Building A Strong Support Network & Surrounding Yourself With Positive Voices

Are you surrounding yourself with positive voices and a strong support network? The company you keep can have a huge impact on your habits and lifestyle choices. If your friends and family don’t support your health and fitness habits I can almost guarantee you are going to have a harder time making the chances necessary to reach your goals.

If your friends or significant other are constantly ragging on you and making you feel guilty for your choices then maybe you need to think about having a conversation with them about how their comments are making you feel. You may need to work on setting up boundaries with that person that allow you to feel safe making the choices that are best for you or consider weather that relationship is really positively contributing to your life. But also take into consideration why those comments are making you feel uncomfortable! Are they trying to help you or hurt you? Are they trying to help you find balance and let go of negative food behaviors or are they projecting their now insecurities onto you?

One space where I felt particularly vulnerable in terms of support was at my corporate office workplace. A lot of my co workers made me feel guilty when they saw me logging my food in MyFitnessPal or would make backhanded comments about how I must be some kind of weirdo with no friends if my idea of fun is going to the gym on Thursday night instead of happy hour. I eventually had to ignore their rude remarks and learned to lean into my workplace identity as the “fitness freak” and decided that if these are the people I offend with new found healthy habits then I am perfectly okay with that because clearly their remarks aimed at me were coming from a place of insecurity and frustration with their own lifestyle and habits. 

This fear of negative feedback about my fitness and food habits also bled over into my romantic life when I started dating the summer after I graduated college. When I first started dating my current boyfriend Kyle I had a really hard time balancing my dating life and my fitness goals. I was scare to be so honest and open about my personal life with someone I had just met and was starting to have feelings for, and I was terrified that he would think less of me because of my disordered habits with food and exercise. The other fear I had was that he wouldn’t want to date someone who weighs their food and likes to wake up at 5 AM to workout so for a long time I tried to tone down my love for fitness and healthy eating in an effort to make myself more desirable or “date-able”. 

I felt liberated and safe and supported when I confided in my boyfriend about my issues with food and my body and since then he has become my biggest cheerleader and ally! But not everyone in my life was this supportive of me and in the process of bettering myself I have definitely polarized some people. There were plenty of people who shamed me for choosing to workout on Saturday morning instead of going to bottomless brunch or who made faces when I brought my pre packed, pre weighted meals to work. 

While there were a ton of people turned off by my lifestyle and habit changes, there were also a lot of people cheering me on along the way! My family, in particular was super supportive of my lifestyle changes and helped me immensely along the way. My brother helped with adjusting my macros and my dad would send me Black Iron Nutrition blog posts and healthy recipes. All around me I felt an immense amount of love and support which was so important for me on days when I felt like giving up or like my goals were too far away from reach. 

Be sure to evaluate your social circle when embarking on any type of weight loss journey. You may be shocked to find out how many of your friends and family members want to help and see you succeed at your goals! Building a strong support network will help to remind you of why you started and should hopefully make changing your habits easier, you may even inspire those around you to change as well.

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