Fending off a health bully

You got plenty of sleep last night. You started the day with a healthy breakfast. You even made it to the gym before work. Sometimes it feels like nothing can stop you! But a “health bully” can show up and throw you off your game.

They may be doing it on purpose, based on their own insecurities or because they miss the “old you.” Or they may not even realize how their actions can harm your efforts. Either way, here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you fend them off so that they don’t sabotage your healthy goals:

  • DO observe your social circle. Research has shown that the people we spend most of our time with – our social network – can have a big impact on our health. This is especially true when it comes to weight and obesity. Studies show that we tend to find weight gain more acceptable when the people closest to us are gaining pounds. If this is harming your progress, then send an email to your friends and family letting them know your goals and how much you need their support.
  • DO remember that you can say no. It could be a coworker who wants you to join them for a smoke break, even though you’re trying to quit. Or maybe it’s the friend trying to convince you to go out for nachos after work instead of hitting the gym. It’s hard enough to stick to your health routines without this kind of outside pressure, and you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But remember that when it comes to your well-being, it’s OK to put yourself first. If you explain your reasons to them, then the people who care about you will be supportive. In time, they will likely get used to your healthy lifestyle habits and be less likely to try to sway you away from them.
  • DON’T get sidetracked. Have your plan in place, just in case. For example, it’s easier to say no to birthday cake when you have healthy snacks in your desk. And have something to keep yourself busy when the next smoke break rolls around.
  • DON’T bully others. If you haven’t always been as health-wise as you are today, then you probably remember what it was like to feel pressured or shamed when you made not-so-healthy choices. We can’t all be at the same place on our journeys to get healthy. So give your buddies a break and keep doing your thing.


Make a plan

It’s easier to get off track when you don’t have goals in place. Set up your Healthy Lifestyles focus areas and trackers to keep tabs on your progress.