I wanted to talk a little more about change. Particularly how a decision to change isn't always met with the most positive of responses from those nearest to us.
In my own experience, the decision to finally make a change in my health came when I was at my lowest. I almost had to reach the rockiest of self-esteem bottoms in order to find the will to tackle what seemed to be an insurmountable task. I weighed over 250lbs and I honestly didn't know where to start - I just knew that enough was enough.
Now, my then boyfriend (now my husband) was trying to get healthier himself so I knew that I had a support system in place. My family weren't as excited about my new eating habits and exercise routine because it 'took away from family time' a.k.a time spent eating convenience food in front of the telly, but I was determined, I had a partner in place and we embarked on the journey together.
So many of the women I work with are not as lucky. They, like I, have often reached a point where they feel enough is enough and there is an almost desperate need for change. With a negative body image, poor self-esteem but finally armed with the belief that they can because they have all the pieces of the puzzle in place as part of my team, they begin preparing for go-time. They start to share with their loved ones that they are going to be eating x and doing y in honor of this commitment they have made to themselves. They wait for excitement and pride to emanate from their loved ones faces at their new-found dedication to their health and...nothing.
Sometimes, worse than nothing. Sometimes they get hit with derision, doubt, dismissal, all out disbelief in their ability to do this. And, more often than I would like to report, right here is where their journey ends. They either tell me straight-out that they will no longer 'be able to take part' or they apparently begin but then go radio silent on me and stay that way.
This, more than anything else my role as a Coach and Trainer involves, is hard to take. Not because of me (I am definitely not in this for me), but because they have given their power away, power that they had JUST harnessed and embraced in preparation for the start of this brand new journey into themselves. Power that they had JUST promised to hold close to their hearts and rely on to get them through those middle-of-the-night-fridge-raid-cravings. Power that they have no business giving away. EVER.
And as hard as I try, it’s tough to get them back. At least not with the same gung-ho attitude that they once had.
WHY??? It never ceases to amaze me that there are people out there who will hold, fight and push others down, all while professing to love them. But I do know why; it’s because they are afraid.
Picture this – if you are overweight and your partner is also holding more lbs than they should be, it can be easy to just sit in that place of unhealthy habits and behaviors. I’ve been there and it’s definitely easier! But, one day your partner comes to you all lit up and excited about this great program they have found and this amazing coach ;o) who is going to support and love on them until they achieve their goals to lose weight and get fit! Well, all of a sudden your familiar, comfortable and safe environment is on the brink of change and do they expect you to change now too??
I get it, change can be very uncomfortable and even scary for some people. I have complete sympathy for that. What I do not have sympathy for is when that fear is allowed to turn into destructive behavior, directed at the person who is trying to better themselves, especially when that behavior has it’s desired effect of halting this progress. It’s not fair and it’s not right.
My words of wisdom:
If you are the person that is being held down, fight against it. When you commit to doing this with me, you are never alone and you will always have support.
If you are the person doing the holding, back off! If you truly love this person, you have to realize what ‘love’ really means – putting the needs of others in front of your own. You can be afraid but so are they! Why not be afraid together, take the actions together and become better TOGETHER?
“Do your best to help others and if you cannot help them, at least don’t hurt them”.
Sabs signing off xx