Fit Tip Friday: Actually, I can.

Have you ever had someone—especially a friend or family member—doubt your goals? Maybe it was just their expression, a polite concern, a condescending comment, or a flat-out laugh-in-your-face mockery of your impending failure. Maybe they didn’t even do it on purpose, but the truth is written all over them: they don’t believe you’ll meet this goal.

It hurts.

This actually happened to me this week. I excitedly told my friend my goal that would not only enhance my personal fitness, but increase my opportunity as a group ex instructor. In return, I received a wide-eyed expression, followed by a condescending comment suggesting I wasn’t qualified. I don’t believe they did it on purpose. I don’t believe the intent was to hurt me. But it was an unfiltered, honest opinion. It shook me enough that it stayed with me throughout the day, and undermined my confidence.

How Can We Overcome These Hurts?

I’ve always struggled with other people’s opinions of me. Perhaps I’m a little bit better at hiding it because ultimately I confidently make final decisions, but it is still something that has plagued me my whole life. My internal dialogue rarely shuts up.

Two things have REALLY changed my perspective in situations like this, though:

  1. The Lord’s opinion of me is all that matters. He loves me (and you!) unconditionally.
  2. Realizing that most people’s opinions have little to do with me, but rather it’s about THEM and THEIR insecurities.

The latter seems to be particularly valid in fitness and diet.

We see it all the time in the fitness industry, especially in marriages, where one partner will decide to completely change their lifestyle to improve their health, and the other is resentful because they’re not ready to make the change too. They’re intimidated. You are unintentionally calling out their insecurity and putting the spotlight on what they need to change in their life.

It’s all in their head, of course.

You’re focused on YOU. They’re focused on THEM. We can’t help but be focused on ourselves. It’s human. 

To help yourself overcome hurtful comments and lack of support, follow these 3 simple steps:

  1. Write down WHY you want to accomplish this goal. What will it mean for you? How will it improve your life? You have my permission to be completely self-centered in this.
  2. See it from your offender’s perspective. Do they have some valid points? Will this impact them directly? If the answer is no, then think about why they might feel intimidated. (NOTE: Do not share your analysis with them or anyone; this is simply a mental exercise to make you realize that their comments likely have very little to do with you.)
  3. Move forward and accomplish your goals! Don’t let the naysayer derail you.

Prove Them Wrong!

Actually I can









Often my best motivation comes from those who say I can’t. I’ve been told I would never stay gluten-free; never become a stay-at-home-mom; never have a job that I love; and that I couldn’t teach certain classes. I’ve done ALL those things. Anyone who said or suggested otherwise, has just helped light the fire under me to push me forward. So really, I should be thanking them instead of being hurt by them.

What are your best tips for overcoming hurtful comments or lack of support when you share a goal? Please let me know in the comments below!

PS–I just joined Periscope yesterday and posted a live broadcast on this very same topic! It’s already expired but be sure to follow me @belowthefork on the Periscope app (download for free from Apple or Android store) 🙂


Meridith Oram
Meridith Oram is an ACE-Certified Health Coach at Love Yourself Towards Healthy where she helps women heal their relationship with food, fitness and body image. She is also the creator of Gain Wellness, a 5-week behavioral change program to unlearn diet culture, stop negative self-talk and set wellness goals---not appearance goals. Follow Meridith at @loveyourself2healthy on all social channels.

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