Last updated on May 24th, 2012 at 11:05 pm
Doing things on your own is hard.
Creating a fitness plan, working on your dream, staying tried and true to a new way of eating. We have proven over and over that having a support group is important.
I’ve found my product launch dream path has significantly improved by working on it here on 8 Women dream. Having to answer to your dream team weekly the “YES, I have worked on my dream!” is much more preferable than watching the months flip by without any pressure to get those dream tasks done.
Is your social network supporting you?
As avid readers and book reviewers, 8 Women Dream received a copy of The Social Network Diet: Change Yourself, Change the World by Miriam Nelson, PhD and Jennifer Ackerman. At the time I was not in my health and fitness mode and would have missed the impact this books’ message had.
The details the book covers are painful sometimes to take in, and at the same time not necessarily surprising. I am pretty sure we all know that the obesity rate in the United States is at an all time high.
What I found interesting was the correlation between weight gain and how it has changed over time. The Social Network Diet: Change Yourself, Change the World covers the reality that the people we spend the most time with — our friends, family and colleagues — have the most impact on our risk of becoming obese. Several studies are cited, and you can learn more in the book of course.
Keep reading to find out how to win a copy of
The Social Network Diet: Change Yourself, Change the World!
Here are a few highlights that grabbed my attention:
- In married couples, if one person becomes obese over time, the spouses chance of following in their footsteps is increased by 37%.
- Among siblings, when a woman becomes obese, her sisters risk rises by 40%.
- The impact of our friends, even long distance friends was even higher with the risk of weight gain up to 57%. This is higher than our genetic impact!
- The closer the friendship, the more weight gain can impact each other
There also seems to be a ripple effect within our social groups to balance our weight to that of our peers. I can see this in my own family and friends looking back over the past 15 years.
Anyone within a few tables radius of a girlfriend gathering knows that when we eat together, its a social event. When I meet my girlfriends for coffee, lunch, dessert or drinks — not necessarily in that order — it is as a social event. After reading this statement in the book it made me want to find new ways to catch up with my gal pals.
As it turns out, we consume more calories if our dining companions are also women… On average, women who ate with other women consumed 665 calories during their meal; when they dined in groups of four women, their intake jumped to and average of 800 calories.”
Since 665 calories is over half of my daily dieting-to-lose-weight calorie count for one day, I had a small heart attack at those numbers. Maybe we can meet at the park and do laps before our next dinner date.
It’s in our genes (and jeans)
The Social Network Diet: Change Yourself, Change the World offers some fascinating and informative studies on genetics, the impact starts in vitro and beyond on our cravings, predisposition to obesity and disease, or even our desire for physical activity.
The cultural impact is even bigger. Know any Italian grandmothers? “Mangia, mangia! Eat!” is part of that world and the intense sharing and closeness of the family gatherings, no matter what nationality, make it so easy to overindulge. We all have this cultural impact in some form or another. This only happens about 6 times a year with my big family, so I’ve managed to deal with this phenomenon occasionally.
It’s where you are
Our community is the next larger social network that allows us to make choices about our health. Think about it — do you have easy access to the foods you now you nee to stay eating healthy?
Smack dab in the middle of Sonoma Wine Country, I have no complaints. Within a 154 minute drive, I have ALL the major supermarkets, health food stores and gourmet grocery options. Farmers markets and long standing vegetable stands are literally down the road.
I know this is not always the case.
Easy access to supermarkets is linked with healthier eating.
Sitting on my butt can’t help
When I really looked at what it would take to lose my extra weight, I knew exercise was going to be a huge part of that. Why? There is no way to safely cut calories and ANY diet to maximize weight loss without adding a way to burn more off too.
Environment can be a massive hindrance to how much we move. No sidewalks on a dangerous road? Makes it hard to make an incentive for ourselves to stroll in the fresh air. Bicycle routes nonexistent between your home and work? Forget that healthy living option.
How to change your environment
After all these facts and history, the prospect of creating your own personal health environment may seem overwhelming.
The good news is there are wonderful suggestions in The Social Network Diet: Change Yourself, Change the World to get you started on your way to a healthier social network.
- The 1-day challenges help you become aware of the added sugars, refined grains, and lack of activity we have in our lives.
- The 7-day jump start offers suggested menus and exercise guides.
- Helps you focus on building a healthy lifestyle philosophy
Get on to the change
You work on your home environment and start surrounding yourself with positive change. Expand your network. Socializing with others that have the same healthy goals makes your own change possible.
Not sure where to start? ASK your existing social network. Can they support you with your new and changing goals?
The Social Network Diet: Change Yourself, Change the World offers a process to help you evaluate and reach out to your network to determine if you may need a change of scenery.
Ready to start?
Enter to win a copy of The Social Network Diet: Change Yourself, Change the World. Add your comments to this post via Facebook below with your answer to this question.
“How do you use your social network for support in your life?”
Be sure to let us COMMENT BY FEBRUARY 27TH and we look forward to choosing a winner!
Have a healthy day – Heather
Disclaimer: A copy of the bookÂ The Social Network Diet: Change Yourself, Change the World was provided to me by FortyThreePR . Any opinions expressed are my own, and are based solely on my experience.
Heather Montgomery is a fitness writer, triathlete, and blogger who is devoted to sharing what she has learned about becoming a triathlete after age 40. She uses her Metabolic Training Certification to help other women struggling to get fit in mid-life. She lives and trains in Santa Rosa, California, the new home of the Ironman triathlon. You can find her biking the Sonoma County wine trails.
Note: Articles by Heather may contain affiliate links and 8WD will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on an affiliate link.