Silencing the Skeptics: How To Overcome Negativity And Embrace The New You

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If you are like most people, your resolution involved something new.  Something fresh.  Something you’ve never done before or maybe have TRIED in the past, but never succeeded.  THIS time, you think, it will be different.  You might have a new attitude, a new outlook, a new perspective.

So you started out this year thinking “Here comes the NEW me.”  What sort of reaction are you getting?  Hopefully, it’s a positive one.  Sometimes, however, my clients have noticed a negative reaction from the people they are closest to in their lives.  This can really impact your goals because then you might start to take their comments to heart and think: “They’re right, I’m crazy to think I can do this.  I should just give up.”

Here’s some advice for those people:  You can do this.  You have to at least try.  You can’t let a few comments deter you from doing what YOU want!

From a personal experience, while I trained for my first figure competition, I received more positive than negative comments. But a handful of times, I did encounter people who gave me negative feedback such as “I can’t believe you’re doing this.  I would NEVER do something like that.” Or “That’s great what you’re doing, but I have no desire to workout like that or be that hardcore about my diet.” And  “You’re looking really thin right now.  Are you worried you might gain a bunch of weight after the competition when you eat like a normal person again?”

Mostly I got a lot of “What’s in the Tupperware?” ;)

Although some of those statements might be seen as neutral and more negative about the person SAYING them, it’s easy to see how I could have filtered out those statements to read more like this:

“I can’t do this. I will NEVER do this.”

“No one should workout this hard.  They way I’m eating right now is just crazy.”

“I look great now but what if I gain back all the weight I lost?

Luckily, I kept a mostly optimistic perspective throughout my journey and I was successful.

But what if you’re just starting your new journey now?

Remember that sometimes, people don’t like to see others succeed because it might remind them of a part of their lives that has gone unfulfilled.  They may be jealous of your newfound success and try to sabotage your efforts.

For example, in the beginning you make your goal/resolution list and let’s say you intend to drop a lot of fat and maybe you even decide to get some one on one coaching or personal training.  Here are some common reactions from various people.

“Does this mean I have to go on a diet too? Do I have to eat whatever you’re going to be eating?  How will our schedules work if you’re always going to be at the gym all the time?  Isn’t eating healthy going to cost us more?” (Spouse)

“Are you sure you want to do that?  “Haven’t you said you would do that last year? Maybe you should try something else.” (Friend)

“Why would you want to look like those chicks you’re always following on Facebook?  They look bulky, you wouldn’t want to look like that.  That’s not attractive.  Plus, it’s probably a lot of hard work and who has the time for that?!” (Clueless co-worker)

“Just eat everything in moderation, that’s what so-and-so-did and look how great THEY look.” (Family member)

Some good response could be something like this:

To your Spouse: “Actually the food I intend to eat is healthy and tastes great so everyone can enjoy them!  And no, eating healthy doesn’t cost more, that’s a common myth.  We can compare grocery receipts from last month and next month and I’d be willing to bet I spend less on my food and it will last longer because I will be making specific portions.  I’m making my health a priority so I’ll be scheduling my workouts like meetings in my calendar that I can’t miss.”

To your Co-workers:  “I’m not doing this for anyone but myself.  Lifting heavy doesn’t create bulky women.  Come with me to the gym and workout with me and you’ll see what I mean.”

To your Friends:  “I know I’ve said I was going to go on a diet and lose weight in the past, but this time I’m really focused on this and I would hope you would be a supportive friend instead of trying to talk me out of it.  I’m making my health a priority this year.  And I don’t intend to stop.”

To your Family:  “What works for some people doesn’t work for everyone else.  I’m finally taking control of my food and finding what works specifically for my body type and my goals.  Eating things in moderation is easier said than done.  I don’t want lackluster results, I want to see this through and have a permanent change.”

Let’s fast forward a few weeks.  You’re in the thick of things.  You prep your food, you head to the gym before everyone wakes up or you go right after work, maybe you invest in a piece of equipment for your house or bought some workout DVD’s.  You log your food and you’re starting to see some changes in the mirror.

The reaction from others along the way might look like this:

“I see you brought your lunch again.  Don’t you ever get tired of eating so healthy?” (Co-Worker)

“Off to the gym again?  Wouldn’t you rather go to happy hour with us?” (Friend)

“It’s so early in the morning, just sleep in a little bit.  Go workout later this weekend.” (Spouse)

Your reaction might be nothing more than a smile and a polite “No thanks, I’m good.”  Eventually, people will stop asking when they see how serious you’ve become.

Let’s fast forward to the end of your journey – You’ve achieved your goal!  You finished a race, you did a competition, you dropped a few dress sizes…Now what will the responses be?

Spouse/Family/Co-Worker:  “Congratulations!  I’m so proud of you!  You deserve a reward for all that hard work.  Let’s go celebrate by eating!”

And if you’ve done everything safely and correctly – You WILL be able to celebrate.  Despite all the negativity, despite everyone’s efforts to sabotage you, you overcame and you silenced those skeptics.  Embrace the New You and reap the rewards!

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