Living a healthy lifestyle and trying to eat well makes us feel happy, balanced and positive.
The way you choose to eat shouldn’t effect anyone around you, but too often people make it their business to negatively comment on other's healthy decisions.
It could be a rogue aunt at family gatherings arguing that, “surely one piece of cake won’t hurt” or the friends who say you’re boring because you no longer want to share a tub or three of ice-cream (washed down with a few bottles of wine).
Here are some tips for dealing with the naysayers when it comes to how and what you eat without you having to walk on eggshells or compromise your values.
1. Remember that you’re in charge of your actions.
Don’t want to eat cake? Guess what sugar buns, you don’t have to! The only person that controls what you eat is you. It's important to remember that you're in charge of your decisions and get to choose what you eat.
Get comfortable saying no.
If you find it difficult to turn down food you don’t really want to eat, you have a few options: (a) Eat it and enjoy it. (b) Eat it and feel bad about not sticking to your guns; (c) Smile and say, “no thanks.”
For those who really struggle with saying no, start exercising your "no muscle" whenever possible in other areas of your life. It'll get easier.
2. Accept that you can’t control how people think.
Does it really matter if someone thinks you’re bonkers for eating organic food when, to them, it’s just a waste of money? The way you live your life might not seem right to some people and vice versa. The only person who can truly pass judgement on anyone’s life is the person living it.
3. Don’t try to change others.
One thing I’ve seen a lot of my health coaching clients do is try to change the way their family/partner/friends eat because they want to help. If you’re asked for advice, provide it, but don’t go around preaching to people who don’t want to hear what you have to say.
4. Re-evaluate who you surround yourself with.
The reality is that sometimes we outgrow certain relationships and not everyone is going to be accepting of your new lifestyle. I’ve even seen husbands and wives and trying to sabotage their other half -- that’s when it’s time for some open communication. But if you feel like certain relationships in your life are holding you back or causing negativity, then perhaps it’s time for some distance.
5. Make decisions that feel good to you.
Being healthy isn't just about eating carrots and kale, it involves sharing moments with loved ones and maintaining a sense of balance and contentment. If you want a “cheat” meal, go for it and enjoy it. If anyone tries to criticize you for not eating like you “normally do” simply smile and tell them “I’ll be OK, don’t worry.”
And remember: there’s no one better equipped to make decisions about your body and your health than you.