There are many things that happen when you start a new routine. A change in your life that you’re working towards. It could be anything. You’re a heavy spender and shopper and you’re trying to save more. You’re known to snack often on unhealthy foods and you’re now trying to dial in your nutrition. You never work out and are now starting a new workout challenge where you have daily workouts… You get my drift. A change beyond your ’normal’ beyond your ‘usual’. Many things happen! There is all this excitement that you feel from starting this new challenge! You’re pumped and eager to start. You prep really well and get mentally prepared for the hard times, but you know why you are doing this and you can’t wait to get started. This excitement is intoxicating and this is the time where you may find some people who are going to be there to keep your fire going! Those personal cheerleaders you knew you had and maybe didn’t know you had!
Motivation from others is amazing, it doesn’t just keep you accountable but it really does help. I know in my personal journey when I started doing the 21 day fix, I had incredible support from my husband and some friends but… and there’s always a ‘but’ – there were many people who kind of rolled their eyes, and told me it’d be fun for a week but that I’d probably stop doing it and not finish. They gave a quick laugh and said “Oh is this one of those other weird things you’re trying?” – These weren’t enemies or people whom I didn’t like. These were some of the closest people to me, even got some scoffs and eyes being rolled from FAMILY! Ouch! It was hard! At first I was hurt a bit confused and angry, and for a moment, doubted too that I would be able to finish the program I set myself to achieve, but in talking to some others going through the same program, I found that I wasn’t alone! Why was this so common?? Why were we all getting some negativity from some of the closest people?? I came up with this list through experience and in asking some people close to me! Here’s some reasons why you may be getting some negativity from someone close to you and how to deal with these: For the purposes of answering I will answer these relating to a new fitness/nutrition program, but they can be applied to many different lifestyle changes!! (you stop smoking, you want to save more, you want to watch less TV, you want to volunteer more etc)
1. They don’t want you to get down if you quit halfway through.
They know what happened last time you started a fitness/nutrition plan. They saw you quit halfway and saw how down you got about the whole thing. They had to be there to pick you up and lift you back up and are afraid of this happening again! Explain to them that you appreciate their concern but you need all the positive energy you can get! And then use THAT promise to keep you accountable through your journey!
2. They think it’s a fad or something unrealistic that isn’t sustainable.
They might not know enough about it!! The truth is there ARE many fad diets and magic pills out there that claim to fix you in 3 or seven days. But this is where they are just misinformed! When I mentioned I was doing the 21 day fix I think some of the negativity came from one of my friends thinking that it was a crazy diet meant to give me dramatic results and that I’d gain it all back after! When I explained I actually eat five times a day and everything is natural ingredients, no pills full of chemicals, and that my workout program is a super quick 30 minutes a day routine she backed off and actually became a bit interested in what it was all about!
3. They see themselves in your faults and by you wanting to change your bad habits they feel like they need to change too and they aren’t happy about that.
Many people have things they have in common with you and if you used to bond over your hate of broccoli but neither one of you had tried it and when you did you loved it it removes things you used to dislike or have a laugh about together! They might start to realize they should be trying new foods too but don’t want to feel that pressure! Remind them this is your journey and they are not forced to do anything!
4. They use you as their ‘bad habit allowance’
They know that you love donuts, and it’s their guilty pleasure too, so although they don’t go out of their way to get it and they surely don’t eat it around other friends, with YOU they know they can pig out on a half a dozen donuts and not feel bad about themselves because you’re just like them! When you stop eating donuts they don’t have anyone to do this with and have to realize they may be making some bad decisions and you changing your habits are bringing this to light, which makes them upset. Explain WHY you stopped eating donuts but don’t push anything on them. Inform don’t preach!
5. They feel like they’ll see you or hear from you less.
Just like joining a club or picking up a new hobby, making fitness and nutrition a part of your life might make them feel like now they’ll never see you because you’re going to turn into a gym lover who is always ‘heading to the gym’ and is obsessed with calories. Talk to them! Reassure them that your goal requires time but it’s not going to take over your free time like they may be thinking!
6. They are afraid of you turning into a food police and that you may start judging them.
No one wants to feel judged, and now that you’re being more conscious about what you eat they are afraid of getting judged when opening up their lunch box or ordering together at a restaurant and that makes them feel uncomfortable. Make sure they know that you don’t feel uncomfortable around other types of foods and that you’d never judge them!
7. They have seen you try things in the past and fail, how is this different?
They genuinely don’t believe you’ll finish it! It’ll be like that scarf you never finished or the dance classes you left unused and they expired. How is this challenge different? Tell them why! Because enough is enough and you know you are worth it! So talk to them!
8. They think it’s a scam (if you had to pay for anything related to your lifestyle change)
I got a lot of this from people close to me when I purchased my challenge pack. They didn’t give me much time to explain all that it brought and how each thing was beneficial to making this lifestyle change easier! I found that I wanted to share with them all about it but I was afraid of coming off sales-y or like I had drank the koolaid.. Eventually I realized if they cared enough to show their concern I could care enough to do what I had to do to make sure they understood how this was NOT a scam and share all I knew about it with them!
9. They are afraid to realize they need to change too.
Seeing you start to get your results, seeing you work so hard to get what you want may make them realize that they should be doing the same thing. And who wants to realize they need to change? Remember how hard it was for you! Be there for them if they need to talk and share the journey with them!
10. They may actually not be as good of an influence as you may think.
Sometimes you have to realize that there is bound to be some bad energy out in the world and you need to focus on you and only allow good energy into your life. If you have a friend that is continuously negative and unsupportive even though you’ve talked with them about how it bothers you and that you need SUPPORT, maybe distancing yourself from that person if possible is a good idea. I say communication can solve all and any issue, but sometimes, it may exhaust you and drain you. So keep our energy for where it’s best used. To be happy, to share in positive engagements, to workout, and to eat your healthy meals!!