Thursday, January 29, 2009

the consequence of getting in shape...

Have you ever heard the saying “shape up or ship out”?
My interpretation of it actually is “Shape up AND Ship out”!!!

One of the many struggles or obstacles we may encounter throughout our journey to a more physically fit body is resistance from others. At first, there is no threat in you stating to friends and family “I am on a diet”, “I am joining a gym” or “I hired a trainer”. They may or may not take you seriously and they may or may not wish you success. This is subtle however, because you figure that by taking care of yourself and respecting your body it is a reflection of appreciation for health and life, including all those around you. What may not be apparent at first however , is the threat you will become to other people’s ideas about themselves. Changing the shape of your body is an obvious demonstration of willpower, dedication and self-respect, it is something most of us strive to do once in our lives or at least it starts as a thought at one point .
With time, your visits to the gym and eating mindfully are starting to show through your waistline. People around you are starting to notice that you look lighter, your clothes are fitting more loosely and you’re even walking taller. This is where the resistance begins.

For example, it is regular Tuesday beer and wing night at the pub and you order soda water and salad. In fact, not only would beer and wings interfere with your new way of eating but you really are looking forward to that salad. Or, it is your best friend’s birthday party and you gracefully decline Aunt Sheila’s double- chocolate- decker cake with really no intention of offending her. How about when you crack open your Tupperware at the office instead of reaching for the bagels and danishes? This may start to cause a stir in your social life as you initiate and maintain different behavior patterns then what your friends, family or colleagues are used to and were comfortable with. Resistance may come in the form of snide comments and leering looks or even doubt that what you are doing is ‘healthy’!

Stay focused on your goals and how good you are feeling. Pay attention to the reactions you are receiving and you may even notice that people around you start to act differently- more positively. They may start asking questions, inquiring about what you are doing and how, seeking out different gyms, talking about protein powder and the latest research on vitamins!! Remember, people are shy and sometimes insecure about fitness – it is such an overwhelming idea and hard to even know where to begin. Well, it begins with YOU!!! Your desires, intentions and action becomes other people’s hope.

As for the leerers and sneerers, they’ll come around….maybe…..maybe not…..it is their choice….
You Shape up and They Ship OUT!

3 comments:

Chris McGrath said...

Interestingly, I've just started to encounter this phenomenon. I have recently found myself censoring some of my conversations with people, because in some way, my new found dedication to health and fitness is a bit intimidating. I'm quickly becoming a new person who presents himself (physically and emotionally) in a very different way in the world, and I think it's starting to challenge the foundations of some of my relationships and the roles I play with people close to me. In other words, as I'm learning to be in the world in a different way, I am quickly realizing that I'm needing to be in some of my relationships in a different way as well. Now, my friends are by no means unsupportive of my newly discovered passion, but because the lens through which I see myself has become much more clear, the lenses through which I view my relationships with others have also had to change a little bit. And I'm pleased to report that they've changed for the better.

At the same time, I acknowledge that I sometimes need to control the number of times I let people know how many grams of sugar are in certain foods for example. However, I take tremendous pride in tearing open my plastic container of latest healthy lunch, or my nutritious snacks -- because I feel better for doing so, and when I feel better about myself, I feel better about those people around me.

Yvette Raposo said...

Thanks for sharing Chris!!! First, I want to congratulate you on a job well done. The language you use tells me that you really have 'changed' and made the decision on your health as a lifestyle choice rather than just something you 'do'.

I am glad that some relationships in your life have improved and I totally agree that it is the natural response you are recieving as you are feeling better about yourself.

The beauty is that there is stil so much more to come; learning and growing are wonderful aspects of self-improvement and the journey continues....

Keep up the postive vibe and thank you so much for your feedback. Please let me know any other topics you'd like me (us) to explore:-)

Teena in Toronto said...

I bet my friends got tired of me raving about you when you were my trainer :)