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There will occasionally be the struggle of the inside voice and the voices of those around you, leading to a push-pull effect.  You must learn to identify with your own internal voice and tune out the noise.  Listening to others can cause you to give up on goals that are important to you.  For example, if you are trying to lose weight and your friend pressures you into tasting their dessert, taunting, “just try a bite, it won’t kill you.”  If you are anything like me, you realize well in advance that even just one bite leads to eating the whole damn thing.  Knowing yourself, you kindly pass and continue to be pressured about how “obsessive” or “high-strung” you are.

This type of recurring situation can be very frustrating.   I know firsthand and experienced it frequently during competition prep much of last year.  I heard how I was never around, I’d disappeared, I wasn’t supportive of others and so on.  In hearing and taking many of these criticisms seriously, I made a more conscious effort to show up.  Whether or not I could drink and eat with friends or family, I showed up.  I brought my food and I made the effort to be an active participant in things that were important to others.  It wasn’t always fun or easy, but I’ve learned to find balance.  The show must go on!  I don’t want my kids looking back at their childhood and thinking, “man, my mom was never around because she was always being so strict with her food.”  I prefer they see my commitment and my work ethic and learn from it.  More importantly, I want them to look back and think, “man, my mom had so much going on, but she showed up each and every time and even brought her lunch box.” LOL!

Conversely, if you are the person treating someone this way, you must realize that what you think is all in fun can be detrimental to the relationship.  Allowing someone to stand firmly behind their beliefs is being a supportive friend.  Making them feel badly about their choices is not.  Understanding that losing weight or finding success in any aspect of your life can make others feel threatened in a way or more poorly about their own body image.  It won’t be easy to be strong in the face of adversity, but you will find the value in the strength you exhibit when you pass with flying colors!

Many will have their own agenda, many will try to follow and emulate, some will try to knock you down, but the voice inside of you will ultimately speak the loudest if you learn to ignore the rest of the noise.  Do what you believe in and what you know you are capable.  No one else is living this life for you and never look back with regret for what you wish you had done.