I Got Friends (Or At Least a Support Network)

The Importance of a Support Network

Anyone who has tried to get in shape, or do any type of training should know the importance of a support network. Jared and I both have full-time jobs and families to balance throughout this whole thing. On top of that, we both have side projects/jobs to generate a little supplemental income.

This makes finding time to workout (and write top-notch blog posts) nearly impossible. It’s easy to lose ground if you’re not 100% committed to putting in the time and effort. Sometimes life has other plans in mind, and life can’t be put on hold.

2017 has started a little rough for my family, including a death in the family after a long battle with cancer. These first few months have been a real test for my wife and I. My plan for February was to hit the gym hard and really start focusing on working out. You know that didn’t go according to plan if you’ve read my most recent blogs. That being said, my family (especially my wife) has been great about providing me the support I need to keep moving forward.

Bailey's Support Network

It takes a lot of people to stay on track (even the competition can provide some support to keep going forward).

Workout Support

Free time is a luxury that’s hard to come by when you have kids in the house. Seriously, working and taking care of two kids is absolutely draining. Luckily, my wife has been great with coordinating workout times. It’s still hard to find time, and often means I have to wake up before 5 am so I can be at the gym when it opens, but we have to work with what we have.

We’ve also tried to make sure that even if we aren’t able to get to the gym one day we get in some physical activity, regardless of how short the workout is. Aside from the few days we were out of town, we’ve been pretty good about doing something physical each day. On days we can’t get to the gym, we’ll do planks and sit-ups before we go to bed. While I wouldn’t consider this a full workout, I do think it’s important to do what you can. This strategy may not lead to huge gains, but at the very least it holds us accountable for staying on track. Apart from doing the quick at-home workouts, she also holds me accountable to going to the gym.

When I first started I wasn’t sure that I was going to commit to a gym membership, but I realized that I’d have to if I wanted to keep up with Jared. Luckily my wife is cheaper than I am, so she makes sure we’re getting our money’s worth. She’s supporting in a loving way the majority of the time, but she also has no problem going full-blown drill sergeant if I start regressing to my lethargic ways. Working out isn’t easy by any means, but it’s manageable when you have a reliable support network.

Diet Support

Dieting is one of the hardest things for me. Vegetable suck, and I like beer. It’s as simple as that. If it’s healthy, I don’t like it. I am also quick to exploit the fact that I have kids in the house to find a way to cheat the diet. Previously, we’ve always had plenty of snacks and cereal on hand in our pantry. I don’t know anyone who has kids that doesn’t have easily accessible supplies of peanut butter or Cheerios.

The prospect of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the middle of the night is a very tempting prospect most nights of the week. Or, a couple of bowls of cereal for desert after I’ve had my grilled chicken and steamed broccoli. Once again, my wife has made adjustments with my goals in mind. While we still have these items in the pantry, we don’t keep near as much on hand, so if I decide to indulge I face an additional layer of guilt in that if I finish the cereal or peanut butter, I’m actually denying my five year old her after school snack.

Say what you will about dealing with guilt after you cheat on a diet, you don’t know guilt until you have to explain to your 5 year old she can’t have a snack because daddy has no self-control. That sucks.

Support from unexpected sources

One things that’s been interesting since we began the Bro2Beast Challenge has been the support/heckling that we’ve received online. One of the best/worst ideas was putting the Bro2Beast Challenge online. Not only is it an opportunity to share your progress and success with a large audience, but you also open yourself up to a whole new support network.

When we separated this out into Team Bailey and Team Jared, our followers (or opposition) were quick to voice their opinions when they see us slip up. I can’t tell you how many questions I’ve received outside of the Internet. During our frequent trips during our family illness, I would regularly receive questions about why I haven’t posted in a while.

I actually had one of my in-laws tell me that I should probably lay off the chips and hot sauce while we were all eating at a Mexican restaurant while out of town. When I realized they were actually helping me out, I was a little less offended. It’s easy to slip out of a routine and lose track of your hard work when you’re out of town, so it was pretty cool to get a reality check when I started slipping.

Tips from the enemy

I was able to swing by Brandon’s gym and get some promo shots, and was met with a fair amount of heckling. This of course was expected since he and Jared seem to have a questionable bromance going. I was surprised when he asked me how things were going on my end. He then took some time to give me some tips and recommendations to help me achieve success. That was awesome (although he’s still a confederate of the enemy).

This whole thing has been pretty dependent on our support networks, and I would definitely encourage anyone who’s looking to make a life change to identify a solid support strategy to ensure the best results. I would not have made it this far if I didn’t have an awesome support network. Especially after my devastating loss in the plank challenge.

My advice: Share your goals and listen to your supporters when you struggle.

You’re guaranteed to struggle, and making a change is not an easy task, but it’s certainly doable if you surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed.