There is a statistic bandied about, for which I don’t know the source, that says you are the average of the 5 people around you. Whatever the truth behind it, you can certainly see the truth of it. If you sit next to chocolate grazers in the office, you’re bound to pick up their habits. If your friends constantly want to mark each meeting with a boozy night out, there are only a certain number of times you’ll want to say no or stick to mineral water. If your husband loves a saturday night with a takeaway and a tub of ice cream, you’re not going to stick to a bowl of cherries. Conversely, if your colleagues head for the stairs rather than the lift, you’ll join them.

Once, before we turned the corner that we have, we read some advice to someone on a blog, who was asking what to do if you’re friends won’t change their habits if you’re wanting to change yours – the advice was ‘get new friends.’ At the time I thought this was pretty outrageous, but as time has gone on, I can sort of see the logic of it. If they don’t support you, if they don’t understand what you’re trying to do, you have to wonder whether they have your interests at heart. Luckily, I seem to have friends who know how important it is to me that I make and persist with the changes I’m trying to make, and who will do their best to support me.

What I’ve also noticed, is that at crossfit there are people I see all the time, that I know well enough to chat to, to know what they like and dislike, crossfit-wise. There are some girls who are sort of just ahead of me or about where I am, and there are girls who are a fair bit ahead but who inspire me to keep going because (without sounding like a fan girl) I want to be able to do what they do. And so what am I doing is surrounding myself with people who, actively or not, help me make the changes I want to.

There’s more to making changes than making changes. Without sounding a bit woo-woo, it’s a lot more holistic than that. You need to look at your whole life- who you see, who you sit next to, whether you can fit stuff into your day. That’s the only way you can make the changes lasting, rather than a five-day wonder. More importantly, it’s the only way to make sure you don’t slip back and put all the weight back on.

With love


Rachael Parkman

Rachael is a late 30s south Londoner, who’s always been bigger than she wants but thinks she’s found the solution. Lives with her husband and cat, and enjoys cooking, gin and tonic and wearing nice shoes.

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