One aspect of my 100lb weight loss journey that is priceless is the friends I have made while getting fit.
I didn’t start out with friends, though. I had one dear friend who inspired me to run but other than that I was solo. It took ME applying myself at the gym when I was WAY OUT OF SHAPE, weighing more than anyone, always BEET RED in the face, and basically scared to make eye contact with people to make friends.
I had to get out of my comfort zone and just go. Eventually, people took notice that I was THERE without fail. They started giving me tips, shaking my hand, and introducing themselves. Next thing I new I had friends and felt like I was part of something better and healthy.
There are so many ways you can get involved in a more active lifestyle. Let me tell you a few things that have worked for me.
I don’t care if you start in the back like I did. Lord knows when I started I knew jack-crap about anything fitness. The only thing I knew was that I was tired of machines and saw classes with good music blasting from the aerobics room. So, I just tried all kinds of stuff. I cannot tell you how many classes I tried and WALKED OUT after 20 min. If after 20 min. it wasn’t clicking or I couldn’t get the choreography then I just left and did something else.
My favorite class was Body Pump. That was weights for me for a long time. It had good music. Heck, I even did the at home version this morning in my dungeon! I also loved Spin class. I think being in the dark helped because I could truly rock out how I wanted without fearing anyone seeing me.
Signing up for events helped me find a lot of friends then and now. You can look for local groups who train for the same local event, go to forums like Runnersworld.com and post in major race forums, race with a group of friends, etc. One thing I encourage my girls with weight to lose or who think they are too SLOW is to avoid thinking you are slowing people down. Most running and bike groups truly mean it when they say all paces are welcome.
Their goal is to keep growing the sports. Think about it; who wants people to be fit and fight the obesity epidemic more than people who KNOW how good being fit is? It’s so easy for us to think it’s a bunch of people who have “always been fit” getting together to eat some granola, run like gazelles and judge us for showing up not looking like an athlete.
I’m just saying that WE, the current and former Fat Girl Thinkers, are just as judgmental of them as we THINK they are of us. I have rarely met anyone in a gym, fitness camp, race, or training meet up who wasn’t thrilled to help me, answer questions, share their passion, and BE THE EXPERT. Don’t you kind of like it when someone looks up to you as an expert and think you are good at what you do?
Cough cough. www.phit-n-phat.com is the best one out there for a whole $5.95 a month!
Seriously, my forums are packed with people who have been around since I started in 2007. Why? We’re there for each other, we’ve gone to many races and camps together, we cry together, we call each other, we post daily, and we are in the age where you can be “friends” with someone you never met.
My forums or ones are great places to find people with common interests who like to talk about stuff you like or figure out how to get better at something you want to do. My site is focused on support, education, and I supply training information geared to EVERY FITNESS level. Other sites focus more on the food. You can find all kinds of private communities so you can have that common bond with others.
I not only run mine, but I belong to a few others I post to for my own support as a trainer. Although running my community motivates me daily and has given me many good friends, I need my own places where I don’t have to lead, work, or be the boss!
Often joining a bootcamp is more local and small. You really get to know more people quick because you work out as teams. That’s how I run my own bootcamps at our church. Over a year ago, a friend of mine and I formed the Happy Healthy Holy Ladies, or the HHH as we call it. It started with me popping in a work out video so some of the moms could get together and exercise. Next thing we knew, we were growing and walking.
The ladies are all my friends now and they do mud runs, walks, workouts, etc. I host a couple of bootcamps each week but I can tell you, there’s hardly a day that goes by where some of them aren’t posting in our closed Facebook group “I’ve got a free hour on this day…who wants to meet up and do XYZ?”
It all comes down to a couple of things: YOU getting out there and putting your toe in the water and then trying stuff until you find what works for you. I promise you can make some of the best friends when you decide to get healthy. It’s such a positive goal and brings a lot of joy to your life.
Here’s a few pictures from a handful of our events over the years. I can tell you, the faces and memories in these photos just warm my heart. Had I not drug my scared 250lb butt to many classes, races, and meet ups alone I would never have these memories and dear friends.