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It seems like every week the chatter about healthy eating moves up another notch. Sometimes it can all get a bit overwhelming. But I think that, amidst all the talk of kale and chia seeds, one of the key points about getting healthy gets lost.
One thing I’ve noticed again and again in the people I coach is how much more quickly people can make positive changes to their lifestyle if they have the support of someone else. The flip side is that one of the most challenging obstacles to making changes is a lack of support. It can be really tough if you’re really, really trying to eat healthily and your partner is constantly stocking up on chocolate biscuits and wolfing them down in front of you. Or scoffing at your attempts to change. It can feel like you’re being undermined and tripped up at every turn and pushed back down no matter how hard you try.
The good news is that you can always find someone out there who will support you. And that can make all the difference. I’ve experienced this myself. I’ve long since realized that one of the best habits I can adopt for every aspect of my wellbeing is to get myself out to go for a walk every day. The benefits are huge. It doesn’t need any equipment. I can do it from my front door. I don’t need to book into a class or pay a membership fee. I always feel 100% better for getting out for a walk, even if it’s just a ten minute one.
Now, here’s the rub. However many times I’ve promised myself I’m going to do this every day, it sort of doesn’t happen. But it does happen on the days my dear friend Rachel has organized for it to happen.
Rachel rings my doorbell like clockwork, bang on the time she said she would. She’s all set to go: water bottle, walking shoes, hood in case it rains. She smiles graciously while I flail around trying to locate my trainers. While I’m gadget-phobic and have no sense of direction, she has a pedometer and is brilliant at working out routes and timings. However busy my day or crammed my head, I would never want to let her down. If she’s at my door, I’m out that door.
Were it not for Rachel ringing my doorbell, I’d probably have got caught up in writing just one more email. And then maybe another 10. And the walk? Hmmm. It would have fallen off the bottom of my things to do list.
Rachel is just one of many people in my life who support and inspire me. Some of them are close friends or family. Some are people I’ve only met and bonded with recently at classes I’ve joined – whether that be Kundalini yoga or pottery. Some of them I’ve only met virtually: I’ve connected with a growing circle of wonderful, supportive, like-minded people on my social media feeds who I feel like I know – even though I’ve never actually met them in person.
We are all social beings, massively affected by the people we spend the most time with. We have the best chance of getting healthy if we approach it as a team activity. So, over to you: who can you enlist on your team? Who can you hook up with to gently hold you accountable and encourage you to make those changes you really want to make but haven’t got round to? It might be your neighbour, a colleague, a friend….or someone you’ve yet to meet. And the best thing is that this is a two-way street: pairing up with someone else will benefit not just you…but your partner as well.
You can be someone’s Rachel too.
Last month, I got a call from Dr Aseem Malhotra, consultant cardiologist and best-selling author of The Pioppi [...]read more