I was having a conversation with one of my clients this morning about her daughter's fitness as of late. I had the fortune of working with her daughter on one of her college breaks. Great girl, with a sparkly personality. This girl was a gymnast before college and a very athletic girl overall. Her mother's ask was, what happened in college, because her activity level basically deceased.
I'm not going to pretend that there's only one reason for this outcome but for arguments sake I will be focused on the subject of the day, peers influence.
Since our teenage years, when we were rebelling against the parentals our peers have made a huge impact on what we did, loved, and said. It's not crazy new thought that we tend to mimic those we hangout with most often. I think the thing that gets lost most in translation is that we assume as we age we become solely, self reliant, when it comes to personality.
I can speak first hand, when I become close to someone new and they have hobbies/interest I am not familiar with, there is a tendency for me to learn a lot about this arena, at the very least. Most of the time I actually dive into full force into their world because it's nice exploring new territories and having stuff to talk about when you meet up. I've also noticed this on the other side, new friends will ask me about what diet I'm on, or what exercises I think work best for X. Now as this person becomes more and more a part of my circle they may notice every time they ask em what I've been up to, my response will on occasion have something to do with fitness, or general health. Like I had trouble maintaining gluten free this week, or my fast did better than expected, or I had a new personal record in my squat.
The nice things about being a part of the circle, from the outside perspective, is that it will regularly have you thinking about your own fitness, and health. This is why there is that old adage "You are the average of the 5 people you hang out with most often", and in this case it is most especially true. Since, you tend to pick up the behaviors you hangout with the most often.
Now back to my clients daughter. She has had a lot of trouble getting back into her perfect body because in her new circle, post athletics, there isn't a single person who cares about personal health. So now she will have to become an outcast if she skips something in order to go to the gym, or heaven forbid, constantly cancels brunch, because the has a goal and can't allot for the alcohol or waffles, if she wants to hit her goal.
This isn't a post about how you should go and find new friends. This is a post about how choosing to spend time wisely with the people you want to be more like. It's funny how right our parents were, spending time with people helps in making us more like them.
This all being said there are other options as well, albeit easier but more expensive. Hire a personal trainer, and spends lots of time with them. a personal trainer tends to live the exact lifestyle that will influence you in the right direction plus they will hold you accountable in and out of sessions. It's like having a friend who played a part in a super hero movie. Just a really tone and lean fan of health.
It seems like a simple concept to just be around healthy people if you want to be healthy and fit, but I see people mess it up all the time. In essence, you will only be as fit as the average of your 5 closest friends.