This is so true. From my military experience as a fatty, I’ve seen authority figures who think they’re helping by heaping abuse, and I’ve seen leaders – actual people who lead others – that take the time to come alongside, support, and encourage.
“Why don’t you put down the fork?” is decidedly less motivational than “Come out with me, let’s work on your run time together. I’ve got a fun workout that is going to suck for both of us, but you’re going to feel stronger when it’s over, I promise.”
“The standards are clear, and if you can’t hack it, there’s the door” may be accurate. But my friends who 1) stop me from shaming myself, 2) refuse to add shame, and 3) challenge me to do better by 4) providing actual support in person — those are the influences that make the difference.
I get my cast off in a week. I can’t wait to get back to working out. (I say that now.)