One of the most common things fitness competitors find difficult is the social aspect of living life while dieting hard for a contest. As a competitor, you can be dieting anytime of the year and even all year around if you are dieting during your normal “off season” to stay in tip-top shape for different things like photoshoots for magazines and fitness video projects for different websites. Your friends, family members and co-workers may find it difficult to understand such severe restrictions in your diet and many times this strict lifestyle causes issues during holidays, family events and company parties.
I often hear how friends question a fitness competitor while they are dieting. They think it’s simply bizarre and a lot of the time it is your friends who have their own weight issues that seem to have a hard time with proper eating habits in general so they cannot fathom what they see you eating on a pre-contest diet. They try to convince you that you do not need to be so strict and they tell you that having a little junk food or fast food really won’t hurt you. In general, that is true but for contest diets you really do have to follow what works to get the incredible results you’re after in leanness and vascularity which simply comes down to strict dieting and watching every morsel of food that goes into your mouth. Your friends might tell you to just go ahead and have that beer or glass of wine because you only live once. This can make things difficult and there is not much you can do to convince them otherwise. You just have to remain true to your goals and stick with the confidence in your nutrition plan because it will all be worth it come contest time!
These are obstacles that all fitness competitors have to deal with, some more than others. Those who support your efforts are extra special and sometimes they will go along with you on a healthy nutrition plan so they can work toward reaching their own fitness and physique goals. Now that is a positive incentive and you should keep those friends close by!
There have been extreme cases where friendships have been lost and competitors have had to keep their training and nutrition to themselves in order to avoid all the drama. It’s sad but this is also the reality for some of us in the fitness game.
If you feel that those around you will not be supportive then it is easier to network with other like-minded individuals. They will be going through the same process as yourself and the community becomes supportive of each other. These individuals can understand things that others may not.
Even as a mild dieter or someone not competing, these factors can still be present. Some people are against following any kind of diet and inactive parents won’t be happy seeing fat loss in their children even if the child is 30 years old! Comments like, “you’re getting too skinny” or “you look sick” will start to be heard at family get-togethers!
The simple thing to focus on is that unfortunately many of these ideas are due to ignorance which is an innocent mindset. The beliefs you have are not always shared with others even if your beliefs are ones that you hold true to yourself.
Many times you end up with these saboteurs asking you to help them and also asking you what you have done to get where you are. They easily forget how they were negative toward you when you turned down their offer of greasy chicken wings at dinner and opted for a chicken breast salad.
If you do find friends and family members who at some point take a change of heart, do all you can to help them at their own comfort level and in the end you will be better for it and your friends and family might even lose some weight and get healthy!