The saying goes like this:
‘You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with’
If you are not familiar with this phrase let me explain its meaning – The people that are in your life, particularly those who are your nearest and dearests, have a direct impact on the results you achieve in life! So, there are two things you need to glean from this statement:
- People – These can be friends, family members, celebrities that you follow/admire, people you follow on social media, written material you read (such as newspapers, magazines, blogs etc.)
- Results – This relates to any goal that you would like to achieve and for the purposes of this article I am only referring to weight-loss.
If then, the people that you have surrounded yourself with and choose to spend the most time with are not supporting of your weight-loss goal, you will find that you are never quite able to achieve it. Let me give you some examples of how being around the wrong people can adversely affect the results you would like:
For example, if your closest friend, the one you spend most of your free time with, is extremely overweight and cannot be bothered to do anything about it, you may find that he/she will somehow always manage to sabotage your efforts. If you suggest a walk in the sunshine, your friend might persuade you to go to the pub/bar instead by claiming he/she is too tired or other lame excuse.
Sibling rivalry is a potent force, one that can leave a large negative footprint on your self-esteem if they do not have your best interests at heart. Alternatively, you may have a family member or members who put you down, mock you or constantly say things like ‘you’ll never be able to do that’ or ‘what’s the point in trying, you always fail anyway’ or ‘you’ve been fat all your life, what makes you think you can change that?’. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that this sort of behaviour will not support you to achieve your goal.
Following, reading about and watching impossibly perfect, photo-shopped celebrities can lead you to have an unrealistic expectation of what you should look like. No matter how many times someone points out to you that they don’t look like that in real life, or that it takes hours of makeup to appear that flawless, your brain will still short-cut to the image that’s in front of you.
Constant following of people and articles that promote beauty products, slimming aids, diet plans will literally brain-wash you into feeling inadequate.
Just one example would be diet magazines. From years of reading these, I look back and clearly see now that every single one of them were the same. The obvious before and after photos with a predictable story. The ‘fat’ photo appearing sad and dowdy, the ‘slim’ photo happy and attractive. All these magazines do is feed on your insecurities and encourage you to spend your hard-earned money on their products and plans.
If you surround yourself with such things then I would bet that most of you have yet to achieve your weight loss goals or at the very least, continually struggle to maintain a weight that is acceptable to you.
CHANGE YOUR TRIBE!
For positive results, I strongly recommend that your take a long hard look at your ‘tribe’ (the people in your closest circle). If you identify any of the traits I have mentioned above, you should seriously consider cutting these people out of your life or at the very least limiting your exposure to them. The power of the tribe is strong and if weight loss is one of your longed-for goals, you should try and surround yourself with these ‘people’ instead:
Find friends who nurture you as a person, are interested in personal growth and will support you in your quest for weight-loss. A good indicator of a person like this would be someone who encourages you when you are down and celebrates with you when you achieve any success, however small it may be.
Avoiding terrible or negative family members however is not easy and sometimes not even possible. The best way to deal with this, if it is an issue for you, is to limit the amount of time you spend with them and to mentally prepare yourself before any encounter. By this I mean that you should arm yourself with positive thoughts and silently reject their offences and negative behaviour, thereby hopefully rendering it harmless.
Choose positive, life affirming people to read and watch. There are many, but you may just have to search a little longer to find them! Once you do, you’ll discover that very quickly, their vibrancy will transfer onto you, making you feel great about yourself and not realising why!
Be brave and unfollow any page that makes you feel ‘bad’ about yourself. Know that this will be difficult as it’s scary to break old habits. I remember that I unfollowed and then followed a few sites many times as I couldn’t let go of them. If you find that this happens to you then a good start would be to first start following positive pages, ones that promote self-worth and well-being. In time, you will find that these will give you the strength needed to let go of the others.
Dispose of the diet magazines, stop reading articles that put pressure on you to look good, no longer consider reading yet another blog about a new fad diet or plastic surgery of any kind. Instead, make a conscious effort to seek out written material that makes you feel good, just as you are right now.
I wish you the courage to take action and control back in your life by discarding your old tribe and creating a brand new one that will help you in your quest for weight loss! Good luck on your journey!
Written by Sherry Taylor
Author of The Anti-Diet Lifestyle