This #RapOnTheRun blog about your fitness journey is inspired by a post I saw while scrolling Facebook last week. Over the past couple of weeks, a friend has been posting workouts and meals, in addition to writing about how she’s making small changes to live a healthier lifestyle. She also talks about how those changes are making her feel.
On this day in particular, my friend posted a picture of her lunch, the healthy way in which she had prepared it and again re-iterated that she is trying to make positive changes. What happened under the post is what caught my eye. Multiple people (and I talking more than ten) posted negative comments about what she was eating. They also criticized her new improved habits (in this same post) and questioned her choices — in not a nice way. The comments were so harsh in fact, that my friend wrote a post that clearly indicated she was hurt by the large amount of negative feedback.
I was genuinely shocked by people’s reactions. Here was someone who made it known she was making efforts to do better and learning new methods in the process. Honestly, I also felt bad for her because what people said clearly hurt her. Ultimately, she deleted both the post and the comments. I reached out to her to offer words of encouragement and urged her to stay committed to the goals she had set.
“When you make a positive change people will judge you;
Some will take it personal but don’t let it budge you.” — “Sober Soldier”
When someone else makes a positive change, why do some others take it personal? Why does another person’s healthy habits make some people react in a negative manner? I don’t have all the answers to these questions, but my guess would be that when someone sees you making an effort to be better, that person feels bad about their own choices. They may feel less than, for what ever reason.
Regardless of how others around you feel, remember that a fitness journey, healthy eating habits and a wellness lifestyle is YOURS, and not anyone elses. Below are a few tips to keep in mind when dealing with negative comments and reactions from others.
1. Remember why you started.
There is a reason(s) why you made the decision to live a healthier, more active and fitness lifestyle. Perhaps your physician recommended it to help improve a chronic condition (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, etc). Maybe you want to be able to walk a flight of stairs without getting out of breath. It could even be that freak um dress you want to slide into. Whatever the reason may be, when people react negatively, take a couple of moments to pause, breath, go into a quiet space and then remember why you started. This will help you to re-focus on your personal fitness goals.
2. Know that other’s negative comments have nothing to do with you.
As strange as this may sound, it is true. If you and someone do not have a personal history of tension, then their negative reaction to your positive change has absolutely nothing to do with you. That person may be responding due to how they feel about their own struggles. In that sense, their comments have nothing to do with you. Don’t take it personal.
3. Choose to ignore the negative comments.
I know this one can be easier typed than done. But it is tied into tip #2 above. You can’t stop yourself from seeing the negative comments on social media sites, but you can choose to ignore the comments and you can chose to not react to them.
4. Count your victories.
Take a moment to count up your victories. Even if you are one week into making a positive change, that is something to be proud of! Sometimes while on a fitness journey, we forget to take stock of the ways our lives have changed for the better. If someone has come into your “space” and filling it with negative energy, it can be easy to forget the ways in which we have actually won. Even small changes count too! Taking a moment to count your victories is a good way to remind yourself how far you’ve come.
5. Take it one day at a time.
I’m a really big fan of taking it one day at a time, in all situations. Why? Because I find that it is typically easier to focus on small time frames and concentrating on staying centered during that time versus large chunks of time. How is this important when dealing with negative comments and reactions? It helps you to put your own positive energy into the present moment. Your focus is then shifted from the negative comments.
These are just a few tips on dealing with negative comments. No matter how well or how bad you do, people will always have something (negative or positive) to say. Multi-media personality Charlamagne Tha God says the following regularly during his syndicated radio show, “The Breakfast Club”:
“You’re never as bad as they say. You’re never as good as they say.”
Therefore, you may as well do the best that YOU can do to live a healthy, active, fitness lifestyle and not worry about the negative comments others may say.
Ultimately, not one person is responsible for your health or happiness. When you go to the doctor for health check-ups, it is you they are putting the blood pressure cuff on. It is you getting your blood drawn for test results in that doctor’s office. It is you that has to get up each morning. It is you that has to make your life an experience worth living and enjoying.
Remember, it is your fitness journey. Not anyone else’s.
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