For our second week of Eat. Live. Be. we are all tackling the topic of finding a support network. Remember when you were in high school and your parents cautioned you against hanging out with certain crowds? Oh. That was just me? Ok then, let’s pretend it wasn’t. Having a support group to help you meet your goals is kind of like that. Hang out with negative influences and they might entice you to behave negatively. Positive peeps bring out the positive. Yes, it really can be that simple.
One of the parts of our lives that I have worked on over the past few years is paying closer attention to the people that we interact with on a regular basis. Not like any of our besties are like Danny Zuko pushing us to smoke cigarettes and drag race until the wee hours, but I’m sure you get my drift. I want to be around people that are good. That make us feel good. That want more. That strive for more. That treat their bodies well. Because good begets good. And that makes me a) want to be even better and b) want to stay on the straight and narrow and stay away from detractors. You know, like Diet Coke and potato chips. Hello, salt, thy name is Cate.
Having a support network is absolutely 100% paramount to meeting a goal successfully. And it’s not just about losing weight. It can be about anything really. It’s about surrounding yourself with people who get you. Who get what you’re working to achieve. Who will cheer you on as you work towards it. Who will pick you back up and bolster you if need be. Who are like-minded folks with like-minded goals.
So now that you know you need a support network, how do you go about getting one? For me, it happens rather organically.
- This little grassroots Eat. Live. Be. challenge (and accompanying facebook page) has become a great source of support. We are all working towards some sort of goal … together. Becoming each other’s cheerleaders. Getting new ideas. Sharing tips and tricks. Hey, there’s even a giveaway going on today, if you need a new exercise dvd to kick-start your own routine.
- The gym. I take classes at a variety of places, and the people that assemble have slowly become a little bit like an adjunct family. One of my Zumba classes I’ve been going to for a year, and there are maybe 7 or 8 of us that chat before and after class. They notice if I’m not there. And I ask where they’ve been when they miss a class or two. Last week, I spent the whole hour of Thursday’s class beating myself up about a specific body part. Just one of those days. Afterwards, one of the women came up to me. “I bet you’ve lost 15 pounds since the holidays,” she said. I smiled. “A few pounds, not quite 15.” “Well you look great!” She didn’t know the mind battles I was going through during the hour-long sweatfest, and her unsolicited pat on the back reminded me how far I’d come.
- Exercise buddies. Seek out those in your posse that like to work out. And it doesn’t have to be a regimented class. Maybe you have a group that likes to go hiking. Or bicycle riding. Or chase your kids at the playground with other moms. Seek out people that like to move. And schedule time to move with them.
- Friends that hold you accountable. I have a few friends that are total hardcore when it comes to working out. Two especially come to mind. One will text me … “I’m going by your house to pick you up in 30. Be ready. No excuses.” On a day that I wasn’t going. I do work out 5-6 days a week! She said Saturday that I’ve come too far and she will drag me out of the house if need be. This is also coming from someone who takes three back-to-back hour-long classes on the weekend. The word “hardcore” might not even be strong enough to describe her. Another friend works out Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and if I’m feeling ambivalent about a specific day (weather, work, homework, fill in the blank), I know if I just shoot him an IM he will guilt me into the fact that HE is going and if I don’t, he will be one up on me. And I can’t have that. So I engage. This type of guilt works in my favor every time.
- Make Standing Appointments. In a roundabout way, this is part of creating your support network. Because it’s about making your support network work in the best way possible. When I was getting in shape for my wedding, I bartered services with a local personal trainer. After we made our arrangements, he said he’d meet me the next day at 12 noon for a one-hour work-out. And he did. Every weekday for three months. Because we had a standing appointment, and this goes back a bit to last week’s Putting YOU on the List, there was no putting it off for a better time. Everything gets worked around it. I have set classes with a few of the people I work out with too, just like the standing appointment with my old personal trainer. They are counting on me to show up, and I them. There is no “it’s a crazy day, I can’t make it” or “Thursday’s not good, what about Friday?” It just is. Period. End of story.