Live A Little, Come On! It Won’t Kill You!

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Success or FailurePicture this. You’ve decided to eat healthy and found a workout that you love. You’re losing weight, getting in shape and feeling great! Suddenly you start getting complaints from those around you. Sometimes it’s strangers making comments, but in my experience most often it’s from those close to us like friends, family and co-workers.

Yes, there are definitely exceptions and supportive people in our lives but when they aren’t, it completely throws us off. You assume that your desire to be fit and healthy would be met with overwhelming support from the people close to you. Unfortunately some of us have to deal with the constant social struggles of fitting in or feeling pressure to stop what we’re doing.

Most of us probably have the same friends and people in our circle that we did when we were just starting our fitness quest. You decided to get healthy, but they didn’t necessarily sign up for the trip. You may find yourself the social outcast at work or get togethers because you don’t participate in pizza parties or the Friday donuts. You stand in the corner eating your chicken breast or nibbling on half a slice of pizza while they eat several slices and go back for more.

I’ve even brought my own food to holiday parties and family events when I was pre-contest. What are you supposed to do? Give in? No, stand strong in your convictions and you keep your eye on the prize. You have goals, and you’re shouldn’t feel the need to fold to social pressure. Your health and happiness is important regardless of their decisions. People often feel threatened or judged as if their own lifestyles are being questioned.

You might not be doing anything besides ordering a healthy meal at a restaurant while your friend decides to get the worst meal they have to offer. Seeing you eating right, may make them reflect on what they’re eating and make them feel judged. They react in defensive mode and make comments about what you’re doing.

  • Live a little.
  • One bad meal isn’t going to hurt you.
  • You’re too thin.
  • You need to eat more.
  • You’re obsessed.
  • What you’re doing isn’t healthy.

I’ve gotten even stronger reactions and comments when I do eat something unhealthy. I plan it out and rarely do it, but they act as if I’ve fallen off the wagon completely and poke all kinds of fun. I can only imagine their reaction if I made the same comments when they ate a piece of cake or donut.

Often it’s easier to react by judging you than it is for them to actually change themselves. If they were happy with what they were eating and how they feel, then it wouldn’t matter to them what you ate. The truth is you probably don’t put thought into what they’re eating. You aren’t on a mission to change everyone and make them drink your koolaid.

If someone has a problem with your choices, then it’s their problem. Don’t let other people’s insecurities get in the way of your goals and desires or make you feel self conscious. Don’t let them make you give in to temptation unless you truly want to. If you have a goal and you want to look a certain way, no one else’s opinion matters but your own. If you enjoy your workouts, it should be no different than any other hobby.

Don’t let anything get in the way, and most importantly don’t worry about what others think. Try to better understand where these feelings are coming from. Be open and understanding, and know that you may have been that person at one point too. It may not be that they don’t want to change.

It’s more likely they’re afraid to step out of their comfort zone and make the daily effort it takes. Working out and eating well day after day takes effort and is not an easy path. If it were easy, we’d all be in shape and obesity wouldn’t be the epidemic it is.

It can be harder said than done, but many people have gone against the grain at one point in time and started a new trend. Eventually you may become an inspiration for others to make positive changes in their lives. Lead by example. Don’t try to push your fitness lifestyle onto people. (Not that I’m saying you are!) When they are ready for change, you may be the first person they come to for help.

Stay positive. Be yourself. Ignore the negative noise. Remember why you decided to change your lifestyle in the first place. Everything will fall into place soon enough. You never know who might be watching and learning from what you’re doing.

PS – This doesn’t just apply to fitness. Getting a new career, getting divorced, getting married, making a life change can invoke this reaction from others who are afraid to step out of their comfort zone. Always doubt your limits. 😉

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