Dear Cassey: My family is so negative about my healthy lifestyle

Dear Cassey, 

Have you ever dealt with family or friends being negative about your healthy lifestyle changes? Personally, every time I get into a good routine it seems like it’s ruined due to family pressure. I always hear things like “You don’t need to work out. You look fine,” or “You can eat that, you won’t get fat, don’t be obsessive,” or “You had two babies, let it go.” 

I’ve really heard it all and I feel like I am starting to dodge and skip out on family functions. And I definitely avoid discussing food or health in fear of all the Negative Nancy input. What should I do?

Your advice is greatly appreciated!

Pushing for Positivity

Dear Pushing for Positivity,

Reading your question makes my heart hurt a little. It’s so important to feel supported by your family and friends, especially when it comes to your healthy lifestyle! I’m sure their comments make you feel a little isolated and like your values aren’t important to them.

And yes – I totally know how you feel.

I’ve had my fair share of interactions with people who just don’t get why I love health and fitness so much. ESPECIALLY since my life has become so public on social media. Negativity is everywhere, and I’ve learned that the only way to fight it is… not to fight it! Instead, we have to stick together and push forward.

Here’s the thing. It’s a lot easier for me to put my blinders on and push forward when strangers on the Internet throw negative comments my way. Finding the right way to handle this situation with your family is different, but also super important. I understand why it feels easier to avoid family gatherings and discussing the way you choose to eat. It’s really draining having to defend your choices! However, I have some ideas for you:

  1. The people making these comments may be feeling a little insecure themselves. I’m sure their intention isn’t to hurt you with their comments, but saying them might make them feel less guilty about the way they eat.
  2. Have you ever told your family/friends how these comments make you feel? There’s no shame in letting them know that you’re working hard to fuel your body with healthy foods. Maybe even explain that it’s not always about losing weight! Eating healthy and exercising just FEELS BETTER. If they understand that it’s not only about body image for you, maybe they will have a deeper understanding of your “why” and offer more support.
  3. Keep doing your thing. I love that despite hurtful comments and negativity, you never once said that you’ve given up on your goals. THAT IS AMAZING. I’m telling you, most people would have said, “you know what, maybe they’re right and I’m trying too hard.” Nope. Not you! This is important to you, so keep going. Chances are, your healthy habits will inspire someone else.

In the meantime, just know that you’ve come to the right place for support! The POPsters are the most positive and supportive people EVER and we’re besties here. And we’re here for you, too.

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, I’m taking questions via text at 510-692-4556. Currently this only works for US and Canada. If you’re outside of those countries, you can leave a question below.

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