February is the most… shall we say… unremarkable month isn’t it? We’ve had the cheeriness of Christmas, the glamour of New Year, we girded our loins for January and dusted off our aspirations and aims, only to emerge into cloudy February with a ‘neither here nor there’ feeling. The gusto of dry January has gone, along with your well-intentioned gym habit. The quinoa is out, the white pasta is back in, the 80/20 rule is now 40/60 and you can’t remember ever… ever… saying to your best friend that carbs were only for Wednesdays.

Identifying a goal (drop a dress size, smoke fewer fags, reduce Facebook time to only an hour a day, whatever it may be) and then sticking to the path to arrive at that goal takes a monumental amount of oomph. And you are much more likely to stay on track if those closest to you are doing their bit. Partners, best friends, mums, dads, children, take heed.

Take, for example, the potentially sensitive topic of losing weight. Let’s call our subject Jane. Jane wants to get into her size 12 dress for a wedding in the Spring. She’s currently erring towards a size 16 so there’s work to be done but she’s got the bit between her teeth. The cupboards are stocked with the right food, the training plan is in place, and results are under way. Trouble is, husband “loves her just as she is”. It’s just no fun watching Broadchurch next to someone drinking green tea… in December, she was scoffing peanuts and knocking back the Chardonnay. What’s happened?

What has happened, matey, is that Jane doesn’t love herself “just as she is”. And she wants to do something about it. You, as her partner, need to show interest. Ask her how it’s going, what progress is being made. Where does she want to get to by the end of next week? Can you help her research recipes to make something a bit more tasty with those red lentils? C’mon fellas, dig deep. Forgive me if I am talking out of turn, but a woman at peace with her body is a happy one. So if you know what’s good for you, you’ll inhale the following guidelines:

  1. What’s with the Valentine’s chocolates? Wise up, dude. You’re more likely to score (points or otherwise) with a large bouquet and a copy of the latest sugar-free recipe book. (Or is that just me?). The shops are stacked at the moment. Ignore them.
  2. Tell her when you’re seeing a change. Don’t think it, then let it fester in your head. Vocalise it.
  3. Hide your family bags of Minstrels. Yes, and those ones in the car. Anything that may cause a trip-up in the proceedings.
  4. (And don’t kiss her with chocolate breath).
  5. When her own willpower is waning, help her along in one of two ways 1) either try the reverse psychology… “yeh, don’t go to the gym, come and sit me with me and watch Top Gear”, then pat the sofa alluringly or 2) encourage her to go and offer to run a muscle soak bath for her return. We don’t even mind Radox.
  6. The same applies to girlfriends. The “Just one won’t hurt” brigade. Aaargh. Call themselves friends? All they want is a drinking buddy and to alleviate their own guilt. Steer clear until you’re nearing your goals.
  7. Remind her constantly why she is doing this. (As if she doesn’t know herself). No-one wants to feel alone on a difficult journey.
  8. Better still, offer to do it with her. The number of people joining my Inchloss Programmes whose partners also lose weight (because turkey burgers rule ok) is huge. And if you have no body fat to speak of, then just suck it up and go with the flow. It won’t hurt you to fill up the potato gap on your place with kale for once.

One of the most important questions to our clients is “how will your family view your weight loss wishes”. And 90% of people seem to have full support at home. February is a traditionally lack-lustre month when staunch determination wears thin and support of friends and family is absolutely critical. I, for one,  am gunning for you.

Have a great day, Annie

P.S. If you think you need a helping hand and would rather do your weight loss journey in a group, then our group weight-loss nutrition and training programmes start again Saturday 28 February 2015. Contact us to find out more. No hard sell. No pushy emails. Just results.

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