I heard a conversation recently, one in which I have been involved in many times over the years. It is one of the reasons I created Tribal Fitness and fight so hard to keep the ethos of the Tribe about real women, and about being supportive and understanding. Basically, women should help women. Human beings should help human beings. It’s that simple.
I am sure you have all heard this conversation, been involved in it, or been on the receiving end of it (either end of it)!
It goes like this:
Two women, let’s call them Betty and Nancy, have different physical builds and/or lifestyles. Now these women may know each other in passing, or they could be friends, but often the conversation can be the same, and unfortunately be just as negative and damaging.
Betty is a gym bunny. She trains constantly. She appears to eat for health benefits all the time. She chooses not to have puddings when out for dinner, and doesn’t indulge in alcohol, ‘treat food’, or ‘vegging out’ every weekend. She sacrifices events to ensure she doesn’t miss working out and sometimes avoids committing to events if there is too much temptation that would take her out of her lifestyle comfort zone. She is happy with her life.
Nancy does not choose to exercise regularly. She enjoys going out for dinner at least once a week and has a pudding every time. She goes to every party she’s invited to, and eats carefree at the buffet on offer. She enjoys meeting her mates in the pub every weekend and drinks alcohol. She does not count calories. She would choose to do bits of exercise now and again but does not often sacrifice anything in her life to ensure she completes a workout. She is happy with her life.
Now… often there are conversations, opinions and views aired about each other.
Betty can be perceived as a control freak, who doesn’t know how to enjoy her life. Surely she can let her hair down for a bit and just skip the gym for a few weeks. Surely it’s not healthy to be watching what she eats all of the time. Not drinking alcohol means she’s boring and doesn’t know how to have fun.
Nancy can be perceived as lazy and has no respect for her body or health. She has no will power or commitment and is taking the easy way out all the time by using birthdays and weddings as excuses not to get her butt in gear!
Both these girls can constantly pressure the other and put stresses on them for their lifestyle choices, and perhaps try to tempt them to be more like them. This amazes me. By constantly criticizing someone can only have a negative impact, in my opinion. This situation, which I see ALL the time, reminds me of the famous saying:
“If you repeatedly criticize someone for liking something you don’t, they won’t stop liking it, they’ll stop liking you.”
Why can’t we, especially as women, show a bit more kindness and appreciate that everyone will make different lifestyle choices. If someone chooses to workout now and again, that’s fine, that’s their choice. It doesn’t justify others to criticise them and call them lazy. Likewise, if someone chooses to exercise regularly, then that’s their choice. It doesn’t justify others to criticise them and call them obsessive bores. Neither type of women are doing anyone any harm. They are simply choosing their own pathways in life. And nobody apart from themselves understand why they are choosing what they are choosing. In my opinion, nobody else should really judge.
I think we should all focus on our own journeys. And if other people are choosing a different journey, as long as they are happy and not hurting you in their actions, then let them get on with it and be happy. If however, they are not happy with their journey, and we can support them, then surely we should be reaching out and trying to help.
I am proud to say that I see so much of this kindness within our Tribal ladies. But we can always show more. As far as I know, nobody has every complained about receiving too much help, kindness, understanding and support in life!
Head Chief Nikki