Becoming Resilient: How to Make Healthy Change When You Feel Like You Can’t

It seems silly to say, be even at the ripe old age of 35 (well, 34, but I’ll be 35 in August, so might as well get used to saying it) I still feel the effects of peer pressure.

Okay, so 35 isn’t ripe or old necessarily (as we say at Thriveology, you’re not allowed to use age as an excuse). However, it’s hard to appreciate peer pressure at any age older than the teenage years. After all, us adults believe that peer pressure is relegated to middle and high schoolers who supposedly can’t think for themselves.

To help you better understand how peer pressure can play a part in your life even as a grown-up wearing big-boy pants, let me tell you about someone I know.

But All the Kids Are Doing It

There’s one interaction that I had a few years back with a previous Pack Member that will forever stick in mind. Partly because this conversation sort of epitomized how this person was holding themselves back, and partly because it so obviously portrayed how peer pressure can keep you from reaching your health and fitness goals, even at 50.

To make this easy, we’re going to call the main character of our story Mike (the real person was neither named Mike or even a man). Mike was having trouble losing weight, as many 50+-year-olds do. Typically, though, I’m able to give some guided direction to help get our Members on the right path.

However, with Mike, it seemed like no matter what I said or how much emphasis I put on a given change, nothing stuck. So, I decided to dig a little deeper to find an underlying cause of what could really be holding him back.

I knew that Mike enjoyed going out on the weekends (and sometimes even weeknights) to spend time with the guys. And, as we all well know, guy time usually equals drink time. Unless, of course, you have the willpower to say “NO!”.

Now, before this specific conversation, I had talked to Mike about the effects that alcohol consumption, especially excessive consumption, can have on weight loss. So when I asked him again why he was continuing to drink with his buddies even though he knew that it would hold him back from losing weight, his answer sounded like it was coming straight from a 16 year olds mouth…


And that was when I realized that Mike was getting sucked into the trap that peer pressure can put on anybody at any age. Which is also why I wanted to write this article. So you don’t find yourself falling victim to the same pressures that Mike did, even though he knew it was keeping him from achieving his health and fitness goals.

3 Steps to Beating the Bullies

Okay, so maybe the people who are pressuring you aren’t necessarily bullies. But they are keeping you from your goals. And you shouldn’t allow anything to stay in the way of your goals if you truly want to achieve them.

Within these 3 steps, you’ll find some hard decisions you’ll have to make. But, as the saying goes, things are worth doing in life are rarely easy. So, let’s get started on step #1…

#1) Ignore the Detractors

The first step could be the hardest step for most. Any time you decide to make a positive change in your health and fitness, you will have people in your life who will drag you down. They may be people you love and who love you. But they may only love you for you who are today, not for who you are trying to be tomorrow.

So, when you hear a loved one tell you that you won’t succeed or that you can’t lose weight anyway or that you’re too old to get healthy, understand that they are only saying those things because they want you to stay the same.

Instead of giving into to these fear mongers, let their words be used as fuel. If someone tells you that you will fail, use those words to push yourself harder at your next workout. As hard as it will be, you have to ignore the detractors. Even when (or especially when) those words are coming from someone you love.

#2) Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People

The next natural step is to put yourself in a supportive environment. Preferably an environment filled with people like you, who have similar goals and aspirations as you, and who will support you no matter what.

I know what you’re thinking. There can’t be a place like that because you’ve never found one. Well, that just means you haven’t looked hard enough. Sometimes this place is an actual brick and mortar location.

For instance, most of our Pack Members are around 50-55 years-old (give or take). And most of them have the same general goal…they want to feel better again!

Sometimes, though, you have to go online to find the support you’re looking for. Given the wide range of online communities, it won’t be hard to find a group that fits your support needs.

For instance, if you are in the same age range as our Members looking to improve your overall wellbeing, there’s a website called Next Avenue that distributes content specifically for this demographic. On the other hand, if you’re in your early-to-mid 40s and you’re wanting to improve your financial IQ, there’s a website called Seeking Alpha that will get you going in the right direction.

The point is to find some place where you can take in information or literally surround yourself with support from people who want to help you achieve your goals!

#3) Build a Growth Mindset About Your Health

Last, but certainly not least, you have to quiet the little monkey in your head that’s telling you lies. Yes, you know he’s there. It’s that little voice in the back of your head that tells you that you’re too old or you are going to fail, or you’ve tried before so why try again.

I’ve written extensively on building a growth mindset, so I won’t go into great detail here. Basically, to have a growth mindset is to believe that you CAN make progress and get better. You might have a growth mindset in some areas but not in others.

For instance, you might be good at knitting, so you believe that you can get better at knitting. However, you might be terrible at changing your nutritional habits, so this is where you’ll want to focus your growth mindset attention.

To better understand this idea, I strongly recommend the short book by Carol Dweck, Mindset.

None the less, you have to believe that you can make a change and stick with it. You have to believe that you can get better. You have to believe that you can lose weight or have more energy or get stronger. Otherwise, you will always be fighting an uphill battle.

Like I mentioned before, these steps are not meant to be easy. But anything in life that is worth doing is worth doing well. So, you might as well put your best foot forward and give it all you’ve got. Be patient. Be persistent. Give yourself time to change and adapt. Everything else will eventually fall into place.

Are you in your 50s (or close to it!) and ready to build healthier habits into your lifestyle? 

Schedule your FREE Strategy Session so we can pick a personalized plan 

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