The Power of Community


Your Fitness Success Depends On It

 

By Jason Hodge

Katy is a wonderful place to live because of the people that make up the community.  We take our education system very seriously compared to other areas in the country, and it gets noticed.  The community mindset has determined the importance of education, and it has pushed us to continue to improve on a consistent basis.  The power of community is extremely effective in creating success for everyone.  In that same sense, your fitness success is determined by the support and mindset of others in the community as well.

It’s easy to think of fitness as your own personal focus and responsibility because in some ways, it is.  It is up to you to take care of your health, not others, but your community (those you surround yourself with) will determine your likelihood of success. There are three primary things that you should pay attention to if you are focused on trying to lose weight or get in better shape.

Words

When you are with your friends or family, what types of things do you discuss? When I sit next to groups of people, I find it so disheartening to hear the negative talk about how fat they are or how horrible they think they look. We say things about ourselves that we would never say about someone else.  And if we did talk about someone else the way we are talking about our own shortcomings, how successful do you think they would be after all of the berating we had done to them? You can’t use negative reinforcement on yourself and expect to be successful.  You have to realize who you are inside and what you are capable of.  You have to start living who you want to be and not what you see in the mirror.  It’s important that if you want to be healthy, you notice and reinforce healthy habits. Treat yourself like you would someone else.  Be encouraging, motivating, and positive. When you are with your friends, build each other up, encourage each other and be positive influences on one another.  If you want to be successful, try making others successful.  You will be surprised at how easily your success will come through that one act alone.

Spare Time

What do you do in your spare time?  Do you typically come home from a long day of sitting at the computer and sit down in front of the couch because you are tired?  Or do you call up friends and family and find something active to do?  Use your spare time to get rid of your spare tire.  It doesn’t have to be time consuming to see change.  Start small by going for a walk, or throw around a frisbee with others.  It may not be perfect, traditional “exercise,” but it’s much better than sitting on the couch.  What kinds of fun things can you do with others that will get you moving? As you begin to surround yourself with others who are active, you will become more active.  Sometimes you will initiate it, and sometimes they will. The key is find others to do activities with. You are never too old to have fun. Take the time to do things outside of your comfort zone, and it could drastically improve your health and your life.

Food

Being from Louisiana, I know how important food is, especially when socializing.  If you go over to someone else’s house, food will often be involved in some way.  When you have a get-together, what kind of food is involved?   Is it healthy?  Your first reaction might be, “This is for a special occasion, so it’s ok to eat bad.” But why can’t it taste good and be healthy for you too?  Odds are that you eat out at a restaurant or over at someone else’s house more than once a week.  When you are surrounded by others, try to choose or bring healthier options.  Restaurants can often give you suggestions on healthy options, and there are numerous recipes that are available online that are healthy.  I often get asked to make my delicious chili when I attend social gatherings.  Don’t tell anyone this, but they have no idea that it’s a Cooking Light recipe that is healthy and easy for me to make.  Our little secret.