Getting in shape can be a tough thing. Getting lean and strong takes time, energy, sacrifice and some major dedication. With all these challenges, you would think that other people (especially those close to you) wouldn’t make it any more difficult for you right?
But man, sometimes they do. It’s an interesting thing that happens when people start to make healthier decisions, lose weight and regain control of their lives. They begin to look better, feel better and they become more confident. When these things happen, it’s not too uncommon for friends and family to feel insecure and become jealous.
I’ve had several clients come to me feeling pretty frustrated because their spouse is completely negative about their fitness and health gains. Or sometimes it’s a friend who begins to cut them down. I remember, a year or so ago, one client telling me that a friend of hers even went so far as to say that she wasn’t being a good mom because she spent 3 hours a week at the gym. Nice friend.
Let me put out a random example. Let’s say you live in a pretty old neighborhood. All the houses are nice-enough, but nothing too spectacular. They were all built around the same time. None of them have been renovated, or have new paint jobs. In fact, they are all a bit indistinguishable from each other. (I just spelled indistinguishable correctly on the first try…seriously no speel chek neded.)
Now what if your next door neighbor decides to tear down his old house and builds one that’s twice as big and twice as nice in the exact same spot as the old one? In comparison, your house isn’t going to look as good as it did. In fact, even though nothing has changed about your house, it looks worse now. All the flaws in it are much more glaring, right?
This is exactly what happens when people begin to lose weight/get lean/get strong. Those around them begin to see their “flaws” magnified. If a wife loses 20 pounds, her husband is going to be much more aware of his “party keg”. If someone drops a couple of pant sizes, their friend, who used to be the same size, is going to be more self-conscious standing next to them.
The bottom line is this: people can either respond to the “new you” by being inspired and start to make healthier choices for themselves, or they can throw themselves a pity party and cut you down for doing the things they wish they were.
Either way, the choice is theirs. Don’t get caught up in their insecurities. You’re not responsible for that. Keep your head up, and focus on the energies and encouragements of those who are responding positively to your healthier choices.
Remember, the weak will always envy the strong.