Health And Fitness Saboteurs

Health And Fitness Saboteurs

When you're not the one holding you back

  • When you decide to improve your life for the better by eating well, training more and living a healthier lifestyle, most people will get behind you. But in the real world, it’s not always this simple. Many of my clients have barriers that are standing in the way of them becoming the best version of themselves. And unfortunately, sometimes these barriers can come in the form of important people in your life.

When you are trying to improve your lifestyle and become healthier and happier, an important factor in this process is eliminating the barriers to this lifestyle. This includes identifying and dealing with health saboteurs. So how do you know if someone is having a negative impact on your progress? And how do you deal with them?

A health saboteur may not be negatively affecting you on purpose. They may not even be consciously aware of their negative impact, they may have the best of intentions. They may also be circumstantial, such as a co-worker or a boss, or part of your circle of friends. In some cases, they can be a toxic influence that you simply cannot eliminate from your life. This could be a parent, sibling, part of your extended family or even a spouse!

There are so many ways that people within your life can lift you up, and there are just as many ways they can drag you down. But ultimately, you are in control of how you respond to the actions of others around you.

You are in control of how you respond

I want to reassure you #LSFbabes that there is still plenty of room for improvement even if you are suffering health sabotage! The best way to approach such a challenge is to focus on SOLUTIONS, to see your situation as a puzzle to be solved, rather than an impassable roadblock that justifies giving up on your dreams.

A growth mindset involves...

So when can you expect a health saboteur to show up? Below are a few situations where you might notice someone trying to bring you down, and my suggestions for overcoming the situation...

Scenario 1

Catching up with the girls tends to be a pretty indulgent affair, think delicious foods, luscious desserts, and don’t even get me started on the drinks… Need I say more?!? Often we head out with the best of intentions of only drinking water, or just having a clean meal, but the girls can be very persuasive.

It doesn’t have to be this way! It ultimately comes down to deciding what you want more - to lead a healthy balanced life, achieve your goals, and be social or to be indulgent, unbalanced and continue taking one step forward, two steps back.

Try out these alternatives to make your girls night that little bit healthier.

Going out with the girls


  • • Be mindful - if you know that you cannot resist temptation once you and the girls are together, then simply opt out. Be upfront and let your GFs know that your goals are your priority right now. Let’s be honest, if they value your friendship, and your happiness and are really there to support you, they will act accordingly! If they don’t support you, I guarantee there are plenty of amazing women out there that will back you up!

  • • Active catch up - rather than getting together for a few drinks, suggest catching up over a walk, a gym session or even a group fitness class.

  • • Choose your location wisely - pick a spot that you can walk to or one that you know the menu has delicious and healthy options (such as kombucha rather than alcohol), or eat beforehand and just have a juice or coffee.

  • • Get your Pre-Game on point - if there is no way for you to avoid a night out because let’s be honest we all need one every now and then, eat a healthy meal at home first, choose your drinks wisely (vodka, soda and a squeeze of fresh lime in a tall glass is a hydrating and lower calorie option), prioritize hydration (this way you will be in a better state the next day) and make sure you get plenty of sleep.

  • • Make it your treat night - The closer you are to your goals, the more flexibility you can afford in your diet. Keeping this in mind, if you are choosing to have a treat, I recommend thinking about it in advance and planning when, where and what you will have. Ensure you really feel like having your treat, and that it is something you know you will enjoy. This will satisfy you, making it easier to stop after you have finished. I also recommend indulging in just one thing, that may mean choosing one treat meal, such as breakfast OR lunch OR dinner Or dessert. And if you are choosing to have a few drinks, make sure your eating is on point, and you set yourself a limit or a ‘goal’ for your night. After around 2-3 alcohol drinks, the body finds it increasingly harder to not just metabolise the alcohol but also recover the next day. Meaning your performance and metabolism will be negatively affected if you want to get back to kicking goals right away.

Scenario 2

In an ideal world, your partner would be on the same page as you when it comes to health and fitness, but ultimately your journey is completely individual. For most people, their partner is the most influential person in their life. Almost every decision can be influenced by your significant other, and if support is not there, every decision can be an internal (and often external) battle.

Your other half might be into health and fitness as much as you, but maybe they’re bulking and you’re shredding. Maybe you have had a baby or two, had a health scare, or are just ready to overhaul your lifestyle, but your partner is happy the way they are, or not ready to change. And unfortunately, there are some cases where your partner not only doesn't support you but is actually undermining your progress. This can be heartbreaking, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel - remember to focus on SOLUTIONS!

  • • Talk - The first step with any relationship challenge generally tends to be to talk it out. Talking (and listening; relationships are a two-way street remember!) patiently and calmly can help solve even the most challenging disagreements. When talking to your partner about your new lifestyle, remember to be patient and put yourself in their shoes. Try to be clear about what changes you hope to make, what goals you want to achieve, and let them know how they can help. But be realistic, don’t expect your partner to take on your goals and habits. Let them know that they can help by simply encouraging you to meal prep rather than hang out on the couch, or give you a little nudge when you’re questioning whether you should hit the gym.

  • On the other hand, it may be worthwhile setting some boundaries. Things go in the other direction and some partners can take the request for support a little too literally and lay on the guilt and accountability. I’m talking about taking it upon themselves to point out every little time you diverge from your plan or reproach you for missing a training session or eating a treat. Remind them that you catch more flies with honey, and to encourage you with kindness and support rather than putting you down!!

  • • Create a schedule - This may take a little convincing but dividing up the household responsibilities according to each of your goals, timetables, and needs, can be a revelation! Keep in mind that you may need to completely divide your meal responsibilities, as your diets may not align. Remember to focus on SOLUTIONS and be patient with yourselves and each other, and after a bit of time and fine tuning, the two of you will settle into a productive routine.

  • • Put your needs first, but put yourself in your partner’s shoes as often as possible - ‘You cannot pour from an empty cup

  • If your partner is not on board with helping you make change for the better, even after you have spoken and listened and persisted, then it may be time to accept you’re doing it solo. This doesn’t mean the relationship needs to end, it simply means you need to be your own support system. Yes, it’s true that it is ideal to have a big, supportive group of people around us when we are trying to overcome barriers and change our lifestyles. But that doesn’t mean it is impossible without one. Remember #LSFbabes focus on SOLUTIONS.

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A post shared by Lauren Simpson Fitness (@laurensimpsonfitness) onOct 24, 2018 at 3:03am PDT

  • This is where I would recommend outsourcing your support network. This may come in the form of a personal trainer, or maybe joining an online community. One of the most powerful things I witness through my online training programs is the incredible support network that is my army of #LSFbabes. This group of women is more supportive and uplifting than I ever could have dreamed. Whenever one of my clients' posts about their challenges, the other #LSFbabes get in there and reassure them, encourage them and provide advice from their own experiences. So even if you feel you are taking on the world alone, believe me when I say there are people out there going through the same thing AND there are people that will offer you their support and encouragement.

Scenario 3

We’ve all seen it before, your coworkers give you grief about prepping your meals and not joining them at the cafe for lunch. Or maybe your business deals revolve around lunch meetings and making a deal over a drink. You might be living at home and your parents or siblings criticize your efforts or won’t stock the fridge with foods that support your goals. These are just a few examples, but there are limitless ways our outer circle can create hurdles that get in the way of bettering ourselves. Ultimately, you are the only one that is responsible for your health, so you need to take control of it!

  • • Coworkers - if you don’t have the support of your coworkers, don’t take it personally if you can help it. They can make comments until the cows come home, but it is on you whether you let these deter you or spur you on. Some of the time this kind of comments can come from a lack of understanding or even jealousy. So take the time to explain what you are doing and why, and let them know how they can help you. Often this is surprisingly effective in getting your team behind you.

  • If you suspect your coworkers may be envious of your progress, then you can try inviting them into your health and fitness journey. Or simply offer some education or support. The worst they can do is say no thank you and go back to their state of jealousy. You will be able to move on knowing you have tried your best to spread the self-improvement. Some people are simply just not ready to commit to their own wellbeing.

  • • Family- Family, like partners, can be one of the most challenging health saboteurs to deal with. These are people that are in your life whether you like it or not, especially if you are living under the same roof! Taking a similar approach to dealing with a partner, talking can really help to get your family on board. Letting them know why you are making these lifestyle changes and asking for their encouragement can be a great start. The reality may be that your family simply do not understand or support your journey, so once again you may need to take your health and fitness into your own hands. Setting aside your own healthy food options, prepping your own meals rather than expecting your family to eat according to your goals, and doing your own shopping are a few simple steps you can take. But each person’s situation is completely individual. Once again I encourage you to spend your time focusing on SOLUTIONS rather than dwelling on the problem and how you have been mistreated or unsupported.

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A post shared by Lauren Simpson Fitness (@laurensimpsonfitness) onOct 31, 2018 at 3:02am PDT

I hope these few scenarios and suggestions have been helpful, but the overall take-home message I want to spread here is to nurture and adopt a GROWTH MINDSET which focuses on solving problems rather than dwelling on them.

A few final tips when trying to win over your health saboteurs:

  • • Be a trailblazer - leading by example can often be a lonely path, but persistence will pay off and you will eventually find those saboteurs may end up reaching out to you for support and encouragement!

  • • Don’t be pushy, be persistent - when overhauling your lifestyle, don’t expect others to instantly want to jump on board. Improving your nutrition and training is not easy, and each person is on an individual journey. Ask for the support of your inner circle, ask for their help, but don’t nag, and if they are not supportive don’t give up either. You have the strength and power to do this on your own!

Sticking to your diet and exercise regime can feel really lonely sometimes, but your mindset can change everything. If you see yourself as a trailblazer, focus on a growth mindset and solving problems you will make progress. Leading by example, and offering support and encouragement to your inner circle (when they are ready to improve their choices) will help provide you with the motivation to keep going even when those around you may be bringing you down.

Health Saboteurs


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