Studies show that individuals who had one or more close friends who were obese increased their own risk of obesity by 57%. Shockingly, the influence of having an overweight friend was stronger than having an overweight sibling or spouse. Before blaming your waistline woes on your friends, keep in mind you might be having the same effect on them. Similarly, you are just as likely to pick up good habits from your circle of influence.
Now the question is: is your circle of influence encouraging or hindering your progress? If your circle of influence exercises regularly, sees the importance of their health and eats well most of the time, it is going to much easier for you gain or maintain this lifestyle. If you have a circle of influence that does not and isn't a positive one, you have 3 options.
Option 1: Do nothing and hope for the best.
You can choose to rely on grit and willpower to get you through the times you are faced with a possibly less-than-stellar choice. It is very possible to do and might even give you that "I'll prove them wrong" motivation.
Option 2: Lead the charge.
You can choose to set an example in hope that others will come along for the ride. People will start to notice your increase in energy levels, your happier mood, and slight changes to your body shape and will want whatever it is that you're having. They will see what's possible and hopefully begin to mimic some of your healthy behaviours. Instead of catching up with friends at the pub or bar, go for a walk or another alternative light bout of exercise you all can maintain a conversation. You will feel a sense of pride as you get closer to your goals and this will increase your motivation.
Option 3: Change your circle aka find like-minded people.
Now, I'm not saying ditch your mates but start to spend time with people who are living the lifestyle you aspire to or find a workout buddy. If you don't know anyone like this yet, consider using group training, sporting teams or work to find people with similar goals and interests.
Tell your friends about your goals and let them know what you're doing-especially "why". Social support and interaction are one of the most important factors in predicting the physical health and well-being of everyone. Good social support helps coping with stress and major life changes.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.