Amazing success, look at the company you keep

Many factors shape the success of maintaining a healthy weight.  Diet and exercise top the list of things you should do to lose weight. It’s no coincidence that in a few weeks losing weight and exercising more will be on most New Year resolution lists.

Reducing portion sizes and avoiding unhealthy foods while exercising more goes a long way in defining success in maintaining a healthy weight. We can enjoy amazing resulting results beyond this success. Reaching that higher level involves changing interpersonal relationships and looking closer at our inner selves.

A few weeks back I came across an interesting article, Why Successful People Leave Their Loser Friends Behind. Despite the flippant title, I found a pretty revealing piece of advice on how the company you keep or do not keep influences your success in life.

One of the central pieces of advice from the article is the importance of having three essential people in your life to be successful. I have actually followed this advice for many years as a bariatric post-op. Here are the three essential people expressed in terms of for a bariatric post-op.

  1. The older, more successful mentor
    The formula for long-term weight loss success can only be learned from a person who has walked that path. This is why I attend support group meetings. I listen to my fellow long-term post-ops and learn something at each meeting. I hope my presence helps newbies and those struggling by hearing my story and sharing my experiences.
  2. A Peer to exchange ideas
    it is difficult to walk a journey alone. This is very true when you are on that journey to a healthier, happier life. I have become a very active cyclist, hiker and runner. I have developed many strong friendships with like people. Most of my peers know my weight loss story and relate to where I have come from and where I am going. They are my sounding board. They are my advisors. They help me attain success and self-confidence.
  3. A newbie to coach and keep me energized
    I lead a bike club and lead many hikes in a hiking club. Both of thee organizations target people who want to be healthier. Many of the members come from a background similar to mine. There are several bariatric post-ops who have joined the clubs due to my advocacy for fitness in my support group. I immensely enjoy working closely with people committed to develop a new healthier life. Their enthusiasm and transformation energizes me. There is truly the thrill of victory in their faces as they tackle longer and harder rides and hikes.

This post took a long time to come to reality. I keep a to-blog-about list of weight loss surgery post-op topics. High on the list sits “changes in friendships as a post-op”. I stare at it every time I look for the subject of my next blog post. I then pass it by. I find it to be a touchy subject for me.

I have seen my friendships change over the past 7 years. I question whether I have “left my loser friends behind“ so that I could enjoy success. The hard fact that I can point to is that I am much more active and spend most of my free time doing active things. That is now my passion in life.

With this change in activity come friendships with like-minded people. These are my new friends; the people I bike hike and run with week in and week out. I did not ditch any friendship. I did choose to form new friendships around the things that make me a happy and healthy.

Maybe that is a sign of success you should test yourself against. Are the people you surround yourself with interested in your success and is your success driven by their success? If the friendship meets that test, it is probably a good thing. Taking that farther, does the friendship define amazing success?

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