Last week in boot camp, I had some ladies voice their frustrations on visits with family over Thanksgiving regarding their new, healthy way of life. Finding it hurtful that some family members or friends seemed to tease or discourage their successes.
I immediately asked the group to raise their hand if someone has ever made them feel bad about the positive changes they are making or have already made?
Honestly I expected about half of the group to raise their hand but to my surprise EVERY, SINGLE woman raised their hand. We looked around in silence. Wow.
So when I thought I was alone all of these years feeling hurt by words spoke by people I loved most, people I looked up to and wanted their "approval"....I was NOT alone after all.
Sadly we all stood there, looking around and thinking Wow, we really are NOT alone anymore. You see women are strong but sometimes it's okay to admit our frustrations or sadness. Keeping it inside and leading people to believe we have it all figured out may hurt us more than help us. Sometimes it's greater to voice it, shout it out loud and grow from it, learn from it and allow it to make us stronger rather than defeat us!
My advice on the "haters" is to learn to take those hurtful words and actions as compliments!
It may sound crazy but if someone is "bothered" by our new way of life then it means our changes have made that person feel vulnerable and sadly, human nature is to wait for us to fail.
It's okay for them to doubt us because if you are anything like I was, it took MANY failed attempts before I got it right...and I'm still just taking one day at a time, trying to keep getting it right! That takes GUTS, STRENGTH and DETERMINATION! Some days I have a lot of it and some days I have none...but it's those great days that carry me through the really tough ones. It's a balancing act and I've learned to accept that things won't be perfect, every day won't be a great day, I will be tired, achy and want to give up but I DON'T...simple as that!
Where I stayed most of my life was easy. I was just me and by never trying new things and being unhealthy, it was what it was. As I started to slowly transform, I noticed people treated me differently, not bad just different. My friends stopped asking me to go to dinner, my family would say things like, "I would never be able to eat like that, don't you ever just want a juicy cheeseburger?" and so on. Some favorites are, "Why would you run a half marathon? That is so bad for your joints!", "Oh don't judge, we all know YOU won't eat what we're eating!", or "Marissa, you didn't use quinoa or flaxseed to make this dish, right?!" followed by giggles...
"I could eat like you if I liked the taste of cardboard!", "You were so much fun when you were chubby.", "I tried doing what you do and I burned out because you can't maintain it, just wait til you hit my age...it'll catch up!", "Must be nice to not have bad knees like I do, consider yourself lucky because I can't exercise"...uhhh WHAT??!
"Every time I see your workout selfies, I am usually stuffing my face so obviously your healthy way of life hasn't rubbed off on me"....and you get the idea!
So while you read those and think, "Wow, how rude", I take them ALL as compliments. Compliments because I'm doing something they never saw me doing!! That's awesome!
I stuck to something and I haven't given up or quit. That wasn't the old me...the old me would quit at the drop of a hat...that's the ME that was like the caterpillar every one knew so well.
The butterfly in me sees things differently and takes them as compliments!!!
When I was the "caterpillar", I was so hurt by the "Should you be eating that much food?", "Don't eat fast food or you'll end up like Marissa.", "You should consider trying ____ diet, it really works", "You just had lunch, you're going to eat again?"...
THOSE words hurt because they hit me where it hurt most. They had exposed my most vulnerable part of me....my health and my weight. I KNEW it was terrible to do what I was doing but I did NOT want to be called out or told that. I thought I was hiding my dirty, little secret of my uncontrollable food intake but these comments exposed all of that...or so I thought. It was MY secret and these comments meant they ALL knew it?!!
I'm a butterfly, an open book...
I LOVE sharing my successes, my frustrations, my fears and my triumphant moments! I deserve to share that...all of it! And you do too!!!
That caterpillar that I used to be held it ALL in. I ate to coat the pain. The food medicated ALL of my emotions that I would NOT share. It was toxic. I've learned that what works for me is the SHARE, to voice when I feel angry, sad, happy or defeated...rather than stuffing my face with a bag of family size Doritos! Eeek!
NEVER let anyone make you feel bad about trying a new, healthier way of life! EVER!
Your health matters SO much, it will affect every aspect of your life and the lives of your family members. You are giving your children a better mother, your husband is getting a better wife and so on. That is NEVER something to be ashamed of! Remember that.
And if someone has something to say about it, simply say THANK YOU...I guarantee it'll catch them off guard hahaha!
It doesn't mean PUSH your healthy way of life onto them either. They MUST want it for themselves, you can NEVER want it enough for them. Sad truth. Best thing you can do is model the healthy lifestyle and they'll eventually come around...hopefully! Just let them SEE that butterfly that emerges from your hard work and determination....THAT gift you give yourself and those around you! I have high hopes that if we ALL carry that healthy glow with us everywhere we go, it'll become contagious and all will want to be a part of it, they'll want to feel good, be active and healthy!
Yes this is my perfect world dream, but so what...
Big dreams are Good dreams!!!! Go for it and let NOTHING hold you back!!!!