Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

The Buddy System

on April 6, 2011

Sometimes, we all need a kick in the pants ass.  In addition to that, we all need someone to encourage us, to cheer us from the sidelines and share in our victories.  If we’re lucky, one person can do both of these jobs. Lately, I’ve needed an ass-kicker more than a cheerleader.  I’ve needed someone to get me moving, motivated and excited to work out.  I’ve been lackadaisical about my exercise regimen, but more than that, I’ve been lazy about my diet.

When I talk about diet, I don’t mean any specific program that I follow.  I think dieting works for weight loss, absolutely.  But for me, small, sustainable changes make the most difference.  Generally, my diet is pretty ok.  I don’t eat fast food, I don’t drink soda, I avoid processed foods and I lean toward lower cal/fat food at the grocery store.  However, when I eat out, all my healthy-eating ideals go out the window.  I don’t pay attention. I have an extra piece of bread, I use that extra bit of dressing, and no one is the wiser.

I don’t have a workout buddy, or someone to keep me accountable about my eating lapses.

So, last week, I got myself an ass-kicker/cheerleader.  I spent last weekend with friends in New York City.  As it happened, my good friend needed someone to kick her ass and cheer her on, too.  We agreed to be each other’s long-distance workout/diet buddies.

For the past week, every morning, I open a GoogleDoc and record what I ate the day before, and what exercise I did.  Sometimes, as my friend says, it feels like a “guilt journal,” a chronicle of our failings, our slip-ups, our bad choices.  Other days, it’s exciting to share that I’ve been running and eating well, or just made a healthy choice, or did something that made me feel good. My buddy cheers me on.  In red letters, she responds to my accounting, she offers suggestions, and she makes me proud of myself.

Today, I literally couldn’t wait to tell my buddy that I joined a kickboxing gym.  As soon as I finished my paperwork, I sent her a text!  I’m jazzed to try kickboxing and boxing, to try something new.  And I’m especially psyched that someone is following my progress, and hoping for me to succeed.

Everyone needs a buddy to kick their ass and shout encouragement.  It’s been a week, and it’s already made a huge difference for me.



The week of April 25, Our View From Here will be holding its first virtual book club!  We will all be reading, and commenting on, the book Water for Elephantsby Sara Gruen.  Read along with us!


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