How to Balance Fitness & a Social Life
If you're struggling to balance fitness and a social life, you really need to read this.
When you decide to embark on a fit lifestyle you understand that your diet, overall health and physique will be affected. What you may have not been prepared for were the other areas of your life being affected. Today I'm going to specifically cover how transitioning to a fit lifestyle can impact your social life, and what you can do about it.
In the beginning, the first threats to maintain your social life will likely be dealing with negative questions, statements or situations:
"Why are you working out? You don't need to lose weight."
You don't want to look like a man!
"Why won't you eat with us?"
"Don't you get cravings?"
Being taunted with desserts and junk food, because apparently that's funny.
If you never had to deal with any of the comments or situations on that list, consider yourself lucky. At times you may feel your social circle is insensitive to your goals, and that may change your opinion of them. Change is often uncomfortable. Your social circle may not understand how much work you're putting in to improving your life. All they see is change, and change is bad. To put it mildly, it can be both frustrating and lonely.
When I began my fit lifestyle I felt like I was constantly explaining myself, and often to the same people. I did not have any cheerleaders. When I had setbacks I would try to seek support from those that simply didn't understand, because they were all I had. Naturally, that never went well. You will quickly learn how much many of us depend on food and alcohol to socialize. I myself struggled to think of activities that didn't involving eating or grabbing a martini. There's a plethora of outdoor activities you can do to pass the time, in the summer. However, what about in the winter when everyone is indoors and hibernating? These were once topics you likely never had to consider before. Be prepared to feel isolated. By decreasing the frequency you socialize with food, and drinking you may find some friendships slowly dwindle. There may not be any ill intention behind it at all, just a natural result of spending less time together.
How To Be Fit and Social
Host gatherings at your place. You can plan periodic movie nights, game nights etc. If you host the gathering, you can determine the snacks, and offer healthy alternatives that fit your macros. Also, leave an open-ended invitation for dinner dates on your cheat meal days.
CHOOSE MACRO FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS
It's easier to stick to your macros while dining out if you eat at breakfast restaurants, steak and seafood restaurants, and sushi restaurants. The common factor here is the accessibility of lean protein sources. For example, you can definitely join friends at a popular local breakfast diner. Simply focus on ordering egg whites, turkey meat options, Swiss cheese, whole grain toast, fruits etc.
EXPAND YOUR CIRCLE
Great places to meet other fitness enthusiasts besides the obvious gym are online communities, health stores, fitness events and fitness related meetup groups.
Through business associates I built relationships with like-minded people, or at least those who could sincerely empathize. Overall, I had success meeting people after I consciously decided to be more outgoing. I would be honest with them in that I was rebuilding a social circle. I asked them to keep me in the loop on any events or gatherings. I would drag myself to those events, and be myself. In short, I networked and it worked.
BECOME MORE INDEPENDENT
Get comfortable doing things alone. The fact is you are changing as a person. Transitioning into a fit lifestyle changes your relationship with food, your priorities, and your definition of fun. Try not to see any potential negative changes in your social life as defeat, but an opportunity to get to know the new you.
How has adopting a fit lifestyle changed your social life? Let me know in the comments!