Pic Above- Hiking with my BFF!
Friendships are powerful. For the better and for the worse, our friends can define us. This holds incredibly true in health, weight and food choices.
When I was young and went to WeightWatchers as a high schooler, I went with my closest friend. And giggled every time we left and the leader would say “we’ll see less of you next week!”
When I was in college and met my best friend (pictured above) on the first day in the dorms, we bonded quickly with walks at the gym and eating meals together, encouraging each other in a journey of staying healthy in college.
As I talk to my sisters, we discuss the ways we control our weight, our hunger, and even our cravings. We grew up with the same foods and find comfort in similar foods (strawberry pretzel salad and spaghetti squares for starters!) They understand the history of my food life more than any one else!
I also have the privilege of watching friends go through a weight loss journey together. For confidentiality, I don’t share information about one friend to another, but I do get to hear both sides of their stories. They walk together. They text each other. They encourage each other. They go to lunch together. They celebrate each others milestones. Okay and on occasion, they compete against each other!
On occasion, we get together with a friend and indulge together. We splurge and eat the greasy pizza with wine. We make cookies together. We get the popcorn at the movies together. Being a little “nutritionally rebellious” with a friend can be a really good time! Albeit in moderation. I personally feel way better after a long walk or a healthy meal with a good friend.
The point is this: friends can build us up in our weight-loss journey, or without intention, steer us off track. Sometimes WE are the ones steering our friends off track. Come on just split this ginormous pumpkin muffin with me so I don’t eat it by myself!!
My church is currently going through a series on friendships (entitled “Friending”) and the overarching theme has reminded me of how important a friendship can be in weight-loss:
Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.
My Pastor (Craig Groeschel) took this statement into all sorts of areas of our lives. If we are surrounded by good marriages, it will positively affect our marriage. If we are surrounded by dramatic and negative friends, we will be tempted to join them in being dramatic and negative. He also said we are the average of our friends meaning if we have more positive people around us, we will become more positive. If, however, our friends have bad habits like staying up too late, drinking too often, smoking, etc…we will likely be struggling with these things as well.
Yesterday’s sermon was particularly empowering for me. The take home message was this: You might be one friend away from changing the course of your destiny.
While I would encourage you to listen to the full message at www.lifechurch.tv, I would like to relate this with having a healthy lifestyle.
One friend could be the difference between helping you actually get to the gym you are paying for.
One friend could be the one to check in at the end of the day and ask how things went.
One friend could be the one to remind you that nothing taste as good as feeling healthy feels.
One friend could be the one to invite you over to a healthy dinner when you don’t feel like making anything yourself.
One friend could be the one who asks you to take a picture of your plate at the party for accountability (wink wink to those two girlfriends who told me they do this!)
It’s not always fun or comfortable to admit things you’ve eaten. Sharing with someone the food we ate can be a little personal. But a good friend will be there to tell you the truth in love, and to encourage you when you are being hard on yourself. And you know how finding that kind of friendship starts? It starts by being that kind of friend.
Most of us can relate to a friend at some point in our lives who held this role for us. Maybe it’s someone new this time around. Maybe it’s getting back on track with the friend you used to do this with, she’ll probably admit she needs it too! Whatever it is, start by being the friend you’d like to have and it could change your weight loss destiny!
If you have a friend like this…share this blog on her Facebook page and tell him or her THANK YOU!