In the beginning, back in January of 2013, I was very much on my own.  I lived with a roommate that didn't care much for healthy eating or activity.  Many of my closest friends had my back, but they themselves weren't working towards the same goals. 
Now, nearly 2 years later, I have the BEST support team I could ask for!  So how does one create a support team?  Lots of trial and error!  Ha.  But once you get it right, your goals will be more and more achievable. 

1.  Make your home a safe zone.  Home is where your heart is.  (hey there, Ms. Corny) It's where you go to recover, relax, and rest.  Home should be a safe place.  If you live with people who help make it a safe place, you are more likely to have success with your health/fitness goals.  I now have a roommate that may not always enjoy a good run, but who motivates and encourages me with every small victory and who is conscious to keep the kitchen a safe zone.  She did Whole 30 with me last month and continues to encourage good choices.  If you happen to live alone, this may be harder.  I lived alone for almost an entire year during this journey.  It was hard!  There was no one to see what I was buying at the store or what I was eating for dinner.  That's where the next part comes in.

 2.  Find people that make you feel powerful.  I am a part of an amazing group of ladies at Weight Watchers here in Bloomington-Normal.  I've had buddies to work out with, run my first 10K with, and keep me accountable on my food choices and challenges.  These women make me feel like I can do anything.  They were who I leaned on when I lived alone to keep me accountable.  I knew that if I made bad choices throughout the week, I'd answer for them on the scale on Saturday morning.  I also knew I'd have understanding faces to listen to me when I was struggling.  This part of your support team can come from anywhere.  Weight Watchers has really helped me, but it could be a group of like-minded people from your church or work place too.  There are others out there!  And it is important to find them to fight off that nagging feeling of  "I'm alone and NO ONE gets this!"
3.  Find people that have similar goals/interests.  This can come in many different forms.  I happen to love swimming.  So my Masters swim team in Bloomington is a huge motivator!  My Dad falls in there too with his love of swimming.  I can talk to them candidly about fitness goals and get advice for how to achieve some of them.  (I happen to swim with a few triathletes!)  I've also recently found that social media can be a huge catalyst in creating your support team.  By using those silly little hashtags, people find you!  They reach out to you!  And you can reach out to them!  I met my Team Beachbody coach on Instagram.  She then helped me meet other likeminded women that have similar health goals as me.  She's also been a big supporter in my goal of becoming a fitness instructor/health coach.  There are so many people out there just like you!  You just have to find them.
4.  Creating a support team can have its challenges.  Sometimes we have people in our lives that do not understand.  And, even if we have all of the above in place, that can still hurt and be challenging.  Right?  This is something that you're PASSIONATE about, and you want others to love it and go for it too!  But the truth of the matter is, not everyone will.  I'm fortunate to have family, friends, and supporters behind me.  And though I have them, it can still be hard when others aren't.  My counselor (also part of my support team) pointed out a very motivating idea.  "If you have all these different groups of people that are behind you and rooting for you, why do you need those other people to care?"  The truth is, I don't! 
Creating a healthy lifestyle is about YOU!  It's just you and your body.  The work is yours.  The choices are yours.  So if you have that great support under you, everything else shouldn't matter.  By God's grace, I've come as far as I have.  By His grace, I've found amazing people to back me up.  And, I am SO grateful!

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