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Do you often feel that your efforts to improve your fitness are sabotaged by the people who are close to you? Your best friend, your brother, or even your parents are making it really difficult for you to stick to what you are doing. Their own bad habits and undermining of your efforts is destructive and hurtful. Even worse, the stress they induce on you makes you want to curl up on the couch in front of the TV with a lot of food–and by the way, you are not in the mood to talk to anyone, let alone go to the gym.

This is a huge problem admittedly and it keeps happening. There are solutions, however:

a. If you have the time and strength, volunteer to do the shopping for the family. Make up the list of things you know are healthy for you, your siblings, and your parents. Suggest this as a well-meaning gesture that will take some pressure off your parents who usually do the shopping. You may be surprised with the results.

b. Organize an afternoon with friends at your school's playground, or the nearest park, and invite your siblings. Show them how much fun it is to work out and how badly you want to get fit.

c. Take a good look at your family: are they healthy or do you feel that your lack of interest in exercise stems primarily from their own habits? If they are healthy, and as much as some of their comments may hurt, remember that they mean well and that it is up to you to fuel your work out with the frustration you feel every time they criticize you. If they are unhealthy, you don't even need to react. Explain to them that change is not easy but that you are trying your best. You can also reassure them that you still love them (your family or friends) even if you are going through change. Your feelings for them do not change, regardless of how fit you are. They have nothing to worry about.

Good luck!