Losing weight? Then you probably already familiar with the need for accountability or support. Here’s the thing, though: when we talk about fat loss, lifestyle changes, or dietary overhauls, “accountability” and “support” are used pretty much  interchangeably, but as concepts…they’re not. Accountability and support are actually two very different things. Want to know more? Read on! I’m covering how it all breaks down, why you need both elements if you’re trying to lose weight, and how to add a little of each to your life ASAP.

Support: External support comes from basically anyone who makes you feel good. Like, literally anyone. Your friends, family members, co-workers, and community members can all provide support, even if you haven’t specifically enlisted their help. And since it’s 2016, you can also find support systems online through virtual teams and networks that will provide likes on your IG photos, answers to your Facebook questions, RTs and faves on your fitness tweets, and virtual pats on the back in general–all supportive behavior. Consider your supporters your personal fan club. These are the people who listen to your goals and ambitions, give you compliments, congratulate you for doing your workout, and generally cheer you on. Support feels good.

Accountability: Accountability = responsibility. You need to have someone who keeps you accountable. There’s a reason that fitness magazines always advocate scheduling your workouts with a girlfriend–it’s instant accountability. It keeps you in check. It forces you to keep your promises. It holds you liable. An accountability partner can be supportive, yeah, but their job is a little more in depth as tends to require “tough love” from time to time…like when you’d rather go home and watch Netflix instead of hitting that after-work hot yoga class, or when you’re seriously tempted to forego a homemade scramble and greens in favor of stuffed French toast and bottomless mimosas? Your accountability buddy will be all, ‘lol, nope. NOT TODAY.’ Accountability feels LESS good in the moment, but is critical for actually getting you to your end goal. It keeps you in check, responsible, and on task.

So yeah–you need both. The warm-fuzzy feels of support, but the snap-back-to-reality-yo dose of realism from accountability. Support gets you started and helps you to push through difficult times, but accountability keeps you honest and makes everything you’re doing meaningful. It’s a yin-and-yang kind of thing. Embrace it. You want to be well-rounded (even if it kind of sucks sometimes), and living a healthy/fulfilled/vibrant life is all about striking that balance. Here’s how to get some of each!

  1. Team up with a buddy. As I touched on above, people can provide support or accountability, so don’t be afraid of making your goals public. Open up, and give those around you the chance to support you! Want to take it to the next level with a little accountability? Partner with someone who has similar aspirations and promise to keep each other in check.
  2. Get involved online. Use the Internet to your advantage: get support, give support. Create a fitness/health/wellness Instagram. Connect in Facebook groups. Join virtual communities. Just seeing and engaging with like-minded individuals will keep you inspired and motivated, but it’s also pretty likely that you’ll develop Internet BFFs who become your personal support squad.
  3. Inve$t in your goals. Accountability doesn’t have to come from a person…it can also come in the form of a payment. I mean, it makes sense–no one likes wasting money! Pay for access to a program, book some sessions with a personal trainer, or buy a package of boutique fitness classes. If you don’t commit and follow through, you’re actively losing money. Hello, accountability!

Do you struggle with finding support or accountability, or are you a totally balanced babe?!



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