People in general usually mean well, but sometimes the comments they make are just plain annoying. This can be especially true when it comes to comments about our appearance, because it’s personal. Some people push our buttons more often than others. Is it just because they are insensitive? Many comments we hear can really make us wonder, “What were they thinking?” Here are some of the annoying phrases you may be hearing when trying to lose weight or get fit.
Annoying Phrases You Hear when Trying to Get Fit
1. “You don’t need to work out so much! You look fine!”
If you spend a good amount of time in the gym, you probably hear this one a lot. What makes this comment so incredibly annoying is that we’re not going to the gym for anyone else’s reasons; we have our own reasons for wanting to be more fit. Should we have to explain or defend the amount of time we put into working out? Do we need the approval of everyone else before we make a change in our lives for the better? The answer to both is “No.”
2. “You don’t need to lose weight!”
Whose place is it to judge what our ideal weight is? This comment can really make your skin crawl. Whether you are overweight or at your optimal weight (and exercising to stay fit), this kind of judgment is definitely annoying. When someone like a partner or spouse says it, they could be trying to make you feel better; it’s still one of the phrases to avoid though simply because of how easily it can be misinterpreted.
3. “Are you going to eat that?”
This is certainly an annoying comment, especially if you are trying to lose or gain weight. Pressure from other people to eat when we’re not hungry or to defend how much we are or are not eating is just flat out uncomfortable. It doesn’t even matter if you are over- or underweight; commenting on someone else’s food portions has the potential to come across the wrong way.
4. “I tried that and it didn’t work.”
Awkward. Individual results may vary, mmmkay? While this comment may be meant as supportive to try to save you from doing something that didn’t work for them, it’s still your choice to give a try what’s best for you. Also, if it’s something that didn’t work for your friend, spouse or family member because they gave up, then that’s just unsupportive. In that sense, they are projecting their personal failures onto you, and that’s not fair, especially when you are doing your best to stay positive.
5. “I was your size once.”
Seriously? Again, this is projecting someone else’s negativity onto you. It feels like the person making the comment is forecasting your future based on their prior experiences, and depending on whether they are bigger or smaller than you now, this comment is rife with insult and one of those things you just don’t want to hear.
Critical vs. Constructive
There is a difference between constructive criticism and downright judgment. What makes the difference is how the person says it and what their underlying intention is for saying it in the first place. If you get comments like these often, you are probably well aware of what a positive critique sounds like, and what comes across as annoying or even hurtful.
Not all comments are meant to be critical, but they can sure feel that way. Whenever we feel criticized for the lifestyle we’ve chosen, it can feel hard not to take it personally. Instead of getting upset though, try to imagine why they would say such a thing. Perhaps the person making the comment is intimidated by your dedication and it makes them feel better somehow to suggest that you change your ways. Either way, the burden of this annoyance should be on them, not on you. Letting yourself get upset over misguided comments can be avoided with the right approach.
Turn it Around
The next time someone comments on your weight, appearance or workout habits, try to approach it differently. Consider the fact that it may be nothing more than that person’s own insecurities speaking. Instead of letting the comment annoy or even anger you, turn it around and invite them to workout with you. Suggest making a healthy lunch for the two of you or invite them to come running with you some time. It may not stop all the comments, but it will be harder to comment on your habits when they are out of breath behind you! The key though is to stop letting this person’s commentary have so much power over you. Once you feel in control again, you will not be a target any longer for people with annoying comments.
Brenner, MD, Abigail. Psychology Today. “How to Stop Taking Things Personally.” http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-flux/201408/how-stop-taking-things-personally . Internet. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
Winerman, Lea. American Psychological Association. “The Science of Annoyance.” http://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/11/annoying-science.aspx . Internet. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
Fitness Republic. “5 Reasons Happy People Stay Happy.” https://fitnessrepublic.com/inspiration/lifestyle/5-reasons-happy-people-stay-happy.html . Internet. Retrieved 18 November 2014.