“Why do you want to lift weights? You will look bulky/like a man/too big”
“You are getting too skinny”
“Muscles are gross on a woman”
Let’s be brutally frank, no person has a damn right to give you unsolicited advice about your body. Your goals are your own and your body is your own to do with what you please. If you want to lift heavy weights, do it. If you want to run a marathon, do it. The world is open for your goals and your body is part of it.
With the above being stated, it is also quite difficult to tune out the negativity from others. It may be easier if those people are online trolls trying to get a rise out of you, but the difficulty is magnified when those words come from people close to you, and even moreso if those comments are from a spouse.
There isn’t a single magic formula that will prevent someone from thinking what they wish about you, but there are things you can say to reinforce to them how unwelcome their negativity is.
When it comes to spouses, these comments often come with insecurity as you start to improve yourself. They will often feel left out as you start a new lifestyle, fearful you may want to leave them as you become more confident and “attractive”. Their best defense is often putting you down hoping you don’t change so you can appease their lack of security.
I would strongly recommend chatting with your partner about your goals, ensure them you aren’t doing this to find someone else but to better yourself, encourage them to participate with you, and if they don’t want to at least accept your goals are your own and nothing to do with your partner. Communicate how negative comments hurt you instead of encourage you and it makes you feel
If your partner doesn’t ease up on negative comments despite you communicating with them, maybe it’s time to reconsider why you are in a relationship with this person.
When it comes to someone else who isn’t your direct family or friend, one simple phrase helps:
“I don’t want nor appreciate your comments on my body or my lifestyle. Don’t do it again”
If they do it again, say it again. Repeat until the point is driven home.
If the comments come from someone online, a simple delete/block works well.
That’s right. Delete comment, block person. Your life is too damn valuable to waste time with a troll. Let others feed them.
Several years ago I was food shopping and I had a cart filled with lean beef, eggs, vegetables, potatoes, and other foods you would expect someone like me to buy. A person behind me made the snide comment, “oh look at you buying all healthy stuff”. I wish I could say it was a compliment but the tone of voice was condescending.
I turned around, looked at their cart filled with a menagerie of processed foods, snacks, and boxes of hamburger helper and said, “unless you want me to judge your entire cart, keep your mouth shut”.
They got the message rather quickly.
How many times have you eaten with a co-worker and they said “eating that AGAIN?” or commenting on the fact you are ordering a chicken salad at a restaurant while they order mozzarella sticks? I have heard it more than once and I bet you also have.
The same rules apply with food as they do with your appearance. Be firm, be brief, and stand your ground in demanding people respect your choices even if they have their own personal issues with them.
If your chicken and rice offends someone, I cannot imagine how shitty their life is. Those people exist and it is inevitable you will come across them more than once. You could be dealing with Karen at work bringing in cupcakes and making the comment to you saying, “I would offer you one, but you always eat healthy”.
I would tell you to insult her back but that doesn’t make you a better person. Fighting fire with fire isn’t the answer, but saying, “maybe one day I will say yes and surprise you” could diffuse her attitude a little and get your point across.
Or just take one fucking cupcake because it won’t kill you.
I mean let’s face it, if you can’t make room for a cupcake every now and then, you are missing out on the deliciousness of a cupcake.
If someone is making you feel negativity about your own positive changes, you need to assert your autonomy as an individual and remind that person what you will not accept from their mouth.
You will never change how someone thinks about you, but you can certainly let them know to keep their thoughts to themselves.
If you have a difficult time with any of the above, it is strongly suggested to speak to a therapist to learn how to advocate for your own wants and needs as a human. Not only will this build critical skills with your professional and personal life, you will be able to tell some asshole who says, “you are looking too bulky” to “I didn’t ask you for your shitty opinion, did I?”
Much better than eating those words and letting the ruminating of them ruin your day.
Your goals are your own, not anyone else’s.
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