Weight Loss Success by Being Accountable..

One of the big secrets of a successful weight-loss plan, is to find yourself an Accountability Partner who will help, guide and mentor you along your path, as well as giving you a timely ‘lift’ when things aren’t going to plan.

First of all, what exactly is an Accountability Partner?

An Accountability Partner is someone who helps a person stick to his or her commitment to achieve a pre-agreed outcome or goal.

So, in terms of a Weight Loss Accountability Partner, this is someone who will listen to what your weight-loss plans are, support you to keep those weight-loss plans on target, then hopefully, eventually help you in reaching your ideal target weight.

Your Accountability Partner can ‘smooth-out’ the emotional highs and lows of losing weight.

Any weight-loss journey will often be an emotional roller-coaster ride of highs and lows. So it’s vital that when we’re faced with tough challenges, for example, a bad day at work or a family argument, we don’t let our emotions blow things out of proportion and cause us to throw the towel in with our weight-loss plans.

One of the jobs of our Accountability Partner is to help keep things in perspective, in a level-headed way. For example, if someone said to themselves, “I’ve been really good for three days, so that means I deserve to binge on junk food, fizzy drinks and chocolate all night”, their Accountability Partner might remind them that they aren't thinking rationally and help them in realising that weight-loss doesn’t work like that and that there are other, more sensible ways of enjoying occasional ‘treats’.

We do things differently when we’re accountable to others.

Do you find yourself acting a little differently when people are watching?

For example, if you were being evaluated by your boss at work, wouldn’t you perhaps put that little bit of extra effort in to protect your reputation?  Or how about the way you are when you’re in the house alone, compared with how you are when you have a houseful of important guests?

The same principle applies with weight loss. It’s natural that we want people to think highly of us, so when we tell someone we’re going to lose weight, we have a little extra incentive to actually shed those pounds because we don't want to come across as someone who talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk. This principle also applies if you go to the gym. If you have a partner that you regularly train with, you are far more likely to go the gym on days that you’re not feeling your best, simply because you wouldn’t want your partner to think you aren't committed.

Emotional strength, just when you need it.

It’s obviously a good idea to choose an Accountability Partner who has either already achieved what you are looking to achieve or someone that is also working to achieve the same goal at the same time as you. In the case of the latter, you pretty much become each other’s weight-loss mentors.

In theory, losing weight is pretty straight-forward physically; we just need to burn off more calories than we consume. It is the mental and emotional part that is more challenging. So if we’re constantly communicating with someone around us who has faced or is facing the mental and emotional moments of weakness that we are, this can help us understand that what we are feeling is normal and that it is possible to get through it.

For example, if someone had reached a point where they’re saying, "This is no use, I just can't lose any weight", their Accountability Partner could reassure them, responding with. "I felt exactly the same way at your stage and here are some of the things I did that helped me fight through it…."

Two minds are better than one

Let's face it none of us knows EVERYTHING there is to know about a given topic… If you already knew everything about losing weight, chances are you wouldn’t be reading this right now. So, it helps to have someone else around to give you opinions. It also helps to hear different weight loss strategies and ideas.

More than two minds may be even better; why not set up an Accountability Group amongst your friends, colleagues, family, etc? That way, you all become accountable to each other.

Think about it; if you have 4 people around you who are all facing the same challenges as you are when you become stuck, having them encouraging you, spurring you on and telling you, “Come on, you can do this..”, is going to be a hundred times more powerful than feeling stuck, with no help or encouragement and trying to fight through it alone.

A Confidence Boost at just the right time

There are lots of negative ramifications when our confidence is low and we don't believe in our self. Talking to someone about our experiences throughout our weight-loss journey, sets our mind up to begin the mental process of feeling better about ourselves. When we talk to someone, this dialogue is processed by a different part of our brain than merely ‘thinking’ about a problem. This social interaction significantly improves our confidence, our self-belief and our chances of achieving our goals.

Once we get comfortable talking to someone about our weight loss problems and challenges, we begin to believe that, “YES, we can actually lose this weight”. Confidence and belief are probably the two most important key components of success.

Who makes a good Accountability Partner?

If you decide you are going to enlist some help in the form of an Accountability Partner, choose someone who is around you on a daily basis; like a co-worker or family member.

Sometimes people feel embarrassed at the fact they need to lose weight, so you may choose to pair-up with someone from a slimming club or even someone you’ve interacted with over the internet on a weight-loss forum.

The key is to choose someone with an assertive communication style that will actually hold you accountable. If you choose an Accountability Partner that is too aggressive or harsh, it’s likely that their style will mean the arrangement won’t last very long; too passive and it’s likely they’ll just be telling you what you want to hear. Choose the right person, and the whole accountability thing can be the key to your success..

What you can do right now..

1. Think about and write down the names (in order of preference) of 3 to 5 people who you feel would be a good Accountability Partner, based on their personality, on your relationship to that person and your goals.

2. Ask them if they’ll help you out. Most people would feel quite privileged that you respect their opinions and value their encouragement, so you should have no problem finding the right person.

3. Make sure to point out how important your goal is to you and to not let you slip by the way-side.

Go on then, get yourself accountable..!

Until next time..