Surround yourself with good people

Published Wed, Jul 11, 2012 11:49 AM
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Carrie Riggin, center, takes a photo with her best friends Lindsay Downing (left) and Brandy Duncan. Carrie says it's best to keep supportive friends around you that share your health and fitness goals. Courtesy of Carrie Riggin

Submitted by Carrie Riggin — Columnist

One of the BIGGEST culprits of having good health, in my opinion, is left out of almost all expert get-in-shape tips.

Get rid of toxic people. Period.

If you're making yourself over — whether it's trying to achieve glowing skin, lose weight, or just living a healthier lifestyle full of hikes and apple picking — the past life of partying or hosting baking parties with fellow foodies will no longer work for you. If you want to achieve your goals, that is.

I think deep down we all know that in order to achieve our health and fitness goals, we need to accept that who we once were will no longer suffice moving forward. For me, this was the most difficult part of my wellness journey. Making a life change such as this means that you probably no longer fit in with the crowd you once ran with. You probably won't have the same desire to join colleagues at happy hour every evening, and weekends might be swapped with dinner dates and movies or hiking in the mountains rather than celebrating with food and booze. When it comes down to it, friends and acquaintances that you have known forever may no longer fit into your newer, healthier lifestyle. I'm not saying that your oldest friends no longer have a place in your life, but how they fit may have to change. Finding a new balance that incorporates these people worth keeping around and your new healthy passions is the key to long-term success.

It took me a very long time to realize this was the single most important factor to maintaining my long-term health (and mental health!). Although I found folks that understood and shared my new passion for a healthy lifestyle, others who I shared late-night festivities on the weekends didn't. I ended up losing friends and boyfriends, moving several times, and eventually just starting over. It was a difficult time for me. But now, I have a new sense of self, a clearer vision of who I want to be and what I want to do in life. I'm happier and healthier than ever.

If you desire a healthier life — after all, fitness is not a destination, it is a lifestyle — sometimes it takes ridding your life of toxic people, places, food and anything else that disrupts you from living the life you now want. Instead, surround yourself with supportive friends that want to accompany you to a spin class, stay in on a Saturday night to cook dinner (and drink RED wine!) or wake up early for a run on the beach or hike in the mountains. Eliminating the toxic environment that once made you fat will do wonders for your body, mind and spirit in the long run.

I'm not telling you it will be easy; it won't. But it will be worth it. Remember to just live life in moderation (as I always say!). It's okay to not be perfect all the time (drink until 4 a.m., eat pizza on Sunday, etc.), but do things sensibly and in a way that fits into your new, healthy lifestyle.

XoXo, Carrie

About Carrie Riggin
Carrie is the Triangle's go-to health and nutrition guru, sharing the latest trends to help you get in shape. She is a certified group fitness instructor and writes a blog, TheSkinnBuzz.

Twitter: @CarrieRigginFIT and @TheSkinnyBuzz

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