Daily I hear from my fitness challengers that they are dealing with people who make fun of their goals, make them feel like they are a weirdo for getting fit, and their closest loved ones are offering little to no support when it comes to their fitness journey! I know how this feels because I was there once before! When I first got started I heard a lot of negative chatter! It made me feel embarrassed, frustrated, made me want to hide and inevitably it made me want to give up. I was tired of the weird eye rolls at work events when I said “no thank you” tot he cup cakes. I was tired of people saying to me “You only live once, eat the cup cake.” I was tired of people telling me “You’re fit and healthy enough, just eat what you want!” None of these statements helped me very much and made me feel like an outcast at outings and events. It took a lot of will power to work through those negative voices coming from everyone else! I was already struggling with the negative voices in my own head, I didn’t need to hear everyones else’ two cents!
I feel that it is important to start with WHY people do this, so that we can better understand them and give them some slack here. When you do something that challenges someone else’s comfort zone, naturally they become defensive and want to defend the way they live their life. You may be facing someone with such bad habits that are so deep rooted, that they are in total denial, and refuse to face the fact that they are living a completely un healthy life. They may think they have it all figured out, but their health and waist line may say something different! Trust me, they know they need to make a change themselves, they just refuse to face that fact because its totally uncomfortable and they are totally set in their ways! You want to know what’s cool?? We cannot act like we have not been there! We just realized when they have not that we need to make a change. When I was at my heaviest weight, at first I scoffed at people who were fit and healthy. I said things like “Oh they must not have a full time job, because they have all of this time to meal prep.” Or “I am totally fine with my 200 lbs self, I embrace my curves!” eehhhh nooooo I was 5’5 and 200 LBs those were not healthy curves, those were rolls forming on my back. I just felt so comfortable eating whatever came my way, the idea of changing overwhelmed me. It took me a long time to face the fact that if I did not change, I would eventually put myself at harm! My health would suffer. Not to mention my lack of energy and excitement for life! So try to put yourself in their shoes, the Negative Nancies, or the people who cut you down for your fitness goals. You are making them uncomfortable. If they were working out and eating clean, you better believe they would walk by and give you a wink or a high five for turning down the cake. Like attracts like right!?
So what do you do in the face of Negative Nancy???
#1. Do not argue with them or try to stand your ground on your goals. Your boisterous statements will not change their outlook or their motivation to become fit or healthy themselves.
#2. Politely tell them that you do not want to eat that “stuff” because you are simply not hungry. You do not need to tell them, why, or what is going on! It is none of their busienss!
#3. Politely explain your goals and that you are making a change, and that you appreciate their offer.
#4. Politely tell them that you have developed a new allergy and need to watch out for that particular food (ex: dairy, wheat, gluten, meat whatever you want to avoid).
You do not need to dive into the facts about your fitness goals, or why you need to avoid those things, just give them enough information to end the conversation and move on! If you are attending an event and really want to be on point with your diet, bring the foods that you would like to eat. Have it handy, heat it up when you are done a the event! Have a water bottle in hand so it looks like you are part of the party and enjoying yourself. I have gone as far as to fill up a solo cup with water and walk around a party as if I were drinking the punch!!! Its often easier to not be asked any questions, to bring any attention your way, or to raise any eye brows. Just stay low, sip out of your solo cup, take a plate of the food and have a few bites, and if anyone asks… “you know what I am totally stuffed from lunch!! Thank you for asking though!”
When it comes to a negative spouse or a spouse that does not want you to focus on weight loss. This is when you need to have a lot of positive self talk going on. It is obvious you cannot share your journey with your spouse, so keep our lifestyle changes to yourself. If you know your spouse wants to go our for pizza and beer with you, he does not need to know exactly how much of that stuff you eat! Limit your portions! Get on a fitness program that is 25 minutes a day that you can do before they even wake up, or after they go to bed. This is for you not them! If your family wants / needs you to cook for them, make foods that you can fit into your diet, or if you cannot possibly do that, measure our a cup of the casserole/pasta/ whatever it is that they want to eat. I like the cup rule because it usually comes out to be able 5 – 6 OZ of food, which should bring you in under 400 calories for that meal. Shoot, carry a measuring cup with you wherever you go and fill it with food when you are out. Or you can eye ball portions like this:
This is super helpful when you are out and about!!
This is a simple meal plan with lots of good simple grab and go things that you can prepare for yourself to have in your fridge!