BIRDS OF A FEATHER…..

As much as we like to think of ourselves as unique individuals, able to make our own decisions, able to resist the influence of others, it turns out that we are actually very similar to our friends, neighbors, family members, co-workers, and acquaintances. Whatever is the norm in your social group, can become the norm for you, too.

This isn’t just my opinion. Research supports the idea, too—that obesity is contagious and that when we eat with other people, their food choices affect us—how much we eat, what we eat, and how we feel about it. We are always making decisions based on other people’s thoughts, actions and habits, which is why it’s so important to surround yourself with people whose values and habits support your healthy lifestyle.

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If your friend is always negative or feeling down, it’s hard not to feel the same way yourself eventually. If your family lives to eat, you might have a hard time saying no to certain foods, too. And if your friends are always getting on and off the weight-loss or exercise rollercoaster, then you might not always have the support and mindset  you need to exercise on a regular basis.

But the inverse is also true. Surround yourself with fit, active people who enjoy healthy foods and living healthy, and you’ll be more likely to make the same healthy choices.

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At The Studio Trainer ONE of my favourite classes to run is the girls group who train on a Friday morning after we have off loaded all the little cherubs at school. We chat, we vent, we box and we solve everyone’s life problems all the while we are listening to some catchy toons and burning calories (and inner demons).

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Being part of a team, a hiking group, a sports club or just in a group of like-minded frequently stressed mums gives us a sense of belonging and we know we are accepted ‘as is’. This leaves time to really create some consistent routine when it comes to exercise. Admittedly our group might also talk about churros, chocolate and wine at the same time as punching each other but hey, it all balances out in the end!

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If you aren’t involved in a sporting group I would highly recommend you get your treads on and find one near you. Sporting groups are generally always very accepting of new members and as you are all there for one purpose- to improve your abilities, you already have that in common. There’s your starting point conversation. Before you know it, you’ve hiked 12 kms or played a game of hockey without realising how taxing it was! Bonus!

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So my little birds, start flocking!!

E