Most of us have at least one person we would consider our BFF. These could be lifelong friends or someone you’ve just become close to in the last year, but one thing’s for certain: you have each other’s backs. And you have some things in common, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be BFFs. But what happens when your BFF doesn’t share your health and fitness goals? From my experience, that can be a recipe for disaster for your goals. You want to go to the gym after work – she wants to go out for drinks. You want to go for a walk at the park with the kids – she wants to go see a movie. She invites you over for dinner and the menu always includes things like cheeseburgers and chocolate cake. You don’t want to walk away from the friendship because it’s not that she’s trying to sabotage your goals, she just has different ones. So what do you do?
Follow these simple rules to redefine your BFF (Best Fit Friends):
1. Make new friends, but keep the old. You know that saying “one is silver and the other gold”? Although I think both should be gold, having support for your goals is important. Never sever ties with a friend simply because they have different goals, but certainly make some new friends who share your health/fitness interests.
2. Ask your friends to join you. You might be surprised how many of your friends change their tune when you invite them to try something new with you. Sign up for a 5k that benefits a cause they are passionate about, get the group together for a yoga class, make a healthy dinner and invite them over to your place for a change. Simply dragging them to the gym might push them away, but if you do something that they would be interested in you might be able to enjoy some more healthy activities with your current BFF(s).
3. Strike up a conversation at the gym. You know that woman who is frequently on the treadmill next to you? The one you also see in your yoga class? Talk to her! Chances are that if you’re running into each other on a regular basis you’ve got some common interests. Move your yoga mat next to hers at your next class, or greet her when you see her on the treadmill. You never know, she could become a BFF!
4. Plan regular active girls days/nights. Skip the pizza and beer. Invite your friends (new and old) to bootcamp with you every Saturday instead. If someone mentions a new weekly class they’re taking, join them! Go dancing, meet for an early morning run and some coffee, anything that sounds fun and is in line with your health/fitness goals.
5. Avoid being a Judge-Judy or befriending one. One of the reasons so many women are reluctant to try something new, especially in health and fitness, is the fear of being judged. That’s not what this is about. Even if you are only trying to encourage a friend, she may feel like you are judging her if you only talk about your goals. Make sure she knows that you aren’t there to judge, only to support! 6. Hold each other accountable. I have gained several friends through some friendly competition my mom hosts every couple of months. She has gathered some friends of hers who share her health/fitness goals, and we meet regularly to discuss our goals. We add some competition to it by putting a point value on things like staying within your calorie limits and reaching fitness goals. We each put in a few dollars and at the end the points are counted up and the highest point-earners get a cash prize. It’s a great way to get together with your friends and support each other’s goals. You don’t necessarily need to do something this involved, but find a way to hold each other accountable to reach your goals. A little support from a friend goes a long way!