If you have recently committed to a healthy lifestyle, you may have experienced a balking comment from a family member or a chiding remark from a friend. By definition, change is the act of departing from the past, and because humans are creatures of habit, resistance is expected. Choosing to make different choices is a radical way to love yourself, so receiving negative feedback from a loved one when you announce a desire to change your habits can feel hurtful.
Before you decided to pursue a more healthful approach to your diet, exercise, and emotional well-being, you may have frequently met up with co-workers to gossip over a-few-too-many drinks at happy hour or indulged in lots of sweet treats during a weekly meet-up to watch a television show with your sister-in-law. Now that you’ve reaped the benefits of intentionally caring for your mind, body, and spirit, it’s important to know how to stand firm in your new habits and goals when family or friends try to sabotage your efforts. It’s natural, too, to want to encourage them instead to join you in your new way of life. Here’s how:
1. Be firm about your intentions and request support
If you’re teased for your decision, remind yourself that change can be difficult for people to accept, then tell the family member or buddy who is struggling with your lifestyle change, “This matters to me, and any support you can offer is appreciated.” Then, tell loved ones how they can encourage you.
2. Introduce them to nourishing recipes and healthy alternatives
Surprise a family member or friend with a nutritious, gut-healthy dish (perhaps a soup with chickpeas and leeks) or bring them a batch of No-Bake Cacao Bliss Balls so they can taste the difference in refined sugar and the natural sweetness of dates.
3. Be active together
Invite family and friends along to take a long walk around the neighborhood, meet up for a fitness class, or join a step challenge through a health app.
4. Give praise without focusing on appearance
If you’ve been able to encourage your family and friends to invest in their health the way you have and you’ve noticed their progress, tell them! “I’m so impressed with your dedication to your health,” you could say.
Making lifestyle changes can feel isolating and overwhelming if you don’t feel supported, so be proactive and let family and friends know how they can cheer you on and how the changes you’ve made can positively impact their lives, too.
Who is your BIGGEST supporter in this journey to a healthy lifestyle? Give them love and tag in the comments below!
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