T Nation

Help Finding Article

I need some help everyone. I’ve spent the last 2 hours searching for the article, which I thought was an Atomic Dog artice. It talks about people that always try to bring you down when you are trying to better yourself. Thanks for the help.

Bump for help. Someone has to know!

I don’t know if this is what you’re looking for, but this is taken from Chris Shugart’s blog:



Toxic People

I got an interesting PM from someone already trying the Velocity Diet. While the diet was going well, the PM’er was being called “crazy” and “stupid” by his family for doing it.

Only in America.

It’s funny that a person who eats rancid fat (fried food), drinks sugar (colas) and doesn’t move off the fucking couch (the average person) is “normal,” but a person who eats healthy and trains is “stupid.” I know the Velocity Diet is extreme, but I’d pit its nutritional worth against the typical fat American’s diet any day of the week. Believe it.

Anyway, it reminded me of something I wrote a while back for T-Nation that hasn’t been published. I think these people in the PMer’s life could be toxic. Maybe not, they could just be ignorant. What do I mean by toxic? Here’s the article excerpt:

The Saboteur

The concept of “toxic people” was popularized by Lillian Glass, PH.D. in her book by the same name. A toxic person is basically anyone who cuts you down, holds you back, makes you experience negative emotions, and general makes you miserable. They may do this on purpose or they could just have “issues” of their own which adversely impact you just because you’re around them. A toxic person can be a co-worker, a family member or, sadly, a girlfriend or spouse.

In Glass’s book, she outlines 30 different types of toxic people including The Mental Case, The Fanatic, The Accusing Critic, The Instigator, The Opportunistic User and the Smiling Two-Faced Backstabber. After reading the book, I came up with a couple of my own related to diet and fitness. My favorite (or least favorite actually) is The Saboteur.

The Saboteur seems to be out to ruin your diet and/or training program. The Saboteur can do this overtly or covertly, and through physical or emotional manipulations. Let’s go through some examples:

  • A co-worker who knows you’re dieting keeps offering you junk food. This person could even go as far as coming into your office and handing you a doughnut.

  • Your spouse tries to talk you out of going to the gym or makes you feel guilty for going: “You can go later. Stay with me.” “Why can’t you spend time with me and the kids instead of running off to the gym?” “We’re strapped for cash and you drop $60 a month on a stupid gym membership?” “Are you seeing someone at the gym?”

  • A family member cooks your favorite cheat food or encourages you to cheat on your diet. “Oh come on, a couple of slices of pizza aren’t going to hurt.” (While it’s true that a little pizza won’t hurt you much, it’s the pattern of this type of behavior you have to watch out for. Ask yourself: Is this person doing this to me on a daily basis?)

  • A friend drops seemingly casual but negative comments about your goals. “Yeah, you’ve lost some weight, but you ain’t exactly Brad Pitt, bro!” “Yeah, you’re getting big, but all that muscle will just turn to fat when you get older.” (Note: There’s no such thing as a “casual” negative comment. Watch for these and keep an eye on the person doing it.)

  • Your training partner is always trying to hold you back or talk you into quitting early. He may show up late, talk too much between sets or make negative comments about your strength. Maybe he’s just a crappy training partner, but he could also be purposefully poisoning your efforts in the gym.

As you can see, The Saboteur is usually not a recognized “enemy,” but a person close to you. Co-workers can be notoriously toxic, but I’d say The Saboteur is most often a loved one!

Okay, so why do they do it? Keep in mind that The Saboteur may be doing this consciously or unconsciously. It’s done out of hatred or competition sometimes, but it can also be done out of fear. Example: Dana sees her boyfriend getting more muscular. His body is looking great. She’s afraid he’ll leave her for a better looking girl, so she tries to sabotage his progress in order to “keep him.”

By the way, the most extreme example of this I’ve ever seen was with a married couple. The husband was insanely jealous. His method of controlling his wife and keeping other men from paying attention to her was to keep her pregnant. After all, a pregnant woman was less desirable to other men. Her being pregnant also displayed his ownership. (Yes, he had major issues and I feel sorry for his four kids.)

Along with fear, the most obvious motivating factor for The Saboteur is jealousy. Let’s look at the co-worker example. She sees your body changing because of your discipline and hard work. She’s failed at fat loss many times in the past and she’s jealous of your achievements. Her sabotaging may take the form of nasty comments, tempting you with bad foods, or spreading rumors that you’re “on something.” She does it to make herself feel better.

Nothing pisses off these types of people more than seeing you succeed!

Another reason for this type of behavior actually doesn?t have much to do with you. Glass refers to this type of toxic person as The Self-Destroyer. If you have dreams and goals for financial success or for a great body, avoid the Self-Destroyer at all costs.

This is the type of person who’s hell-bent on making the worst possible choices for himself. These unstable and often out-of-control people seem to be doing everything possible to destroy themselves out of a sense of self-loathing. They may do it with food, alcohol, drugs, money, sex, stupid risks, or by getting involved with other nasty people (a self-destructive woman may get involved with a string of physically abusive boyfriends for example.)

The Self-Destroyer isn’t really out to sabotage you personally, but just being associated with this type of person will thwart your efforts. A common example of this is the guy who gets involved with the beautiful but self-destructive girl. Maybe he’s trying to “rescue” her or maybe she has him dancing on a string like a puppet because of what’s between her legs, but ultimately he quits training and wrecks his diet because of her.

The best advice? Run. Run like the wind from self-destructive people or they’ll take you down with them.

A quick note: Sometimes the so-called Saboteur is doing the right thing. Example: The anorexic who weighs 97 pounds and whose hair is falling out because of malnutrition, will often attack those trying to get her to eat. In her mind, they’re just trying to sabotage her. Another example: The 17 year steroid user is convinced other people are just jealous because they tell him not to be juicing at his age.

So, you have to be careful when labeling someone a Saboteur. You just might be the one in the wrong.

The lesson here is to be aware and on the lookout for The Saboteur. Just recognizing The Saboteur will keep you from becoming his or her victim. A co-worker can often be ignored, but you’ll eventually need to confront a close friend, girlfriend or family member if their behavior continues. You can do this with humor or with anger, but I suggest a straightforward approach:

“Why do you always try to keep me from going to the gym? Why do you offer me cookies when you know I’m on a diet?”

If this is a spouse or girlfriend, try to get her involved. This will make you more of a team instead of being opponents. If she’s a hopelessly self-destructive Saboteur, kick that bitch to the curb.

That’s it! No wonder I couldn’t find it in the articles archive. I thought I was going crazy. Thanks a ton!