Positive social relationships can have a number of beneficial effects on your health. When you’re looking to lose weight, these positive relationships can be the key between your failure and success. While you can’t lose weight without your own confidence, drive and commitment, you’ll find that positive social relationships can actually be the very reason you’re able to inspire yourself to have those very attributes.
1. Positive Reinforcement
The most obvious difference between positive social relationships and negative relationships is receiving positive reinforcement with the former and negative reinforcement with the latter. If you’re given compliments and encouraged to do your best to lose weight, your confidence will blossom. If you’re told you’re beautiful in many ways, you won’t feel pressured to lose weight to live up to anyone else’s expectations–you’ll be doing this only for your own health and self-image.
Conversely, a negative relationship could consist of belittling, being told you’re overweight in a critical way and being told that you don’t have the drive to succeeed in your weight loss plan. These kinds of messages from people for whom you care can have a crippling effect on your own confidence and your ability to successfully lose weight in a healthy manner.
2. Healthier Lifestyle
The best positive social relationships will help you achieve your goals by making the entire endeavor a team effort. If your friends or family members also need to lose weight, having each other to inspire and celebrate successes each step of the way can give you more drive and commitment to your new lifestyle of living healthier. Even if your friends and family don’t need to lose weight, everyone needs to work out and eat healthy. They can join you for some of your workouts and embrace a healthier, well-balanced diet when you dine together so that you don’t feel like you’re missing out.
3. Watching Out for Each Other’s Best Interests
Part of being partners in a lifestyle of living healthier is watching out for each other. Sticking to a regular exercise routine and avoiding unhealthy food temptations is difficult. It’s easier when you have positive social relationships because your loved ones can keep an eye on your progress. They can convince you to get up when you’re tired and work out as planned, but they can also tell you when they think you’re going overboard and putting your health at risk. They can chastise you and distract you when you’re thinking about straying from your diet without inadvertently giving you the message that your weaknesses are a “failure” because they’ll know how tough it is to adapt to a new lifestyle and how hard you’ve been working so far.
4. Distracting Each Other and Having Fun
Positive relationships aren’t just good for guiding you through your weight loss program; they can distract you from worrying about your progress all of the time and help you have fun. Being overly anxious about your progress or the long road ahead of you can make you feel stressed, irritable and less likely to commit. However, if you can look forward to a fun activity with friends on a regular basis, you’ll know that your life won’t be overwhelmed with a new healthier lifestyle.