January 27, 2013 by fitscript
Friday night a great friend organized a dinner and evening out with friends for my birthday. She knows about my current challenge and without a second thought she made reservations at a restaurant that was suitable for my nutrition plan. As I was getting ready to go out that night, I really started to think about the importance of friends and family to this process and not just to my various challenges, but to anyone trying to march down the path to a healthier lifestyle. It is very difficult to stay on track eating healthy food and exercising if the people around you are dragging you in the other direction, thwarting your efforts with negativity or subtly pressuring you to cheat on your diet or skip a work-out.
That realization made me think about what is happening in the fitness world. It seems like the heart and soul of the current fitness trends are really the communities they have built whether it’s the expansion of bootcamps and Crossfit gyms, the Zumba
revolution or the drastic growth in triathlon participants to name a few. All of these fitness activities ultimately provide the participant with a community and I strongly believe that is the key to ensuring people stay motivated and active. I call it “the friend factor”. One of my favorite aspects of my last challenge, Paleo, was that there was a robust and active online support network with resources ranging from recipes to nutrition information. It was very easy to connect to like-minded people trying to accomplish similar goals.
Friday night as I completed the finishing touches on my outfit, I remember thinking that I needed to share my birthday dinner experience. The people around you will, at some point, influence your behavior, so it is important that you surround yourself with people who enable you, motivate you, encourage you and are willing to do the little things to keep you on track, like selecting a restaurant that does not blow-up your current nutrition plan.