Why Support Systems Are So Important for People Trying to Get Healthier

Jodi Davis

| 4 min read

The author poses with Aunt Barb (right).
How many times in your life have you attempted to become healthier, trying to lose weight, and you feel as though you have no support system? This happens to many of us; I know it happened to me a lot when I was dieting years ago. We often expect our close friends, coworkers and family members to support us when we are trying to achieve a goal, especially one that can benefit our health as much as losing weight can. But just because we expect it to happen doesn’t mean that it will. The sad part is that once you feel there is no support system, you give up.
And once you give up, what typically follows is the complete opposite of what you were trying to achieve in the first place — you add a few pounds instead of losing any. It stinks, big time.
But you aren’t one to give up for long … you’re a strong-willed individual and you refuse to fail! You try yet again and hope that this time things are different.

Support is Key

Oh, but it doesn’t change; in fact, it seems as though it’s getting worse! Your so-calledfriends are tired of hearing about your numerous weight-loss attempts and basically make you feel like you should just admit defeat and quit trying altogether. Thanks everyone. That makes me feel just wonderful about myself — not.
I realize how important it is to have a support system. I guess I haven’t mentioned it much in the past, but when I look back and recall those months when I began living healthier, I know that it was another key element towards my 162-pound weight-loss success.
My friends were there every single step of the way and I love them for it! They walked with me, ate healthier foods right along with me, commented on how proud they were of me, and even bought me smaller clothes so I had something that fit my shrinking body. They didn’t criticize me or comment that I was losing weight too slowly or quickly. They even made sure to let me know that I was always still “Jodi on the inside” and that my personality was still the same, which is something that they were happy about (I’m assuming anyways!). They gave me strength and always believed in me. How lucky am I? Incredibly lucky, without a doubt.
And now I make sure to be the support system for those I care about, which includes Aunt Barb.

My Turn as a Support System

Let me explain that Aunt Barb is not really my aunt, but she sure feels like one to me. I met Barb in 2009. A wonderful friend of mine is Barb’s niece and they both knew my son because of a community competition, so that was the topic of our first conversation — but before I knew it all three of us were talking about the weight I had lost. Because I care so much about her, I decided to meet with her on a weekly basis, basically to keep this amazing lady motivated to walk daily. I let her know how much I truly believed in her. I knew she could lose her weight. She knew I wasn’t kidding — I meant every word.
Barb walked. She continuously focused on eating better and walking, along with other physical activity that she enjoys. I saw this beautiful lady this past Saturday, and she informed me that she has lost over 30 pounds! She even explained how she recently went mountain climbingand was not out of breath when she reached the top. Wow! I love it. I love her! You go, Barb!
Barb is not the only person that I believe in. I believe in YOU. I know that you have theability, the strength, the willpower and the self-discipline to lose your excess weight. Yes, you can become the healthier person that you wish to be … and it starts with that first step that only you can take. I’ll be here for the second — I promise!

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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