“It’s just dessert. Splurge, you’ve been working so hard, you deserve it.“
“Exercise always comes first with you. What about our friendship?“
“Honey, you look great to me. I like you with a few extra pounds around the hips.“
“You’re so boring now that you don’t drink. You used to be fun and let loose. What happened to you?“
Sound familiar? Those are the words of the saboteur (you know, the friend/relative/spouse/child/co-worker/exercise partner), who’d rather you didn’t stick to your exercise and nutrition goals today (or tomorrow, for that matter), who constantly tries to sabotage your health and fitness plans.
Saboteurs come in all shapes and sizes; learn to recognize them. They often sound like they have your best interests at heart. They comfort you because they tell you what you’d like to hear. They tempt you into staying exactly where you are rather than moving forward. They smile and encourage while under-mining your health and fitness goals.
Why do some people feel the need to sabotage others’ good intentions? What’s it to them if you decide to skip dessert or forego the second glass of wine? Why does your going to the gym affect them at all?
Realize that more often than not, your saboteur’s desire to have you fall off the wagon has much more to do with them than you. Your good habits make them look and feel bad about their own poor ones. If they succeed in getting you to skip a workout, their decision to do the same is validated. They instantly feel better about themselves.
While I’m all about helping people find happiness and self-worth, I don’t do it at the expense of my own. Neither should you. Tips for dealing with saboteurs?
- know who’s most likely to try sabotaging your health and fitness goals
- anticipate their comments
- prepare responses that emphasize your commitment to your goals and explain why those goals are important to you
- encourage them to join you in your quest for health and wellness
- use ‘when you say ____, I feel _____’; often people don’t realize the effects of their words on others
- distance yourself; this is a last resort, but all too often we keep people in our lives even when their attitudes and actions are bad for us.
Stay strong, focused and true to your goals and aspirations. Don’t let the saboteurs sabotage you!