Think about your circle of friends. How long have you known each member and how did your friendship come about? How long did it take to develop your special code of communication and comfort? How often do you make a point of getting together, chatting on the phone and staying connected?
Now think about your health circle. Are they as influential and important as your circle of friends? If not, they should be. When it comes to weight loss and healthy living, do you go it alone or solicit the support of others who can offer insight, inspiration and accountability? Do you have people that motivate, encourage and support your healthy eating, healthy living weight loss efforts?
Much like friends you’ve carefully chosen and cultivated relationships with, your health circle should also be developed with intention and care. These people are your weight loss tribe, and here’s how to find them:
The Gym: Chances are, you most likely interact with (or at least see) the same group of people at the gym. Instead of seeing them as strangers who happen to have the same schedule as you, try making chit-chat, just as you would with at a business networking event. Schedule a coffee date, get to know their approach to eating and health and look for ways they might positively impact your own efforts.
New Activities: Step outside your normal routine. Whether it’s a group exercise class you’ve always wanted to try or a random activity you’ve always thought would be fun. Chances are, if you’re drawn to the same things, your mentality and approach is similar, which makes a potentially great match when developing your weight loss tribe. Meetup.com is a great site for trying new things and meeting new people; people who become your friends as well as your weight loss tribe.
Expand and Experiment: You all know the definition of insanity, right? Well, the same holds true for weight loss. If you’ve attempted the same thing over and over again only to reach the same frustrating conclusion, it’s time to break out of the circle of repetition and experiment with something new. Talk with your weight loss tribe about doing a Clean Eating Challenge or solicit the help of someone not in your tribe, but who can offer insight and guidance in ways your tribe has not been able to. Attend nutrition workshops, exercise seminars or wellness expos.
When thinking about how to find your weight loss tribe, you’re going to come across people who don’t speak your language. Perhaps their approach is too extreme, too restrictive, or even too tame and laid back. Listen to your intuition; will these people support, encourage and push you towards accomplishing your goals? You know how deeply you invest in your friendships; does your weight loss tribe invoke the same sense of family, loyalty and unwavering support?
Just as certain friends hold specific roles in your life, the same is true of members of your tribe. Some will motivate, some will comfort, some will challenge and others will make will laugh. Well-balanced health comes from a well-balanced tribe. Yes, you can certainly do things alone, and sometimes you will need to, but embrace the benefits a community can offer. Strength, inspiration, guidance and focus, just to name a few.
And don’t forget that you also need to bring your best self to the table. Just as you look to others for support, they’ll also look to you. What can you contribute that will benefit the group and move you all forward? A tribe is only as strong as its members, so band together and help each other thrive.
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