14 Day Challenge – Day Twelve

Hello and welcome to Day Twelve!

There’s only a few days left – if you’re still here and being consistent then I salute you!

If you’re wandering off track, now is the perfect time to steer it back on with 3 solid days.

If you’ve skipped the last workout, do one today and Sunday to finish strong!

I’ve been working on something very exciting and I’m going to tell you about that in a few days, but today I wanted to talk about something very important you’ll probably have to deal with (and may have already faced):

Negativity from people around you.

My Story With Negativity

When I first started taking my fitness more seriously, I went pretty drastic from the get-go.

I was all-in, fully sold on the paleo diet. The idea of this diet is that you shouldn’t eat anything that paleolithic hunter gatherer humans wouldn’t have been able to eat.

That’s a topic I could talk about at length, but the long story short is I don’t do that anymore, and haven’t done for about 5 years. I don’t recommend it to other people, but if they want to, that’s their choice.

It basically means you have to buy foods in, or close to, their original form. Things that have just been killed and cut up, or grown and plucked from the earth. Nothing else done to them. Not processed in any way. No sauces added, etc.

You can imagine this led to some interesting conversations with family and friends. I would turn down foods at family events, saying I’d already eaten. I’d be reluctant to go out for meals or drinks with friends/colleagues.

People would call me “boring”, say things like “oh come on, live a little!” and “oh, Rob won’t want to come, he’s probably going to the gym!”

I invited a lot of this. The paleo diet is such a drastic lifestyle change that would be alien to pretty much everybody.

But the experience is pretty much the same for anyone taking steps to improve themselves, even with a less drastic approach.

Why do people feel the need to be negative?

You need to remember that when people are negative towards you for something you’re doing that is positive, it’s not about you, it’s about them.

  • They don’t like change and they feel scared.
  • They’re worried that you are changing.
  • They’re worried the new version of you won’t share any values with them anymore.
  • They want you to stay how you are, even if that is a less healthy version. At least then they know where they stand with you and you are the same predictable person you have always been.
  • They are worried your relationship with them will change. You will value different things, they won’t know how to interact with you, and you won’t want to hang out with them anymore.

So what they’ll do is try to paint your new diet, the gym and your healthier habits in a negative light, using words like “boring”. At the same time, they’ll cling to you and try to drag you back to their familiar habits and remind you how fun those things are.

It Gets Worse!

When they can SEE the results you’re getting, they’ll start saying things like:

  • “I’m worried about you…”
  • “You’re taking it too far”
  • “You should stop now…”

Again, they’re scared for them. You’re quite literally becoming a different person.

There may also be jealousy.

They may have had their own failed attempts and on some level they don’t want to see you succeed. It only compounds their own failure.

What Can You Do?

  • Don’t rise to it or respond aggressively.
  • Resist the urge to thrown a negative comment back in their direction. “You know you really ought to look after yourself, too” isn’t helpful.
  • Don’t succumb to the pressure and eat a load of stuff you didn’t really want to or drink a gallon of alcohol that you’ll regret.
  • Remember they’re just worried you will reject them when you’ve completed your transformation to “fully fledged healthy person”. So just remember they’re acting this way because they’re scared of losing you!
  • If you have to remind people that it’s your choice what you eat and drink just say something simple like “just trying to be healthier” and make sure you keep it light-hearted. You can follow it up with “Don’t worry, we can still be friends even if we don’t eat the same!”
  • Another thing you can say is “I totally understand not everyone wants to do what I’m doing. It’s fine for us to have different ideals in this area, and my choice isn’t a condemnation of yours,
  • If all else fails, just smile, nod and ignore (to be honest, you’ll probably have to do this with some people).

Is Your Relationship with these People Actually Based on Anything Worthwhile?

If people won’t stop, you have to question whether them wanting to spend time with you was based on you as a person, or because you validated their unhealthy habits.

Are alcohol, football and pizza, going out raving, hitting casinos, strip-clubs etc. the only things you connect over? If that’s the case, then you have to question whether you actually have a genuine relationship with them. Your relationship probably isn’t based on anything deeper than those things.

If they’re negative towards you for improving yourself too, then it’s really no loss to spend less time with these people.

Do these people like you for you? Or do they like you because you make them feel better about doing things which are unhealthy?

Today’s Actions

  • If you’re following a standard Monday/Wednesday/Friday workout routine, then today is your last workout of the 2 week program!
  • Make sure you finish up today, or you can do it on the weekend. Just keep a day off between your workouts so your muscles have a chance to recover.
  • Have you received any negativity yet? If so, remember not to take it personally. Just remind the people you care about that you’re doing this as a positive thing for yourself and it’s making you feel better. Invite them to join you!
  • Keep an eye out on the Discord Server and in your inbox. I’ve got something exciting I’ll be announcing on Sunday which I’m sure you’ll be interested in.

Lastly, today is Friday, so here’s some resources you might find helpful to help you manage the weekend and stay on track!