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If you can’t beat ‘em, include ‘em! By Maggie Corso
So, you’re looking to get fit and start a new healthy lifestyle, but your closest friends and family just aren’t supporting you. They’re making you miserable and you can’t understand why. You’re trying to get healthy, after all. Don’t they care about your health?! What can you do to get them on board?
Well, the trouble is often that change is unsettling for most people. So while you have already gone through the mental process of why, how and when, your closest family and friends have not. To them, you are suddenly breaking away; you’re talking about making changes that affect how they get to interact with you. They’re wondering how they will ever be able to socialise with you again; you no longer appreciate their hospitality, you’re turning your nose up at their food and drinks, you’re saying “no” to them and “yes” to the gym. What is that place, anyway? To them, it’s some secret destination where you disappear to and then return with liquid concoctions that you praise to the heavens about instead of a hearty home cooked meal? You see, it’s all in how you approach your new lifestyle that can make or break how quickly – if at all – your most desired supporters rally behind you.
So what can you do to gain the support of those you love and spend most of your time with? Well, you could just go about doing what you want to do. You could just blow them all off and figure they’ll come around eventually. Or, you can save yourself some aggravation by investing a little effort up front to settle their feelings and gain their support.
Start by making a list of your audience. Decide who you need on board most urgently and who can wait; who your biggest problems will be; and who will be easier to work with. As there is strength in numbers, go for those who are the easiest to talk to first, then work back one at a time, placing the tough ones toward the end. Explain that you’ve made a big decision about your health. That this new lifestyle you are committing yourself to is hugely important to you. Tell them that you’ve been unhappy with how you feel and look lately and ask them for their help! Explain how important their support will be in helping you stick to your plan. Tell them that you’ll need them looking out for you when you’re having difficulty avoiding meals and treats that are not in your plan; you’ll be investing time and money and would be absolutely miserable with yourself if you failed. Ask them if they can commit to helping you succeed by steering you in the right direction in your moments of weakness. You see, now you have given them a job – and an important one at that! They love you after all, how could they say “no”? You’ve given them a responsibility toward you, asked for help, and told them that you need them. You’ve opened up an avenue for them to ask questions and voice concerns, and now you’re no longer the person who is doing something ‘different’ to them. You aren’t the person criticising their meal and exercise choices without realising it each time you say “no, I’m eating healthy now” or “no, I’m going to the gym”.
In all truth, they might never understand a single thing about what you’re doing or what you’re eating. But they will understand that whatever it is, it’s what you want, and you have a plan. A plan that they agreed to help you stick to! And so now, what were once your greatest obstacles have become your greatest support.
So don’t let any more time go by with you struggling up stream for the sake of your personal fitness goals. If you can’t beat ‘em, just include ‘em!
Maggie’s fitness journey began at the age of 40. After having been sedentary for 10 years and with two children born in between, Maggie was in the worst shape of her life. Her dream became to look like one of the girls on Oxygen. It was then that Maggie formed a vision of herself that has now become her reality. Maggie has since gone on to compete in women’s figure competitions, earning her pro card in her first natural figure event. You can find Maggie sharing her fit lifestyle on Facebook by visiting her at: Maggie Corso Figure Pro