About a half-dozen of my gal pals carried my birthday celebration into the weekend by treating me to pitchers of sangria – which did include lots of “healthy” fresh fruit – and Cuban cuisine. Afterward, we took the party to “Culture Club” for more than two hours of dancing to tunes from the shoulder-pad-and-big-hair-filled 1980s. (It seemed only fitting that “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John welcomed this fitness blogger as I walked through the doors!) My calculations on the Internet show I burned roughly 715 calories during those 120 booty-shaking minutes on the dance floor. However, I couldn’t figure out how to add up the extra calories we must have burned thanks to the laughter we shared over still knowing the words to almost all of the “old” songs. (Which included everything from “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” by Dead or Alive to “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins.)
As the fun night continued into early Sunday morning, I couldn’t help but think of how lucky I am to have such special people in my life. Some of these amazing women have been my friends since childhood. Some I met during the past decade. Yet, they all have one thing in common: they always have my back. They’ve supported my decisions, regardless of whether they’d do the same thing if presented with the same situation. They’ve encouraged me to pursue my dreams in the fitness industry and get this blog started. As an only child, I consider these women, along with a few others who couldn’t make it to this particular outing, my extended family.
I tell you all of this as a reminder to turn to your support network – family or friends – to help you tackle the challenges in your life. For many people, deciding to embrace a healthier lifestyle can be an uphill battle. If you’re one of them, lean on your friends. Lots of guys go to the gym together to spot each other while weight lifting and push each other to get those last reps in. We gals can do the same thing. Ask a friend to join a gym with you or sign up for Zumba or other group exercise classes at a local community center. If the gym isn’t your thing, make a date to meet a few times each week at a for a brisk walk or run. Knowing you’d be breaking a “date” by skipping a workout with your buddy can be a good motivator to stick with the plan for the day.
Whether it’s a Saturday night dance party or a mid-week walk in the park, don’t forget to lean on your friends to help you stay on track with your plans to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!