You can see that inspiration can come from many sources. Getting and staying connected to support networks that have a positive impact can be key to establishing healthy behaviors. Those going through similar challenges with a positive attitude and consistent commitment can be especially helpful.
It’s important to keep in mind that just as healthy behaviors can be influenced by the world around us, so can unhealthy behaviors. When seeking support, be aware of those who on the surface seem to support you, but at almost every turn sabotage your efforts–a walking buddy who often bails on you, a co-worker who brings in your favorite cookies, or a forum friend who posts about cheating the system. These people may feel comfortable with you just the way you are or may be struggling themselves.
It is also important to keep in mind that eating and socializing go together—unless you are trying to forge new eating habits or reach and maintain a healthy weight—then there is good reason to keep these separate. The natural tendency is to increase the amount eaten (30% or more) when eating with others. You are also more likely to splurge on an unhealthy food choice or dessert if your meal mate does. Instead of eating, go for a walk, catch up over a cup of coffee, take a yoga class together, or enjoy a movie without refreshments or dinner afterward.
Once you have healthy habits in place, be sure to share your enthusiasm, ideas, and encouragement as you become an inspiration to those around you.