How to Get Fit When No One Believes in You – The Brutal Truth
Success is often a lonely road.
That’s something you often don’t hear lots of people saying, but among people who are going after their goals – whether fitness, or life – is often a reality.
What happens though when you have had that “I’m tired of this crap and need to change” moment…but no one else has?
In other words, what happens when you’ve decided that now is the right time to change, but your friends and family don’t support you?
Even worse, what happens if they not only don’t believe in you, but they consciously try to sabotage you?
Well, there’s a little known series of practices that many people do to succeed at their goals anyway.
The Loneliness of Getting Your Dream Body
How to Get Fit and Achieve Goals Without Any Support
It’s funny, when you start going after a fitness goal or really any life goal, everyone cheers you on.
Let’s say for example I’m just starting out and I’m the “fat kid.”
At the start, everyone is on your side:
“You got this Jimmy! Keep going!”
But a funny thing happens when you start to get fitter, when you start to actually get results on the path towards your goal.
There’s a really weird thing that starts happening as soon as you start seeing any results.
People start shifting the way that they approach you and talk to you.
You know, at first, people cheer you on because they can see I’m fat, I’m overweight, I’m unsuccessful, and so I could “use the advice.”
But when you start getting some lines, some definition, some muscles and start seeing some weight loss, people change.
Whoa whoa whoaaaa… calm down. You’re too obsessed. That’s all you do. Why are you so into fitness? There’s other stuff in life.
They start turning on you.
This is what they mean when people say, “success is often a lonely road.” The reality is that you are often going to have to (in some cases) get rid of your friends that are the maintenance friends.
They’re the people who you have fun with and you’re happy with on a day to day basis, but not that much growth actually comes out of the relationship with them.
I’ve shared the story of my friend Sol before – who went from being a 300 pound southerner, to a guy that looks like a fitness model now with a six pack.
He never had eaten a green bean in his entire life, but now he looks absolutely incredible.
Around that transitional point in his journey, when he got to around 220 pounds, when he started looking good, people started saying weird things to him too.
Dude, you’re getting a little bit obsessed with this fitness stuff.
You’re looking a bit thin brother.
… And he was confused.
Thin? I’m still 220 pounds, what the hell are you guys talking about?
The reality was that his friends were trying to sabotage him, and because his friends were overweight they felt embarrassment and shame by his ambition.
They themselves also knew that this was a goal they should’ve been going after.
Because of that, it triggered that envy in them.
Initially people will always be on your side:
Yeah, write that book!
Yeah, lose weight!
Yeah, go travel the world.
Yeah, go start the business.
But once you really start seeing success, people start turning on you.
My Own Experience With Discouraging People
You know some of the comments I got when I wrote my first book (master the day)?
When I was writing that initially, I was 26 or 27, and you know how many people said things like, “so you have a PhD, you’re teaching at a University?”
“Where’d you get the experience to do all this? Who are you to be writing a book?”
I would just say:
No, none of that – I’m just writing a book to help people. Because these are the things I wish all my clients could know.
The reality is that most people are going to challenge you on your road to greatness.
What do you do? Two things.
Strategy Thing #1: Block Your Alone “Goal” Time
Worst case scenario, that means doing it by yourself.
When I wrote my book, to avoid negative people I would go to the same cafe every single day after the gym and after work for that one hour.
Set the timer by myself for one hour, and then I would get it done.
Similarly, with exercise, the way I got myself to go (for almost ten years now – by myself) is by doing the same.
Almost every goal that I’ve gone after has been alone (without any friends or support, for example).
Writing this or shooting videos for example is all done by myself.
The first thing is simple: whatever the goal is you’re going after, set aside one hour a day to plug towards your goal where you can set the negative influences aside.
So if you’re setting aside the one hour a day to pursue your fitness or health goal, you can still always go back to your normal friends and family (because you already put in your work for the day).
It doesn’t matter how much they discourage you now, because you’re going to reach your goal (since you already did the work).
Strategy #2: Understand That YOU Need to Have Your Own Vision (& Review it Daily)
Something that people don’t know about me is that inside the back of my phone case I actually keep all of my goals written on paper, which includes health, relationships, financial, spirituality, travel goals and more.
Everything that I want to do is on one piece of paper, and I set a little habit reminder every day to look at that goal sheet.
All it is is a mental calibration exercise, to remind myself of the direction that I want to be going in.
You, at the end of the day, have to have your own goals.
I’ve talked about the perils of doing what mommy and daddy want, or getting fit to PROVE to someone how good you look (or have changed), to prove to the ex-spouse how awesome your life is now.
That stuff doesn’t work in the long run because you’re relying on this almost negative resentment as energy for motivation.
The second thing here is understanding what you truly want, having your own goals, writing those goals on paper, and then looking at them every single day.
The strategy I specifically recommend is keeping it inside the back case of your phone, because chances are, just like me you have your phone on you almost always.
That way, you know foolproof you’ll be able to find time to review them.
The biggest thing here is simple: make sure these are goals that you want – goals that truly drive you – because if that’s the case, the motivation is not going to go away since you are doing it for yourself and not somebody else.
Your Tiny Daily Habits for Today
The most important thing to remember here is that sometimes the path to being successful is really lonely, because by default you are doing more than the average person.
The average person might even see you as a flat out threat.
Or, more likely, they just won’t support you or won’t understand why you’re doing all this, and why you can’t just, “be happy with what you have.”
It might be a lonely road, but I’m confident if you do these two things – to set aside an hour a day to execute your habits, and you review your health and life goals daily – you’ll get there.
What’s the worst thing somebody has said to you on your path? Share below.
Truth! A good friend, “I couldn’t do what your doing. Skinny people are angry because they are so hungry.” Another friend, “Don’t lose any more weight, your face looks awful.” A co-worker, “You’re getting too skinny.”
Others, “Don’t you eat? What is your secret?” and then there is the… “You look more wrinkly”.
I find that people say mean things and don’t realize how hurtful they are. Taking that one hour a day for yourself to focus on your own goals is great advice. I start a 6 week CrossFit class on Monday and I am scared, but I know it will get me to my goal of being toned.
Good luck Karen! And yeah, it’s sad actually how many people don’t realize how destructive their opinions can be… but just keep swimming!
This is awesome! I’ve been thinking about this when I wake up to get my one hour in. When my alarm goes off, I want to sleep, but then I think about what you said in the video, and I get my ass up so I can get my hour in before people in my household bother me 😉
P.S. I’ve been on a primal diet for 52 days. The only blowback I’ve gotten from people is “you’re eating too much fat” and “I always everything in moderation because you need carbs.” I also get confused looks when people ask me how I lost all this weight, and I tell them I just eat a lot of fat. (I also cut out processed sugar by the nature of the primal diet.)
Surprisingly not that hard to avoid pizza Tuesdays in the office, food trucks on Thursdays, and sweets in the break room literally daily.
Wanted to share some good news and bad news though.
Good news: Since Feb, I’ve gone from 169 pounds to 155!
I feel great, a little drained at the end of the day, but I go balls to the wall from ~5:30AM~9PM.
Bad news: I got a blood test in Feb and just last week
From Feb till now:
Triglycerides went WAY down.
HDL went WAY up
LDL went WAY up 🙁
I told my doc I didn’t want to go on a statin, but I’ve had high cholesterol my whole life pretty much. This is discouraging, since I’ve really enjoyed my diet and lost a ton of weight. I have been drinking a bulletproof type coffee in the mornings so in response to this recent blood test I’ve replaced that with green smoothies, and once or twice a week I’ll make a coffee with just a raw egg blended in which is delicious.
Get the blood test again right before Christmas.
Welp, now that I’ve just told you my life story, any recommendations to get my LDL down?
Just found your website, really enjoying it!
My most unsupported moment was when I finally, some years ago, got down to my goal weight and I was so happy, and my sister, who has been thin her whole life, said such mean things to me when I told her. She put me down for being happy about my healthy weight. I’ve been overweight since, and recently started to work back towards my healthy goal. I know what other people say shouldn’t affect you, but I felt like I couldn’t celebrate my achievement, and it was hard to maintain. I’m looking forward to getting back to my goal and staying there.