Getting healthy is lonely work. The menus, food prepping, time at the studio or gym, hours on the treadmill, finding time to meditate, fixing your sleep cycle…you’re working incredibly hard.
And no one cares.
It might take a monolithic act of willpower and self-motivation to get your butt to the gym or to choose veggies over donuts, but no one wants to hear about it. I know how it goes, you tell your friends about your killer workout or new meal prep technique that you’re super excited about; at best you blank stares, at worst you get lectures about the dangers of working out and eating right. Likely from someone on multiple medications eating Cheetos…but I digress.
The thing is, people don’t want to hear about your health kick, because they don’t want to give up their own slovenly ways. They don’t want to hear about your low-carb diet when they are drinking a beer. Maybe they think you’re judging them, being snooty, or trying to convert them to your lifestyle–but you’re not, right? Some will genuinely be concerned for your health. Others just plain don’t care.
Your health journey is your own and you are the only one who will reap the rewards. You know this and you know you can’t expect anyone else to give a hoot, but you want credit. You want to tell everyone that you got on your treadmill today. You want someone to join you or tell you what a good job you’re doing, you maybe even want to be inspirational to others…but they only laugh and go back to eating their muffins.
This can be incredibly discouraging. Mainly because your friends and family are the very people who should care. They should be supporting you, but they continue to roll their eyes, suggest that you could cheat just for tonight, or act surprised that you are still doing this health thing. And you start to think maybe they’re right. It would be easier just to go out for pizza and beer than to avoid the gut bomb and get to bed early.
So you have a choice. Bore your friends by continually talking about this incredible journey you’re on, which is all you really want to talk about, and deal with the fact that they might convince you to it give up. Or find some other ways to stay excited and motivated. If you want to keep your friends, your healthy lifestyle, and your sanity, I suggest the later.
Let the results speak for themselves! Soon your friends will be asking you to tell them what you’re doing!
5 Ways to stay motivated without boring your friends
- Join a gym or studio. Especially one with live classes and qualified teachers. Making the commitment to attend regularly creates a healthy habit and paying for the classes makes you more likely to show up. When you attend the same classes every week, you will get to know the other people in your class, and you will start to expect to see each other every week. This makes attending enjoyable and motivates you to show up. There is also this observer-observed phenomenon that happens during a live class. I work much harder and have better form when someone is watching than I do at home. Try out a few and choose the one you felt the best connection with.
- Join a social community online. Choose a Facebook group or an online forum of like-minded people. There are online communities for anything you can think of! You may even discover something new. People in these communities are just as excited about what you’re into as you are and love to talk about it. You don’t have to limit yourself to one. I am in several, each filling a different need from clean keto to fasting to Stoic ideas. If you are following a particular diet or exercise plan, it likely has a Facebook group to support its followers. Do a quick search and join!
- Get an activity tracker. There are trackers for every need and budget. Be sure to get one that gives you what you need for encouragement and data. I have gone from Fitbit to Garmin, to iWatch, and now I have an Oura Ring lingering in my shopping cart. Each one gives a different level of information. The thing to watch out for is getting a bunch of data that you don’t know what to do with. Sometimes extra info can be distracting. Start simple.
- Journal. This is pretty low tech, but super effective. Keep track of what you did and how you felt. If something worked really well or caused an adverse reaction, you can look back and see what exactly it was. A journal can also satisfy your need to tell someone…anyone! You can write to your heart’s content about anything you want to say. Don’t underestimate the power of this simple tool.
- Participate in challenges. These pop up all of the time online and at the studio, or you can find them just about anywhere. For example, train for and run a 5k. Your local runner’s club or community events calendar will likely have a schedule. Bonus: these are usually done for charity. Your entry fee will go to a good cause. There may even be a T-shirt for participating! Otherwise, there are burpee challenges, 30 day meditation challenges, clean eating challenges, challenges to get 8 hours of sleep, and so many more!