Being Accountable


Some of you may have heard and even completed the now infamous Hope Fitness 10 Day No Sugar Challenge? I would normally inflict this on followers during February/March as part of Lent and to kickstart healthy eating in preparation for the Summer.

It hasn't happened yet this year! And the reason is purely selfish.

Right now I don't find myself in a happy place with regards to my own healthy eating and exercise. My state of mind hasn't been wholly positive this year and I did not feel I was in the rightful position to be able to motivate and inspire others.

Even as a fitness instructor I don't always have all the answers and just because I have the knowledge at my fingertips, I still have the same struggles and obstacles as everyone else.

A friend and client approached me back in February, finding herself in the same position, albeit for very different reasons and we decided that we would do "something" together to get us both back on track. Not me as in Hope Fitness. Me as in Angela. We weren't sure quite what that would be as yet but it would be something.

In the end we decided to keep the really straightforward approach of simply being accountable to one another.

"To be accountable means to be subject to giving an account or having the obligation to report, explain or justify something."

We both had similar objectives for this project; to get back into healthy eating habits, to start enjoying exercise again and to lose of few pounds of Winter pudding that we had put on (one of us more than the other...that would be me!)

Neither of us wanted the world to know about our plans, this was something we were doing for ourselves. We did not want to share our healthy dinner on Instagram, or our sweaty faces on Facebook. It was a quiet communication between two people.

We started on the 1st March, throwing caution to the wind and starting on a Thursday, rather than the obligatory Monday. We diligently measured all of our wobbly bits, stepped onto the scales then swapped numbers via text, which I have to admit was mortifying the first time but I soon got over it. The month was about progress, regardless of what the start and finish numbers were. No competition. No judgement.

For me; I wasn't dieting, I wasn't clean eating. I was simply cutting down and cutting out the rubbish. I still had chocolate. I still had coffee. And I still had alcohol. Just less of everything.

Every day we shared our food diaries, our struggles, our wins. Shared photos of our meals and pictures of cake that we were desperately trying to ignore. We gave each other a kick up the bum when required or a pat on the back when we had been strong.

We weighed and measured every week on Thursday for the whole month. We were both honest and candid about our experiences. I definitely thought twice about what I was eating and whether I was happy to report this at the end of the day.

The inches were consistent for both of us over the month but it was interesting seeing how the scales differed each week, and how they represented a completely different picture to the actual results. Over two consecutive days the scale can vary by as much as 3-4lbs, depending on factors such as hormones, hydration and sleep. And this was demonstrated by the final results.

Over the month one of us lost 13cm and 4lbs and the other lost 9cm but gained 3lbs. On any other day this may have shown as a loss of 3lbs! Darn the sad step!

But this wasn't really the point. We both achieved a positive result and laid a solid foundation on which to build on. We both ended the month in a better position than when we started.

And this came about simply by being accountable. Having to answer to someone else when the willpower waivered.

This is a very simple but effective method to achieving your goals. Tell someone why you are doing it, what you are doing, and when you are doing it. Tell someone who is both sympathetic to your struggles but will also give you a rather hard kick up the bum when required!