There was an article in a local gay paper that pretty much asked the same question (switch out "ugly" for "fat") and essentially said yes. I found most of it to be complete bullshit, so I wrote a reply to it and posted it on my blog
So, there’s an article
that was published by the Washington Blade that is going around about how we are the sum of the five people we spend the most amount of time with. This is not a new concept and, for the most part, it is fairly accurate. A trainer and fellow footballer linked this directly to fitness goals and how “your fat friends are not going to help you do anything but stay fat.”
Yes, we should toootally dump our fat friends because they’re fat. That was sarcasm. Thick, dripping sarcasm. What is this, high school? If someone drops you as a friend because you have more than 12% body fat, then, odds are, they probably weren’t that great of a friend anyway. There is so much more to a person and what we can glean from them than their physical stature.
TL;DR: the article – at least the half about ditching your friends who don’t have a six pack – is complete bullshit.
The second half about breaking your goals into smaller, achievable milestones was actually really good.
My question: What about the people who haven’t met their physical goals yet? What about the ones that desperately want to change, but don’t have the knowledge base to do so?
When I started on the path of getting into shape, most of my friends were already athletic. If they had followed this trainer’s advice, I probably would still be 280lbs and, odds are, a Type II Diabetic. It was because they were, and are, friends with me that I learned what I needed to and remained motivated to drop 90lbs and completely change the course of my life.
I do agree that we are the sum of the five people we spend the most amount of time with (because, math). This should go far beyond the physical. I have a friend that continuously teaches me compassion and to chase my dreams, another makes me strive to honor my feelings whatever they may be, some teach me to not take myself so seriously but also not take shit from people, others show me the importance of being focused and determined on whatever it is I want to achieve. Basically, none of these are physical traits. They can be applied physically, sure, but directly they are more about me as a person – not about if I just want to lose three pounds. Yes, that was a Mean Girls reference. You’re welcome.
By limiting our world to just the physical, there is so much that we miss out on. So many amazing people that we’d cut ourselves off from that we can learn the best lessons from – because you should learn something from every relationship that you have. So much growing that we wouldn’t do.
We would be stunted as people.
Being in shape and friends with people who are out of shape will not make you fat.
Being out of shape and friends with people who are fit will not make you lean.
It’s all about the decisions you make. No one’s forcing you to choose a hamburger over a salad. To spend your day in front of the TV instead of doing something physical. That’s your choice.
In the end, it’s all about the people you give your time to.
Don’t let them be toxic.