The Fitness Forum: Friends and True Support

By SAM ERWIN
Owner of Nordic Total Fitness


Every now and then, a topic for me to write about just presents itself like a lightning bolt between the eyes. I see so many people on Facebook who lack motivation, struggle with eating right, or struggle with working out. This is a problem for many of us, not only with health, but with many things in life. 

The real problem I see on Facebook is not that these people are struggling, but it’s that their “friends” encourage them to continue on their destructive lifestyle. One thing that I can tell you is that if you decide to better your life by eating better, working out or even quit drinking, you will lose some “friends.” 

However, in the long run, you will gain new friends who actually have your best interests in mind.
Have you ever seen on Facebook where a person said they need to get in better shape, but a few of their “friends” say something like, “No, you’re fine.  Let’s get some pizza!” Do you ever wonder why they do that? 

My opinion, and it could be that I’m wrong, is that the “friend” doesn’t have the motivation to work out or eat right either, so they talk the one who does into joining them so they don’t feel bad about not working out. 

A true friend, in my eyes, is one who will hold you accountable, will push you to be your best possible self, and won’t let you come up with excuses. Anyone can tell you to skip a workout or to go ahead and eat those donuts, but a true friend wants you to be around for a long time and wants you to be happy and healthy. Skipping that workout will make you feel better for a little bit, but then the guilt will set in. As will that donut, but then you may dislike yourself shortly thereafter because you gave in to your urges. 

A true friend checks on you often, will even join you at the gym, and will do their best to motivate you. But it still comes back to what you want. If you let others talk you into skipping a workout or eating poorly, then you didn’t want it bad enough.

Now, I’m not saying any of this to degrade or make fun of those who struggle. We all struggle with something, whether it be with food, depression, our past, you name it.  However, if we surround ourselves with negative people, or people who try to keep us down, we will never overcome our demons.

If you have friends who compliment, even when you fail, are they really helping you out in the long run, or are they just enabling your behavior?

When a friend, a true friend, points out that you could be doing something better, do you get angry, or do you accept the constructive criticism?

Granted, it makes us feel better when someone coddles us when we don’t do well, but how are we to grow and develop if we continue to do that? 

In order to grow and change, we have to be held accountable, be uncomfortable, and be pushed to our limits. If you want real support, true support, you will hang around real people.  If you really want to make changes to yourself, you may have to make changes to your circle.

Finally, the downside to making a lifestyle change, if it is a downside, is that you may lose some “friends” in the process. When you do go out and party all the time, eat foods that are bad for you, work out instead of just hanging out, some of those “friends” will go away because you are trying to better yourself and they are not.

It hurts because you have known them for years, and even if you try to get them to join you so they can better themselves, as well, they just make fun of you, degrade you and eventually stop talking to you because you no longer have anything in common. 

Is it a loss? It depends how you view it. 

However, when you lose those “friends,” you start hanging around new people who have the same interests as you do — people who want pushed and want to push you, people who want to be held accountable and want to hold you accountable, and people who encourage you to be successful with your journey, rather than hold you back.

So, in the end, you will lose some and gain some, but as always, this is about you and what you want. It can’t be about what they want, because they don’t have the motivation or desire that you have. 

You can either become a role model and an inspiration for others, or you can stay with the old crew and worry about your health.

Categories (3):Fitness, News, Health

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BrandyNitta wrote on April 26, 2016 at 1:04 am

I agree with you. Friends and true support matters a lot to achieve the fitness goals. As you said, yes behaviour too. Same was with my friend Fred, he was suggested to had the body guide for the fitness goals. And others recommended not to have that, but now he is happy with the his friend's suggestion.

Seriously, friends are the true support.

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