Bitter Love: How Your Inner Circle Resists Your Pursuit of Health

Bitter Love: How Your Inner Circle Resists Your Pursuit of Health

behavior change healthy habits psychology self-improvement Jun 01, 2024

You decided to improve your health.

You want to lose weight, get flexible, be stronger, have more energy, or anything related.

With your best intentions you start changing your lifestyle.

But then you notice something odd…

Instead of people cheering for you, they try to disencourage you.

They’re telling you:

  • To be careful
  • Not to exaggerate
  • That it’s unnecessary
  • That you are too obsessive
  • What you’re doing is harmful
  • That you’re good the way you are

You start to feel unsure about your choices.

You might reconsider your goals and actions.

You let them into your head doubting yourself.

Please, don’t yield to this nonsense.

Improving your lifestyle is hard.

But do you know what makes it even harder?

The opinions of other people.

Especially the opinions of the people closest to you.

It can become a real mindfuck, but only if…

You let them.

In this article I’m going to show you how people can sabotage your health goals, and help you resist that from happening.

Your health is your most valuable asset, never let anyone tell you differently.

Horrible Advice

We recently started a six-pack challenge at my gym.

10 people, 12 weeks, 1 goal:

Get a visible sixpack.

To achieve this we have to lose fat and build muscle.

All the participants are already in good shape and in good health.

So why do we do this?

To challenge ourselves and for the looks!

Who doesn’t like a nice sixpack, right?

It’s a stature of hard work, dedication and good shape.

At least, from my perspective.

Apparently, not everyone agrees.

Some participants got some critique and warnings.

  • “This is completely unnecessary
  • “Why are you punishing yourself?”
  • “You’re risking an eating disorder
  • “What you’re doing is unhealthy
  • “Stop being so obsessive

Very disturbing if you ask me.

Since when is getting a sixpack a health risk?

It is not. This is just horrible advice.

To be honest, this isn’t the first time I hear this crap.

Every weight loss client gets similar critique somewhere down the line.

So it got me wondering.

  • The majority is overweight, out of shape, and in poor health.
  • Most are just out of shape and in poor health.
  • Few are in great shape and great health.

Maybe, people are just misinformed.

They fear having a sixpack and that’s why they’re fat.

Or, is there something else going on?

It’s Called Projection

If you ignore me overeating.

I ignore your drinking problem.

If you look away from my obesity.

I won't say anything about you smoking.

But don’t you dare improve your lifestyle.

I will do anything in my power to oppose you.

That’s what I call ‘the upside down world’.

Healthy behavior should be applauded, not condemned.

Unhealthy behavior should be discouraged, not recommended.

So, what the hell’s going on here?

In psychology it’s called projection.

Projection can occur when one tries to deny, hide or repress qualities or emotions of oneself by attributing them to something or someone else.

It simple words,

“I’m unhappy with my body, so I dislike good looking bodies.”

This is not well-meant advice.

This is just a weak way of saying:

I don’t want you have what I can’t have myself.

Just stop listening to this nonsense.

You don’t take weight loss advice from an obese.

You don’t take financial advice from a broke.

You don’t take health advice from an addict.

Do you?

Never take ungrounded advice from anyone, especially regarding health.

Who’s Giving the Advice?

I asked the participants what exact critique they got and by whom.

This one stood out for me:

One of the participants is a colleague.

She used to struggle with severe overweight.

She overcame and transformed her body completely.

Losing 35 kilogram of fat and gained a lot of muscle.

She’s 46 years old, but she looks nowhere that age.

She’s got more muscle than many of my male friends, who’re 10 years younger.

In short, she’s in great shape and in great health.

But, she wanted to test herself.

And see if she can get a sixpack.

She told her mother.

And guess what, how do you think she responded?

Positive or negative?

You guessed right, she got some very negative feedback.

Her husband had the best response ever:

How come I never heard you when she was overweight and now suddenly you're worried?

I asked if her mother herself is in good shape.

Guess again, do you think she’s in good shape?

No, she is not.

She struggled with her weight and health her whole life.

I’m not using this example to shit on this woman.

I’m using this to make you aware.

Sometimes, the people closest to you can be most harmful to your health (not because they’re mean, but because they struggle themselves).

But only if you listen to them.

So don’t do that.

Stop listening to ungrounded advice.

Your Body

Your body is your responsibility.

If you decide to make lifestyle improvements, go for it.

Never let anyone tell you otherwise.

Especially if they struggle with their health themselves.

Always ask yourself:

Is this person qualified to take this kind of advice from?

If not, f*ck them. Do it anyway.

Not everyone will approve your actions.

Not everyone likes you rising up.

Not everyone will cheer for you.

You only need approval of one person.

And one person only: YOU.

Working towards great health and great shape, is the best thing you can do.

It’s the most powerful statement you can make.

Don’t tell, just show.

And maybe.

You even inspire the nay-sayers to do the same.

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