An important part of any journey are the friends and mentors that support you along the way. It truly does take a village to be successful!

Fitness Gracious - All hands together to help conquer journeys and goals. It takes a village!

For this latest Fitness Gracious post, I was thinking about all of the things that contributed to my 67-lb weight loss success last year. And the success that I’ve miraculously continued to maintain over the past six months (give or take a few pounds – hovering more in the net 64 pound territory currently). I can boil down a lot of it to a Beatles song:

I get by with a little help from my friends.

To make this work, you need to make your current and future friends (because you’ll make more doing this, as they’ll become inspired) complicit in your fitness caper. To do this, you have to actually somehow put it out there that you’re motivated to make a major change in your life, and to invite them along on your journey (either literally or in spirit). Putting things like this out in the universe, even just a little bit, tends to reap more benefits back to you.

Fitness Gracious - Always rely on your friends to help you accomplish goals and journeys you've set for yourself!

You don’t have to be all in your face about it. For me, it was gradual. I started posting my workout check-ins on Facebook. Chatted with people I got to know in spin class, and then friended them on Facebook so I can keep the friendship going, plus I was able to see how their healthy workouts translated to other aspects of their life. Joined a running group (boy was that intimidating when I first did it) and start chitchatting. Posted pix and video of me doing more healthy activities (one time I ran in a commemorative run at the start of the Rio Olympics, complete with a guy holding a torch and another with a flag). I asked my walking buddy Kelley to be my “accountability partner,” where I would text her my weight status, increase or decrease. And, overall, I had to learn to feel comfortable talking about what I’m doing/not doing when success started to visually appear in my tone and size.

Fitness Gracious- It's so important to have great friends and mentors to help you conquer any journey you have to take.

Friends, family and even work colleagues will start to notice the pep in your step, the amount of healthy smoothie drinks you’re knocking back, and especially your slimmer face (why is it that you first see weight loss in the face? Why not the bootie??) And they’ll start to exclaim.

They may ask questions, and that’s OK – think of it as a “train the trainer” program. You know what you know, and hopefully by the time they are seeing such a positive change, you can share your secret.

For it’s worth it to be shared!