Why your friends are making you fat

I know what you are thinking. How on earth could my friends be making me fat? They don’t force me to eat donuts at night. They don’t keep me pinned to the couch all weekend.  They didn’t chase down that pasta dinner with a bottle of red. I did all that. Now if you subscribe to the idea that we all run on our own free will, then it is hard to point the finger at anyone else but yourself. Fair enough.

Just last week, I got an email from an old client saying that she had been keeping up with the exercise programs I had given her and was training intensely 3 to 4 days a week, but her weight had started going up again. The first thing I asked was if there was anything she was doing differently in the past 2 months since we had last gotten together. She told me that she had a new job and had made a lot of new friends there. There was a rather large social aspect to this job which meant a number of late night dinners and cocktails.

You can see where this going. Nobody trains intensely 3 to 4 times a week and puts weight on. It had to be her diet. It came out that she was eating super rich foods and drinking expensive wine with her co-workers most nights after work. Her colleagues had remarked on her workout regimen. One in particular noted that he used to lift weights after work a few times a week, but that work had just become too hectic. So he had given up on getting back into shape. Exercise was way down on the “priority list”.

That can be hard to hear for someone who is trying to get into shape. When you are subjected to that type of rhetoric day in and day out,  it can’t help but get into your psyche. You start to believe that that type of thinking is acceptable.  There is an old expression that says, “You are the average of the 5 people you hang around with the most.” That goes right across the board; not just for exercise. If you are hanging around with people who are generally overweight, your chances of gaining weight increases. The same goes with smoking and drinking. On the other hand, if you spend time with people who exercise and eat healthy, the chances are quite good that you will end up doing the same.

If you have negative people in your life who put the kibosh on your goals and aspirations, get rid of them. Replace them with positive people who have the same goals as you do. They are out there and they are easy to find. Reach out to people. Find a mentor—someone who has done it before you. You will be amazed to find out just how many people there are who would be more than willing to guide you in the right direction.