Tips For Dealing With Negative People

If you follow me on social media, you may have seen my post selfie workout picture from last night.

Post Workout Picture

If you don’t follow me on social media, you should. Here’s a shameless linking to my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

Anyways, along with the above picture, I posted the following status:

Guess what people?! SMILING and being appreciative is way easier, nevermind healthier, than complaining all the time! Tonight’s smiling post workout selfie is dedicated to just sweating off all the negative vibes around me lately.

I’m seriously struggling with the amount of naysayers in my life right now. I’m not going to use this post to ramble on and on with complaints (because then I’d be a little hypocritical, no?), but I just don’t understand how anyone can have that much to whine about. Or that much time to do it!

You know what I want to start calling these people?

Energy vampires.

Because when people are overly pessimistic, it just sucks the energy right out of you, even after your conversation or interaction is over. And lately I feel like I am surrounded by negative nancys and can’t escape. It’s like being surrounded by a bunch of walkers in The Walking Dead, except I guess then we’d be talking about energy zombies instead of energy vampires. Either way, all the negativity is leaving me drained, extra cynical, and to be honest, completely burned out.

So instead of letting all the energy vampires suck all the passion right out of me, last night I resolved to first go to the gym and get a kick ass workout, something that always helps my mood. I was awkwardly bear crawling all over the gym, through and around people giving me all sorts of weird looks. I did another bodyweight deadlift, and I felt AWESOME when I left. During my workout and on my drive home, I thought about how I can try to remove myself a bit from all the negativity bubbling up lately.

If you are dealing with something similar, whether at work or in your personal life, here are some of my tips for dealing with negative people:

  • Breathe: Sometimes taking a deep breath or two before responding to someone who has nothing positive to say can really help you stay positive yourself.
  • Empathize: Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes to see where they are coming from.
  • Don’t argue: Usually there is no rationalizing, and it just adds fuel to the fire. You might not be able to control the other person, but you can control your reaction to them.
  • Wait to respond: If you can, wait before interacting with the person. I know for me, if I let something go until the next day instead of responding right away, it helps because I’m no longer in the heat of the moment.
  • Disengage: If doing the above doesn’t work for you, simply disengage. You don’t have to get together with people who “zap you” (something we talked a LOT about at the health and wellness retreat I went to this weekend). You don’t have to respond. You simply don’t. You don’t have to give in to toxic co-workers, family members, or friends.

Aside from the above, some of my favorite strategies include hitting the gym, going for a long walk outside, listening to upbeat music, cleaning (yup!), spending time in the sun, reading, or having a glass of wine. And maybe some chocolate. Or some chips and salsa. With extra guac. 🙂

Walt Whitman Sunshine Quote

I’m not sure where to source this from, but I saw this quote on Caroline’s Instagram this morning, and it’s just what I needed to see.

Let’s chat–
Do you
have any negativity going on in your life right now? What are your tips for dealing with negative people?

Here’s to hoping this is all just lingering from Friday the 13th and the full moon last week!

Bloggers Have Bad Days Too

For the most part, I consider myself a “feel good” blogger. I mean, every day at 7:00am, I’m here checking in with all of you to see how you are doing and providing you with (what I hope) is some daily inspiration. I like to keep things light and happy. I love sharing healthy living tips, workouts, recipes, and little slices of my life. I love motivating you to be the best you can be.

Hotel Workout

But you know what?

Sometimes I am just not in the mood to be cheery and write a feel good post.

When I read other blogs, there is nothing that turns me off more than hearing about how amazing every part of life is. You guys must know what I mean. The bloggers that say every workout is THE best one, the people who never binge on anything except lettuce (please), and the ones that give off the vibe that nothing ever gets messy. Of course when I read other blogs, I consider that I’m reading someone else’s highlight reel, and there probably aren’t a lot of bloggers out there who actually WANT to share too much of the negative. I mean, I guess bloggers who complain all the time and are negative are ones I want to stop following too, so there’s definitely a fine line between over-sharing/being a negative nancy and also keeping it real/being transparent with your readers. I’m all for sharing the personal stuff if it’s done in a real and tactful way that people can relate to, but I’ll be the first to admit it’s a tough balance sometimes. And I never want to give off the vibe that I lead a perfect life.

Because nobody is perfect. And bloggers have bad days too.


Yes, you heard me. Bloggers are not perfect. I have less than ideal workout sessions sometimes. I f*ck up in the kitchen (a lot). I get in arguments with people, sometimes for stupid reasons, and sometimes (gasp) because it’s my fault. I worry about finances and my future. In fact, I over-worry (shocker). Usually I over-think everything too (another shocker). And I can’t reign it in when I get like that (sorry co-workers… and family… and friends… and Tim…).


Yesterday was just one of those bad days for me. Usually a bad day in my book is when multiple aspects of my life are stressing me out. One thing? No problem. Two? Annoying, but manageable. It’s when I get overwhelmed by several things at once that I feel like I’m losing control. And I hate not being in control of things. When this happens, my time management skills go right out the window, and my anxiety levels go through the roof. Oh, and then I eat. A lot. <—not lettuce.

A couple of things I’m dealing with right now:

1. An extremely stressful situation at work that’s challenging my patience and motivation levels.

2. Family issues. Nothing new, just the same type of things resurfacing and the continued issue of being helpless and having no solutions or services available. Not exaggerating. How can the mental health system be so EFFED and leave SO many families out to dry? Probably a post topic for another day.

3. Finally, my ankle is still bothering me from when I rolled it in class last week. This makes me SUPER cranky because I know I should rest it for it to get better sooner. But resting also equals not being able to do my number one stress management strategy (exercise). CONUNDRUM because now how am I supposed to deal with #1 and #2?

An extremely miserable Athena ensues. One that just wants to do THIS:


I hope you guys appreciate my honesty today and aren’t annoyed by it. I’m never going to post multiple cranky or complaining posts a week. But I also never, EVER want to give off the vibe that things are always happy. I want to be authentic without boring you of every single nitty-gritty detail of the things that may go wrong in my day-to-day, behind the scenes life.

What I CAN say is that despite the negative, I do still try to look on the bright side.

So I will leave you with something I am feeling really happy about this week. And that’s how many of you have emailed me or let me know that my post on Sunday about heavier lifting has inspired you to increase your weight, go out and buy new weights, or try something new for strength training. That keeps me going, knowing that at least in one area of my life, I can make a difference and am not helpless.


To anyone else out there not having such a great week, I hope this post helped you feel like you aren’t alone. And I encourage you to find that one silver lining. It helps.

–Let’s chat–
Thoughts on the “perfect life” perception? Anyone else having not such a great week? Are you someone who tends to get overwhelmed when there’s a lot going on at once? What are your tips for snapping out of a funk?

Guest Post: My Unhealthy, Unrequited Love

Today’s post is brought to you by one of friends, Jon, although I can’t remember the last time I called him Jon. Baka is how I’ve known this sarcastic and cynical long time buddy of mine. Baka blogs over at Day Old Doughnuts, which is probably the furthest thing from a fitness blog out there, but I love reading his blog for a) support, b) a good laugh (or sometimes a head shake in disbelief), and c) because Baka really is a good writer. As long as you have a sense of humor and don’t take offense to some of the things he writes, that is!

**Disclaimer: If you are sensitive about binge eating and/or addiction, this may be a post to skip over for today. I do not find either of these topics funny.**

My Unhealthy, Unrequited Love

I love fried chicken. You know what goes great with that? Ranch dressing. You know what goes great with both of those? Indigestion, an ever-growing gut, and a shame cycle that’s entirely too depressing. I’m not trying to judge, I’m just being entirely honest. I’m not a health expert, or even someone who regularly eats well. But as I get older, my awful eating habits are catching up to me. I knew people who started eating healthier in high school and college. I honestly laughed at them. It’s Friday night at 1am, if you think we’re getting salads instead of Dominoes, then you are bat shit crazy. Now finish your shot of 151, and knock off this health food crap. Cinnastix will be here in 20 minutes.

Me & BakesMe with college Athena, pre F&F days

I used to think that fast food addiction was a joke. I am now entirely convinced that sadly, I am the joke. Somewhere along the line when people started ditching their daily pizza, chicken fingers, and fries for yogurt, spinach, and grilled veggies, my thought process did change. While I knew I was slow to react, I at least appreciated the effort of others to start improving their diet. The effort of others. My own effort consisted of telling myself that I should start eating healthier. That, and working on complex mental gymnastics to avoid taking better care of myself and allowing for gorging myself on anything coming from drive-thrus, take out counters, and microwaves. I would eat healthier, but I don’t have the time, or the money, or I don’t how to cook it. If only there was a magical contraption that allowed us to search for healthy recipes, to research the best foods to eat or avoid, or even a way to do this on a budget. If only this was a possibility… wait a minute, how is everyone reading this post again?

I’ve always found myself to be pretty self-aware. I understand how the tide has changed in society. People are more educated about what they are putting into their body, and that’s a great thing. I’m personally more educated on these topics than ever before. But it sure is strange that I could be so self-aware and informed, yet still find empty bags of Wendy’s/BK/McDonald’s/etc. on the floor of my car. (Ladies, ladies, you can stop lining up for dates now, I’m taken). You’ll even find an occasional bag of Chick-Fil-A there. I personally find their political views to be deplorable and against everything I stand for. Yet, there it is on the floor with the rest of them. If you’re willing to sell out your beliefs for something as awful as over-fried, over-processed food, can you still deny that it’s an addiction? If you are so embarrassed about what you are eating on your lunch break that you’re dining in your car, something has to be wrong here right?

You have to fight against it. For you, it may be not giving into peer pressure like you’re at an 8th grade slumber party. For me, it’s fighting my own desire to consume vast quantities of unhealthy food like I’m…well, at an 8th grade slumber party. (Doritos and Nintendo 64 anyone? No?). But you have to do what’s right. For your brain and your body. It seems obvious, but when you use unhealthy food as crutch to deal with stress and unhappiness, the challenge gets worse. I’m not lecturing, I’m confessing. Recently, I have been quite depressed. Unsatisfied with work, among others things in my personal life, I spend many days just counting the minutes and trying to get through each day, latching onto whatever small tokens of happiness I can find. It’s incredible easy to get trapped this way. You go for the quick fix, that greasy, fatty friend (demon) that’s been there your whole life. Sometimes, you even get a little boost just looking through the menu. And yeah, upon the first bites into that buffalo finger and potato skin sampler you may have a brief moment of food bliss. But you then you keep eating. And eating. And then you feel goddamn terrible for the rest of the work day.

Later, you can’t get through a good workout because your bloated stomach full of indigestible food makes it difficult to move, let alone break a real sweat. You leave the gym having burned 200 calories if you’re lucky. Your lunch, still sitting in your belly like an unfortunate rat inside a once hungry snake, was 8 times more calories than you just used up. It’s disheartening. It’s a recurring uphill battle against food that is terrible for you, food that won’t make your life any better, and you know it. You’re sick of sneaking into the conference room to place your order because you are embarrassed of what you’re eating. You’re sick of not fitting into your dress pants comfortably and seriously debating how bad it might look if you got caught unbuttoning that top button for a little breathing room. You’re just plain sick of feeling, well…sick. But you don’t stop. You can’t stop. Because you’re an addict.

You think you love these foods, but after a while it doesn’t even make you temporarily happy. Not even for the 10 minutes you take to scarf it down. Not even when you saw that supposedly delicious burger on a commercial the night before and you have been thinking about it for 12 straight hours. And it’s not just the guilt turning your food sour. The novelty wears off when you eat it every day. Sure, sometimes you’re hung-over on Saturday morning and you’re just craving something greasy and bad for you. But nothing in your body is craving that type of fat intake on a daily basis, and your brain is mostly smart enough to get any real kick out of it after prolonged exposure. But you just keep doing it, because somewhere in your brain (your past associations, your comfort of routine, and your chemical dependence), you are still inexplicably drawn to it.

If I’m in love with fried chicken, then sadly I’m in a horribly dysfunctional relationship. It makes me feel bad physically, I’m overly dependent on it, and I’m afraid to be seen with it in public. I’m trying to wean myself off it, for all of the obvious reasons. I do sometimes prefer having salad for lunch, or a yogurt for breakfast, but all too often I forget that my requited love for fried chicken is no longer making me happy. I just need to remember what my mother told me about the girl that broke my heart around right around the time of that aforementioned slumber party: that there are other fish in the sea. Or grilled chicken. Or spinach. And they’ll treat me a lot better.

Your turn – Have you ever turned to food during a time you’ve been extremely unhappy or to cope with something else going on in your life? How did you overcome it?