The incident of accountability

Willie runs his first halfWillie and I both talk about accountability being a reason why our weight loss journey was successful. We do hold each other accountable to keep each other in check. Accountability partners are great because they keep you moving in the right direction, but it’s all fun and games until you actually have to hold the other person accountable.

There was an incident of accountability with running going on in our house. Willie and I are both training for St. Jude Children’s Marathon weekend. I’m running the full marathon and he’s running the half marathon. I printed out the training plans and posted them on the fridge so we could have them easily accessible. I’ve been sticking to my training and do my cross training, but Willie has fallen behind. But I must say this: WILLIE HAS NOT FALLEN BEHIND ON HIS EXERCISE, he’s just fallen behind on his running. In all fairness to my husband, he’s not the person to do double workouts like I am so he does find it hard to fit his running into his schedule because there are classes he’ll never miss. Will he ever not go to Group Kick? No way Jose!

I had to confont him on this issue yesterday which made me feel a little uncomfortable. I don’t want to seem like I’m pushing running off onto him. I love running. I think about running the morning, afternoon, evening, night and then dream about it. Running has become a passion even though I run slow! It’s not Willie’s passion though. Everyone hears me talk about running and think it’s something WE do together. It is something that WE do together, but running is my thang. The thang we do together is COOK because that is OUR thang! (Don’t you like my over use of the word THANG!!!)

He may not love to run but he REALLY likes to run because I see it in his eyes when we are getting ready for races and I know he’s proud of himself when he’s done. Most people don’t go around saying they completed half marathons and I know at almost 500 pounds he never thought he would be doing that! I just wanted to tell him in a nice way he probably should be running just a little bit more. We have 3 big races hitting the calendar: The Pleasure Island Bridge, Rock n Roll San Antonio and St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend and I want him to be ready. Running in Memphis is his race, in his hometown with some of the most important people in his life cheering him on. All I want is for him to cross the finish line with the time he talked about getting after we ran Rock N Roll San Diego!

It’s always weird for me having to say something but I know it’s something that has to be done. IF I DON’T say anything to him, who will? It’s not really what I’m saying, it’s how I say it that will make the situation comfortable. I never want him to feel like he’s failing at anything because this isn’t a failure it’s a matter of fitting the running into the schedule. Also, I don’t want to seem like I’m pushing off my passion onto him.  I like when Willie runs with me because I’m sharing something I love with him, but I don’t need him to do it all the time.  There are times when I need support on runs and I would like him there with me.  But he doesn’t need to run a race just because I’m running a race.  Let me just say, this peace and solace I’ve found with the situation now hasn’t always been there so that’s another thing that makes the issue a little sticky for me when talking to him about it!

In the end though, I think (hope) Willie is grateful I said something to him because I have his BEST interest at heart and I want him to achieve anything that he believes.  Sometimes people just need the push in the right direction from the people that care about them the most.  They can either choose to let that push them into a better pattern or just ignore it!

So here are my tips for finding and keeping an accountability partner:

1. Find someone who is going to stick it out with you. Some people are really gung ho about starting a work out plan or anything in the beginning but fizzle out after a couple of weeks. The whole accountability partner thing is about actually doing the acitivity. So pick your partner wisely and make sure they stick with the pact you’re about to make. Hold them accountable for being your accountability partner.
2. Find someone you can trust. Accountability is about trust and honesty. You need a partner who will be honest with you when the times get tough. There’s more than encouragement, sometimes you have to get real with the person and it’s not always easy.
3. Find someone who wants to try a lot of different activities. This isn’t exactly necessary but going to new classes or trying new exercises is always easier when you have someone to go with so why not go with your accountability partner.
4. Your accountability partner doesn’t have to live in the same city or state as you, but it’s more helpful. I live in Texas but that doesn’t mean I can’t have an accountability partner in Maine. You just have to find different ways of holding each other accountable like logging your food, posting your workouts to social media or even trying to work out at the same time and calling each other after the workout to talk about it.
5. Find an accountability partner with a positive attitude. Negativity will bring you down and change your mind and motivation! The whole idea is to lift you up in times of need and keep you positive along the way. You don’t need a Debbie Downer killing every moment of little joy you find a long the way.

Accountability partners aren’t there just for workouts, they can be helpful along the way with keeping your eating habits correct.  Did I ever tell you guys about the first week of our weight loss journey?  The first week I really wanted BBQ but I knew we shouldn’t have it.  Willie stuck to his guns and got angry with me for even suggesting that we eat it.  He wouldn’t speak to me until I stopped talking about BBQ and he saved me from blowing our new lifestyle change in the first 48 hours.  Our accountability partners keep us on track, focused and determined on the journey!

Do you have an accountability partner? Or do you play your own accountability partner? What are some great ways to hold yourself accountable for your workouts?