Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Friends, health encouragers or saboteurs??

Our friends, our sistas, many black women thrive because of our close relationships with other black women. We encourage and cheer each other on through many of life’s ups and downs but what about when it comes to buckling about our health and lack of attention to it? How many can say they are surrounded by women on the same page as themselves as it relates to obtaining and maintaining a healthy lifestyle? It’s important to keep in mind that you cannot discount the importance of a top notch supporting cast, it can in many instances make or break your resolve to get your health in order. I can say that over the years and through my numerous attempts to achieve optimal health and shed pounds of excess fat, the people in my life have been encouraging but then again I am different than most. I don’t necessarily need a cheerleading squad to get what needs to be done done, in fact I work better alone, especially when it comes to exercising. In my neighborhood I’m happy to report that even at 5:30 am in the morning there are a great # of black women out at the track plugging away at their fitness regimens, whether it be walking, wogging (a move that best resembles someone walking with a smidge of a jog), jogging or full out running. It’s quite a pleasant sight to see that more and more of us are taking a collective stand to be healthy and vivacious. Even though I smile as I press along trying to complete my 3-mile jog, I nix any attempts made by anyone to have me join their group. You see I work best alone when it comes to exercise and I tend to have a bit of a psycho drill sergeant attitude about moving my body. It wouldn’t be fair to subject those well-meaning sistas to my psychosis but it warms my heart to see them out there supporting one another.

Which leads me back to the topic of this post. It’s great when your best buds are in your corner, it really is but if you find that they’re not, press on my friend! Let nothing or no one get in your way. You are not doing something temporary here; you are changing and changing for good. Now is your best friend who knows you’ve been giving it your all to revise your mind and body’s relationship with food a full out saboteur?? Maybe, she just might be, not because she doesn’t love you or consciously wants to see you not accomplish your goals but sometimes the people closest to us get comfortable with the person we allowed ourselves to become and it becomes a reflection of who they are. If you change or even start to see the need to change they may be forced to look at themselves, many people don’t want to do that.

I’m not suggesting that everyone be like me and go it alone, a lot of people need the support and encouragement of others to make it happen. What I am suggesting however is that you under no circumstances let anyone get in the way of what you know you have to do. People who are on your team don’t invite you to happy hour nor do they suggest ya’ll go to “Big Mama’s Burger Joint” nor do they say things like “girl you still on that health kick?” They just don’t, period. But when they do, you remember what’s at stake and you forge ahead. Be committed, stay focused.


Anonymous said...

Great post!

I tend to go it alone too. I've never liked depending on others for much of anything - least of all my health and fitness. I smile when I see a group of black girls walking together and then I keep run on past them LOL. It would be cool to find a fitness partner but we'd need to be on the same physical level and I haven't found that yet (or really looked). I don't want to be held back and I don't want to hold anyone else back either.

There was a study reported last year about how groups of close friends tended to be overweight together - even when they didn't live in the same area. Scary stuff but I see exactly how it can happen. You have to keep yourself above the fray and the only way to do that IMO is to make fitness/health your personal priority.


niaNaturally said...

Other than my sisters, I also tend to go at it alone. It seems that my friends in undergrad and in law school were either slim and didn't care about health and fitness, or were the overweight constantly dieting type who didn't really care about health and fitness. So, it was usually me, myself and I when I'm not around my sisters.

Like Determined, I love it when I see groups of black women working out together...I love to see black women working out period since it seems to be a rarity here.

By the way, great blog. I will be coming here often.

Cruz said...

I truly meant what I said in the blog, I absolutely love when I see us out there getting our workout on but for me I know my body and I know for sure that I need to be at a certain level of intensity so doing my own thing just makes better sense. And also like you said determined, I also don't want to feel like I'm holding anyone else back.

I definitely feel that overweight friends tend to stay that way which is why I feel it's so important to break away from that mindset. You are no lesser of a friend because you want to take a different path and at best all we can hope is that our efforts will catch on.

sdg1844 said...

I learned about your blog from Make Fetch Happen. I'm a go it alone type person as well. When it comes to personal goals, I prefer to do things by myself.

I've had alot of false starts. Sigh, but I'm getting back on track.

Gangstarr Girl said...

I love this post. I'm actually in a space right now, where I'm finding that I'm not on the same page as a lot of my girlfriends. It sux, but at the end of the day, I have to do what's best for me so if I have to distance myself from them, then so be it.