If you think you’re going to gain strength and/or lose fat all on your own, you might be some kind of unicorn or you might be mistaken.
See, that’s just not how it works for most of us. We like to think we’re independent achievers (America, in particular, celebrates the independent achiever), but the hard truth of the matter is that almost every single one of us does better with support than without. (Wait. That just sounded like a bra ad.) Anyhow, what I’m trying to say is that a good squad can be crucial to your success.
Here are 5 ways your squad can contribute to your success in the gym and the kitchen:
Use your squad to keep yourself honest! If you can get a few friends to join you in healthy eating, this is a GREAT help! Do a daily check-in to keep all of you on track.
I like to check in with my squad by text around 8pm every night. It’s the quick and dirty: a list of my macros for the day, and if I missed a workout and why. (Making those lifting and conditioning workouts are assumed, so I only report the misses.) They reply with the same info. Sure, then we get to chatting about other really important stuff like dog videos and GIFs, but first we tell the truth: “How you doing? Fess up. We’re here for you.”
2.) They’ll Help You Stop Beating Yourself Up
While most of us are good at pummeling ourselves for mistakes, true friends don’t like to watch you do that. When you reveal your shortcomings, a good squad will let you know what you can do better and how, and they’ll be willing to help you get there. What they won’t do is jump on you and keep jumping on you. They’ll pull you out of your own self-pity. This is crucial. You need to get back on the right path quickly, not bury your own body. So, tell your squad when you mess up. They can help.
Remember, having too strict of a mindset can actually hurt your goals, not help them. Like Marianne Williamson writes, “Expecting ourselves to be perfect makes us feel rigid and inferior.” So, a little slack can go a long way in reducing tension in your life. Just as you cut slack for your friends, so too will your friends cut slack for you when you need it. Then, when you’re ready, they’ll boost you back up on the horse and tell you to ride like the wind.
3.) They’ll Push You to Go Harder
Working out by yourself is great sometimes, and it’s necessary at other times. But, if you can, work out with your squad sometimes. They’ll push you to go harder and do more.
Like when my training partner encourages me to use the 45 pound dumbbells for walking lunges. She doesn’t hate me (although I think it—and maybe say it), but she actually loves me. She wants me to get stronger, and she knows what I can handle. (And she eases up when I only get 2 of those 4 sets with the 45 pound DBs. See #2 above.)
4.) They’ll Keep It Real
If you have a righteous squad, you can rely on them to tell you the truth.
“Woman, you look good! Your platform is a work of art! Like damn Picasso made your booty!”
“Girl, we got some more work to do, both of us.”
(A good squad always throws themselves in the work with you. They’re not leaving their buds to run solo on the body quest.)
But what a good squad won’t do is lie to you. Well, unless you have a broken heart and a bottle of wine. But that’s understandable. We’ve all been there. Sometimes, you need to heal a bit before you can handle the truth from your friends. The rest of the time? They’re going to be honest, and even pick you up mentally or physically to get your ass into the gym.
5) They’ll Make You Feel Less Alone on This Journey
A healthy lifestyle isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. We all want to live longer and get stronger, right? In the course of that pursuit, the ride won’t always be smooth.
You’re going to get up, and you’re going to get down. One day you’re going to be all “This isn’t hard! I feel great!” But the next day, you might be like, “I want to eat a house. Made of cinnamon rolls. With a little cinnamon roll front door, and a little cinnamon roll two-car garage.” (Oh wait, maybe that’s just me.) But you get my point! You know the old saying, if it was easy to have a great body, everyone would have a great body. But there’s work that has to be accomplished on the way to a better body—physical work and emotional work. Some days will be really hard. That can make you feel a little isolated. A good squad will remind you that you are not alone, and that you have help just a text or a call away. And they won’t just high five you in the gym, but hug you too. And everyone could do with more hugs!
Appreciate your squad, and lean on them during this wellness journey called life. Give your squad a shout and let them know you’re grateful for all they do! And, if you don’t have a squad that supports you in the gym and with nutrition? Find one online. We all need peeps. Find your people. Sure, you can do this alone, but it’s going to go better and a lot more fun with some buddies.
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