Family Matters

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Your personal fitness journey doesn’t have to be a family affair


Whether you have recently decided to embark on your fitness journey, or you are a long time casual exerciser who has now decided to take your fitness to the next level as you prepare for your pageant, your daily life and schedule are about to change. Instead of indulging in salty snacks with your family while hanging out on the couch watching a movie, you may be having a healthy snack or no snack at all. Or, perhaps instead of going to the mall with your friends, you will be heading to the gym for a workout.

As you begin this journey, change your schedule, and clean out your pantry, you expect everyone in your life to support you and cheer you on as you make a positive change. Woah! Hold on here! What if your friends and family aren’t cheering? What if everyone in your life likes your current habits and lifestyle because it matches theirs? What if they are comfortable with you just the way you are and don’t want you to change? Quite often, one of the most difficult roadblocks to those changing their lifestyle is not their own resistance, but the resistance of everyone else in their lives.

Your first reaction may be bewilderment, anger, and frustration. “Don’t the people who love me want me to be healthy and fit?” “Doesn’t everyone in my life want me to realize my dreams and take the crown?” Once the anger subsides, a feeling of despair and sadness may take over, which can cause you to give up on your goals all together. Don’t be angry, don’t despair, and don’t give up! The answer is not to abandon your fitness goals; rather it is to approach them correctly when it comes to everyone else in your life. Here are a few tips to embark on your fitness journey while maintaining your relationships.

Have a Sit Down

When you decide to begin your fitness journey, sit down with friends and family and tell them why you are doing so. Tell them how you want to be healthier, feel great in your own skin, and be there for them for many years to come. Make sure they understand that fitness is a very important factor in your pageant journey and that it takes a consistent effort. Let them know that you aren’t changing who you are as a person; you are simply changing your health and fitness routine and levels. Many times, significant others fear that you are making a change in order to leave them for someone else. Let that person know that you are not changing in order to remove them from your life, but to enhance your life with them. Parents and family can be concerned that you are going to go overboard in your fitness efforts and possibly cause more harm than good. Explain to them the various aspects of your fitness plan and that it is to help you become better and stay healthy.

Let Them Be!

You may be so excited about the changes that you are making that you want everyone around you to do the same. You may be tempted to throw away every last cookie in your house, ban all fattening foods, and require for all family meals to be compliant with your nutrition plan, or insist that your entire family get up at 5am to go with you to the gym. Stop! Just because you are ready to make a change doesn’t mean everyone else is! If you attempt to force change on everyone around you to live your lifestyle, you are going to get resistance. Make a change for you, let them be themselves, and if you inspire them to change, great. If not, accept them for who they are!


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