There is one component missing from many weight loss plans, and I now realize just how important this part is. What is it? Support. Having some accountability to keep us on track. Consider how we often begin a program: we’re excited, we’re focused on our goal, we’re motivated. But it’s nearly impossible to remain motivated 100% of the time. As our motivation wanes or we just get busy with life, we find ourselves slipping back into unhealthy habits.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

I can see this pattern in my own journey of losing weight. I would start out strong, but then my plans would be derailed as I became discouraged or overwhelmed. I would give up after indulging in dessert or going a few days without exercising. Maybe I would lose weight initially, but then I just felt deprived from enjoying all the foods I used to enjoy, and would return to my old eating habits. This cycle repeated itself over and over, for most of my adult life.

In 2013, I participated in a clean eating challenge hosted by a fitness friend. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that group would become a catalyst for the healthy habits I have today. I started sharing my journey with others, inviting others to join me in challenges, including the 100 Push-Up Challenge and a week-long sugar detox. Recently, I hosted a 5-Day Clean Eating Challenge of my own. The people who participated in the challenge 1) became more mindful of their eating habits, knowing they would be sharing their food choices with the group later; and 2) were encouraged by the others in the group, by sharing ups and downs and connecting on a daily basis.

Having a SUPPORT system in place is vital for the success of your health and fitness goals. I love seeing people succeed in reaching their goals, and hearing how clean eating is helping friends feel healthier and stronger. I hope you will consider joining me in one of my upcoming challenge groups. The next one is set to begin on September 2.

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