Losing weight and getting in shape is really hard. It takes diligence, perseverance, and a lot of self-control and self-motivation. These last two are what I struggle with. I’ve found that achieving my fitness goals entirely on my own is nearly impossible. While writing this blog once a week to some extent holds me accountable, what I really need is someone cheering me on, challenging me, and reminding me, day in and day out, that I am working towards a goal. Luckily, that’s what friends are for.
This year my three best friends and I were dispersed all over the world in Germany, Chile, Minnesota, and DC. Even though we were further apart than we’d ever been, the WhatsApp group chat we started after our five-year reunion from Holderness School became a catalyst for the four of us to be closer than we’ve been since high school. In that group chat, one of the things we kept coming back to, as women in their mid-20s do, was all of the frustrations we were having with food, exercise, and loving our own bodies. While we all support each other indefinitely, seeing yourself the way others see you isn’t always easy. We decided in order to help each other through our diet and exercise goals, the group chat wasn’t enough.
At the beginning of the summer we started an Instagram account for the four of us. I am NOT going to tell you what it is because it is totally private. We each have the password, we are the only ones following the account, and the account only follows us. We each began with a “before” picture and posted our goals. These weren’t just about pounds lost, although mine was mostly about pounds lost, but they were also about exercise, improved diet, and even pounds gained. Emily and I are both looking to improve our fitness and lose some weight by increasing our daily activity, doing challenging cardio, and with Sweat with Kayla; Aubrey wants to gain 5 to 10 pounds of muscle by doing “all the yoga;” and Marion is going to run a 10k this summer. Em, Aubs, and Mena, this is now immortally on the Internet, so you, like me, are now accountable! Mostly though, it’s that in the last couple of years we’ve all graduated from college and had major lifestyle changes, and those changes weren’t conducive to any of us physically.
The Instagram account has been great! We’re all posting about once a week about anything: hikes, tough workouts, stats on the Nike running app, delicious healthy recipes, progress reports, and even on days that aren’t going so well. It’s been a year since we were all together, and before that it had been three, but doing this makes it seem like we’re still living across the hall from one another. We’re in constant contact and we are all motivating and helping each other reach our goals, even when we’re thousands of miles apart.