When Your Awesomeness Makes Others Uncomfortable

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Just a couple of things I wanted to mention for my new friends who are just starting their transformation programs.

At first there will be a lot of support from almost everyone.  They want to be encouraging.   It will take a couple of months for people to notice your appearance to change.   And when they see your hard work is working, there will be compliments.  As time passes and it becomes obvious that you aren’t going to give up, a few people may make comments like these…

“I’m worried about you. You’re starting to look too thin.” (You’re probably not. You’re clothes are probably too big.)

“Really, ONE cookie won’t hurt.”

“Your trainer told you to do what? Really? You shouldn’t be doing X – you should be doing Y.”

I don’t know anyone who experienced a transformation who hasn’t had something said to them that they weren’t sure how to process. I’m not going to speculate about why people make negative comments. I know there are reasons. It helped me to just accept it as them being ‘uncomfortable’ with my changes. Sure, I was annoyed and I usually found a trusted friend to whom I could vent.  It was really hard to handle when I got them from someone close to me.  But I just reminded myself that they were uncomfortable with what I was doing – probably because it challenged them to think about what they weren’t doing.

I’ve also lost friends.  I assume they weren’t, really. I also assume that if asked, they would have good reasons why.  I have changed.  Really – from the inside out.  And I’m what I call “passionate”, which comes across as “judgmental”, “bossy”, or “arrogant”.   It’s been hard on Hubby having to adjust, so I imagine a lot of less committed relationships would be strained beyond repair.

I don’t get negative comments anymore in person. I think that’s because people around me have become accustomed to my changes, they now understand what I’m doing, or it’s obvious I’m not going to quit at this point. Still get a few online from strangers – that’s expected.  When I’m feeling feisty  I bite back.

As far as the free advice, try to avoid those conversations if you are working with a trainer or a coach. Too many cooks in the kitchen…so to speak. But it’s also important to do your own research. Use the internet and read books. There is so much happening so quickly in the fitness world. Your trainer/coach should be doing the same thing, of course, but you are member of that team, too. It’s your success you working towards.  It’s just my opinion, but any trainer worth the money will either be able to discuss whatever you’ve heard or read, or they will be willing to research it and get back to you later.   IMO.

Has anyone else had “back-handed” compliments?

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11 Comments

Filed under Life, Motivation, Opinions, Venting, Ranting, Personal Training

11 responses to “When Your Awesomeness Makes Others Uncomfortable

  1. Colin DeWaay

    I suddenly feel the urge to apologize to everyone for being so awesome. 🙂 I see what you are talking about all the time with others. I don’t get much myself except the occasional “You can eat one doughnut” or whatever but I don’t really care about that. Plus at this point everyone that knows me at all knows there is no chance I’ll eat it anyway so even that has mostly gone away. Just know if you are getting them you are doing something right!

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  2. Love this! I’m training for my first Figure show and I get what you are saying. I’m 3.5 years in on my journey and entering the world of bodybuilding is just me in a new season of my journey. To me, it’s sometimes harder when those closest to me go silent about my training or transformation and the silence sometimes speaks louder than their words. Great post! Thank u!

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  3. Mary Jean Padalino

    Excellent post! I’ve been getting the “oh my God you’re going to get sick” or “you look too skinny” forever bc I’ve always been thin and I’m vegan gasp lol! Now that I’m 42 and most of my extended family is either fat, sick, or dead they don’t make comments anymore…but it did hurt, every single holiday meal when I wouldn’t eat pasta and had to hear the bullshit,

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  4. One Fit Mama

    My mom tells me I’m too skinny all the time!

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  5. Random observation- right now, the country that has the most views on this post is Portugal. Olá!!

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  6. I haven’t made it to that stage in my transformation yet….but I can tell it’s coming.

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  7. Kendra Moore-Nixon

    I’ve certainly gotten the “you’re too thin / skinny” comments (especially when prepping for a competition) – those really get old! Sometimes I want to say, “so, because I don’t have ‘arm dangle’ or ‘muffin top’ then that classifies me as too skinny?”… but, I never say that… One jerk dared to tell my husband (to his face, he’s lucky he didn’t get punched) that “your wife isn’t attractive, she’s just too skinny”. My husband said “my wife is pure muscle, I guess you wouldn’t know what that is!”.
    The other thing that I’ve recently become REALLY sick of is a few friends telling me that I look “mean” when I’m working out or running (especially in a race)… however, these are friends who drink quite a bit, don’t workout anywhere near how I do, and don’t have the same goals that I do. They’ll show up for a 5k looking like they’re ready for a modelling shoot (and look the same way at the end)… well, I’m OLDER than them & I beat them EVERY time – do I care if I look “mean” while I’m running? HECK NO! I’m FOCUSED & DETERMINED!!! 😉

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  8. Awesome post as always, Tammy. There are so many people chomping at the bit to shoot down someone’s dreams – when your “friends” end up being those kind of people, it’s time to move on. I guess it makes sense because essentially we don’t do what we do for anyone but ourselves, but still – it can break a person who isn’t confident!

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  9. You could not have posted this at a better time. Within the past couple of days, I have been receiving some negative comments from people in my friend circle (not close friends, but people I “know”). It really took me by surprise, but I processed it and came to the conclusion that they are just, as you said, uncomfortable with the changes I am making. It’s interesting how we sometimes reflect our negative feelings about ourselves onto others…
    Anyway, it was encouraging to read this post and we just need to keep pressing forward 🙂

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  10. “why would you want to do that to yourself”, and “when would you ever need to lift something that heavy” seem to be the most common comments.

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  11. I’m just starting out and yes, I already get this nonsense about ‘one can’t hurt’ ‘you look fine’ and my personal favorite that I just heard…what’ you’re going anorexic on us? That one is particularly telling b/c at just under 30%bf I am SO far from anorexic…of course when the issuer of the comment is obese, I get it. I was just at a friends house and she apologized to me for putting out cookies . Everyone there except me was a cookie eater. No matter how much I tried to explain that I was in no way offended, she kept prattling on about it.
    My compliment to you: You ROCK! no left hands needed 😉
    *anna

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