Three of my very good friends and I have kept in contact through daily emails for the past 2 years. I can’t say that I’ve ever stayed in touch with anyone quite as long and with such regularity as these women.
So what unites us (besides friendship)? A passion to improve our bodies and overall health. *cue eye roll now*
We’ve supported each other through weekend binges, marathon training, 6 month plateaus, and stomach flus. Despite the obvious “hang in theres”, we’ve given each other sound advice and reality checks.
Collectively, the four of us have lost 167 pounds! ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY SEVEN POUNDS! That is an entire person. And we’ve managed to keep it off for over a year now.
So what have we done as a team that I couldn’t do on my own?
1) Check-in with a daily menu plan. If you write what you eat for others to read, you are more likely to eat healthy foods in normal proportions. I get embarrassed when I have 3 carb-loaded meals per day, which motivates me to add extra veggies and proteins into my diet. If I ask why my weight isn’t falling off, my friends can point to my diet and make suggestions.
2) Cut out the bullshit. The previous step of making menu suggestions leads to cutting through the crap. If I whined about not losing weight fast enough, my friends gave me a reality check, “Mads, you drank 3 beers and then ate an entire pizza, of course you’re not losing weight.” This step might be the most important. It’s hard to confront your friends, but truth-telling is the slap in the face that we often need.
3) Set mini-goals with specific dates/pounds to lose/rewards. When we were all stuck, we set a mini goal of 3 pounds over two weeks with rewards varying from buying a new book to treating ourselves to a bubble bath. The quick mini goals helped get us out of ruts and built friendly competition.
4) Give reality checks. Along with eating tips and general weight-loss talk, we also emailed each other inspirational articles. Having a group of friends who remind you daily that your body is beautiful, no matter how much weight you still want to lose, is a really wonderful thing. I didn’t start losing any weight until I decided that I deserved it and they helped me see that.
5) Workout together. Although we mostly live in separate states now, we would frequently meet up for a run or walk (occasionally we met to do awkward Navy workout videos). I prefer stuffing my face with cheese than running any amount, but my friends made it fun. Sometimes we do virtual runs with the addition of some friends on twitter #RunningPackInTheSky.
6) Have fun. I hate eating healthy and exercising (truly, I do), but my friends make it fun for me every single day. They get me excited to try new foods, and I think about them cheering me on every time I go for a run. We give each other gold stars and shoulders to cry on when it got hard. There’s no way I could do it without them.
I could write a million more tidbits I’ve learned on this journey, but I really want to hear from you.
What or who inspires you to stay healthy? Have you recently lost weight? What works for you?