Dec 27 2010

How to Deal with Friends and Family.

One of the hardest things to face when you are taking your first steps towards health and fitness is a negative or judgmental attitude from friends and family. It can be even harder to face when you are living together and sharing groceries and food expenses. Stepping out and away from how the rest of your tribe has chosen to live can dramatically upset family and group dynamics, and in some cases cause rifts in relationships. In an ideal world everyone would respect and applaud you for your choices around fitness and health, but in reality it seldom plays out that way. In this article I want to outline some of the more common reactions and responses that friends and family typically have towards you embracing a new lifestyle centered around fitness and health, and then open it up in the comments to discuss strategies for dealing with each reaction.

1. You share your plans with your family and friends to be more health conscious. They respect your choices, and offer their support and encouragement. If you are living together, you discuss what the new approach to food and grocery shopping will be and how you will organize your fridge and pantry. You begin to inspire those around you with your dedication and results, and pretty soon it is a group effort and focus.

2. Your new lifestyle receives a mixed or lukewarm reception. Those around you are not interested in health or fitness as a general rule, and as long as your exercising and eating habits don’t disturb them in anyway they are happy to leave you alone. There might be some grumbling now and then about all the fresh veggies in the fridge crowding out the cans of beer and pop, but other than that no one is interested enough to take much notice. This can be frustrating at times, because you often wish that your partner / family members or friends shared your passion for self improvement so that you would have someone to share the journey with. Other times you shake these feelings of isolation off and are grateful at least that while you may not have their active support for your new lifestyle, at least they are leaving you alone to pursue it.

3. Your new lifestyle is met passive aggressively by friends and family. If you have been down this road you know that it is not pleasant. Just short of open hostility, you find yourself dealing with off hand and snide comments whenever you mention your exercise or eating habits. Changes that you have made to your approach to food and taking time out of your day to exercise may be met with little off the cuff jokes that leave you feeling hurt or insulted. Underneath it all you can sense this vibe of resentment simmering to anger, and this confuses you because you never expected this from your closest friends and family. You stop talking about exercising and diet because the reactions, comments and jokes it sets up makes you feel uncomfortable. You may not enjoy eating in these groups anymore, and your new lifestyle becomes something that you almost feel you need to hide. The pull to give up and normalize your family and social relationships makes it easy to cheat your diet and skip workouts – especially when the reward is acceptance.

4. Open resentment and hostility. Those around you are only too happy to ridicule you for even thinking about fitness health and exercise. They make it clear that they won’t be changing their diet or habits in any way shape of form just because you have decided to make these “ridiculous” changes. Instead of supporting and encouraging you or at the very least staying neutral, their pep talks consist of trying to talk you out of being active and they try to sabotage your diet at every turn. It starts to get nasty – they bring home deep dish pizza’s and make fun of you for eating your chicken salad. You might hear from those around you that there is nothing you can do about your body shape because “that is just the way you are” and you “might as well accept it”. There is no flexibility with the grocery list and they resist making it easier for you in every way possible. Teenagers often find themselves locked in these types of situations, but it can happen in any family or group. Fighting against all of this pressure to conform is exhausting and when you add it to the discipline necessary to make the shift to daily exercise and a focused diet, it’s a mountain that most people find too difficult to climb.

Of course there are many other possible scenarios, and some of the above ones may be blended together depending on your particular circumstances. I want to open it up now to a discussion in the comments below so that you guys can help each other by sharing your experiences and strategies for dealing with friends and family. I will chime in again in the comments with some of my own thoughts and experiences.



Around The Web
  • Anonymous

    “I also think a lot of the bad attitudes come from guilt or discontent on the other persons part for being out of shape and not being ready to to the same.”

    Oh boy, do I ever agree…

  • Anonymous

    Just push through it! Once they see how you are improving, they will have new respect for you, and hopefully find motivation from your determination :)

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately, I’m in a tie between 2 and 3. I’m only 20 years old, so I’m still kind of stuck in that powerless teenager boat in the house.

    Basically, the only people I really get any healthy support from are my aunt (who is extremely into fitness and overall wellness), my older sister (who has recently started her trek to lose weight and get more fit), and a little bit from my younger sister (who doesn’t care much because it won’t effect her). 

    My dad last summer took on a diet plan and lost 80 lbs from his 350. I felt so proud of him because he was finally doing something to change how he was becoming (my parents were extremely obese). However, my mother had no support for him whatsoever. She complained whenever he now made food (which began to consist of leafy greens and protein, so I was happy) and that there was never any variety anymore. But she also used to gripe whenever he made things like pasta, and tried to blame her high blood sugar levels on him because of how he cooked. She refuses to pick a side to be on, and constantly blames her weight and lack of healthy choices on everyone else around her. While everyone in my household began to lose some weight because of our change in diet, she continued to gain weight due to her chronic snacking.

    My older sister started running last year, and recently working with a personal trainer at her gym. Once again, Mrs. Negative took a swing at her, and actually started to make fun of her for trying to make changes. She always said things like “well, you can’t possibly be doing that much exercise, you’re not in shape. You’re fat.” etc. Meanwhile, she was and still is the largest person in my family. My sister has come a long way. While she still isn’t very toned, it is very evident that she has come a long way since she began to exercise and changed her diet a bit. 

    I’m starting to hit the same boat as my sister. I am trying to collect some basic equipment and find space in our disastrous household to workout. The only area with enough floor room has very short ceilings, so I have to modify a lot. Since last summer, I have inches around my calves, quads, and arms, and have been slowly changing my diet (which believe me, is way easier when I’m away at school than the 5 months I live at home in the summertime). When I talk with my dad about changing how we eat in the house, I give him examples from this site, and from other sources and he goes “well we don’t eat that differently, so I don’t think we have to change anything”. Sometimes I can convince them to buy healthier groceries for me, but I don’t win very often. I get a lot of support from my aunt, but she lives more than an hour away from me. (She’s in Burlington, and I’m north of Toronto).

    Something that I’m finding so much motivation from is this site. The community here is like another family – there is always support, no questions asked, even when we have never met. Zuzana and Freddy, you are both so amazing for what you do, and offering your knowledge and sharing your lives with us. Every time I find myself struggling with the lack of support around my home, I come online and read through some of your posts, and I find the strength to push through. I’m almost getting to where I am able to start taking control of my situation, and making more of the necessary changes to get where I want to be. 

    Sorry for writing a book for you guys :P But I think that sharing our struggles with each other will help us find people to relate to, and offer insight for anyone who might be further back in a similar struggle. 

    Mad Canadian Love to all of my BodyRocking Family!!! :)  

  • Anonymous

    I’m here :) Thanks for your kind words. We are going to start vlogging again so you will see me in the videos soon :)

  • niene

    go girl! never settle for less, you deserve nothing but the best!

  • Christina

    I’ve been having some mixed reviews from friends and fam, but am okay with it. BodyRocking has been an amazing new element in my lifestyle.. it keeps me feeling stronger, lighter, happier and more flexible – both mentally and physically. My eating habits have been criticized at home, but I choose to ignore it. Because I feel a million times better.! I’m passionate about food, eating things fresh and enjoy gourmet style cooking and smaller portions. It’s the best. My physical appearance has changed in the last two months, more toned, slender and for the most part getting a lot of compliments, especially from my close girlfriends. Then one day, the resistance came from someone close to me, who actually was one of the people who inspired me to get back into shape. This person noticed that I was developing new muscles, and suggested I ‘be careful’, because it could start to appear too masculine (if I became more muscular). I was surprised to hear this, because to my mind, the female figure naturally has a smaller build to begin with. And the style of the bodyweight exercises seems like a natural and logical choice.. perfect that you can actually train yourself to carry your own weight. It feels intuitive. It’s a physical beauty, both on the inside and out, not worth compromising.!

    Finally, I have to say, the community evolving from this site is awesome, positive and supportive. Although I am usually doing the workouts alone, I can see everyday that there are easily 10,000 views on a new workout, and the number climbs steadily to exceed 25,000.

    Thanks to you both, so much, for creating this and keeping it up everyday. I absolutely love it and share it with friends everyday.!

  • Anonymous

    As in 007? Best compliment so far :) haha

  • Drew Martin Lee

    I know what you mean, I always get heat from people if I have my Oxygen magazine laying around. Skinny guys will be like, “Ew, those chicks are nasty” and blah blah just because they have some muscle tone! It really gets under my skin when people belittle things that are so motivating to me… I found after I had my baby, and Zuzana has become such an inspiration to me. As much as I want to “share” her, I also just want to keep this site all to myself.. like it is my own fun little secret that none of my friends or family know about, and can’t have any opinions on. I feel torn though, because it is so awesome.. maybe once my transformation is complete I will share ;)

  • Anonymous

    Hi Janett,

    If you can’t do a kneeling push up then do it with a pillow under your face and just lower yourself to the pillow roll over and get back into the kneeling position and let yourself down on the pillow again. These are negatives and will build your strength till you can push up and lower yourself in a completely controlled way. Some things take baby steps, but almost anyone can do push ups when they have enough upper body strength and a tight core!

    Take care,

  • Anonymous

    Hi Janett,

    If you can’t do a kneeling push up then do it with a pillow under your face and just lower yourself to the pillow roll over and get back into the kneeling position and let yourself down on the pillow again. These are negatives and will build your strength till you can push up and lower yourself in a completely controlled way. Some things take baby steps, but almost anyone can do push ups when they have enough upper body strength and a tight core!

    Take care,

  • Kira

    hi guys,

    I guess this is something we all deal with to varying extents. My husband loves sports and because of that he used to work out before basketball and football sessions and has a very lean and muscular body. this happened as a teenager. He is 33 now and his body has not changed at all despite being a couch potato for 4 years while we lived in England. Since returning to Trinidad 3 years ago he started back playing football 2 or 3 nights a week for 2 hours. He eats crap and fried foods all the time, will never drink water or eat salad or fruit, yet his body fat % does not budge. We bicker at times if my food isn’t rich enough. I try to make 2 separate meals at all times but at least once a week I have fried food with him … Friday night tradition, I just add a salad to mine. At least he does not want to stop me from working out but thats probably because he wouldn’t want me to stop him from playing football. Does anybody know why his body fat stays so low and his muscles have never lessened though?

  • Andie

    I actually am having a slightly different problem. The apartment I am living in, there are 3 other people that have been obsessed about working out. I happen to be the most fit (but still, not really fit at all) out of all of them. This means I don’t get invited to work out because in their eyes I don’t need it. Today my boyfriend even said “why are you doing this, you don’t need to”. It would appear they all frown upon me doing this maybe because they think I am trying to show them up when I really am just doing this for me.

  • Jessy

    Lori, don’t give up your longtime dream because of over-obsessing with healthy lifestlyle. Your diet may not be perfect anymore once you get into culinary, but it doesn’t have to be unhealthy!

  • Janett

    I’m definitely in the 3rd category. However, the problem is I’m living with my in-laws (mother, father and sister) and husband, rather than my own family, in a small 3 bedroom apartment. I have no space to workout in my bedroom, and I think I’d die of shame if I started to workout in front of them in the living room. I’m a total newbie so surely anything I try will look slightly awkward, and I just wouldn’t be able to tolerate the staring/comments/laughs/etc. My in-laws are the ones that do everything in the house (laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, etc) and though I’d like to do some of these things myself, they take full control of it and any input from me would be taken the wrong way. I try to have small snacks throughout the day, and lower my portion sizes when it comes to meals because they choose the time that everyone must sit and eat together, even if I’m not really hungry. Either I eat with them, or eat alone (which they would probably find something insulting about that too). Anyway, this is just one of the few problems that come with living with my in-laws and my husband and I are not financially prepared to move out on our own (he just lost his job and I’m unemployed).

    I just feel like I can’t begin… lack of space to exercise, lack of control over food shopping and storage space, etc. I feel like I just have to wait until we’re living alone to be able to follow along because even though I could go to a park or something, it’s just equally as embarrassing for someone like myself that’s just starting out (not to mention my skin can barely tolerate the sun for more than 5 minutes). :(

  • Violin_gurl15

    thank you so much for thiss thank you thank you thank you

  • Logan


    There is something that you and many others here are not doing in your relations with others: communicating. If what they say to you about your healthy eating bothers you, TELL THEM THAT. Tell them that you do not appreciate their snide comments because they are hurtful coming from a friend or family member nor do you feel their critical comments are justified, especially since you do not criticize or make fun of their eating habits or lifestyle (don’t do it!). You will find that they will respect you for communicating your feelings with them (and if they don’t, ditch them) and you may ultimately be surprised — they may ask you for advice on how they can eat healthy and exercise too.

    An important thing: when someone asks you why you’re doing all this or what your goals are, just tell them that you eat the way you eat and work out the way you work out because it makes you feel great, you have more energy, a more positive outlook on life, etc. Don’t discuss the physical aspects of losing weight or trying to get your abs to “pop”, etc. because that’s all vanity stuff. Focus on your positive feelings from your lifestyle in your conversations with others so that they move away from the superficial aspects of what they “see” about you and learn to focus on how you behave differently than you used to or at least differently from them because of the way your lifestyle makes you feel. Believe me, they HATE how they feel about themselves and that’s why they are scapegoating their feelings on you. Resolutely keep the conversations on your feelings (not theirs!) and go nowhere else with it — unless you can tell that they are genuinely curious about your lifestyle as a possible solution for them to start feeling positively in their lives too.

    In short, all you can do is lead by example. That is all, no more, no less. You cannot “force” them to change. They have to want to change themselves and on their own timetable — just like you had to do. When they criticize, don’t cower or default back to your old lifestyle to “fit it” — COMMUNICATE YOUR FEELINGS about how they are treating you and they will be more than likely to stop after a time. It takes courage to stand up for yourself, but that’s what being a mature adult is all about.

    Finally, whenever others ask you about your “diet” and what you eat to be so skinny, etc., just say something like this: “If the food comes out of a factory owned by a major corporation, it’s by definition highly processed and highly unlikely to be good for you or to have much nutritional value for your body. To eat right, only eat foods that don’t come out of some corporation’s factory. When you focus on this factory aspect of the foods you eat, you can quickly determine what food is “good” for you and what good is “bad” for you and be right at least 95% of the time. To me, it’s that simple and that’s how I eat. (But, my dark secret here is: I haven’t exercised in over a year, so I’m NOT perfect, believe me! Just surfing here for inspiration to get back to working out in 2011 and beyond!).

    Logan in Texas

  • Ozziepossum

    This is a great topic Freddie. I’ve read over the comments many times and thought it was time to add mine.

    I was very lucky growing up, I came from a family who were always active. Our food choices may not have been perfect but we grew, prepared and ate most of our own food (veges, fruit etc) I NEVER had sweets as treats, our family simply couldn’t afford to eat out at restaurants or get take out.

    As a young adult I never really worried about what I ate. I was very active, played team sports, rode my bicycle or walked everywhere, I was always on the move.

    When I hit my early 30′s things changed. I moved to the city, began shift work and had to give up team sports. But my diet remained the same, therefor I put on some weight. So for me, trying to find a balance with my diet and learn how to eat in a healthy and sustainable manner has been difficult.

    When I moved in with my guy it became even harder. He will workout occasionally (about twice a week) but diet is a huge challenge. I try to eat healthy, he wants to order pizza. I have to say he is supportive when I attempt to cook healthy meals. He will eat them and always comments on how good they are, of course he more than doubles the recommended portions. The problem is, I don’t have the energy to cook and prepare EVERY meal. So of course, when it’s his turn it always ends up being unhealthy, fatty etc :(

    I always prepare my meals and take them to work. 12 hour shifts (night shift included) can be a bitch to the diet!

    Oh well, we try and compromise…. that’s what life is all about!

    Aussie Aussie Aussie
    Oy Oy Oy!!!

    Happy New Year everyone!

  • Jennifer

    Hi Sarah,
    I completely know what you are talking about! I have experienced almost all of the possible scenarios that Freddy talks about above. My hubby is a sideliner and at times the passive/aggressive. For example, if I try to eat/cook healthier, he doesn’t want to be a part of it–he works out (running) but is not into the healthier diet part of it at all. And if I am working out alot he tells me that whatever I’m doing, it’s not working! So, despite the comments that I seem to get (no matter what I do!!!) I am sticking w/ healthy eating and ALOT of working out in 2011!!!

  • Micky H Corbett

    Hi Freddy

    This is a good post. The technical term, as you probably know, is called “homeostasis” which is when a system or a social group tries to resist change or growth. The funny thing is that the people in the scenarios that you describe are not fully conscious of their behaviour. Awareness only tends to be with those friends or family members who recognise the symptoms of homeostasis…and they tend to be supportive anyway.

    But for anyone in the eye of the storm it can be a real burden…so the best way to look at it is to paraphrase T Harv Eker and always be a person who is bigger than their problems or obstacles…and you’ll succeed!!!

  • Maja

    Hi Katarina,
    you’re not alone – just count the bodyrockers who made a comment to Freddy’s article and all the bodyrockers who do the the Z workouts. They are the best support- group you can find on this planet! Do not listen to your friend’s and mom’s words, listen to Freddy, Zuzana and all the other bodyrockers and keep going. Everyone has its one pace, do not stop trying!

  • moana

    Reading through the comments, I guess I am struck by how much oldschool gender roles persist: the number of women who struggle because they now have to cook two different meals so hubby can have his grease while bodyrocking mama can stick with her healthy lifestyle. I can totally relate to this in terms of a past moment in my life. I ended up like Julie, and now someone else is deep-frying for my ex. But I really feel for those that are married and/or in longterm relationships who are faced with the prospect of A) giving in and giving up the bodyrocking, B) refusing to do double the work and thereby threatening your relationship, or C) resigning yourself to doing double-meal-prep forever more!

    My boyfriend of the past two years is pretty good in terms of supporting my workouts and happily eating the salmon & veggie kebabs, skinless chicken breasts, and everything else emerging from my George Foreman grill…now if only I could get him to prepare some of those meals too! But after a year I did get him to help with the washing up. Baby steps….

    • Heather Kirby

      “Some people say you can’t a change a man, but those women were QUITTERS!”

      Marge Simpson

  • Sophia – Chicago

    all I can say is in oder to be accepted you have to accept others.

  • Mary Lou


    You are not being selfish at all and the fact that you are upset by everyone else’s bad eating habits shows that you do care about them as well. I am in the same boat, so keep BodyRocking for yourself, because yes, no one else can do it for you.

  • Anonymous

    great post Jos thanks :)

  • Tori

    I was having this problem with my mom always watching my eating habits and discouraging my working out. The problem is is that i’m seventeen so she does this everyday. She always pretends to support me by giving me “advice” that i know is wrong and she buys some healthy things but will buy all my old favorite foods that weren’t very healthy. The way i got her off my case is i told her i was going to join the air force, which i am, and i told her i wanted to be ready for it when i went in. she doesn’t bother me as much now. She still tells me things like don’t workout to hard and watches me eat but she doesn’t do it to the same extent anymore.

  • Kirry

    I think you´re spot on. So weird that the people who care for you, are reacting so negative. You would think indeed, that they have the best interest for you. I kept thinking about this article today and I aswell think it all comes down to jealousy, insecurity and envy. And it´s very sad that something like health is argued about.

  • Kim Jorgensen

    My dad use to do that to my mum. ‘Your a fat B*#ch’ ‘You need to lose weight’ ‘Why are you so slow’. My mum was criticised my him and he had fears that if she lost the weight, she would leave him. He would even go as far as hand feeding her even though she didn’t want any, cause she was full. Finally, one day (after encouragement from me) she finally stood up to him, telling him that if she didn’t want it, there was a good reason for it. He hasn’t done it sense. Sometimes when you look vulnerable, people will see how far they ‘have’ you. If you let them, they will rule your life and take advantage of you. DON’T LET THEM! Also, don’t let them do that to your kids!!! SPEAK UP!!! Trust me, it helps. Good luck!

  • Zoeway

    It’s really great that Freddy brought this up, because it seems like most people are getting these reactions. I am lucky enough to have a very phisically active partner and a family that wants to keep in shape. However, I have been a vegetarian for 12 years and decided to go vegan just over a year ago, and the reaction a got from my choice was mixed. Some of my friends thought it was great, others thought I was crazy. My parents thought I was doing it to control my weight.

    I only found a month ago. Up until now, I have found it very difficult to keep myself motivated to stay in shape and my weight fluxuated a lot. Since finding this site, I have worked out every day (except Christmas) and I have lost weight and feel stronger and happier. I look forward to every workout.

    I am just under 5′ 3″ or 157cm and I hover around 110lbs or 50kg. Having such a small frame can trigger negative reactions when I talk about my diet and fitness. My dad thinks eating 5 times a day is crazy and he thinks if you eat one gigantic meal a day you will lose weight. He has lost a lot of weght in the last 5 months but in a very unhealthy way. I think HE is anorexic! I keep trying to teach him but he just doesn’t listen. My mum always says “you’re way too skinny!” It drives me crazy because it makes me feel like I have to wear baggy clothes in front of her so she won’t say anything. My boyfriend’s mum is a psych nurse at a hospital and happens to work in the anorexia ward. Every time I go to her house, or out for dinner she makes a point of saying somthing about how I can’t eat anything she cooks, or anything on the menu.

    The fact is, I want to be at my personal best with diet and exercise. I just simply feel better when I am conscious about these things. It is important to me to feel like a million bucks! Why would I eat pizza and chocolate when I will feel yucky afterwards? It just doesn’t make sense. The point is, I am happy when I am fit and that is the way I choose to live. If there are people in your life that try to put you down for being fit and healthy, they are only jealous. Don’t worry about them, strive for success and be the best you can be!

    I cannot thank Zuzana and Freddy enough for their incredible efforts. This site has changed my life and many others. You are truly wonderful people. Sincerely

    Zoe from Vancouver B.C.

  • Katie

    My parents treat me this way too. I feel like I have to hide from them when I am working out to avoid the name calling. They are very unsupportive when it comes to groceries as well, but I try to keep my diet balanced with lots of fruits and vegetables. When my mom cooks something not entirely healthy I just take a smaller portion of it.

  • Kim Jorgensen

    walking is a great start, and so is getting her to eat healthier and on a more regular basis helps too. For snacks, encourage her to eat an apple or grapes, or some other easy fruit option. Also, depending on her health problems, check with her dr what kind of exercises she can ‘safely’ participate in and what non-surgical weight loss options would be best for her, and what the consequences of not being active and eating healthy will have in store for her. Make sure you can attend her check-up. Sometimes having someone with you will re-enforce what the dr. said, because you now have a witness and you can’t walk out of the dr’s saying, ‘oh, he said I’m just fine.’

    Trying to push or guilt trip someone into doing something they don’t want to do, in most cases, will just push them even further away. Instead, lead by example and ‘gently’ suggest in a very off-handish manner. Really, reverse psychology is key. The more it seems you don’t really care, the more they will start taking interest, or course not in all cases unfortunately and sometimes it takes a while, but it’s worth a try. Good Luck!

  • Xandriah

    Thank you for this article, Freddy! It’s so good to see how you and Zuzana share your lifestyle :)
    I am new to BodyRock but I thought about these things a lot. I am between 2) and 3). I really like to exercise and as long as my boyfriend is not around I can stick to a clean diet. But he is a guy who likes to bring me chocolate and other “nice” things. He says that someone with my shape could eat it (I am slim but flabby)… He himself gained some weight over the last few months and is quite unhappy about that. But he cannot get himself doing workouts or go the gym because he is tired or not in the mood for sports. Instead he continues eating lots of sugary and fatty things what makes him complain even more… But nevertheless I still do the Bodyrock workouts because they make me feel great and strong :) I hope my boyfriend will notice all the benefits which probably motivate him to keep an eye on his health and body. Until then I have to get on with the jokes he makes on my workouts… well, any suggestions how to make my partner sharing my lifestyle?

  • Steph Sizzle

    Thanks for writing this because I believe that most people have experienced negative reactions to a healthy lifestyle. There’s been many times where I show Zuzana’s workouts to my girlfriends and they say “she’s too muscular or too thin”. I think they believe being that fit is unattainable, but that is obviously not true, especially since there are some bodyrockers over 50 and who are fit and firm. Of course, my male friends think Zuzana is gorgeous with a fit figure and I think the same. My body has transformed greatly from Zuzana’s workouts and I feel amazing mentally and physically. Hopefully, more people will learn that a fit body is attainable and that eating correctly and exercising will reap amazing benefits.

  • Kim Jorgensen

    haha I was in your shoes 13 years ago… and still there!! I became a vegetarian when I was 16 for a year, cause that was all I could stand. I’m a little ashamed that I gave up because of my dad, but sometimes that’s life. However I did go back to being a vegetarian and even, for 3 months back in 2006, a raw vegan, of course I was paying for my own food, so that helped a little, but even then I was met with hostility from my dad. Most of the open hostility was because they said it was too expensive. What a lot of times they don’t realise, is that with healthier choices, comes health! It’s that simple, you are spending less money on cold medicine and dr’s visits, among other wellness products. In the long run, which most people don’t get cause they’re in the hear & now attitude, they will feel better, move better and be happier. Nobody wants to live out the rest of their lives pushing around a walker or being pushed in a wheelchair with a respirator attached to their face… cause we all know how sexy that is!

    Good Luck and don’t ever give up or give in just because someone else doesn’t like it. Remember, it’s your body and it’s your life… Live it the way you want to live it!

  • Kim Jorgensen

    Instead of frying things, start baking them. We use to cook hamburgers in the skillet with a little bit of oil, but switched to the oven using the broiler pan so that the fat from the beef will drain into the bottom. We also bake our fries/chips. Also using a lower percentage fat content for beef and patting the meat with paper towels to soak up the excess grease helps. Keep gently introducing healthy options at every meal, cause you’re right, they will eventually get curious and want to try something new. Good Luck!

  • Naimah

    Yes! It is okay to remain healthy and active through pregnancy. Just up your intake of vitamin rich foods only a tad. It is not true that you’re eating for two. But, you do have to keep in mind that you are using more energy while pregnant.

  • Douglas

    This is one of the biggest barriers going into fitness and health. My Dad loves to criticize the healthy route calling me a grass eater. lol Its actually really funny because its a motivator for me, I know I am doing well for myself and that’s it. ;) As for friends or co-workers, I will just get many different reactions. I had one friend tell me to stop looking for perfection. I told him i wanted a healthier lifestyle and looking good is a bonus. I rather feel good then miserable, isn’t that how it work? I see enough people complain about their health, feeling sick etc. One of my personal goals is to stay strong and healthy for my nieces and nephews so I can still play with them as they get older. Honestly, people can be so rude at times but the best medicine is to make a joke out of it and leave it at that.

  • Kbear

    I have to say, reading the comments already posted on this blog has been really motivating and inspiring; bodyrockers really are fantastic people! :o )

    I am really lucky to be part of a really active household and have a really fitness-focussed boyfriend, but my own family isn’t active at all and they can struggle to understand the intensity of my workouts and activities – my mum is sometimes alarmed by moves (ninja tuck jumps!) but they are nice enough people not to bully or taunt!

    People outside of this have occassionally (at work) said I have a problem and I workout too much, but when they say that in part-jest I always reply really sincerely that I am aware I train a lot but that they shouldn’t worry about me as I am sensible and rest when I feel I need to. Usually my genuine honesty disarms them! They have had so much of a change of heart, they are supporting me in the no sugar challenge I have set myself, and even threaten to tell my boyfriend if I stray at work! :o ) it’s great to have their support!

    All you need to remember is respect goes both ways, so try not to voice opinions on other people’s lifestyles in the hope that they will be more accepting of yours :o ) (plus it helps to be thick skinned!)

    Inspired by Zuzana and Freddy I have started my own facebook page to write my workouts (linking to when it’s one from here!) and share what I find works and when i struggle and to discuss different topics (latest one: two workouts in a day – good or bad idea?) and I want to say any other bodyrockers are welcome to join my little community and share ideas and experiences:!/pages/FIT-Bear/186080128074570

    Love from Bear x

  • Nydia

    I’ve been married for 8 yrs and always struggled with weight. In the past I always ” lost” it by not eating or doing those liquid diets. I looked OK but felt awful. When I discovered bodyrocktv I loved it immediately. My husband too makes fun of me for “trying ” to work out. My mother also pokes fun at me as do my sister and even my children ! They don’t do it maliciously but their comments still hurt. I even skip workout some days thinking about what they say. Stuff like : ” You look the same to me”, ” I think you’re actually gaining instead of losing”, ” Your not doing it right “, ” Are you ‘trying’ to work out again ? ” ” It’s not doing any good”.At times I look in the mirror and think I see a difference, the scale fluctuates. I do feel stronger. On the other hand , they LOVE some of the recipes Zuzana has posted. My middle son has even started eating broccoli, drowned in cheese of course… He doesn’t like any vegetables. I would make better progress if I ate healthier, I know that . It’s sooo hard when everyone else is eating the wrong food. I try but my will is weak. The pull of family habits is stronger.

  • Tia

    Freddie & Zuzana,

    I love you! You are a good people, and you and Zuzana are doing a good thing for so many people. It’s a shame that the government doesn’t see the value in supporting physical fitness. It keeps stress levels down….it keeps us sane, and it literally makes us physiologically happy. I don’t know if I’m clear, but I feel that you are doing the highest service.
    :-) Tia

  • Tia

    I like a piece of pizza now and then. It’s just watching the amount of calories and portions. Overeating is one of the worst things you can do to your body. I’m so proud of my fellow body rockers. And I’m so overwhelmed with gratitude to Zuzana and Freddie for this website. Their encouragement/free workouts and health advice is the best contribution to humanity. Having good health is so much more valuable than having tons of money.

  • Cris

    Personaly i had to deal with the “you’r gonna get sick “the “you’r too skinny” “you must go see a doctor” “eat, eat ,eat you must eat!!!” and “are you are anorexic?”specialy from the part of my in-laws they have terible eating habits, but i have the chance of having a very suportive husband and a fantastic mother how decided that she too needed to lose weight and wanted to know the, though i didnt succeed in making her do the workouts :) i’ve allways eat healthy, me and my husband share our meals i have the chance to share my life with some one ho isn’t afraid of vegetables and likes to workou! i have a goal make him do one of bodyrock workouts to prove to him that it isn’t girly and it beats his gym workout!
    Bodyrock realy changed my life and i wouldnt trade my 5 to 6 days a week bodyrock workout for nothing, i don’t realy care what others think! :)
    thanks for all Zuzana and Freddy!
    Salutes from Portugal

  • Anonymous

    Sure thing – just put our url on it or link back if it’s going online :)

  • steph

    This breaks my heart! You would think that parents would step up and allow you to encourage the family. What parent wouldn’t want their child to eat healthy? I just cannot grasp this. I have 4 children. I want nothing more than for each and every one of them to feel/be their best. I want them to be strong and healthy.
    I grew up in a ‘junk food house’ and was always ill. I don’t want that for my kids. I will say though, if I had stepped up, my parents would have bought me whatever healthy food I wanted. We didn’t have much money either, but if they paid a little more for fresh food, they may pay a little less at the Dr. And honestly, If you are buying all fresh fruits and veggies, it can add up, but if you spend wisely it doesn’t have to be more money. Frozen fruits and veggies and priced well. Do you want to pay $2.50 for a box of doughnuts (which isn’t even food) or $2.50 for a bag of oranges? $2.50 for a box of pop tarts or $0.99 for an ENTIRE can of old fashioned oats? Only buy the fresh items on sale and stick to frozen for the rest. if something is on sale, purchase more than you need and freeze the rest. I freeze blueberries and grapes all the time. I also steam vegetables if there is to many to eat before they go bad and freeze them as well. I would find some good articles on health/nutrition for them to read. Let them know that fructose fuels cancer cells. Show them that refined carbs cause heart disease and diabetes. Prove to them that skinny does not equal healthy. I just have to believe that they really aren’t educated on the matter. I don’t see any other explanation. I hope your family starts to see the light and follows in your footsteps!

  • Marci

    I’m in the same situacion, I’m 17 too and everything you wrote about reasons in your family is in my family too. Sometime I’m really dissapointed of this but after I say to my self ” I’m young and life is before me and it is just few years to live alone and have my own lifestyle” :) I don’t know if it will help you. But I wanted to tell i know it is hard when nobody at home understand you. But maby you have some friend with you can share your fitness results and who gives you new energy and inspiration beat his fintness record or just don’t eating sweets :)

  • Alex

    this is so true.
    well, my mum keeps saying that i look “fine”, although she does quite often say that i’m fat and i should move more. when i start working out or changing my diet, there’s no support but i’m stubborn and i just try to ignore everything.
    all i need to do is set my goals and keep myself focused. it’s my body and i’m the one who’s supposed to live with it. there’s no turning back. i’m determined :)
    thank you for the wonderful article.
    best wishes,

  • Klara Gulla

    Great post and great comments. What I love the most about this website is how you guys break the routine and say something different.
    Just like the fake new year’s resolutions, the fact that your friends&family should always support you through a tough journey is a myth. Whatever the reason or however they do it, I think we should focus on what we could do to avoid it getting to us.
    Instead of blaming and judging these people (the same way they’re judging you) and feeling hurt and lonely because they didn’t react as expected, I think we should give up our expectations about them! If you truly love someone, you accept them as they are; do it yourself, accept the fact that this person is never going to be supportive enough for this reason or that, and live with it. You’ll see that once you stop being upset about comments, they will eventually let it go. If the other is not doing the same for you, still not accepting you as the person that you are (OR want to be), they don’t really love you enough. As we’ve seen in some of the posts, committed relationships or family bonds have weakened over this. I am not saying this is something desirable, I just think this is a good way of finding out who actually matters in your life and who doesn’t. Whom you can actually share a home with and whom you can’t.
    I believe there is a price for everything in life. If you want to be fit and strong, you have to deal with the pain in your muscles. If you want to change your lifestyle in the expense of many years’ habits and people’s expectations, you then have to deal with the pain in your and everybody else’s hearts. Decide if it is worth it (It usually is).

  • Ejuan

    I’m new to I thank you for writing that too. That has been why I kept quitting on my programs. Sometimes money get in the why too. But the videos I seen, just basic moves done in your own home, a trainer that can confess on screen that it is hard but she keeps going, and it doesn’t take long to do the workout. I going to do it this time! Thank you for that Ah-ha moment.

    Atlanta, Ga. USA

  • Staci W

    Much luck to all of you here who have had difficulty with those around you, and Freddy, thank you for writing this. I am very fortunate to have a husband who 1) Never said the first negative thing about my body or me when I gained 30lbs from having babies, and 2) Likes to be physically active himself and is doing your workouts as I teach them to him.

    My family is also supportive because when I lost the 30lbs and was able to wear the clothes I like and move the way I like and feel good about myself, they saw how happy it made me, which translates to a more peaceful life all the way around.

    Just remember that people are most likely acting negatively because they are jealous…plain and simple. Always be nice, don’t provoke anger, and even make it clear you’d be perfectly happy to share whatever you’re doing to get fit, because that’s exactly what they really want, too.

  • AudraFit

    Hey Frederick, it’s good to see you come out from behind the camera. I’m sure all of us here one way or another have or will experience this. Whether it be coworkers, family or friends. My family (parents & brothers) will say ” Audra, your too skinny” or, “How skinny are you trying to get?” Of course, I lost some weight and to them they think I’m not eating. But they don’t know that I’m eating every 2-3 hours & working out with weights and Bodyrock. I tell them and they just don’t understand why I enjoy it so much. I love to be fit, healthy, and be strong. Everybody at work seems to accept it better though and they’ll even ask for advise. I’m used to it though. I want to be around along time for my children and my husband. I don’t want to worry about Diabetes, high blood pressure,or heart disease. I remember reading a post or comment from somewhere a while back and I’ll quote it ” Nothing tastes as good as looking good feels.” I wore a bikini for the first time ever this past summer thanks to Bodyrock, and it sure feels good to wear one with confidence. I’m doing what makes me feel good and there’s no one opinion from anybody that’s gonna make me feel bad. It just makes me push even harder in my workouts. “The more I’m told no, the harder I go”-Ava Cowan.

  • Kimberley

    I was reading an article in a magazine about this same idea. Our families and our closest friends can actually be the ones who sabotage (or like to) our clean eating habits. I confess I am blessed with a husband who is supportive and like-minded in my endeavors towards fitness. We both do the xterra circuit in off-road triathlons and enjoy many of the same activities. However, I love to cook/bake. Sweets are my ultimate weakness and I struggle with trying to eat clean during holidays. I also struggle with the hypocritical-ness of my cooking. I make goodies and bake cakes and then send them to my neighbors, who are actually in real need of losing weight. I am committing the next year to finding a happy medium. Cooking indulgently but still healthy.

    Ps. I have been following your website/exercises since October. Love Love Love this!! Zuzana is such an inspiration!! There are many fitness model/ trainers who may be in shape but lack a feminine beauty (and I see this and it actually makes me wish my muscles away)- However, Zuzana has the “look” I am after. Sculpted, feminine, and Rockin!!!

    Anyways~ compliments from Louisiana.

  • Bibi

    The worst thing when you try to make a change in your habit, even if it’s little step by little step, is when people are laughing of the effort you make.
    I’ve never been enjoying sport. Apart from danse. But more as in a party than a classic ballet or modern jazz, but hey ! it’s sport too if you spend most of the night on the dansefloor rather than next to the bar. I might not be an athlete, but i’ve never been fat either. I’m 1m65 and i weight between 54 and 58 kg. It was my maximum, during my first year at college. 2 times a year, there are the famous partial. So we spend the months of december and january to sit for hours and hours in front of your courses. The same in may and june (and if you fail your exams, you can have to make is also during august, how lucky are we !) I’m not skinny, i’m not super fat, i just have a healthy weight.

    I spent 10 years of my life now without some kind of regular exercices. I used to have danse lessons when i was longer. Then i stopped because my parents told me that, when entering the “big school” (understand, being 12-13 years old), i won’t have time anymore. And sometimes i regret it. Because i enjoyed those lessons. But it’s too late to get back on that. I’ve lost everything i’d gain during these lessons. I would have to start back with 6 years old… Not funny when you’re more than 20.

    So i’ve decide to put my diet on surveillance. I avoid to eat too much, or too fat. But being a student, we don’t have a lot of options if i want to eat with the rest of my friend at lunch. If they want to eat fries (Belgian team here ! :D ), i have to go with them … I try to go for a sandwich or a small portion of fries. I’ve tried salads there, but there A LOT of dressing and always some kind of meat (tuna, chicken) … with sauce. It help me still maintain a weight between 54-56 kg. When i’m at home, i avoid coke, sweets, desserts … And it works quite fine ! My weight is stable ! And i don’t want to go anyfurther then 53 kg (otherwise, it’s too thin for my height)

    The big problems come when i want to eliminate the small amounts of fat i have on my waist and my belly. It’s not big. But it’s there. Last year, i started doing some stepper. Half an our a day during the exams period at university. But half an hour where i was really sweating, trying to make it quite intense. But it was making noise each time i was making a step (because of the mecanism of the resistance). And my parents to laught at me because i wasn’t putting “enough efforts” (but they don’t do any sports either …) and everybody to say that it was to loud (my brothers couldn’t study, my parents read or watch to television)

    How do you want to be consistant with your workout when each time you take on you (because i really quite hate sweating and having a muscle hurting someplace because it’s used to never move), everything around you makes you regret it ? When i workout, it means that i’m alone at home; But is never often… And therefore, my fat is still there !

    (WOW, i wrote a lot)

    • Anonymous

      Hi Bibi,

      I know in the northern hemisphere right now it’s hard to workout outdoors, but that is one solution to the “noise” issue another is do push ups, sitting exercises or squats. Things that won’t make a lot of noise but focus on making you sweat if done in high enough reps or with weight.

      Maybe a goal would be do some of Zuzana’s workouts in spring to build strength to be able to return to Dance instruction and also continue your studies. Other do this sort of thing I don’t see why you couldn’t also.

      Take care,

  • Anonymous

    I think that what really gives weight to your situation is you feeling guilty, ‘like garbage’ afterwards. In my opinion eating healthy is OK and it is also OK to eat your husband’s parent’s food every now and then. Food won’t kill you, body accepts and mends things, it’s strong, flexible and it forgives. It’s the guilt that you’re killing yourself with, guilt that does not forgive. When you’ll change the way you think about the situation, then you’ll change ‘everything’. I have my fingers crossed for you!

  • Romulanscum

    This kind of hits home for me. Hard. I’ve always been heavy-set/”thick”/stout/whatever it is you wish to call it. I was active in sports in high school, as well as getting up every morning and jogging 3 miles. I was 5’4 and about 155-160 pounds, but I looked about 130-135 (since the weight I carry tends to be densely packed). My family taunted me all of the time, saying that my running and sports weren’t making me any more attractive; that I’ll always be fat and unappealing and therefore should just give up. Unfortunately I did end up succumbing to their insults and horrible ideas and gained 80 pounds. I’ve been struggling to lose it ever since, but this really inspired me to continue with my progress. I’ve been “body rocking” for 3 weeks now, but I’m taking it slow. I’ll work out two days, and take off one so that I work out 4-5 times a week without feeling overwhelmed or burnt out. I know that I’ll never be 120 pounds, and I’m okay with it. I just want to be healthy.

  • Ms. M

    Been there experienced that. My co-workers taunt me with chocolate. They bring tons to work, put it at my desk and when I refuse to eat it, they eat it in front of me and chew it up and then open their mouth in front of me to show me what it looks like and how it is sooooo good and I’m missing out!!

    Now I don’t share my goals or plans with them. Nice article and so true.

    Ms. M

    • Ida Swe

      That’s disgusting how people behave somtimes, akting like children!
      Strong of you refuse!

  • Felicia Walters

    Thanks Freddy for opening up a discussion on this subject. With the season, goals, and new prospects on the horizon, I’m sure some of us are in this position of changing our lives. Especially when it comes to fitness and DEHAB (different eating habit) (don’t think dieting!) :) Smile!
    I would like to share my experiences but I just finished my workout for the day and I’m pretty beat. I’ll come back later to post.
    Again Thank You for opening up the subject.
    xo Flea

  • K1mm

    wow.. how true it is!!! I’ll tell you, people at my job criticize even when you dont eat the free pizza the boss brings in.. If i’m gonna eat pizza its certainly not going to be while i’m at work … bought from a pizza joint, it’s gonna be with people I like, and usually home made.. If I ate everything people brought into work, I would NEVER feel happy or comfortable with myself. Food is such a huge part.. thanks for this post Freddy.. we always like knowing someone out there ‘gets it’ !!!

  • LillyX100reps

    I know in my case my close family is very supportive of me, but my extended family often makes fun of my habits, saying “you’re starving yourself’ or ‘you’re an exercize addict’ or ‘it wont work’. but after watching my diet healthily and working out for 2 hours 7 days a week, I have gone down 4 dress sizes, as well as just feeling amazing about myself.
    and when I think of their comments, I always remind myself, I’m a bodyrocker, their not, and their the ones who ‘now’ have to lose 50 pounds, not me!
    kind thoughts – and a fan as always
    p.s no matter how negative a family can be about your health, I think it is best to keep it in perspective and realize that it’s your life, do you want to improve it, or not?