Clean kitchens, dirty laundry and accountability

I recently got a new roommate. At first glance this may not seem like any breakthrough or large victory, but any of you who have attempted to share close quarters with a complete stranger may well sympathize with my excitement at finding a good fit!

When embarking on the search for a new roomie there are always fears. Fears that you may someday wake up to the sight of this new roommate standing over your bed, breathing loudly and staring intently at your slumbering silhouette. Fears that you may end up with a reckless party animal or sex addict. Fears that this new flat-mate may leave their fetish magazines, dirty underwear or retainer on the kitchen counter. Fears that your new addition may insist on playing Miley Cyrus at full volume, hanging autographed Justin Bieber paraphernalia throughout your home or hogging the television watching endless re-runs of  Little House on the Prairie.

Luckily, my new roommate  has turned out to be quite socially competent, easy-going and is seemingly in control of all her physical, mental and emotional faculties. In addition to providing me with a sane house-mate and bearing a chunk of the mortgage, my roomie has also reminded me of a key factor to success in losing weight…accountability.

Here’s the thing…when left alone, I am a failure in the cleanliness category. I tend to leave the toilet seat up, my dishes in the sink and I occasionally neglect a head of broccoli in the fridge until it starts sprouting tentacles. With a roommate however, I am like a new man. I see things in a different light. I know that if I leave my sweaty gym socks out on the kitchen floor, it’s not just offending MY olfactory…someone else has to suffer due to my nostril-singing disregard for hygiene.

The key once again is accountability. In the same way accountability forces me to take the time to wipe down the microwave, it can also help you shed some major pounds and keep them off.

If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around, does it make a sound? If you “forget” your healthy bagged lunch and sneak out for a Big Mac combo, does anyone notice? If you skip your workout to watch a re-run of Jersey Shore, does it make a difference? If you have an accountability partner, the answer is yes!

So how do you harness the awesome power of accountability? You need to find someone  who cares about you and ask them to hold you accountable. This can be a friend, family member or coworker, but it should be someone you trust and someone who you see on a regular basis. This is your accountability partner.

There are two options when it comes to finding someone to hold you to your goals. The first option is to find someone who also wants to lose weight and get healthier. In this case the accountability becomes a two-way street. This is someone you meet up to work out with, go to yoga with, play sports with, etc. You make a commitment to meet up several times a week to stay active. It’s so much harder to hit the snooze button and stay in bed if you know you’ll be letting someone down who is counting on you. The same goes with eating. You agree to follow a healthy eating regimen and make a pact to be honest with one another and to check in daily to see how things are going. This person should become a rock…someone you can lean on and confide in. Someone you can call when you feel like giving in to your cravings and who can give you support, remind you of your commitment and talk you off that ledge. Success is so much richer when you have someone to share the journey with so I think this is the ideal accountability scenario!

The second option is to have a more passive accountability partner. This is someone who agrees to check in with you daily or weekly and see how you are doing. In this case you make the agreement to be 100% honest with this person and provide truthful reports of your progress. This can be as simple as making a phone date once a week to report how your fitness and nutrition programs are going. Again it becomes much harder to eat that cupcake if you know you’re going to have to fess up to your accountability partner about it later. You should set goals and share those goals with that person. If your goal is to fit into your favorite pair of jeans that don’t fit any more, that person should be calling you weekly and asking how your butt is looking in those pants!

Here’s the thing…having an accountability partner does NOT change the fact that you are 100% responsible for your success. In the end it’s all on you. No excuses. No bullshit. Sharing your journey can be hard. It require you to throw out your ego and to be honest, open and vulnerable. It can be tough to share your goals, challenges and fear, but in the end accountability can make all the difference.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get off your butt and find your “weight loss roommate”. Remember…whether it’s keeping your dirty underwear off the kitchen table or losing 50 pounds accountability can make all the difference.




3 responses to “Clean kitchens, dirty laundry and accountability

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