Anyone who has embarked on a new fitness lifestyle has probably met some resistance from friends or family at some point in their life. You would think that your desire to be fit and healthy would be met with overwhelming support from the people close to you. For some of us, we are lucky to have that support system. For others, they have to deal with the constant social struggles of fitting in or moving on.
Be Your Own Person
Many of us probably have the same friends that we did when we weren’t in the best of shape. You took the initiative to get healthy, but your social circles are fine with the status quo. Suddenly, you’re the social outcast at work or social outings because you didn’t partake in the pizza party or the morning donuts. The ratio of bad food eaters to good food eaters is stacked against you at least 10 to 1. What are you supposed to do? Give in to the social pressure? No. You stand strong in your convictions and you keep your eye on the prize. You have goals, and you’re not going to fold to social pressure.
People feel threatened when their own lifestyles are being questioned. You might not be doing anything besides eating a healthy meal at a restaurant while your friend decides to get the most unhealthy meal they have to offer. Just the simple fact that you made them self-reflect for a moment on what they’re eating is enough to make them think they’re being judged, and sends them into defensive mode. Suddenly, questions and statements about why you are doing what you’re doing start getting sent your way.
- Why don’t you live a little?
- Oh come on…one bad meal isn’t going to hurt you.
- You’re too thin.
- You’re obsessed.
- What you’re doing isn’t healthy.
- I think you looked better before.
In all honestly, even being the fitness nut that I am, I really don’t care what you’re eating or how much you’re exercising. If you don’t care, why should I? I’m not on an agenda to change your life. I’m only here to help people that want help. I’m not trying to push myself or my ideas on anybody. I’m not judging you for eating bad food while I eat the healthy stuff. Trust me, I have better things to worry about. I’m probably more worried about the judgements from everyone else when I choose to eat something bad. I don’t eat perfect 100% of the time. I know how to schedule cheat meals around my social schedule. I love pizza. I don’t deprive myself, but I also don’t make bad food the staple in my lifestyle.
Do It For Yourself
If someone has a problem with you wanting to be healthy, that is their own problem. Don’t let other people’s insecurities get in the way of your goals and desires. If you have a goal and you want to look a certain way, no one else’s opinion matters but your own. Don’t let anything get in the way, and most importantly, don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. Instead, try to better understand where these feelings are coming from.
It can be harder said than done, but all great leaders at one point in time bucked the trend and started a new path. Eventually, you become an inspiration for others to make positive changes in their own lives. Lead by example. Don’t try to push your fitness lifestyle onto people. When they are ready for change, you will be the first person they come to for help. Be open and understanding, and know that you were that person at one point too. It’s not that they don’t want to change, it’s that they don’t know how, and they’re afraid to step out of their comfort zone.
Stay positive. Be yourself. Block out the negative noise. Remember why you decided to change your lifestyle in the first place. Everything will fall into place soon enough. What are some of the social pressures you’ve experienced in your life?