Anyone that has ever lost ANY amount of weight can testify that it isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. In fact, if they are honest they will tell you its hard. That is because it is hard! If losing weight were an uncomplicated process and easy to achieve then we’d all be walking around in size 0 leggings and cropped midriff -bearing shirts, right? Alas, weight loss is difficult. I’m not here to tell you otherwise.
The same can be said about fitness journeys. The “journey” becomes exponentially more difficult when the initial support of friends and family begins to wane, that is IF you are lucky enough to have initial support (MANY people begin and end fit journeys without ever having any form of support).
Your family and friends may even try to persuade you to stop or that you have “gone too far with the fitness thing.” Now, I am not referring to legitimate concerns voiced by family and friends. I am referring to saboteurs. Here’s how to tell the difference: a legitimate concern comes from a place of love and the person who voices concern is likely to ask for help in understanding the process or the logic behind behaviors. A loved one who is truly concerned will also generally respect decisions made and not impart unnecessary judgement. They continue to encourage and support the journey. A saboteur is a person who does the opposite of this. They judge. They discourage. They push food in your face and encourage you to miss workouts. They give backhanded compliments (“Wow, look at you! You’ve been lifting weights and you are not even that bulky!”). They bake you a batch of full-fat brownies on the first day of your competition diet.
What’s worse is that this person can be your mother, your sister, your neighbor, your coworker, your spouse, the lady at the dry cleaners, or your best friend. Whatever title they may hold or relationship you may have with them, beware of the dreaded saboteur. They are absolutely terrible for your mental health as well as your progress. “ Your saboteur may want to guard the status quo, keep you under control, or prevent your leaving to find a new life with your new body” (Lawrence, 2004). Whatever their reasons may be, saboteurs are quintessentially “hating on you.”
I have no doubt in my mind that reading this probably makes a specific person (or two) mentally stand out to you. If that is the case, get them the hell out of your life! Your “fitness life,” at least. They do not deserve to be there and why would you want them there, anyway? These people are not supporting your struggle. You know when you are sickeningly tired and yet you are at the gym pounding out mile after mile on the treadmill? Those saboteurs would rather you be at home sitting on your ass eating an entire cheesecake! They would rather see your before and after shots in REVERSE! Does that make you mad? Good! Use that anger to cut them out of your fitness life.
FIND the support you need on your own terms. Look for groups to join online through Facebook or Tumblr. Hell, start your own page and become someone else’s support! Stand up for your dream and for your hard work. You are worth it!
Check out this article that gives you even more advice on how to handle these monsters:
Lawrence, S. (2004, January 19). How to Deal With Diet Saboteurs. WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/how-to-deal-with-diet-saboteurs