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Expand Your Support System

Having support can make a big difference in successful lifestyle change. Think back to when you lost weight. Did you join Jenny with a friend? Have a family member check-in on your progress? Rely on your walking buddy to hold you accountable? Their support likely had an impact on you and helped you reach your goal. During maintenance it’s just as important.

Do You Have a Supporter or a Saboteur?

Start by assessing your current relationships. Sometimes the most logical person -- your spouse, significant other, best friend -- isn’t necessarily your best bet. Changes in your looks and lifestyle can upset the previous balance of your relationships. Some may be threatened by your changes or feel envious. Give everyone time to adjust. In the meantime, ask for support from those who can easily give it. Here are some questions to help identify supporters:

1. Does this person understand what I am going through?

2. Will this person be there for me when I need him or her?

3. Is this the person I could talk to if I was struggling?

4. Does this person know when to be tough and when to be tender?

5. Can this person and I communicate openly?

Once you’ve identified who can support you, you need to let them know how. Ask for what you need.

Expanding your Net

Support doesn’t just come in one-on-one relationships. Some people do best with a lot of touch points of support. There are many ways you can encourage the continuation of your new, healthy habits.

● Start a walking club and get caught up with your friends.

● Widen your circle at work (e.g., join a holiday events committee).

● Share your successes with family via a weekly email or phone call.

● Connect with your community. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen.

● Join a softball or volleyball league for fun and fitness.

● Join in on Jenny’s Community Forum

● Get in on the conversation on Facebook

Building a network of family, friends and even your healthcare professional who can support your goals is essential. In addition, you can strengthen your new habits and healthy lifestyle by being a champion for others. Start ‘paying it forward’ today!