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Why Your Diet and Exercise Partner May Be Secretly Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts

Why Your Diet and Exercise Partner May Be Secretly Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts


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weight loss sabotage

I have received some great questions about how to pick the right partner to share the journey to a new lifestyle with diet and exercise at the forefront. And it made me think a lot about what qualities in a person makes for a great diet and exercise partner and what makes a lousy one. While at first I thought this would be an easy question to answer, boy I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I’ve almost always worked out alone, until I met my sweetheart.

And now that I have the most wonderful partner to share my lifestyle with I can’t imagine it any other way.

We cook our meals together. We train together. We now even compete in fitness/bodybuilding competitions together. He is my support system.

But I know others aren’t so fortunate.

And recently I was asked by some Fitness Inspiration contest entrants who I think would be the best partners for them.

At first of course I thought to myself… spouse, best friend, sister… those who are closest make sense, right?

But upon further reflection about who I’ve known to be successful in their weight loss journey versus those who haven’t been successful, the answer wasn’t so simple.

You see, we tend to hang around people that are just like US.

What that means is, they are JUST LIKE US… as we are right now.

If we have been living our lives with fitness in the form of diet and exercise really super low on our list of priorities, ranking with things like cleaning the attic, then we likely have surrounded ourselves throughout the years with individuals that have the very same lifestyle.

My mother used to call this, “Birds of a Feather Flocking Together”.

If we love to go out to eat. If we love to party. If we love to be a spectator. Then we find others that love that too.

This includes our boyfriends, spouses, other family members we’re close to, best friends, colleagues at work we’re close to, you name it.

So when it comes to creating a new lifestyle for ourselves in order to create that best version of ourselves, well…. it’s time to find a new flock.

In business I’ve learned to surround myself with people who are WAY smarter than me so I can grow and learn. I tend to gravitate toward those who know much more than I do so I can continue my journey of growth in my field.

I surround myself with those who are doing what I want to do.

I surround myself with those who are achieving what I want to achieve.

If I didn’t, and I surrounded myself with those who are quite content where they are in their careers (even though many complain about it), it would be all too easy for me to fall into complacency, staying right where I am too rather than putting in the extra effort, extra hours, lack of sleep and mounds of resources to continue to grow.

The ones who complain about their current set of circumstances and never do anything to change them, well they are the worst of all. I literally get the life sucked out of me when I’m around complainers and blamers. It’s just too hard for me to be around that and stay optimistic about my own path.

Now please understand I’m not saying there is anything wrong with someone being satisfied right where they are. I’m a live and let live gal.

But it’s not okay for me.

I want to grow.

And the way I do so is being around those who are already achieving what I desire to achieve.

Well the same holds true for diet and exercise.

If you want to change your lifestyle once and for all, if you want to truly succeed in shedding the pounds and keep them off for life, then choosing the right partner may be one of the most important steps you take.

If you choose someone from your immediate circle of influencers that isn’t really as committed as you are, she may be the first one to skip a workout because she has other plans.

Or perhaps she may try to convince you that “it’s only one candy - we’ve been so consistent let’s live a little”.

Or quite possibly she’ll even turn on you if she’s not sticking with it, you are, and because of that you’re seeing results and she’s not.

It can get ugly. And I see it happen all too often unfortunately.

It may be time, as tough as it might be, to branch outside your immediate circle to start surrounding yourself with those who are already doing what you want to do.

How can you do that?

Here are some tips:

- Ask at the gym.
Tell the people that work at the gym you’re seeking someone to workout with and see if they know of anyone looking for a workout partner.

- Ask co-workers that you admire for their fitness lifestyle.
They may love the opportunity to workout with someone or they may have a friend who would love a workout partner.

- Ask a relative that maybe you’re not as close to currently but is living the lifestyle you seek.

- Take a weekly dance class.
Many gyms now offer really fun fitness-related dance classes. You’re likely to meet all sorts of sisters in fitness that you can potentially bond with.

- Hire a personal trainer.
Expensive? Yes. But if you’re really needing a support system sometimes they can be a great motivator.

The other thing to consider when choosing a diet and exercise partner outside your immediate circle of influencers is the backlash if you say “no” to any of those in your circle.

I mean, what if someone does want to take this journey with you and you know in your heart they won’t be a good motivator for you?

How do you handle that?

If you’re really close to that individual then your best bet is to be candid. Let her know you if you’re going to take this journey with anyone else then you would like someone who either is already on the path you seek or is as motivated and committed as you are.

This won’t be an easy conversation to have but it may be a necessary one.

When it comes down to it you have to remember this is all about YOU.

It’s YOUR body, it’s YOUR life, and it’s YOU who will succeed or fail based on the choices you make.

As always, I want to hear from you.

What are your thoughts on this topic?

With love,


Author: Kristin Shaffer

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