Dear Cassey: My family is so negative about my healthy lifestyle

Dear Cassey, 

Have you ever dealt with family or friends being negative about your healthy lifestyle changes? Personally, every time I get into a good routine it seems like it’s ruined due to family pressure. I always hear things like “You don’t need to work out. You look fine,” or “You can eat that, you won’t get fat, don’t be obsessive,” or “You had two babies, let it go.” 

I’ve really heard it all and I feel like I am starting to dodge and skip out on family functions. And I definitely avoid discussing food or health in fear of all the Negative Nancy input. What should I do?

Your advice is greatly appreciated!

Pushing for Positivity

Dear Pushing for Positivity,

Reading your question makes my heart hurt a little. It’s so important to feel supported by your family and friends, especially when it comes to your healthy lifestyle! I’m sure their comments make you feel a little isolated and like your values aren’t important to them.

And yes – I totally know how you feel.

I’ve had my fair share of interactions with people who just don’t get why I love health and fitness so much. ESPECIALLY since my life has become so public on social media. Negativity is everywhere, and I’ve learned that the only way to fight it is… not to fight it! Instead, we have to stick together and push forward.

Here’s the thing. It’s a lot easier for me to put my blinders on and push forward when strangers on the Internet throw negative comments my way. Finding the right way to handle this situation with your family is different, but also super important. I understand why it feels easier to avoid family gatherings and discussing the way you choose to eat. It’s really draining having to defend your choices! However, I have some ideas for you:

  1. The people making these comments may be feeling a little insecure themselves. I’m sure their intention isn’t to hurt you with their comments, but saying them might make them feel less guilty about the way they eat.
  2. Have you ever told your family/friends how these comments make you feel? There’s no shame in letting them know that you’re working hard to fuel your body with healthy foods. Maybe even explain that it’s not always about losing weight! Eating healthy and exercising just FEELS BETTER. If they understand that it’s not only about body image for you, maybe they will have a deeper understanding of your “why” and offer more support.
  3. Keep doing your thing. I love that despite hurtful comments and negativity, you never once said that you’ve given up on your goals. THAT IS AMAZING. I’m telling you, most people would have said, “you know what, maybe they’re right and I’m trying too hard.” Nope. Not you! This is important to you, so keep going. Chances are, your healthy habits will inspire someone else.

In the meantime, just know that you’ve come to the right place for support! The POPsters are the most positive and supportive people EVER and we’re besties here. And we’re here for you, too.

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, I’m taking questions via text at 510-692-4556. Currently this only works for US and Canada. If you’re outside of those countries, you can leave a question below.

23 thoughts on “Dear Cassey: My family is so negative about my healthy lifestyle”

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  1. sb says:

    Hi Cassey! I recently did a lot of research on veganism and I really want to be more healthy and maybe even go vegan. But my parents won’t let me and every time i bring it up they say they are too tired for a lecture! What do i do?

  2. Miss Murray says:

    Hey Cassie I’m 13 and would love to really stay healthy and keep fit not for the purpose of losing weight but for me I would love if you could give me some advice because I can’t choose my dinner and lunch and I don’t want to sound rude to my parents. any ideas thoughts or opinions:) I’m going to start the 7 day ab challenge tm I will send you the pic of after when I’m done on email if you reply:) please reply thanks -Marita

  3. Mochi says:

    I totally get this! It’s like everytime we decide to choose healthier alternatives (say, drinking almond milk instead of regular milk), I get criticized for being “too fancy”. I’m a strong believer of “if I really love my body, I wouldn’t feed it junk”. I’d say just ignore those comments with a smile and just carry on the way you want to live your life ❤️

  4. I totally understand this. I remember when I was living with them, I had to exercise in secret. And secret! Well, where they ever judgmental. So glad I’m not with them anymore.

  5. Amisha says:

    Hi ,Cassey
    I live in India and in my home people.dont follow healthy lifestyle including me but now I am getting to worry a little.bit about my body and overall fitness .I cannot afford to go to gym so I started using an app for my home workout but I don’t follow any diet.i m not seeing any result I want to lose my body fat and I cannot follow a diet because in my place most things are not available and I m veg so I would really appreciate if u can help me or rather guide me through this.

    1. Hillary says:

      Hi Amisha, I’m not Cassey, but I just wanted to encourage you in your eating and exercise! I’m currently living with my boyfriend’s family and it’s hard for us to eat healthy here as well. And we can’t make it to a gym right now with all that’s going on in the world. Right now, we’re trying the 28 day reset that Cassey has created and I’m following the May calender (except Sundays I do yoga and Mondays my boyfriend and I jog together). If your a vegetarian, there are so many great recipies online for healthy, fresh food that will help you get your fitness to the next level. Good luck!

    2. Aparajita says:

      Hi Amisha,
      I live in India too, and I can tell you for sure, that eating healthy doesn’t mean that you can’t eat any regular food that is usually made at your house. Roti, sabzi and rice are okay to eat, because they don’t contain any refined flour (maida) and are not usually fried! Just make sure that you avoid things that contain any maida, have a lot of sugar or are fried and cooked in a lot of oil. Most regular Indian dishes don’t fall into these categories, so it’s totally possible to eat healthy! You don’t even have to be a non vegetarian for it. Maybe you can check out some blogs from Indian nutritionists or just search for healthy Indian recipes online. You won’t be disappointed!

  6. TeacherMegs says:

    Hi, Cassey
    Before I kick off; I wanna let you know how much you inspire me, especially with your comments during a workout video, how exactly do you know when we feel like giving up?! It’s a talent. Thank you!
    Now for my question, how should I approach your workout calendar?Currently I’m trying to workout every second day (in a good week). What would you recommend? How should we go about following the workout plan?

  7. Monica says:

    I am eagerly waiting for the May cal

  8. Holly says:

    I know it’s out of topic, but can somebody tell me any possible way to contact Cassey? I don’t live in US or Canada, and there seems to be no possible way to send a message to her……besides instagram or mail! (Cuz she doesn’t receive any of the two….)

  9. Jenna S says:

    My family uses the term “healthy” as an insult, so I really relate to this issue. I hear it whenever I turn down heavily processed foods or desserts, or the traditional overcooked southern vegetables! Family meals normally leave me just feeling hungry since they don’t eat real food! It’s frustrating since several of my family members are on medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol, and I’m trying to not go down that path by eating clean and making it a habit!

  10. E says:

    My entire relationship with food has been completely ruined by my parents. It’s terrible and a struggle. Hopefully moving in with my boyfriend will help, he’s healthy and really helps me build a good relationship with food 🙂

  11. Emily says:

    This post speaks to me!!! I start to feel like I’m doing something bad when I try to change myself. Then my family makes it all about them as if I’m trying to attack THEM!!! It’s super tricky too having all the temptations around. I’m super looking forward to this summer when I’m moving back to my studio and can control what food is surrounding me. Til then it’s taking a lot of willpower and forgiveness to get through negative family and loads of junk food constantly surrounding me.

  12. Young but Determined says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I’m just 11 years old but I’m already very over weight. People judge me because of my weight but i have some really good friends that are really nice to me and don’t judge me. Anyway next year I’m going to be in 6th grade and there is a pool party. I know that it will take me a couple of months to lose inches but I am determined. Do you recommend any workouts that can help me lose some inches?
    Young but Determined

    1. Lena says:

      Dear Young but Determined,
      You did not ask for my advice but I saw your comment and can’t help but reply. Your friends don’t judge you because they love you and you deserve that love.
      Instead of focusing on losing weight, why not focus on what you want to gain? Try out different hobbies and find something you are passionate about. It will help you make new friends, gain confidence and have a happier life.

      1. PrincessMumu says:

        ^I agree! You’re still young so maybe try out physical sports/hobbies that you enjoy that you can play with others or even just yourself. Personally I like doing some Gymnastics, yoga, calisthenics. Or if none of them interest you, you could just do her beginner workout videos as a start (she also has the beginner calendar in this website). All the best.

  13. Sharon says:

    Oh man, I know that struggle 😖 My family was completely against my lifestyle change to veganism 4 years ago, but they eventually left it alone when they realized that I was doing fine, and had found happiness with my lifestyle. My boyfriend and I initially butted heads about me wanting to lose weight recently as well, but he finally accepted what essentially was another lifestyle change for me, because I showed that what I’m doing is sustainable and that I am happy. At the end of the day, your happiness speaks mountains. So whatever you end up doing, make sure that it’s making you happy, inside and out. Your family will surely catch up to that in due time, and maybe even follow your example 🙂

  14. Brittany says:

    Also the letter hints that this person might be a parent – don’t be ashamed to say you’re teaching and modeling for your children how to have a healthy relationship with food and want to exercise to have the energy to keep up with them and be there for them for a long long time! Blame it on the kids 🤣. Although we all know doing it for yourself is the best reason. But that might be an easier thing for people to understand since they seem to think it’s about vanity or ego in trying too hard. Or share some of the gazillion articles on how it helps your mental health.

  15. Elizabeth says:

    “Even when you eat healthy and workout, you look like ‘this’.Wonder how you would look without those”.Said a really close person to me. Dear pushing for positivity, you are not alone.

  16. Lost In My Head says:

    Dear Cassey!
    Have you ever felt like the work you’re putting into your body isn’t giving any results? Have you ever taken a break after your workout and broke down in tears? I have today.
    I’m 18 and I’m not particularly big (I hate the word fat) but I’m not skinny either. I work out mostly because it makes me feel good, but I haven’t seen ANY results yet. I’ve been working out a lot more this year than any other year.
    I hate my thighs and I want to slim them down. I also have belly fat that I despise, and I really am trying to tone my body. My whole body. But my weight will not budge. It’s the same now as it was in January and then it was still the same as in September. And I don’t see any changes on my body. The belly fat is still the same and so are my thighs. I’m really trying so hard. No matter how hard I try, nothing’s happening.
    Every time I work out, I feel bad if I take a pause during an exercise but when I finish, I feel good. But when I go to take a shower, I look in the mirror and I just break down. Or sometimes I lay on my matt and every bad thought rushes to my head and I start crying.
    What am I doing wrong? Do you have any tips on how to get results? Or at least how to not break down every day after my work out?

    With love and admiration,
    Lost In My Head

    1. MeganKJames says:

      Hi Lost In My Head
      If you don’t mind me asking, what exercises are you doing at the moment, beside Cassey?

      1. Lost In My Head says:

        I’m trying different things, but I mostly do Cassey’s exercises because I like them. Beside that, I also went to the gym twice a week in school before quarantine started and for a run every now and then. I mean I could be doing everything wrong. As I said, I’ve only started really working out in September and I wasn’t into exercising before that. Honestly I’m just sick of feeling worse after the work out then before it. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

  17. Emily says:

    I really hope that your family get to see how happy doing fitness brings you. It can be tough especially in families where food plays such a big role in the culture! Xx