More and more studies continue to show that sharing your fitness journey with a friend will help you have better and longer lasting results. A major factor in this that you don’t often see mentioned is how to maintain this relationship in a way that doesn’t destroy a friendship. It isn’t hard to imagine how well-intentioned can flip to overbearing if boundaries aren’t set!
The 1st and most important thing to ALWAYS remember is that your fitness journey is yours and yours alone. It may sound counter-productive when tying this to a concept of friendship and support, but often times as women we take on more than our share of responsibility when our health alone is a BIG responsibility. We must OWN our share of responsibility first. Likewise, we must allow our peers to own theirs.
It’s a tough balancing act when it comes to friendship and accountability. We don’t want to annihilate our friends and hurt their feelings, but we can’t go to the opposite end of the spectrum and enable them either. Also with our culture as Crazy Sock Divas, we are staunch advocates of non-judgment when it comes to each other’s healthy lifestyles, meaning we understand that not everyone’s way of doing things will align with ours and that’s perfectly ok. Our doctors, nutritionists, personal trainers, etc hold the power to judge us effectively when it comes to our health. We accommodate for our less healthy aspects in different ways, and realistically, we’re not all that keen on someone seeing our delicious dessert on social media and throwing it in our face when it was unseen how we planned for our indulgence (or not). Here’s a few tips that have helped us along the way:
- Lead by example. If your friend bails on gym time, still go, and make it clear you’re going for yourself. One of our signature diva reactions with this is always, “Aw we’ll miss you!”—and we really will, but we’re still going, and we respect each other’s decision to not go. It’s not up to us to judge whether or not they had a good reason or not. It’s always up to us to make sure that our decisions support what is best for our health in the moment, and sometimes we’re the ones needing a mental health day or having something come up that will conflict. The key is maintaining discipline so that the entire group doesn’t’ crumble for 1 person’s decision.
- Be honest and encouraging. If your friend is off track and she brings it up, it’s ok to agree with her. This isn’t about who she is as a person or her attractiveness, this is about her making plans to better align with her goals. To say “yeah, it does sound like you got a little off track, but I know you can figure this out and get back on again,” then further being able to discuss whatever obstacles they’re facing honestly and without judgment, you can empower her. The last thing you want to do is deny the problem and send her down a path that is opposite of her goals.
- Communicate your boundaries. If there is any aspect of your healthy lifestyle that is off limits for discussion for you, let your friends know. If you’re going through a time where you need a break from accountability (such as food logging, checking in, etc), make it known that you’re taking a little break. Sometimes these things get exhausting, and we have to respect when we’re just not in that mindset at the moment. The discipline we’re practicing ultimately always brings us back.
At the end of the day, we want to be the healthiest version of ourselves possible, and we want that for each other so that we can experience as many years together doing what we love. And we’re just saying, doing what we love for some of us is not only fitness, but drinking our wine and indulging here and there too. It’s all about balance!