Today I was at the gym, chatting with some 10-Week Challengers about how others sometimes try to sabotage our new healthy lifestyle…..
I’ve seen it for years: a woman starts exercising, cleans up her eating, loses weight and starts looking and feeling great, and pretty soon, others (usually women, sad, really), start uncercutting her efforts, ever-so-subtly, with little comments: ‘aren’t you finished with that program by now….you’re getting to skinny….you’re spending so much time away from your family’…or (this one is my favourite), ‘come on now, live a little, have some dessert, or a drink.’
In fact, I build this lesson into my programs, as I warn women about what could potentially happen when they get healthy. “Others may undercut you, and that’s ok. It’s part of the process.”
Why does this happen? Because when you get healthy, you act like a mirror for others to see just how unhealthy they are. You reflect back to them parts of themselves they don’t want to see or face.
This is where we need to respond with love: ‘Why don’t you come with me to the gym next time?’
Or we can let it go. For me, I learned to let it go. After so many years, no one tries to derail me anymore, because they know better. But more importantly, my ‘clan’ or tribe has changed…having worked the bar scene for a lot of years in Banff, I slowly moved away from that crowd because I was changing my lifestyle, and we simply drifted away. Now I live amongst people who take their health seriously, who enjoy exercise and good food, and whom I don’t have to explain my lifestyle to because we’re all on that same path.
So if you’re feeling resistance from loved ones, know that it’s because you are making inroads in your life, and others are starting to notice. The wise person would appreciate your efforts, and support you in your transformation. As for the others, well, pay it no mind. But remember it works both ways: we don’t appreciate them tryin gto undercut our healthy lifestyle choices, but us health-gals needn’t preach to them either. It’s their life, and we all deserve free choice. No one likes to be preached to.
Don’t stay small for anyone. It’s crazy to go back to an unhealthy lifestyle to appease others, to stay accepted by a tribe that you may no longer fit into. And that’s ok.
(Right: Challenger Graduate Joan Tocher works it at PAK Fitness in Sidney. She’s showing obvious signs of her new, healthy lifestyle! Lookin great Joan!