Unconditional Support

I wrote the post below on my Facebook page on Monday. This might be considered “cheating” for my 31 day writing challenge, but I believe it’s an important reminder that everyone should see, especially this time of year (and it’s good to see it again!). March is the time when people really begin to struggle with their fitness. We’re 3 months into the new year already… eating well becomes increasingly difficult, carving out time to go to the gym can feel like a chore, and there are loads of festivities going on that (while loads of fun) will not get you closer to your goals. This doesn’t mean you can’t partake in them, we just need to acknowledge that we still have goals that we started for a reason!

Here’s the post. I’m not going to edit it at all, because I feel like it convey’s the right message: be unconditional and overwhelming in your support for friends, family, and acquaintances when they start a new journey to better themselves. They need the help, just like you did when you started. 

“Here’s a reminder for you: when someone you know starts out on a new journey to better themselves (be it diet, a gym membership, CrossFit, yoga, Orange Theory…), the best way to make sure they are successful is to be overwhelmingly supportive, ESPECIALLY if this is their first time really attempting to make a change in their life.
Here are a few things you can do:

-Ask them how they’re enjoying their gym
-If they are taking classes somewhere, ask them about it! “Hey! How are you liking your classes?”
-Offer to go with them (this will do more than you know!)
-If they’re starting a new diet, encourage them to stick with it! Consistency is key!
-Check in with them when they least expect it, but need it most (around the 6-8 week mark of a new program). “Hey! I know you started XYZ a while ago… how’s it going?”
-LISTEN to them talk about their workouts. It’s exciting for them. Be a good friend.

Here are a few things that will hurt your friends progress:

-Instantly telling them that whatever program they’re doing is bad for them
“Oh, you’re doing CrossFit? I’ve heard that’s terrible.” (this makes you look like a real A+ douche-magoo, especially if you’ve never even done CrossFit, or understand it’s principles.
-Insist that they come out with you and break their diet.
“Come on! It’s only a few drinks! You’ll be back on it tomorrow!” Consistency is the KEY with dieting. Ruining a week’s worth of progress for a few drinks with you IS NOT WORTH IT for your friend.
-Tell them to stop working out so much
-Tell them you like “the old you” better

Starting a new workout routine, diet, or lifestyle fix can be an incredible and overwhelming undertaking for your friends, EVEN if they don’t show it on the outside. Be supportive… they need it.”

Thanks for reading. I implore you to be as supportive of a friend as possible for anyone who might need it.

-Clark Hibbs

4 down, 27 to go.

What does this countdown mean? Check out the original challenge I issued to myself.

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