We use stereotyping to categorise people. Although it might seem callous and lazy, stereotyping is inevitable and necessary. It helps determine who a person is and how they are likely to act.
Given you’re reading this blog, physical training is important to you. People around you have recognised this association too due to the change in your physique as well as what you tend to talk about. This might seem a harmless association. You’re asked: how training is going and how many times you go the gym? But with time, your stereotype strengthens.
Soon, every conversation is related to your physical pursuits. Family and friends question your eating habits and make comments like, ‘I wish I had your willpower,’ when you decide against a biscuit from the dessert platter.
These interactions begin to impact on how you see yourself. You feel as though you have a model to uphold to meet expectations. Next time you’re at a family gathering, although the cake and desserts look delectable, you choose to abstain in order to uphold your perceived image.
You’ve become the ‘fitness guy’. The title becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that will continue to harden and become increasingly difficult to break from.
But it’s not a bad thing. The situation is an opportunity to evaluate how much you value exercise and where your other interests lie. You may find you have few other hobbies and that presents a chance to expand and pursue things that have been on your to-do list but you have never got around to.
Your choices shouldn’t be driven by how you think you’re seen by others. Make changes based on the person you want to be, not to fulfil a certain stereotype.