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How can I find someone to support me as I make healthy lifestyle changes?

Sheri D. Pruitt
Psychology
When making a lifestyle change, supporters (those who are not necessarily making changes, but have agreed to support you) are often easier to find than change partners (those who, like you, are also trying to make lifestyle changes) and you'll have a wider selection of people from which to choose, because they don't personally have to make lifestyle changes in order to qualify. Finding supporters also starts with looking at the people around you. Your immediate family and friends are important potential supporters. The difference between a supportive spouse or significant other and someone who has little interest in your lifestyle changes can really influence your success.

One of the best places to start looking for supporters is at home. Talk with the people closest to you. Be straightforward. Tell them about your goals, your concerns and fears, and why you need them to be there for you. Let them know that supporting you won't require a lot of effort on their part but that their support is critical to your success. Remember, most people want to be helpful, particularly when it doesn't require much effort. Supporters who live with you may be affected by your lifestyle changes more than those who don't. The changes you make in the foods you eat, the way you spend your time on a daily basis -- such as going to the gym, walking in the park, going to bed earlier, practicing meditation, not going to bars, and not frequenting fast-food establishments -- may have a significant effect on the people you're with the most. In that case, it can be extremely helpful to have supporters who are willing to become partners.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.