How other people can be barriers to your progress and how to handle them

May 20, 2014

When you follow a healthy diet and lifestyle, there will always be times where you will come across barriers.  A holiday, a meal out, a little too much to drink, Christmas, birthdays, you name it, there will always be something just round the corner to thwart your progress.

Unfortunately, these barriers do not just stop at the temptation of the food or drink at these occasions they also extend to the people there as well.

They mean well. They want you to have a good time and when they have laid on food and drink they want it to be enjoyed by you.  Because you know this, you feel guilty.  So you eat the said food and drink to make them happier, and then you are faced with your own guilt the next day.

So this blog will cover some of the common "persuasions" you may come across and the best way to deal with them.

"Go on, one won't hurt"

Does this sound familiar?  This can be amplified by the person actually picking it up for you and putting it on your plate, or pouring the drink before you have a chance to answer.  It's normally a response to you refusing the sweet treat or extra helping in the first place.  I find in this situation the best response is "Oh I would love to but I really couldn’t manage another bite".  There. You have told them that it really WILL physically hurt you to have any more, whilst complimenting them on the food you have ingested up to that point.  This is normally a satisfactory response for them and you will be left well alone!

"You've done so well, you deserve a treat"

Ah so they have complemented you and the barriers have come down. If the "feeling full" answer above doesn’t work or isn't relevant to the situation then this could help: "Thank you, normally I would but I had more than enough treats yesterday at *FILL BLANK*" This should pacify them that yes, you DO treat yourself, just not at this time.

"You are wasting away!"

Yes some people can be as blunt as this.  In the last few years I have had to suffer the following descriptions of myself by others:
"But you are so skinny already"
"I don’t think you should lose any more weight you are starting to look ill"
"You look ever so thin and pale"
"You are starting to look emaciated" YES! Seriously I had this from a work colleague!
"You are border-line anorexic" THIS was from a family member

As much as they mean well, I don’t think they would be as quick to judge someone at the other end of the scale (pun intended). Could you imagine if your response to this was: "But you are fat, look bloated, spotty and sweaty, and I think you have an over-eating disorder". Would they be offended?  YES! So why do they think it's ok to roll out these insults? Hopefully you wont be on the receiving end of anything like this but if you are I always find it helpful to throw a question back; "What makes you say that?" will normally evoke a blank stare whilst they try not to offend you with their answer. Another good one is "I am not sure why you think that, but I find it really upsetting". If they are very concerned about your appearance they will elaborate with some genuine reasons for thinking this, but 9 times out of 10 it is normally not meant to offend and the situation is turned around quite swiftly.

"You do so much exercise you can burn it all off tomorrow in no time"
Well that will all depend on what "that" is.  But generally you have to be going some to burn off an extra 200-500 calories.  But before you start to bore the other person with the facts of thermogenesis I always find that this answer helps: "Oh no I cant overdo it, I have already done my *FILL BLANK* for today" Hopefully they will be satisfied and it wont go on.  But you can have fun with it. How does this sound? "Ok, I will have just the one but you have to promise that you will help me burn this off tomorrow at the gym/park/running track". You will either obtain a new training buddy or they will move swiftly on!

Before long they will get used to your eating patterns at social occasions and back off.  They do with me now.  But that also has some other problems which I will save for another blog! But this post does remind me of a great quote I heard recently:

"At first they will ask you WHY you are doing it, then they will ask you HOW you did it"

So keep this in mind and stay strong! And if you need any help with reaching your goals just ask!


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