Peer Pressure, Etiquette and Weight Loss
As a personal trainer (and as an individual who lost 1/3 of my own body weight) excuses are something I’m quite familiar with. While it would be easy for me to just bark, “No excuses!” to my clients, it doesn’t really help them deal with the mental block they’re having, which is why it’s important to talk about strategies to deal with their concern.
The other day I blogged about Excuses We Use To Eat Crap. Each day I will be blogging about techniques that are helpful to overcome these obstacles.
Peer Pressure, Etiquette and Weight Loss
Are you a people pleaser? If so, you may feel stressed out in social situations that involve food when you are trying to lose weight.
While each situation is unique and requires different responses, they can broadly be lumped into two groups:
- Very Special Occasions: You’re at your 20th high school reunion. You want to enjoy yourself socially and you really need a drink. (“You dumped ME? I forgot that part; I thought it was mutual. Oh damn, I’ll have a double.”) My advice: Have a cheat meal, get your drink on, and party like it’s 1999. Same advice goes if your sister is getting married or you’ve just won the lottery. Celebrating with food is part of a balanced life, just get back to clean eating ASAP.
- Not-So-Special Occasions: You’re at a birthday party for some kid you barely know from your son’s kindergarten class. Should you eat the pizza and cake? My advice: Skip the pizza (it’s probably cold anyway) and the cake too. I’m like 99% certain that little Johnny will NEVER know/care that you skipped his cake. Eat before the party or bring your own food from home in Tupperware.
“But Lisa,” you say, “I feel like everyone will pressure me/be mad at me/tease me if I don’t eat at these not-so-special occasions.”
Of course the most logical thing to do is realize the following:
You’re an adult. Stop seeking your mom’s/friend’s/co-worker’s approval. If these people truly care about you they would want you to be healthy.
But we humans are not always logical, which is why I also recommend these 3 strategies:
- Bait and Ditch: If you feel like all the other moms are looking at you funny, you can always get a slice of cake to be social, take a bite and then throw the rest away as soon as one of the kids spills something. I’ve also been known to slip out of the room to “answer a phone call” when the cake is served. Know who was calling? My will power, saying, “Danger! Danger! Get out of the room!”
- Hold Your Drink: Some of my clients feel pressured to drink when they go to business meetings. Just like the one-bite-then-trash cake trick, I’m a firm believer in ordering one drink and sipping it all night. Let everyone else get drunk around you. Order vodka instead of a sugary or salty cocktail. Or just say up front that you’re designated driver so people will leave you alone.
- Lie: When I was training for my first bodybuilding competition I felt really weird ordering what was on my meal plan at a restaurant. “I’d like 4 oz. of tilapia, no seasonings and it has to be grilled not baked, 8 asparagus spears steamed with no butter, half a baked potato with nothing on it, and no bread, and just water…I’m diabetic.” I’m not proud for saying that I was diabetic, but it made me feel better for giving a complicated order to a busy waiter. Now I just order like When Harry Met Sally and think nothing of it. Know why? Most waiters don’t care what you order as long as your polite.
Honestly, the main thing I’ve noticed is that once eating clean becomes your lifestyle and not just some on-again off-again yo-yo thing, friends and family become quite supportive of your choices and the pressure comes off.
My friends look at me funny if I’m not carrying around Tupperware with my chicken and green beans. They also are really cool about finding ways to hang out with me that don’t involve eating out, like going shopping, swimming at the lake or getting our nails done.
Hope that helps!
P.S. – If you’re serious about getting healthy, but need help getting started, try my S.L.I. Method for only 79! It gives you the tools you need to live a healthy lifestyle. Go to my main website to order now.
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Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two….and Original Cast Member of AMERICAN GRIT, starring John Cena, on FOX!!!
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