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So many of us are suffering from debilitating health issues that do not allow us to thrive in our lives. More than two-thirds of adults are considered to be overweight or obese and more than one-third of adults are considered to be obese. Along with this, about one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese. (Statistics from The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney DiseasesThis is a national issue. We all deserve to have fulfilling, long-lasting lives of health and joy. Let us strive towards improved wellness for ourselves, family members, and friends.

The journey of losing weight is a physical and emotional roller coaster. I think it is pretty visible that if you are on a weightloss journey, you are not alone. If you were, there would be no television shows like Biggest Loser, magazine weight loss success stories, or dieting commercials. The truth is, we could all use a little help from our friends.

While I do enjoy a solo walk every once in awhile, I find it much more refreshing, challenging, and encouraging to work out with family and friends. This ranges from going on a long run with my husband to participating in a group fitness class at the local gym. Support partners are out there and they want to see you succeed! Be open to those around you and to the many virtual communities available through blogs, community Pinterest Boards, and fitness websites (including Sparkpeople.com, myfitnesspal.com, toneitup.com, etc.).

Benefits of exercising and/or changing your eating plan with a friend:

  1. Friendly competition. “I’ve lost 2 more pounds than you. You can run faster than me. Can you hold a wall sit longer than me? Let’s have a race!”
  2. Accountability. “You better not ditch me at the gym. I will drag you out of bed! I’m picking you up at 5:00pm, be ready. Have you been eating healthy? Are you getting to your goal?”
  3. Someone to share your frustrations. “We both haven’t lost any weight yet. I can’t get rid of this weight in my thighs. I just want to eat donuts! I feel like I am not moving forward.”
  4. Endless encouragement. “You can do this. I am so proud of you. You have so far already. You look great! You are inspiring and challenging me.”
  5. Someone to complain with you, and then tell you to get over it. “UGH this workout is kicking my butt. I want to quit. How are you still doing this? I don’t think I can do this last mile…. Let’s go! Come on! Keep going, we’re almost done. Just remember how good you’re gonna feel when it’s over!”

The picture above was of my first 5K. My husband ran it with me to be my encouraging partner. Without him… I probably would’ve ended up walking almost the entire thing. He didn’t let me give up. Throughout the entire race, he was pushing me and encouraging me. He said things like, “You got this! Look how far we are already, we’re almost done. I’m proud of you! You will be so happy when you finish, just picture that.” I can only hope to be as encouraging of a partner as him. Find someone you can trust and work together to achieve your fitness goals and maintain healthy lifestyles.