One of the BIGGEST culprits, in my opinion at least, is left out of almost ALL expert get-in-shape tips: Get rid of toxic people. Period.
If you’re making over yourself, whether it’s achieving glowing skin, losing 20 or 100 pounds, or just living a healthier lifestyle full of hikes and apple picking, the past life of partying until the wee hours of the morning followed by a trip to the local Mexican restaurant for late-night munchies, will no longer work for you – if you want to achieve your goals that is.
I think deep down we all know that in order to achieve our health and fitness goals, we need to accept that who we once were will no longer suffice moving forward. For me, this was the most difficult part of my wellness journey. Making a life change such as this means that you probably no longer fit in with the crowd you once ran with, you probably won’t have the same desire to join colleagues at happy hour every evening, and weekends might be swapped with dinner dates and movies or hiking in the mountains, rather than day or night drinking depending on what football game is on or whose birthday it is. When it comes down to it, friends and acquaintances that you have known forever may no longer fit into your newer lifestyle. Finding a new balance that incorporates the people worth keeping around with your new found healthy passions is the key to long-term success.
And let me tell you, it wasn’t until recently, maybe 5 years after I realized this was the single most important factor in long-term health, that I’ve finally found somewhat of a balance and that the individuals I have chosen to be around, understand this lifestyle. But within those 5 years, I lost friends, boyfriends, moved several times, and have essentially started over. It was a difficult time for me, but in the end, I am happier and healthier than I have ever been before.
And if you too desire a healthier lifestyle, because after all, fitness is not a destination, it is a lifestyle, you have to rid your life of toxic people, places, food and anything else that disrupts you from living the life you now want. Instead, surround yourself with supportive friends that want to accompany you to a spin class, that want to stay in on a Saturday night and cook dinner/drink wine instead of hitting the bars, that want to wake up early and go for a run on the beach or hike in the mountains. Eliminating the toxic environment that made you fat before will do wonders for your body, mind and spirit in the long run.
I’m not telling you it will be easy, because it won’t. But it will be worth it. But remember (as I always say!): live life in moderation. It’s okay not to be perfect all the time – drink until 4 a.m. one day, eat pizza on Sunday, but do it sensibly…in a way that fits into your brand-new, amazing, healthy lifestyle
Cheers to a non-toxic life in 2012!