Don't want it, BE IT!
It’s something we may not have foreseen after having reached our fitness goals. We expect to look and feel our best, which is why we embark on fitness endeavors in the first place. But what we may not have seen coming is all of the negativity projected onto us by those even closest to us. You may hear words such as “too skinny”, or “obsessed” thrown at or around you. People may say “I would never ‘deprive’ myself like that. I want to be able to ‘enjoy’ life.”
To “enjoy” life, for me, is to be the fitter, stronger, happier, smaller version of my former self. To me “enjoying” life is not hating myself after coming out of the dressing room. It’s being able to buy clothes without having to try them on because I know they’ll look and fit great due to no longer having “problem areas”. Enjoying life is eating food to fuel my body, it’s not being a slave to food to fill an emotional void that goes along with depression (caused by looking and feeling terrible about myself and my life). Enjoying life is sleeping well and having energy for my kid(s) and work all day long because I take care of my body, not “deprive” it. Enjoying life is not hating what I see every morning in the mirror, thus affecting my child and her own body image. Enjoying life is not lethargy or fatigue, insomnia and low self esteem; all results of “eating what I want” or “having a life outside the gym”. Enjoying life is being a positive role model for the kid(s). It’s not having my body image affect my relationship with my partner. It’s not being a slave to procrastination and comparison.
A friend emailed me yesterday saying: “I’m at 19% body fat now, and was at 36% when I started…. The goal is 17% So, I’m totally healthy. My hubby said that friends are bringing me down because they are overweight and jealous. Ugh! It’s hard to keep friends when you decide to make such a huge lifestyle change. I won’t let that bring me down.”
And there you have it; jealousy and negative attention go hand in hand. We often find out who our real friends are when we have to move, get married, end up in the hospital, or make positive lifestyle changes. You may have to selectively be around people that support you in your health endeavors and lifestyle. You may want to limit time with those who are too weak and insecure to be happy for you, if you find they are bringing you down. It may just take some time for them to accept you for the fit, healthy, happy person you’ve become, (and they may, or may not). The problem is not you, it’s them. And your success makes their failures even harder to overlook. Cuz if you can do it…
Most important, do not let them derail you! Remember, The BEST gift you can give your kid(s) is a happy, healthy mommy. You can’t take care of your children if you don’t take take care of their mother. People will criticize you no matter what you do or don’t do. So don’t focus on them. Focus on health. For you, for your family. It’s the most important thing you can do.
Bottom line; as you set out to make positive lifestyle changes in your health, as you prepare your body prepare also the mind for negative attention and lifestyle changes that may include minimizing time with certain people in your life, temporarily or permanently. Do what it takes. Be pro health.