Thursday, March 8, 2012

Fitness Frienemies

by Kris Pitcher

Is your bestie a beastie when it comes to supporting you? I've heard more people say that their friends cut them down, say they're "addicted" to exercise, or just plain compete with them when it comes to health and fitness.

Friends, or fitness enemies?
I didn't realize we were in a race for the fittest? When your friend becomes a frienemie you have to wonder if it's worth hanging out anymore.

It's frustrating really. You want to share your success and every time you do, they "one up" you. You think you're just telling them about what you've been up to (since they asked) and they turn it back to focus on them. Every. Time.

And how about the accusation that because you're heading to the gym instead of out for drinks, you're "addicted" and they're worried about you? Huh? Since when was a healthy lifestyle a concern?

Here's what I think. People want to talk about themselves. They don't mean to turn everything around to focus back on themselves but they can't help it. They want to have the last word, and they want it to be about them. I don't think they even realize it. They're self-absorbed.

People also want to justify their own habits. So, if they're sitting on the couch and you're at the gym, they feel threatened and a bit guilty. They don't mean to sabotage, necessarily, they just want to feel better about their own sad state of health.

My suggestion for the saboteurs (because sometimes they are family you can't stop hanging around) is to let them know you appreciate their concern for your health. Your health is important to you too, and that's why you've taken a serious approach to your fitness.

Tell them that your doctor supports your efforts and that what you're doing is within the healthy guidelines. Let them know that you don't expect anyone else to follow in your're doing this for you.

There is nothing wrong with standing your ground and being direct. You can also spend less time with those friends who make you feel bad for being healthy. Don't let people chip away at your sense of self. And don't let frienemies get you down. Plus, there are plenty of us who support what you do!

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