Working out with a friend has significant benefits and can help you lose weight faster. I call friends who exercise together workout partners. My sister calls them an “accountability buddy.” And I love her terminology because it accurately reflects the goals of the partnership.
What is an Accountability Buddy?
An accountability buddy, or accountability partner, is a trusted friend that helps you stay the course meeting your goals. Unlike a mentor, which is a one-way street, your help your chosen partner stay faithful on her goals, as well. You touch base on an agreed upon schedule to measure goal progress and discuss areas that need improvement.
Next, let’s define the accountability buddy role. She should be a person with whom you share a mutual trust. You and your partner should feel free to confide in each other. Additionally, you and your accountability partner should share similar goals.
Why do you need an Accountability Buddy?
- Well, for starters, most people do not enjoy losing weight. Exercising alone may seem tedious or daunting alone. Meeting goals with a trusted friend make the process more fun.
- Also, since you are both trying to meet the same purpose, she will be supportive and excited when you meet your next mini-milestone. Your family and other friends may tire of hearing about your new, smaller, dress size. However, you and your buddy support each other and celebrate successes.
- You may need to discuss sensitive issues, such as why you feel like burying your feelings in a pint of Cherry Garcia. Sometimes, having a friend to call can help stave off the next stress-eating binge.
- If someone else, besides you, is tracking your progress, you are more likely to stay on track.
- You need an accountability partner because they enhance your performance. People, by nature, function better under observation. As early as 1898, psychologist Norman Triplett observed that people perform better when they compete or share the task. Read the study in the American Journal of Psychology. Age, sex, and tasks varied, but the results were the same. As my grandmother always said, “Many hands make light work.”
Who makes a good Accountability Buddy?
Meeting and achieving goals isn’t easy. Enlisting the help of a trusted friend makes it easier. The keyword here is TRUSTED. In this mutually symbiotic relationship, you each may share information neither of you cares to see repeated in the Twitterverse.
Sometimes, weight loss isn’t just about losing weight. Sometimes, we gain weight to compensate for emotional difficulties and baggage. You and your partner may share intense, personal struggles. I’m not saying this person needs to be your very best friend, but they (and you) should at least be trustworthy.
You and your partner must treat each other with mutual respect. No judgment – or unsolicited advice. This should be a safe relationship.
This special partnership means you don’t have to do it alone. I mean… isn’t that what friends are for? To make sure you don’t have to go through things alone? They cheer your successes, share your nonsuccesses. They listen to your misgivings and help your right the ship in the night.
What if you don’t have an Accountability Buddy?
While I do have some cherished friends, I lost my weight without the help of this unique partnership. So, with perseverance, it is possible to achieve your goals without it. Some people cheered my accomplishments from the sidelines. With every Facebook update and weigh-in, I had some reliable people that would applaud the loss – even the minute losses.
I also had a small network of friends on MyFitnessPal that clicked the little thumbs up button on triumphs or would offer advice when I asked. If you don’t feel you can do it alone, though, reach out. The internet makes finding a partner easier than ever.
Where to find your partner
- Look to your friends. Who better to ask than a close friend that is also on a weight loss journey?
- Check out SparkPeople.com‘s resources. Search for teams in your area – or look for individuals who are also looking for someone just like you! It’s like a classified section for weight loss partners!
- Get Motivated Buddies, a sub-Reddit, allows users to find a partner for a variety of goals. I saw everything from college kids looking for someone to ensure they got up in the mornings to people looking to get fit.
- Check out your local resources. Maybe your church or local community group has fitness groups you can join.
- Connect with me on MyFitnessPal – I’ll be happy to give you a virtual fist bump for your latest workout or encourage you when you’re feeling discouraged. It’s not exactly a full-fledged accountability buddy, but it’s someone on the sidelines – and that helps.
This #BloggersTalkingAbout series features amazing bloggers writing from the heart. Continue reading more by following these links. #BloggersTalkingAbout Friendship by Joanne, Friendships by Jenny, The Importance Of A Chosen Family by Nicole and Why You Need an Accountability Buddy by Alicia. If you’re a mom/female blogger, join us in our group, Bodacious Bloggers.
We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.