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Support for Lifestyle Change

What does it mean to be supported through change? It means being accepted, cared about, listened to and believe in -- even if you have a hard time believing in yourself. You can maximize the benefits of your relationships toward lifestyle change by focusing on communication and support.

1. Ask for what you need. Different people have different needs. What works best for you? Advice? Reassurance? A firm nudge? Know what meets your needs and choose someone who can:

○ Praise you when you do well

○ Offer suggestions about staying active or staying on track

○ Check in with you regarding your weight

○ Walk and talk with you

○ Cheer you on toward healthy balance

○ Listen to you

2. Assert yourself. Being assertive means that you can express yourself in a positive way -- neither passive nor aggressive.

○ Recognize differences in views and opinions -- “I appreciate your thoughts. I feel a little differently.”

○ Take responsibility for your feelings and actions.

○ Be direct and specific when stating your needs -- “No thanks, that cake looks delicious, but I am stuffed!”

○ Invite the other person to support your decision.

3. Practice forgiveness. It is hard for some people to support others, particularly if they are struggling with changes of their own. Letting go of others who can’t or won’t support you is easier if you focus on those who can provide you with positive support and communication and can respect your feelings and efforts to become a better you.

Take a picture of the real you -- one with a healthy, balanced lifestyle -- and enjoy the relationships that help you maintain the new you.