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Monday, April 30, 2012

The Importance of Community

I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Miley Cirus. In fact, I don’t know anyone who would openly admit to being a fan of the teeny bopper. Perhaps she is too young for me. However, due to the creative marketing machine, I could name a couple of her songs. It’s sad. It’s not my fault; I am influenced by my environment. Right?  

I feel pressure all the time to eat foods I don’t want to. Someone pulled out the stash of chocolate in the office and now it’s all I can think about. I could eat chocolate or send an email. Hmmm…choices.  (See related blog “I know it’s your mom’s Easter pie but throw it out!”) Oh the influence our environment has over our lives! The communities we are involved in play a big role in the status of our physical health. 

I cannot say enough about the importance of being in a supportive environment. The people within your personal community can hinder your plan to lose weight or be healthier. Most of the time this is unintentional, but it can also be on purpose. I have known people whose spouses were less than supportive of the desired weight loss which even led to fights, at times. Research shows those individuals, who are in a supportive environment or at least have someone they know in their same situation, are far more likely to achieve and maintain their health goals. 
Some of my community

God did not intend for us to be loners on this Earth. We have an innate desire for community with others. We are also strengthened in numbers and are far more impactful when we come together for Him. “But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” 1 Cor. 12:24-26. “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” Mt 18:20. We need each to work together to accomplish everything we were called to and so it the same with your physical health. 

One reason programs like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig are so successful, and why people continue to return to those programs, are because the community that is created from them. Do you have a community that supports your health? Is there at least one person in your life that can serve as your accountability partner? My role as a dietitian generally isn’t to teach people how to eat. They know they should pack a healthy lunch instead of strolling through McDonald’s. Rather my role tends to be the accountability partner, someone who is supportive when others may not be. 

If you are struggling to find your healthy environment, think outside the box. Hire a professional, join a new online support group, talk with a buddy about stepping in as your accountability partner, or start one of your own! Many are in your situation and would like to join your community.  

Today's Verse:  “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” Heb 3:13.

Next Blog: Is Sugar Toxic?


  1. Hey Christina, we just started a workout group at work. We get together in an empty classroom and put on a Jillian Michaels dvd. I was tired after work and just wanted to go home yesterday, but because of the commuity that has been established, I was talked into staying and working out. I'm glad that I did. I'm feeling the pain today, but it feels good to know that I am not alone and that when I don't feel like working out, I have someone to remind me how important it is. I can't wait to do it again after school today!

    1. Hi Audrey,
      Wow, Jillian Michaels is no small feat! Good for you for going. It's nice when our communities influence us in a positive way.

  2. I have been procrastinating, maybe what I need is a community.

    1. I first did yoga because a friend kept asking me to go. I ended up really enjoying it and have even gone without her.