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Oh, the Projections! Dealing with Your Fitness Haters

projecting, fitness drama

Be prepared to put your confident dukes up!
Credit: StrykerImages

So you’ve decided to make your health a priority. You work out consistently. You shovel as many healthy foods down a day as you can muster. You feel good. You look good. You treat yourself good. But watch out, Ms. Good. The haters are gonna pop up faster than a zit after a chocolate binge.

Whatever do you mean, Tish?! How could someone hate on something so positive as getting your health together?! Trust me. It’s possible and happens ALL. THE. TIME.

Here’s a prime example: I went to an office farewell party last week. I hadn’t even sat down yet when a woman who I used to work with cornered me and asked if I was still “obsessed” with working out. I immediately twitched because she wasn’t flippantly using the word obsessed to describe my passion and attempts for trying to be a fitter and stronger me. She was being snarky.

The best thing about snark though is that it’s pretty easy to spot, and once you do identify it, you can then proceed to chalk it up to someone’s projection of their own perceived insecurities or issues (real or not) that have absolutely nothing at all to do with you.

Making sure you remain active and fit (I try to get in at least three workouts a week. If I can move most days of the week, I’m a rock star!) isn’t the same as working out five times in a day while starving yourself and festering in the dangerous zone of body hatred. Remember this when you’ve established a consistent workout schedule and you’re bouncing all over the place with endless energy. The meanies will comment, but you have to shake the negativity off. You have to remember that people LOVE to project, especially when it comes to health and wellness.

As for me … I laughed it off and told her I was still in love with feeling good. That shut her up pretty darn quick. The haters are gonna hate, y’all. Just remember that people love to project and keep it moving … literally!

Have you experienced this type of Negative Nancy once you’ve gotten into your fitness groove? How did you deal with the subtle (or maybe not so subtle) jibes? Help your fellow FBGs reading this out! —Tish

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10 Comments
  1. Johnny M says:

    Ladies, this happens to guys too, I’ve gone from 235 to 175 this year. Last fall I could not jog a quarter mile without stopping and now i log 35+ miles of running a week. 3 of my ‘favorites’ comments are:

    1: Oh, don’t lose too much weight. That’s not healthy.
    2: Are you losing weight?…on purpose?

    And said to my wife…at church:
    3: “your husband looks like he just got out of a concentration camp”

    It’s hard when people don’t know the sacrifices you have put in to change your life and then trivialize all your effort with an off handed comment they won’t remember saying in an hour but you will take with you for months.

  2. MIZ says:

    from fitness to family when people ‘hate’ or judge it is SOOO RARELY EVEN ABOUT US.
    or so I always tell myself 😉

  3. Angie says:

    It’s funny that you wrote this…because I get flack about my CrossFit love! Gratned, it doesn’t help that I come into work looking like I have been in a bar fight, but HEY…it’s for the greater good…which is ME!! I love my love-hate relatationship with CF; I love how I feel after a good WOD; I love that I am showing my SONS that Mom is pretty bad ass!!

    Haters are gonna hate…and they HATE when someone finds something that they don’t have the guts to find themselves!!!

  4. Mark says:

    Kill em with kindness works every time. One of the four agreements states
    Don’t Take Anything Personally
    Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

  5. casey says:

    i had a friend like that and she was supposed to be a best friend. I got tired of the negative comments. We haven’t talked in three weeks. I have too much going on and know where I want to be than to listen to her comments and those of her husband.

  6. FBG Tish says:

    Wow…@Johnny I’m still blown away by the comments your wife heard at Church concerning you. YES! I don’t know why the projections start. I don’t know why people project, but it’s not our responsibilty to find out. Glad you have a good close support system that knows what’s up. Love hearing how you’ve turned your life around! You’re a beast!!!

    For all the other fit bottomed girls and guys…Just know you’re not alone and we all feel the snarky pain. Just try your best to let it go in one ear and out the other.

  7. Staying positive is the only thing you can do. I absolutely love your answer back. Most people have no idea how great their bodies can actually feel so they don’t get it.
    Feeling GREAT is the reasonI stay motivated and inspired to do more.

  8. Dawn says:

    This is happening to me as I type this. It’s actually been going on since November and I can’t talk about it on my blog right now. I’m about to be fired and the source of it all is jealousy over my weight loss. Long story but discrimination over weight does happen and is a very real topic.

    I’m glad you were able to stand up for yourself with a positive comment. Keep doing what you love because you’re right, there will always be haters.

  9. Greg says:

    Excellent article. This is a subject that spans all ages, genders and situations. Keep focused — your goals are worth obtaining. I mark this down as simple jealousy. Others wish they had the determination and desire to seek a goal and reach it. Your success is a reminder of their failure.

  10. Shannon says:

    I choose to take it as a compliment. If I didn’t look so damn good, they wouldn’t take their insecurities out on me with their snark.