By Stephanie Joanne
The Fitness Saboteur: person or persons whom you have identified as the sour apple in your fitness lifestyle support group. Does someone immediately come to mind? Throughout my fitness journey, I have personally encountered people who have left me wondering about their true intentions.
After training hundreds of clients, it has become increasingly clear to me that most of us have at least one of these people in our lives. That person who just does not understand why going to the gym is so important and rolls his or her eyes when you politely decline an offer to eat pizza and drink beer. This is also the person who looks at you a certain way when your new intense fitness program comes up in conversation. These people can be non-supportive and, even worse, sabotage your healthy lifestyle.
Is it actually possible that they do not want you to succeed? Do they want you to be unhealthy? It begs the question: why? Where are these negative comments, low blows, and non-supportive attitudes coming from? What is causing them to be anything other than happy for you?
I think it is fair to assume that perhaps the most logical and common explanation is jealousy. It is possible that as you are declining offers of fattening foods and calorie-laden beverages while talking about your incredible new lifting routine that the person on the other end of the conversation is thinking and wishing one thing: that this change you are making for yourself was possible for him or her. We have all heard the saying before, “If it were easy, everyone would do it.”
I find that my reaction to this unwelcome behaviour depends on who it is coming from. The impact of how it affects me would differ coming from a stranger or acquaintance compared to a close friend or family member. I do believe that even the closest people to me can at times display non-supportive behaviour without necessarily having any bad intentions. When you think about it, the measures we take to stay fit can often be perceived as extreme to others. The best approach to stay on track and to avoid these situations from becoming personal — or worse, getting in the way of your health and fitness goals — is to apply a few of these strategies I have found to be helpful over the years.