You know what they say, “you are who your friends are”. We could also stretch that to say you, if you’re not careful,
you will start to behave the way the people around you behave.
And that’s okay if everyone around you is healthy and active. But if you’re like me and you find yourself at a job where most people put health 2nd or 3rd or even nonexistent in their list of priorities, then you have to be a little more diligent and put up your guard to protect yourself from your surroundings.
A very common and dangerous human trait is our ability to forgive ourselves based on the behaviors of others. If everyone around you is eating badly all the time then it becomes easy for you to say, “oh man, look at them. I’m doing good!” But deep down you know better. You know what eating healthy for you looks like and that’s the only person you should be measuring yourself to – yourself. But that’s not how we are, is it?.
No. On our best days we are our own guideposts and we keep ourselves in check. But what about on our ‘okay’ days or our ‘bad’ days? That’s when having set up positive and healthy surroundings will help keep you on track. We can’t always control with whom we are surrounded by, like at work for instance. But we can add-in some extra people to help counterbalance the bad influences.
- Join a Gym
This is my number one tip for surrounding yourself with healthy people. I never stop exercising throughout the year. I can proudly say that no matter what form I choose, I will be exercising in some capacity and usually pretty intensely throughout the year. However, I am very sporadic about when I choose to hold a gym membership and it has little to do with working out.
I will join a gym, or rather go back to my gym, when I feel like I need a boost of energy from other people. If I feel like I’m not pushing myself enough or if I just need to be around people that I have deemed “healthier than me” for whatever reason – then I go back to the gym. I know that when I walk through those doors or take that bootcamp class, I am really paying for my surroundings. I’m going to the gym to deliberately put myself around people that care about their health and their physical appearance – and probably care more than me. And that is a big freakin’ deal. Do not dismiss it casually. Being around people that care about what they eat and how much they workout can have a huge impact on your mental state when it comes to your personal health journey. And equally in the opposite way, if you go to work and the only thing you’re surrounded by all day are unhealthy people –that will take a toll on your mental state as well.
So, when you’re feeling lonely, like you’re the only one who cares about eating well, and moving your body – it’s time to join a gym. And hey, just do it till you feel strong enough again mentally to go back to working out by yourself. I dip in and out all the time – I usually let my budget weigh in on that decision as well. Gyms can be expensive and you don’t need a gym to lose weight but it may be worth the investment SOMETIMES, just to get that mental wellness in check with some good emotional support from people who have the same values about health as you do.
- Join a Weight Loss Group like Weight Watchers.
The number one reason I would tell people to join Weight Watchers is if they need a beginner’s guide to how to lose weight. They will really break it down for you and make the process of weight loss simple to understand. But the second reason to join, and it’s a strong second – is for comradery. As soon as you walk through the doors you realize that you are surrounding yourself with people who all made the brave choice to make a change. They didn’t like the way they were living, the way they were eating and they took a huge step forward by walking through that door. And make no mistake about it- it’s a huge step. It was the most important step I ever made. And seeing all these people doing it with you – that’s priceless. Weekly meetings will help reinforce why you’re doing all this work, why you’re writing your food down, why you’re looking up ingredients and trying to make the right choices. You’ll hear from other people their struggles. Sometimes their struggles will be just like yours and you’ll form an instant bond. Other times their struggles will be so much harder than yours and you’ll realize how truly blessed you are. Other times their struggles will be old struggles that you’ve already conquered and you can share with them how you overcame it and vice versa. Joining Weight Watchers for the in-person meetings or the online community can be a real game changer in your journey and it can be a serious support system that we all need at some point in the struggle. I wrote an earlier post about how WW helped me – here.
- Start following Weight loss and health related blogs (like this one!) and join in on the conversations. One of my favorite ways to stay connected to fitness-minded healthy people is to read blogs that focus on health and join in on the comments for that particular topic. Inevitably you start to share comments with the same people and sort of get “blog friends” – is that a thing? I may have just made that up, but you know what I’m saying. It’s fun. Try it.
- Join a Facebook Group of like-minded individuals
I recently joined Facebook as part of my attempt to reach more people for my blog but during the process I found this wonderful weight loss group being sponsored by one of my favorite blogs to follow (Fitness Fashionista) and it has turned out to be a lovely addition to my healthy people network.
- Start your own blog – and build your own community. One of my favorite things about this blog is that I am able to create content that (I hope) resonates with other people that are going through the same things that I am. Anything I have found helpful to share, I do it on this blog. It helps me to know that I can help others as I work to improve myself. Try to start your own blog, you may find it refreshingly therapeutic. And you’ll meet some really cool people along the way. I wrote a post about all of the benefits of starting your own weight loss blog –here.
Whatever method you choose, there are lots of options out there. Just remember: You are not in this alone.
Do you have a fun and interesting way to keep healthy people in your life? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear about it!