I’ve been doing this for over a decade and I’m still stunned at how our members’ families and friends are sometimes unsupportive of their journey and some are even outright hostile.
It blows my mind!
Some of you who have started your journey with us might have seen this in your discussions with friends. Why can’t people just be kind and supportive of each other? I have the answer!
Any change that you make for the better will be a mirror to your friend’s life. I’ve seen this when people stop drinking alcohol. Your friends will try to get you to drink at every turn. why? It makes them feel better that you’re drinking too but it’s also not the norm to not drink. it will make them feel like you’re part of the gang when you’re drinking with them. I remember my friend Nicole in University never drank. The amount of times she had to tell people to stop trying to get her drinks. People would try to push it on her, like she was the strange one. I always supported her in this and understood. Kindness and understanding. that’s all you need to do.
When you change how you eat, your family and friends will try to sabotage you. ” Come on, one cookie won’t hurt!” or “loosen up, you can have this pizza, what’s the big deal”. it is a big deal to you because you’re working your ass off be healthy and to make positive changes in your life. I believe it’s partly because they want to be “naughty” together. Could there also be a competitive side to this? If you’re eating healthy, does it make you a winner? of course it doesn’t, but they could be perceiving it like that.
And when you join Crossfit, you will have many people who will have very strong opinions about the changes you’re about to make.
Why? Why do people need to do this?
With nutrition as with any fitness regime but especially Crossfit, people are uneducated and will spew propaganda that they’ve seen on Youtube or even Docs they’ve seen on netflix. I would not engage in these types of discussion. i’ve learned with people’s beliefs, unless they are ready for education, they will not hear you.
The other side is that it often will shine a bright light on where they are in life. The probably know they should move more and eat better, but for whatever reason they don’t. Instead of being happy for you, they are unhappy with themselves but will project their unhappiness onto you. Any choice you make that is life changing, there will be those who will judge, who will criticize and not be supportive. Whether it’s Crossfit, a divorce, a career change or change in your diet – there will be naysayers. Surround yourself with those who will be supportive!
When you start looking stronger, feeling powerful, your friends will sometimes feel intimidated or even threatened. They liked the image they had of you. Now you’re changing that image and they can’t keep up. Jealousy will also play a part. In their eyes, you have control of your life, you’re feeling great and looking amazing, where does that leave them? You might not need them now that you’re a beast! All of this is untrue of course, but the perceived threat is there.
Women more so than men will put other women down or question their actions because of jealousy or competition. Luckily, At CFP, we have an amazing community who celebrates every single person’s wins. That’s what I like to see.
In our 8 week fat loss bootcamp, I will often ask if a participant’s husband/wife has noticed how strong they look, how their clothes fit differently. Often, they will tell me, that their spouse did not notice. What???? I’m blown away. People! Acknowledge and celebrate your family’s wins! Notice and appreciate their hard work. Their family also won’t be supportive in lifestyle changes. Sometimes, sadly you’re in it alone. I can’t count the amount of times that I’ve made myself a different meal. They might come around eventually.
I have another story from University. I was in a drama class my 2nd year. In the class we had a mature student. Let’s call her Millie. Millie had kids ( teens), a husband and decided in her thirties to go back to University. Millie was about 5 feet tall, weighed 100 pounds and had no voice. She sounded like a mouse. We could not hear her, she was meek, shy and truly behaved like a mouse. Slowly, we brought her out of her shell. We did a ton of exercises that made all of us feel vulnerable. I remember one class we had to yell. it took about 10 minutes, but finally Millie yelled. As we found out more about Millie, we learned that she was meek, quiet, withdrawn with her family too. she didn’t have many friends because she was so quiet.
As she came out of her shell ( with that YELL), she also began getting stronger physically. Part of our drama training was being strong. She went to the gym and she found her voice. Her family did not know what to do. Their reaction was less than positive. They wanted someone they could push around. They wanted someone who did not have a voice. They wanted someone who needed them. She had found her new tribe and was happy. She loved her family but she wanted something for herself too. Every week, they tried to squash this new exciting part of her down. As she was discovering who she was and who she wanted to be, they kept holding on to who she was in their reality. It took the better part of a year for them to start seeing her differently. It was not easy for her. She never gave up, although I remember quite a few teary conversations with her. I will always remember that first yell. We knew someone new was emerging.
In this roundabout way, I want you to know that when you step through our doors, this is your yell! This is your acknowledgement that you want to be healthy and strong. This is your first step to the best version of you. Ignore the Naysayers, as their negativity is not about you, it’s about them. It’s all their insecurities, all their baggage, all their opinions, all their misconceptions spewing out at you.
You are awesome. Don’t give up. Be Millie!