Friend Power is Stronger Than Willpower

Friend Power is Stronger Than Willpower

- in 2019 Editions, Health, Magazine, October 2019

When something feels hard to accomplish, it’s hard to stick to it. We’ve all probably had a diet that didn’t work out, a fitness routine that fizzled, or great ambitions that you just couldn’t carry out on your own. This was me. Recently, though, I think I found the solution to fix it: friendship. 

It all hit me after reading a quote from Dr. Mark Hyman, who said, “Friend power is far more powerful than willpower.” I just sat there and thought, wow…ain’t that the truth. Anything in life at which I’ve been successful came from having great people supporting me, loving me and encouraging me. And I believe this is exactly why I’ve been able to learn so much on my most recent journey to get healthy again. 

A few years ago, I started not feeling well. A variety of health issues hit me, including digestion issues, fatigue, sleep issues, etc. I went from being healthy to feeling lost, alone and miserable. I went from doctor to doctor trying to find answers for a year. At that point, I was told I had fibromyalgia and they gave me some drug options to try, but I didn’t want to go that route. 

Deep down, I knew there was something more I could do. Long story short, I finally found a division of medicine called functional medicine, which drills down on your symptoms a little deeper to find the root causes — and I finally found answers. I learned I was sensitive to gluten, plus a few other things I needed to address related to gut issues and mold toxicity. 

I finally had some answers, but these were things I needed to do in order to heal and they weren’t going to be quick, easy fixes. All of this meant big changes in my diet and lifestyle. 

Let me preface this next part by saying that 10 years ago, I didn’t even eat salads. I was Miss Hamburger Helper and Taco Bell Queen. So for me to change my diet was a big deal. So, what did I do? I immediately cut out gluten and felt so much better. And then little by little, I started to learn from others how to keep incorporating positive changes. I started cooking more at home, too. 

It was all still really hard, but I think what kept me going was connecting with people who had the same goals as I did — friend power is stronger than willpower. It’s just not easy to do anything alone. We’re designed for human connection. I followed healthy influencers on social media. I asked friends to go to the gym with me. I started having lunch dates with friends who also wanted to start living healthy — anything I could do. 

I’m doing really great now and am almost symptom-free. It’s pretty amazing. Now, because I’ve started to share my story, I have people reach out to me all the time — and I love it. Because I know exactly how it feels to be overwhelmed when it comes to learning about keeping our bodies healthy and really working hard to live our best life. 

It’s OK to take it slow and start small, to just learn a little bit at a time. Throughout my health journey, I’ve been blessed to meet several people and have conversations with them that have helped me tremendously. I felt like I couldn’t keep these conversations bottled up and wanted to share them with you, too. 

I wanted to figure out a way for us all to connect and learn together, so I created a podcast! Each episode of “Conversations with Sara” will cover all kinds of things that will help us live our best lives. We could all use a message to inspire us, right? You’ll hear episodes on everything from using food as medicine, benefits of infrared sauna and knowing progress instead of perfection, just to name a few. 

My goal is to create community. We need each other — to feel loved, to learn and to share. When we come together, we can create real, long-lasting change.

Learn more about the podcast and get healthy tips at Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify.

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