How To Build & Maintain Your Support Network
Want to change your life?
It is possible with a little time and the right support.
Think about any major change in lifestyle you've experienced in the past and what it took to adjust. Most likely it took effort & commitment, but more importantly it took help from others.
Perhaps you've experienced one of these scenarios:
You became a parent! Nothing will overhaul your lifestyle like having your first baby. No matter how prepared or unprepared you felt, you probably made great use of your network of friends & relatives for guidance, advice, tips & support.
You started a new career! Whether it was your first career out of college or you changed careers mid-life, there was a lot you needed to learn about the culture of this new job, how to avoid common pitfalls, and how to set yourself up for success. You probably reached out to experts (professors or managers), mentors (a boss or co-worker a few steps ahead of you) and peers (colleagues at your same level) as you learned to navigate this new world.
Changing your health habits can feel just as overwhelming a lifestyle change as switching careers or becoming a first-time parent, so it's just as important to reach out for help. According to the American Psychological Association, lifestyle change is a process that takes time and requires support.
When you make a commitment to start eating healthier, it can feel lonely and isolating if you don't have a support network. On the other hand, when you have people you can confide in, ask questions & exchange tips with, the process can feel a whole lot more manageable. It's very empowering when you realize you are not the only one experiencing the challenges you're facing.
Here are some ways to build & maintain your support network:
FAMILY/HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS: Those you live with can be your greatest support or your biggest downfall. When they share your goals & commitments, it's much easier to stay on track. But, even if they're not on the same page, you can ask for their support. Have a heart-to-heart talk and let them know why your new healthy eating habits are so important to you. Then give them some concrete examples of what they can do to support you.
FRIENDS/CO-WORKERS: You don't have to announce to everyone that you're changing your eating habits, but having even just one or two buddies you can share the journey with can be extremely helpful. You & a co-worker can eat your healthy lunches together and then take a brisk walk. You can invite a good friend to your place for a home-cooked healthy meal rather than going out for dinner & drinks.
COMMUNITY: No matter how much we reach out to our friends and family, many of us may not find the degree of support we need. Even when they have the best of intentions, we can't expect others to understand what we're going through if it's not their journey. In this case, we can find others outside of our social circle who are already living the healthy lifestyle we're striving for. And we know just the group!
The AAY! Nutrition Community has a thriving online group that's big enough to find plenty of inspiration, but intimate enough to have real connection. We share our experiences, exchange lifestyle tips, and swap meal ideas, all while we work on our healthy eating habits together.
We, AAY! Nutritionist, Narina, and AAY! Nutrition Coach, Elaine, are also active in the group to offer support and guidance. Click the button below to join this free group and let us help you reach the goals you're striving for!