Haters gon’ hate…
However you start your fitness and health journey, you start out with a LOT of cheerleaders. People who hear you’re on a crazy new ‘diet’ called Paleo, and you’re working out three, four, or five times times a week, and they say “Good for YOU!” and flash a hearty thumbs up and a wide smile.
A month or so into it, the cheerleaders are still there, telling you how awesome you are now that you’ve lost 5 or 10 or even 15 lbs. “You’re doing great!” Hell, they’ll even cheer you on when you brag about your first pullup, or a heavy deadlift, or a big squat. “Oh that’s so awesome!”, and the pompoms flash and the pats on the back commence.
Usually three to six months in, you’ve started seeing some remarkable progress in strength, aesthetics, your nutrition is locked down, your lifestyle has changed. It’s not a challenge to work a WOD in during the week, your palette has changed – you crave fruit instead of cupcakes, breakfast is steak and eggs, not biscuits and gravy. By now, you’re also probably a bit of a lightweight when it comes to the booze – or, if you want to look at it differently, these days you’re a cheap date. Two drinks and you’re buuuuuzzzzed and happy.
Where’d your cheerleaders go? Man, that silence is awfully deafening.
All of a sudden, the ‘attaboys’ and ‘you go girl!s’ are disappearing. People seem uninterested, bored, and generally sick of your new life. Instead of cheering you on when you decline bread in a meal, they start calling you out, telling you “COME ON! One little piece of bread isn’t going to kill you!” and “Man, you’re no fun anymore, two beers and you’re calling it a night!!” They coerce, cajole, pressure, and complain at you about your dietary habits, your workout schedule (“Dude! Don’t you think you’re strong/skinny/lean ENOUGH?”), and your lifestyle.
Your cheerleaders have become…your saboteurs…Instead of accolades and fist pumps you’re getting sniffs and criticism.
Well, there are a couple of things you can point at that may help determine what’s going on.
There’s jealousy –
You look better than ever, you’re fitter than ever, people notice you. Not just notice you, but notice you. Your personal carriage has become commanding, your posture is erect, your skin is clear, you’re…happier. Yeah, your hands are roughed up and maybe you need a mani/pedi, but overall, you’re happy. Your stress level has gone WAY down and your physical wellbeing is through the roof. Throw in the aesthetic rewards of just looking great in your clothes and even better without them, and of course there’s jealousy.
There’s guilt –
Their life may be riddled with stress, overprocessed food, and laziness. They’re working long hours, developing their chair-ass. You order a steak with steamed veggies and sweet potato fries, they’re ordering a bacon cheddar burger with french fries and extra mustard while slurping a coke. You’re not doing it to make them feel badly, but the burden of knowledge – knowing they’re making unhealthy choices – can cause them to project blame onto you. So now when you’re around and making your choices and living your life, you’re ‘guilting’ them for not doing the same.
There’s envy –
Envy of your discipline, your adherence to living a healthy, strong, happy lifestyle. You guys have all been here on days when you just didn’t have IT. Whatever IT is, IT was nowhere in your presence. But you showed up. For every ONE of you who show up on the days you’re missing IT, there are 100 who just don’t bother. Discipline is an enviable trait, and without discipline goals are never met…whether they’re aesthetic or performance based (btw, form follows function – make your performance top notch, and you’re going to LOOK LIKE a top notch performing athlete, because you ARE).
What does this mean for you? Should you just stop doing everything that’s made you happy, stop taking care of your body, stop making decisions to positively impact your health?
You’ve got two choices – tell the whiners to suck it up and deal with the fact that you’re going to live your life best as you see fit, take care of yourself, and enjoy a healthy and mobile old age, and they can either deal with that or move on. Or you can move on yourself.
Keep doing what you’re doing. Keep making smart, healthy, sound decisions about your fitness and health. People who don’t support you? They’ll either shut up eventually (when they see that you’re committed) or they’ll move on. Surround yourself with positive, honest, active people, and keep on keepin’ on. Let ’em hate. We got barbells to move.