You Are Not Alone,

By Matthew Kirsch, Wellness Coach at Far Beyond Food

For anyone under the age of 30 this may come at a surprise, but back in 2006 we all had the option to decide who our “top 5 friends” were aka people we could place free calls to. I know, it sounds crazy but it was thing. At the time, T-Mobile had launched a marketing campaign call MyFaves and everyone joked about who was in “your Top 5”. You could get bumped out, or placed in too early or not at all.  It was quite the conundrum and obviously, something we all had to put some thought into.

Now you’re probably wondering what does this have to do with Health?

Good question! But, before I answer that, let me tell you about a recent experience I had to help give this some context. A few days ago, I began reading a book called “Willpower Doesn’t Work “by Benjamin Hardy. It had come across my radar by a highly-respected trainer who I follow named Charles Poliquin. He coaches Olympic athletes and is viewed as one of the best strength and conditioning coaches in the world. He recommended it highly and for the last few years I have found myself culling my book choices based on the people opinions I respect. It has allowed me to leverage my time and learning capabilities in so many fields. So, when he said it was one of the best books he’s read in the last 10 years, I listened.  As I started the book one of the first things Benjamin discussed was the importance of environment and how it affects us as human beings. This in turn means who we are and what we become is shaped by our surroundings. He then went on to write about Jim Rohn and his most famous quote “We are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. Hardy then writes,

“As it happens, we are also the average of the five people each of our five friends spends the most time with. For example, if your friend’s friend gets fat, your chances of gaining unhealthy weight spike dramatically. This is called negative secondary connection, and it’s often more dangerous that a negative primary connection because you won’t see it coming”

He then goes on to say,

                  “A person’s environment forms every aspect of their lives, from their income to their value system to their waistline to their hobbies. As will be shown throughout this book, your potential is shaped by what surrounds you. Every idea you have comes from what you have been exposed to. Who you become and what you do with your life are constrained by the people around you and the quality of information you consume. Garbage in, garbage out.”

This got me thinking, what if you’re currently trying to change your health but your top 5 people are all unhealthy?  Social eating habits, drinking, exercise or lack thereof, and sleep are all closely connected to the people you spend the most time with. In the age of the internet is it really the lack of information that’s holding you back? I think we would all agree the answer is no. For most of us it’s the fact that we are stuck in unhealthy habits and patterns, tightly connected to the average of the 5 people we spend most of our days with.  So, if we can agree that’s a problem, you’re probably thinking well what can I do to fix it?  Here’s my suggestion.

Create a “MYFAVES” Healthy Top 5

  1. Health Coach- managing the mental and physical regarding habits, nutrition, exercise, stress management and sleep
  2. Personal Trainer – Managing the physical – exercise and nutrition
  3. Massage therapist – managing the physical
  4. Therapist / Hypnotherapist – managing and supporting the mental changes
  5. Healthy Friend- someone to look to and connect with as you change

The trick with this process is working with people who are well rounded in their knowledge and know how to get you to your goal. It’s not necessarily an easy thing to find but it’s worth the effort once you have a team built to support you on your journey.

Here’s what to look for:

  1. Be flexible in their approach yet able to explain their position based on success with previous clients.
  2. Be well read yet aware of the foundational aspects of Nutrition, Sleep, Exercise and Stress Management. No Fad diets etc.
  3. Be a good listener
  4. Be present with you, not on their phone, not talking about themselves and not wasting your time.
  5. Be supportive of your goals (this one seems obvious but many trainers push their agenda even if it doesn’t align with what you want just to make money)
  6. Be win/win. They are making money but you should be getting immense value and time saved.

Taking the time to build a support team is vital to your long-term plan and one of the fastest way to guarantee success. One of the main differences between professionals and amateurs is the ability to filter out the good information from the noise. This is what you pay experts for, saving you TIME.  They’ve spent thousands of hours reading and learning about their industry and can distill the concepts down for you so you don’t need to spend your time.

Ever meet a trainer and wonder who trains them? Or a therapist and who they go to for help? If you look to any successful wellness professional, they have people who they work with and would recommend. My suggestion is FIND THOSE PEOPLE. Ask for recommendations on who they think is the best in related fields.

On behalf of everyone who works in the wellness industry let me say,

You are not alone. WE are here to help and we can go on this journey together.

Do you need all the people listed? Maybe, maybe not. But, do what you can with your time and money to move yourself in the right direction so your health goals happen sooner than later.

So my question to you is, who is in your Top 5?

Until next time,


If you are interested in working with me personally, email me at to set up a complimentary 30 min consult where I’ll walk you through my process in person and share with you who “MYFAVES”  top 5 are.

Charles Poliquin – Strength Sensei

Willpower Doesn’t Work by Benjamin Hardy