Dealing with Fitness Haters: How to

So, for all intensive purposes, and for the sake of this blog, when I reference “fitness”, we are talking about the 80% diet, 20% exercise equation.  The “fitness’y lifestyle” respectively, is ultimately comprised of 2 sides; One side consists of the ones doing the damn thing, and the people who have started, or about to start doing the damn thing, the other is the person talking about the person doing said “damn thing”.

Today, we’ll say this “thing” is going on a diet of some sort, and exercising in some capacity.
There is absolutely nothing more scary and overwhelming than the thought of changing ones routine.  It is after all “our” routine, and as such, we have created these habits due to what in our minds, establishes a path of least resistance.  From a literal and metaphorical standpoint, if we want to grow, we have to CHANGE.

If you’ve ever started a new healthy meal plan or workout routine, you know the most difficult part is the beginning.  You’ll be eating MORE or LESS than what you’ve grown accustomed to depending on your goals, the process and transition with fitting in all the meals and drinking a ton of water will initially be uncomfortable, and after your first several workouts you’ll be tired and sore, in places you never thought could get tired and sore.  If you go to a gym, you may see some muscle-heads or female bombshells with tiny waists, big butts, and toned arms, and possibly feel a little bit intimidated.  Despite these factors, you’ll push on, because you know the process will take some time and everyone has to start somewhere.

You may be WAY out of your comfort zone with this whole fitness thing, but you keep going because even though it’s only been a couple days since you started the diet and workouts, oddly, you already feel a lot better. Imagine that.

The transition with the diet and workouts is tough enough, but one thing, probably the most challenging thing, is when you run into “that guy” (99 times out of 100 a friend or family member) who starts hating or making off color remarks about the lifestyle changes you’re making:

“ Why are you doing this, who are you trying to impress?  You’ve never done it before, who you trying to look good for?”
 “This won’t last long, everyone ends up quitting after a few weeks.” “Why are you spending money on pre made healthy meals, when you can cook for yourself?  “Why waste money on gas and a gym, just do push-ups and sit-ups at the house?”  “Why would you want to lift weights and get all big like one of those bodybuilders?” “Why would you get food from them, all you have to do is stop eating so much?”

Or from one spouse to the next, a common scenario I see routinely, “well if you’re on this diet and in the gym all the time, I’m never going to see you. I’ll have to cook or eat out myself, what the hell am I suppose to do!?”  And shortly after the spouse gives in, quits the diet and workouts, and carries on being unfulfilled and progressively out of shape.

Sound familiar to anyone?

Statements like these, from someone you know, are related or married to, can be an immediate deal breaker.  Whether the statements are made as a put down or not, they are received as such, and that’s a tough nut to crack from someone we care for, and who is supposed to care about us. So how do we deal with these FITNESS HATERS?
You have the option of just ignoring them, which is what we are told to do all the time, but we also know does not work very well.  You could debate with them each line item, and go back and forth like 5h graders arguing at recess, or you can de-friend them, which could be a bit excessive, especially if the person’s real issue is with themselves, not you, and their criticism toward you is an outlet to help them deal with their own insecurities.

KILL EM WITH KINDNESS!!!!!!

The best thing to do, provided you have not already let your emotions run wild and do any of the above mentioned scenarios, is to politely confront the individual, especially if it’s a friend or family member.
Say something like;

“I know I’ve never done any of this before.  I also realize sometimes I don’t follow through with things I say I’m going to.  I’m trying my best to improve on that and become a little more consistent.  Having someone else take the guess work out of my diet, provide me what I need to get my body where I want it to be, save me a bunch of time, and help educate and hold me accountable to the goals I’ve set, is really a no brainer.  I can meal prep myself just like I can learn to speak 5 languages, but the reality is I will probably not do either!  But does that mean you have to say something about it in a negative way?  Has it ever occurred to you that maybe, just maybe, I’m tired of looking and feeling the way I do and want to do something to improve myself?  This is hard enough as is, a little bit of support, encouragement, or an occasional pat on the back from you would really help me, and would not kill you. Can you please help me, help myself, and do that for me?”

If you’re afraid to say any or all of that to a friend or family member, you will most likely not follow through with any kind of diet or workout plan, so feel free to stop reading now.

Why stop reading now you should ask? Well that’s easy. Fitness is just as much, if not more mental as it is physical, and if you can’t communicate and have crucial conversations with people you know, the mental commitment, focus, and determination needed to live this lifestyle will be too overwhelming for you to deal with.   So step up and do something you’ve never done, to get somewhere you’ve never been.  Don’t back down and let them own you.
Now then!  If you’re the person saying talking sh*t and making these remarks, thank you for reading up to this point, I have a couple questions (rhetorical) for you;

Why do you do that?  What business is it of yours what someone else does with his or her life?  Does it make you feel significant putting someone else down for wanting to move their life forward?  Are you so insecure that the mere thought of someone you know putting in the work to achieve something that deep down you really want for yourself, makes you that uncomfortable? Do you realize that if you spent ½ the time you do hating, and criticizing, working toward the betterment of your own life, you would be able to improve your circumstances, and ultimately no longer feel the need to act like an insecure a$$hole?  Trust me when I tell you there are people out there who have been far more insecure, and in a hell of a lot harder place than you may be, who have decided to change, and were able to turn it all around.

IF YOU’RE NOT SURE IF YOU QUITE FALL UNDER THE CATEGORY OF “HATER”, PLEASE TAKE THE FOLLOWING ONE QUESTION SURVEY:

Do I, at any time, experience any negative emotion, or feel anything but genuinely happy for, and celebrate the success of other people I know or don’t know?

If the answer is YES, I suggest you do some self reflecting, and more importantly, read and answer the questions in the last paragraph before the survey a couple dozen times.
Thank you.