There's always someone who has an 'expert' opinion on your diet or fitness journey, but Emmet from Rushe Fitness has some guidance on how to deal with their negativity.

Each year I usually to do a post about ‘Jenny’.

Around certain times of year, ‘Jenny’ seems to voice her opinion about what people do in their health and fitness and I like to acknowledge that she exists.

This year however, we are going to change her to Karen, as Karen has been so prominent on social media all summer.

Whatever the subject matter is, ‘Karen’ will have an opinion on it and over the past few weeks, she has had loads of them and it’s time we acknowledged her again.

The blog may be titled “Meet Karen”, but I can guarantee that you have already met her and probably know her quite well.

  • Think about every time you have started training.
  • Think about every time you have tried to eat better.
  • Think about every time you have tried to do something to better your current situation and make a change in your life.

No matter what the scenario, ‘Karen’ will be there.

I know ‘Karen’ quite well.

Over the years I have come across many versions of ‘Karen’, but they all follow the same script.

It usually starts with a conversation between myself and one of my members, or after I write a blog or do a social media post, I’ll get a message about what I’ve written or posted.

Member – “You know how you have fruit in the smoothies you recommend?”

Me – “Yeah, it’s a great way of adding taste to them and also getting your fruit and some fibre at the same time.”

Member – “Yeah, it’s just that, Karen at the office said that if I eat too much fruit, it will make me fat.”

Me – “Fruit makes you fat? How much fruit does Karen think you are eating?”

Karen didn’t agree with all the fruit that was going around the office and wanted to let everyone know that it isn’t as healthy as they think.
Karen, of course, is wrong.

She also has an opinion on training and likes to give her ‘expert’ opinion about it when the subject arises.

Member at work –“I have started training in the gym and am lifting weights and using Kettlebells, It’s helping me improve my shape and lose some weight.”

Karen – “You shouldn’t be doing that, I know this one girl who started lifting weights and she ended up looking like a man. Unless you want to look like a man, you should stop going to the gym”

If Karen knew the amount of men who are training for years and still don’t look ‘manly’, whatever that is, she would realise just how difficult it is to put on muscle.

These days, because of social media, everyone thinks that they are entitled to their opinion.

Sometimes you are, and sometimes you are not.

Sometimes you really need to learn when to say nothing at all.

One of these times is usually when you are talking to someone who has started a diet or has started training, like our lean 20 members have.

The reason for this is simple.
Whenever someone mentions that they are making a change for the better, there will always be this one person, who will have some horrific information as to why, WHATEVER you are doing, is wrong.
It is usually because when you make a change for the better, you are showing them just how much they aren’t

“Drinking more water is great. If you increase your water intake each day, you will really start seeing the benefits in your skin, hair, nails, energy levels and you will feel so much better when you are training”

But not to Karen, the Facebook nutrition expert.

Karen– “You shouldn’t drink so much water. I know this one girl who drank too much water and she died”
(This is an actual quote said to one of my clients)

Member – “I’m going to start walking in the days in between my gym session. I am loving the changes in my fitness and want to make more to these”

Karen – “You shouldn’t do so much exercise. Once you stop all the muscle will turn to fat”

You see ‘Karen’ hates change. It makes her uncomfortable.

What makes her even more uncomfortable is whenever someone else starts to change something about themselves.
This change, no matter what it is; weight loss, training, self-improvement, your job aspirations, it highlights all of Karen’s failings.

Every time she has failed on a diet, every time she has started training and stopped a few weeks later, every time they have sat back and let someone else do all the work, it all comes out, when you start on your journey.

So, they try to put you off, so they don’t feel so uncomfortable around you when you start seeing results.

They use things that seem like they are just being friendly, but they arent.

  • Like when they badger you to go for drinks at the weekend, knowing full well that you have given it up to concentrate on your goal.
  • Like when they bring buns and biscuits into work and tell you that one won’t kill you, knowing that you are on a diet.
  • When they bring those buns to work, making it look like they want to share them with their work colleagues, what they really want is to eat buns. By bringing them into work, they feel less guilty because now everyone is eating buns.

Starting any new journey is hard.
Change is hard, because there has to be some form of discomfort in order for change to happen.

It’s hard enough without someone who is supposed to be a friend or work colleague, trying to sabotage it.
Trying to sabotage your friend means you are not much of a friend.

But there is a solution, and It involves surrounding yourself with people on the same journey as you are.

This is why we have had a private members community for our Rushe Fitness members since we started out.
It is a place where we can all support each other and celebrate everyones wins, no matter how small.

‘Karen’ will always be up to her usual tricks, and there is nothing you can do about that.

But, when you see what the others on the same path as you are achieving, this will spur you on to keep making changes and to ignore all the Karens out there and their opinions.

Positivity is contagious.
The more that you show others how easy it is to have, the more that they will want it.
If you see someone who is winning at every turn, while on their journey, don’t shy away from them, ask them how they are doing it and try to emulate it so you can be a better version of you.

For all the Karen’s out there, you will get there some day.
Just try and be a bit more positive and try to use your friends wins as motivation to spur you on rather than something that you need to stop.

You will be glad that you did.

If you would like help with weight loss this September, and want a positive and supportive fitness community, we are here to help.

We have had hundreds of success stories over the past 6 years and you can be the next.
You can train with us in our gym in Letterkenny.
Or you can train with us from home in Rushe Fitness Live our online
coaching system.

We are accepting new members for both from the start of September.
You can get signed up now through the links above.