Why are people being negative about my healthier lifestyle?
I’m Tracey! I am a Slimming World Consultant in Tallaght but most importantly I am a Slimming World member. I have lost five stone following the plan and words cannot convey just how much it has changed my life in every single way. I was a comfort eater, a secret eater and miserably unhappy for all of my teenage life. Since becoming a parent something clicked for me. I want to be around for my son for as long as I can be. I don’t want him to grow up seeing food as the enemy and as a reason to hide his emotions. Slimming World has changed everything for me and I want to help others do the same.
Now that you have started to make some healthier lifestyle changes you will notice so many positives that it has brought your way. More energy, better sleep and nicer food to name but a few. The original aim may have been weight loss but it is really amazing to see just how many unexpected great things it brings along with it.
Unfortunately, you may experience some negativity about your new lifestyle and this can come as quite a shock. Why on earth would anyone have an issue with you doing things in a healthier manner? How could a healthier body and mind be anything but a positive thing? It really does happen though. You may begin to notice that certain people in your life show great resistance to the changes you are making and it can be really off-putting and quite upsetting.
More often than not this negativity might actually come from those closest to you. It could be a parent, a best friend or your boss at work. People who you assumed would be delighted for you are responding negatively to your new lifestyle and you can’t quite figure out why. We really can’t generalise because every person and relationship is different but I personally know how common this is. Many of my members join without the support of those closest to them and in many cases it is their partner or parent for example. It can make the journey a lot more complex, especially when the negativity was unexpected.
The more upsetting thing about this negativity is the fact that it comes across as a lack of support. You are happy to be making these changes in your life but it hasn’t been completely easy. It has involved a huge amount of thought and consideration as well as sacrifices. You assumed that those who care about you would be delighted and offering their support and when that does not come it is extremely frustrating.
The first thing to consider is that weight loss and any healthy lifestyle change is an extremely personal thing. It is one of the very few things that no person in your life can do for you, no matter how much they care about you. The motivation, hard work and the planning have to come from you. People in your life can support you and encourage you along the way but it would be impossible for anyone to actually make you do it.
It requires a very personal decision and desire to make changes and as time goes on it involves a lot of inner communication and self-discipline. There is no denying that having the support of those around you will make the journey easier but it is never guaranteed. For this reason, we have to soul search on a level that helps us transcend any negativity that comes our way.
The truth is that many people do not like change and our personal lifestyle changes can bring change to their lives too, particularly in the case of a partner or friend that you spend a lot of time with. Until now your relationship may have involved a huge amount of eating fast food together and nights out involving sugary cocktails and days spent hungover and eating treats, This new lifestyle change has now also brought changes to this relationship now that you may no longer want to do these things.
It is understandable that the other person may initially show resistance but we are confident that communication will make the world of difference. Talking about why you are making these changes and the positives you hope it will bring should really help. This person may have no idea that you were suffering emotionally and physically by eating the way you were previously. When they know 'the why' they just might show the support you are looking for. In fact, you might notice that they show an interest in joining you when they see the positives it may bring to their life too.
The other thing to consider is that we all have our own stuff. A topic like food or exercise can be a real trigger for other people. It can make people look at their own lifestyle choices and it can trigger painful feelings. Even though we are talking about something very personal sometimes people cannot help but see it as something that concerns them personally. The resistance may be due to the fact that it has triggered difficult feelings for them.
In other cases, people show negativity towards your new lifestyle for no good reason. They might even go as far as telling you exactly what you do and do not need to do. Take this with a pinch of salt and trust that you and your Slimming World Consultant will always have your best interests and health at heart. You can do this.
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.ie.