Being supported and supportive

A big part of starting up and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is support. As much as we all like to believe that we’re able to do things alone, we can’t. People are inherently social beings (even the anti-social ones) and we do not live in isolation. So many people write and speak of the difficulties they have staying on course when they eat out, when someone else picks the food, when they’d rather laze on the couch with the family than go out and exercise. We all need support from our network.  Your network could be your partner, your family or your friends. It could be physical or virtual. But it needs to support you.

The big question is not if we need support, it’s what kind of support do we need.

Everyone needs to be supported differently. Some people need constant check-ins on what they’re eating and how they’re exercising. Other people hate to feel nagged but they want someone to join them in their goal – cooking healthy meals is more fun when it’s for more than just yourself. Other people need even less of a support presence, but simply knowing you support their goal is enough for them.

After listening one of the BRILLIANT podcasts from Two Fit Chicks & a Microphone, I took MizFit’s excellent point about asking how people want to be supported and not nagged, I asked the Boy exactly that. I know he wants to be healthier and I want to support him but I really don’t want to be a nagging witch, who makes him feel guilty and/or resentful, the way I used to feel when my parents tried to “help” me. I asked him and do you know what he said?

Nag me.

Yep, basically, that’s what he wants. In my effort NOT to nag, I’ve been given carte blanche to nag. I’m not sure how I feel about that!

But at least I asked. Try it. For people who want to support you or you want support from, tell them what you need – be it a weekly checkin or socialising over healthy choices. Don’t expect them to know what you need. Tell them. And if you have people you want to support, ask them how.

Oh, and the Boy has a blog! Go on, read his ramblings! It’s at http://muttys.wordpress.com

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6 thoughts on “Being supported and supportive

  1. What a good idea. It’s simple, but not something I would think to do. Instead of trying to help someone lose weight in your own way, ask them what they want you to do. I wish my dad would do this for my mom. He just makes her feel guilty.

    As for me, virtual support is the easiest. And people sharing healthy ideas and recipes. I don’t like the nagging.

  2. Support is essential to success. It’s so much harder to go at it alone than with a support system.

    But support means different things for different people. Some people hate the nagging, some people need that. It’s all very individualistic.

    • I think that’s why we have to tell people how to support us sometimes. They may think they’re being 100% supportive but it’s not the kind of support we need. When I was living at home, the best way for my mother to support me was by cooking healthy meals, not nagging me to exercise. It took a while for her to realise that and I wish I’d simply told her.

    • LOL – you’re right, there are definitely some people or situations where asking that question could be dangerous. It may have to come up in conversation or prompting on their part first.

  3. My husband is my support. Nagging does not work for me, but exercising together and cooking healthy together does! I am anxious to hear how this works for the Boy…

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