Aurora Arlt – @Aurora_HealthyFit
When it comes to one’s journey, in particular one’s fitness journey, social support plays a major role. From the decision to even begin, all the way through to the prevention of any fall off or relapse, who one is surrounded and influenced by can ultimately determine one’s success.
You know the saying – You are the average of the 5 people you most associate with. Well, if that is the case, it is critical that we choose who we are closest with, with caution and care. It is important to be surrounded by supportive and positive individuals who also have a vision and aspirations. This is even more true while embarking on a weight loss or fitness journey. We all need folks in our lives who will cheer us on, but not hesitate to give us a kick in the butt when we need to be held accountable. We need to associate with the people who are there for us and want the best for us.
What you might find as you embark on your journey is there will be a few people in your life who will start to act negatively towards you. It may be passive and unintentional at first, but it can quickly turn aggressive. Sometimes when we take action on our goals and actually put in the work to achieve them, it can make others feel inferior in a way. That shift in a relationship is uncomfortable and so that person typically projects their insecurities of self-doubt on to you. It’s their subconcious way of bringing you back down to their level.
The hard part is sometimes (without us even realizing it) these toxic people are the closest ones to us. Our spouse, our mom, our best friend. It’s only when the boat starts to rock that this side of them will poke its ugly head. It is not a fun feeling, but you have to trust that these are their issues and not yours. Even knowing that, it will still make you question everything you are doing. It will make you wonder if you are doing the right thing and ask yourself if you should adjust your goals in order to accommodate that other person’s feelings.
The answer to that question should always be NO. You have to live your life for you. If you live your life for everyone else, then what kind of life are you living?
Is it going to be easy continuing on your path knowing that your relationship with this person is not on the most solid terms? No, it’s going to be real freakin’ hard and sometimes really painful. It will require constant communication and overcoming mountains of resistance, but in the end it will be worth it. Because YOU CHOSE YOU. And no one should ever make you feel like that is the wrong choice. As hard as it is to hear, if you have a person(s) like that in your life, that person should be limited in their contact with you and how close they get to you – don’t let them penetrate your bubble and burst the whole damn thing.
I understand this is easier said than done. But if you believe that you are worth it and the path that you are on is the path that will lead you to the best version of yourself, then this sort of introspective, painful work has to be done. As they say, anyone who truly cares about you will understand this and eventually come around and be there to support you all the way through. Who knows? You may end up being the source of motivation and inspiration they needed in their life to do the same thing – to choose themselves and chase after their own best version of themselves.
As a coach, we can help create a unit of support for each one of our athletes. We do this by first creating positive experiences for them that make them feel like they belong and are in the right place. It’s important that we help make them feel a part of a team – a team of like minded individuals putting in the work to achieve their goals one rep at a time. A great way to do this is to express the importance of group involvement as much as possible. Having social support will likely increase attendance and adherence because the athlete not only feels cared for, but also held accountable by others in the group.
- Realize that when you veer from the norm, there will be people close to you who will try to stop you by spreading their negativity and making you feel bad for your choices.
- Seek out people in your life who will support you, encourage you and push you when you need to be pushed.
- Limit your contact or keep at a distance those folks in your life who are constantly trying to bring you back down.
- Realize that you are worth it. Realize that it is okay to choose yourself and make time and put in effort for yourself. Realize that you deserve to feel supported and cared for. You deserve that.
If you are ever in need of some motivation, a word of encouragement, a tip or trick, or just someone to hear you out, please feel free to reach out me anytime. I am always happy to help!
Until next time
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