Wow, that is a LONG title. In case you’re unaware this is the theme song for Golden Girls. *sigh* You’ll understand why soon… (Yes, i’m feeling sentimental today…)
There is something to be said for having supportive friends. I am blessed to have a close set of girlfriends who I can really confide in. We share the good, the bad, and well…the ugly. A big thing, especially the past year, is encouraging and challenging one another to improve fitness and diet wise. Several of my girlfriends ran a marathon last year, some of us did a spin-a-thon on the weekend, and we’re always swapping healthy recipes, new exercise moves and planning times to meet up to “die in a pool of sweat”. And here’s a big one–You know that day when you are supposed to go to the gym, but you’re tired and just want to go home, lie on the sofa and eat chips, and would do just that but you already promised your friend you’d meet her for spin class so you can’t bail or she’ll punch you. After work, you suck it up, meet her and go to class and the moment you do, realize how great you feel and how happy you are that she threatened you? THAT is what i’m talking about. Now if you’re sick your friend would be the first person to make you go home, but laziness won’t fly because she knows you’ll thank her later.I count myself lucky to be among girls of like mind when it comes to taking care of their bodies. True, we don’t all look the same –that would be weird–but ultimately we all want to be and feel our best.
Not everyone has what I have. Too often, we are pressured into eating foods we know aren’t good for us instead of encouraged to stay strong. My younger cousin has been faced with this in the past month as she’s made changes to her diet and fitness schedule. I love my uncle and aunt, but they feel that she should be happy the way she is–and she should be happy–but what’s wrong with improving on yourself? Especially if that improvement is to your health and the way you feel? It’s difficult for her to walk away from the starchy salty carbs, the sugary treats, and the fatty fried foods but she’s been doing quite well despite these temptations. We talk often, and i’m impressed with her will power. I just need her to stay strong. And as easy as it is to say “just don’t eat it” we’ve all been there, and i’m sure at one point or other we’ve all caved and ate the 2nd, 3rd, even 4th cookie (or whatever your vice may be).
So…this weekend one of my friends made a commitment to clean up her diet, exercise more, give up all alcohol, and focus on changing her body once and for all. She said to me that there are things fitness wise she’s wanted for several years now but never really wanted it enough, but woke up this weekend and realized she DID want it enough. It got me thinking about my own fitness aspirations. I want sculpted abs, buns of steel, and defined toned shoulders, yet I don’t challenge myself enough to get them. Sure I stay fit, and I eat well, but I don’t REALLY go that extra mile to get stronger, faster, better. Somewhere along the lines, I lost the spark. Whether she realizes it or not, she has motivated me take charge again and really improve on myself. As a matter of fact I did a grueling workout today, even had to use my inhaler–I’m not much of a toe in the water type of girl, I prefer to jump in completely that way before I have chance to realize its cold and back out i’m already in–then I adapt. The workout was intense, but worth it. I’ll post it tomorrow or Wednesday along with a healthy recipe.
Oh, and for those of you who don’t drink you may think that giving up alcohol is the easiest thing ever…but for those of us who like to enjoy a glass or 2 of wine with dinner you can understand that it’s hard to give up that comforting liquid, especially when it soothes our nerves after a long hard day at the office.
My close girlfriends support one another, challenge one another, and help keep a certain level of accountability and I am so lucky to have this support system-we all are. When I realized I could no longer eat gluten my friends looked out for me –always checking to make sure I’m not going to get sick and even going so far as to make gluten free foods for our ‘girls night in’ potlucks. Actually, there have been a few moments when i’ve had a friend YELL AT ME for something I was about to eat, and remind me that I would probably end up feeling like death for 3 weeks if I ate it. Fast forward a few years, and I decided to become a vegan. My coworkers like to offer me food made with “only a little dairy and eggs”, my parents (whom I love dearly) make sure to lecture me about the importance of meat protein–but my friends do not. Now, maybe they think i’m crazy–I have my moments I will admit, but they support me even tho they are not vegans because it’s something that is important to me. (Note: I am sure I can convert at least one of them to the land of no animal bi products eventually and then watch it spread like an awesomely healthy epidemic til they’ve all been converted muah ha ha but shhhh don’t tell them–crap they read my blog).
For the record, we don’t just sit around talking about Kale and squats–we also like to discuss important things like Idris Elba, how many vacation days we have left to travel, and whether or not mint green is a good choice for pants among other things but seeing as how none of those things are going to keep us healthy (Well Mr. Elba might) we do talk a lot about staying fit.
So moral of this sappy post– surround yourself with people who support and love you. Be goofy together, serious, sad, happy, angry, but most of all be a good supportive friend. Show them how much you appreciate them and be there for them when they need it. I love my girls–you know who you are.