Don’t Be Bullied Into Bad Health!

BulliedBadHealthWho knew that making conscious decisions to eat healthier and work out had social consequences?! I sure didn’t, but I’ve heard negative backlash time and time again from folks who find out I’ve decided to incorporate yet another healthy ingredient into my diet. What’s with the hatin’?

Luckily for me, I have a Jenn for a best friend and the FBG gang as a whole to talk me off the bullied ledge because, without them as sounding boards, I’d probably find myself right back in my old college mode—eating unhealthy foods and dropping my workouts due to social pressures.

But be prepared, friends! People tend to not like change, and if you’re trying to tweak things for the healthier, you may come up against some Negative Nancies. You might encounter snarky comments about your eating habits or how you’re “always in the gym.” (I’ve been made fun of quite a few times for eating and loving bean sprouts and kale.) This can be a hard thing about being into health and fitness—sometimes it makes other people feel uncomfortable and they express it in not-so-healthy ways. (For reasons why they do this, check out this article—although it’s about romantic relationships, it applies for friends and family, too!)

You’ll hear it all: You’re getting too skinny. You have body image issues. Your food looks gross. I could go on and on! You have to keep this in mind when you start the new life of you. Be prepared that you’ll need to strengthen your mind and will power, too. You’re going to have to own your fitness truths. Sometimes it’ll be tough, but when it gets to be too much, do what I do: seek the people, websites and activities that embrace you…new muscles and all!

My mantra for the haters: Hurt people, hurt people. Know that they’re just projecting their own insecurities. Have you ever been bullied into eating something healthy or skipping a workout? How do you stay on track? Tish

Categories: Body Image, FBGs, MotivationTags: , ,

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  1. I’ve experienced a bit of backlash since deciding to transition into Paleo (“But gluten is NECESSARY for a healthy diet! Healthy whole grains! Raaahhh!”), and I get a lot of “you’re crazy!” or “why would you do that to yourself?” when I mention what a great run I had at 5am. But, by far, the hardest thing to deal with has been the “you’re getting too skinny!” zingers – I was feeling really happy and really confident in my body (lost 30kg!!), and then many family and friends swooped in with such comments which really made me question myself and my goals. I still don’t have a good way to respond – it’s almost worse than being told “you’re getting fat!”, because it’s something you’ve actually deliberately and consciously and determinedly worked towards. I just try to shrug it off, and the more often it happens the better I get at putting it out of my mind. The comments about healthy habits I’ve developed I can deal with much more easily – the comments about my changing physique are tougher.

  2. I feel you on this one! I lost a good 30 pounds about ten years ago, and I STILL hear comments from people. My favorite is: “Why do you go to the gym? You’re so skinny!” But that’s HOW I maintain this weight… that, and watching what I eat (which also gets a lot of comments). It’s tough, and like sheree’s comment says above, I’m never sure what’s a good way to respond.

  3. I cannot express to you how good if feels to read this article. I currently work in Afghanistan and my office is absolutely jam-packed with garbage that is sent (lovingly) from people back in the states. Everyone in the office is more than happy with inhaling gummy worms, cakes, cookies and the like. I’d love nothing more than to eat to my hearts content, but that simply won’t get me where I want to be in life.

    Fortunately, the people in my office don’t ridicule me, but they are definitely not supportive or understanding. They constantly try to get me to go out, seeming to forget that my answer is always going to be “No, I cant go out. I need to make sure I have enough sleep for my workout in the morning”. I caved in to peer pressure last night and went out and as a result, I missed my morning workout. I love working out and it’s the one thing I do for myself that makes me truly happy. Now I’m sitting here mad at myself and a little annoyed that I gave in to peer pressure and went out despite my initial reluctance to do so.

  4. The worst ones are the “Harmless” comments like, “Oh come on. It’s not going to KILL you to have a few bites”, it’s like – How do you know? Lol

  5. I completely understand this. Once i bought these healthy cookies and my co-workers referred to them as “bird seed cookies”. They even suggested that if I walk outside, a bird may steal them out of my hand and get angry that I stole their food.

    Its important to stay strong to your beliefs. I work in cancer research and many studies show that diet plays a huge role on its onset and patient prognosis. Eating healthy goes a long way!

    -Miss Mistry

  6. I’ve never experienced it, but I’ve seen it on the Facebook page of a friend who should really be encouraged in her health pursuits, not told “You eat really weird stuff.” First of all, that’s just rude. And I like I said, this is someone who needs to encouraged, not mocked. I try to provide that encouragement and not get smart with her “friends” but it really makes me mad.

  7. I’m glad I came across this article. It helped. I’ve been working on a healthier lifestyle for the last few months trying to actually stick to a routine. Part of that routine involves counting calories, and in order to do so…sometimes you have to measure your food. So even in the last week (Not sure why all of the sudden they’re happening) I’ve gotten some comments about it that weren’t exactly supportive. Just even “You measure your food out?” in a certain tone can have a negative affect on your psyche. Or if I’m talking about how excited I am that a certain food was only this many calories I may get an eye roll or just a laugh that just doesn’t sit right. I know these friends don’t mean anything by it, but that’s what sucks. They don’t realize that making this lifestyle adjustment has been difficult enough and it’s very fragile. But if I say something to them will that seem unreasonable? I don’t know. But I’m still staying strong as I’m able.

  8. Oh, heck yeah. I started running last year, and I’ve been vegetarian for six years…so it seems like I get it double sometimes. Hey, it’s great that you love bacon, I’m very happy for you! Man, you only run when someone’s chasing you? That’s so witty, I haven’t heard that one before!

  9. I am so relieved to read this article and the accompanying comments, especially this time of year. It’s such a double standard how people at work can talk about me and my body but if I dared to criticize them I would be mean. I never really compare myself to the “cookie-munchers” though because it’s really about how I feel about myself-my diet and fitness routine has nothing to do with them-its all about me! But obviously criticizing me makes their lives easier. I quit going to “cake time” and luncheons because their comments make it so NOT fun. It sucks because then I’m not considered a team player for not going, but to me it is basically and hour or two of verbal abuse and criticism I don’t need. I’d rather spend my lunch at the gym! And I do!

  10. I have had the same thing happen and just wrote a post about it a week or two ago. I was fed up with feeling bad about the eating decisions I made. People would comment that I didn’t eat enough or make snide comments when I said I didn’t want to eat a table full of desserts. It takes me awhile to realize that I have nothing to be ashamed of and I just have to remember that these comments come from whatever these people have going on, not me. It is a reflection of their insecurities like you said and I can’t do anything about that. I find that my friends who are comfortable with themselves don’t approach my lifestyle in the same way other people do. In the end all I can control is me and I’m the one who has to live with myself. I don’t have to do anything to please other people. Thanks for the post!