Saturday, February 4

Support ‘Hos

While support hose are a fabulous invention and worthy of a blog themselves, that’s not what I’m talking about.

The ‘hos I’m referring to are your girlfriends. The women that at a moment’s notice babysit your kid while you run your other kid to the doctor. The ones that listen to you complain about your hair, husband or mother-in-law with sympathy and compassion. The wonderful women that celebrate your successes with enthusiasm and offer a shoulder to cry on during life's inevitable downturns.

These women are a key component to our happiness and research suggests, they’re also a powerful tool in achieving our health goals. Numerous studies have been conducted demonstrating that support from others increases our chances of losing weight and maintaining that weight loss.

A recent study from Stanford University School of Medicine concluded that “Women who ‘never’ experienced family support were least likely to lose weight (45.7% lost weight) whereas women who experienced both frequent friend and family support were more likely to lose weight (71.6% lost weight).” 

Now that February has begun, the shine of our New Year’s Resolutions is probably wearing off. In fact, research suggests that by January 31st  we will have given up.

If you’re struggling with your healthy resolutions, how about enlisting a friend for support? Join a gym together, agree to walk a couple of times a week, or if you’re really motivated, sign up for the Monument Avenue 10k. You don’t have to run, you can just walk it. I’m doing it this year with my oldest daughter Amanda (14 years old) and my son Grant (11 years old).

Me (in orange) and Lizzie (giving the thumbs up)
as we approach the finish line.
My friend Lizzie got me to actually run it a couple of years ago.

Trying to lose weight and needing a goal Lizzie had signed up for the 10k and asked me if I’d join her. Of course, my immediate response was, “Um, no.” Not because I don’t love her, but because I hate running. Really, really hate running.

“Come on, it’ll be fun,” she urged me. “It's easy. We don't have to run fast. Please,” she begged. “I need someone to do it with me.”

“Okay, fine,” I said, not at all enthused, but it was for Lizzie and hanging out with her a couple of times a week to jog and chat actually did sound like fun.

Dutifully we trained and to my surprise it actually got easier. We didn’t set any land speed records, but we plodded along and consistently increased the distance we ran every week.

Race day arrived and we were off. Within five minutes of starting, Lizzie pulled a muscle in her hip. Limping and clearly in pain she slowed to a walk/jog.

“Go ahead without me,” she told me. “I’m going to finish, but it’s just going to take me a long time.”

Woo hoo! We did it!
Channeling my best Tom Cruise impersonation from Top Gun I looked at her and said, “I will not leave my wing man.”

After all, this is why I signed up. To help her achieve her goal. I wasn’t about to ditch her in the final hour.

We trotted along, waved to the crowd, enjoyed the live music from the bands lining the street and eventually finished the race, only slightly faster than the 10,000 people walking the course! But we did it. She reached her goal and I helped her. We made a great team.

Everyone needs support ‘hos. I count on Lizzie to get me to my Friday yoga class and I depend on the trainers in the In8 program to maintain my workout routine. I can’t do it alone. You don’t have to either. Find support where you can either with a commercial program or rope in a like-minded family member or friend. You’ll not only have more fun, but statistically, you’ll also more likely to be successful.

Now that’s a win-win!

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