15 Ways to Catch Up With Friends (and Stay on Protocol)

THERE IS NO GOOD TIME TO LOSE WEIGHT … there will always be a holiday, birthday, anniversary, vacation, business trip, blah blah blah!

The biggest point I can stress to anyone looking to lose weight, is to know, understand and accept that life will happen.  The world doesn’t stop, people don’t stop making cookies, going out to eat or going out to bars just because you have a weight loss goal. Life keeps going on so it’s really important to learn how to navigate those situations without turning into a hermit and skipping out. 

Here are some great options that take you away from food and alcohol and still allow you to have a social life:

1. Invite them to your house
It’s not necessary to connect with people in coffee shops and restaurants – even people we know and love! When you are the host/hostess, you can control the environment and have weight loss “friendly” foods and drinks on hand.  Your friends can always BYOB and have what they want too!

2. Go on a walk or hike together
There are so, so many reasons to do this! It’s free. It’s healthy. Being outdoors is good for your mental health, your creativity, and your focus. And don’t be dissuaded by winter. Remember: there’s no bad weather, only bad clothes!

3. Run errands together
This is SO MUCH MORE FUN THAN IT SOUNDS. My BFF and I share a common hobby of Feeling Good About Myself Because I Just Crossed An Easily Achievable Item Off My To-Do List. Running errands together works best if you combine your lists and treat yourself to a to-go coffee that you drink while poking around Target.

4. Take a low-key class together
Yes, you could also take an intellectually and mentally stimulating class together, but then you’ll spend most of your time learning, rather than catching up. Also: your yoga teacher would probably prefer that you don’t spend the whole class talking loudly about your dating situation. Favorite low-key classes include: cooking classes, pottery classes, and rock climbing.

5. Do non-awful outside chores together
It sounds weird, but when I was an apartment dweller I looooooved helping my homeowner friends garden and rake leaves. Your friends might not want to clean the gutters or shovel out the driveway, but they might enjoy helping you landscape or fuss with your tomato plants!

6. DIY your space together
True story: my friend once bribed five of us to help her put plastic on her windows for the winter. AND WE LOVED IT. We still joke about a particular couple who completed one window to everyone else’s three!

If they’re handy and interested, your friends might genuinely enjoy helping you paint, spackle, hang shelves or – let’s be real – wander around the house, saying things like “I think a little mid-century slipper chair would look really nice right there.”

7. Invite them on a long drive
It’s a scientific fact: time + car = bonding. Long car rides bring out the deep-and-meaningful conversations. Turn on the radio and reminisce. Pull over for weird roadside attractions or viewpoints.  Take selfies and post them on social media.

Pro tip: it’s particularly awesome to bring a friend with you on a long-distance Craigslist run! They’ll help you load things into your car and make you feel less weird about meeting strangers from the internet. And if you want to make your long drive more roadtrip-esque, use Roadtrippers.com to find cool, weird stuff along your route!

8. Explore your city’s touristy stuff
If you’re like just about every other human, you’ve lived in a city for years and not seen many of its tourist attractions. Gather your more curious, adventurous friends and work your way through your city’s biggest attractions.

9. Host a clothing swap
Nothing makes you bond faster than stripping down to your skivvies and trying on each other’s clothes. Invite your favorite ladies to bring their best gently-used items, have everyone bring a potluck dish and build yourself a new wardrobe! Here’s a better, more involved tutorial on how to host a clothing swap.

10. Rent a cabin together
Two or three times a year, my friends and I rent a cabin and spend the weekend cooking, playing board games, building fires, and hiking. Getting away from our day-to-day routine shakes things loose and helps us connect with each other in a deeper way.

11. Have a co-working date
Invite your friend over to your house (see #1), make a big pot of coffee or tea, vent about work and clients, and then hunker down for a few hours of work. Even if you’re not a freelancer, most of us have outside-of-office-hours work we could be catching up on.

If you don’t have any big projects in the works, read industry-related articles, update your resume, or spend an hour following peers and thought leaders on social media.

12. Craft together
Invite your friend to bring over their current, portable craft project and futz together. You don’t even need to be working on the same type of craft! All the while you’re catching up and being productive all at once!

13. Make a complicated, involved recipe together
The recipe that you’ve been meaning to try will be fun when you’re making it with friends. This is a chance to show your friends/family that you eat really great things on your weight loss program!

14. Have an Article Club (rather than a Book Club)
Now, don’t get me wrong, I loooove a good Book Club, but if everyone you know has a demanding job/a long commute/people in their life who require attention and care, it can be really hard to find a date that works for everyone, let alone find time to read a novel.

Maybe an ‘article club‘ is more realistic. It’s the same idea as a Book Club – we all read the same, thought-provoking piece – and then we hang out and talk about it. Because we all know that the “hanging out and talking” part is the most important part of Book Club, right? Here’s a round-up of interesting Article Club-worthy articles if you’re interested.

15. Write a ‘New Things’ list and rope them into trying these new things with you
My ‘New Things’ list is one of the ways “I live my life on purpose”. It also happens to be a great way to create memories with my friends.

Adapted from: www.yesandyes.org

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