I think we all have at least one of these people in our lives- someone who
really does love us, but for whatever reason gets in the way of our healthy
pursuits rather than simply supporting and encouraging us. Stop for a moment
and try to identify that person or those people. It may be a spouse, parent,
sibling, child, friend, neighbor, love, or coworker. Their form of sabotage
will usually not be hostile- it will come in the form of enticement, gifts,
guilt, peer pressure or simply same old/same old. They are people that you
feel shy, embarrassed, or uncomfortable around when you’re trying to make
healthy changes. They may joke about what you’re eating or not eating, entice
or pressure you to eat something you’re trying to avoid, gift you with items
they know you’re trying to steer away from, or simply expect you to do business
as usual and not rock their boat or “make” them feel bad by your choices.
I have dubbed the work saboteur “The Bundt Lady.” She (or he) is the one
who brings donuts and cookies and coffee cake to the break room, even
though they KNOW that you and others are trying to knock off sweets.
Some of our saboteurs hate to eat or drink alone so we feel pressured
to participate in their food and drink world when it’s not really what we’d
choose on our own.
Healthy change can sometimes be threatening to those not quite ready to
make their own changes- just expect it! Hold your ground! The solution to
overcoming sabotage in my mind is to have a clear strategy for PERSONAL
success. No one else has to change, agree, or approve of whatever goals
you are setting for yourself. Whatever changes you have deemed worthy of
your time, effort, and attention have to be between you and you.
It IS a good idea to let key people around you KNOW about your intention
to make a shift. It should not be a dirty little secret! You can try enlisting
their support and encouragement. If you find their actions and words LESS
than supportive and encouraging, understanding it may be completely sub
conscious on their part, and resolve to stay on your healthy path. Don’t be
dissuaded or discouraged! Just do what you need to do remembering that
THEY have the same freedom to choose. Don’t underestimate the power
of your own good example. Use fewer words and more right actions with
a clear goal in mind that you are after healthy CHANGE! You are making
healthy changes to get new RESULTS!
If you find that you are allowing yourself to be thrown off course by another
person, do some soul searching to find out what the root of that is- are
you afraid they won’t “like” or accept you if you don’t do what they want
or expect of you? Maybe you truly have not clarified what you’re after and
need to do that. I believe that humans make choices out of their deepest
desires. If the desire to indulge or please someone else EXCEEDS the
desire to be different and to please yourself with a healthier you, than
indulgence will trump restraint every time.
There is a polite way to do this. I have made a personal effort to avoid what
I have dubbed “obligatory eating.” That to me means eating something I
don’t really want to eat so I don’t insult someone else. I try most of the time
to hold to my “eat what you love and love what you eat” philosophy with
great gratitude that I have the option to have enough food, number one, and
number two, the latitude to make some choices in regard to what I eat.
At the end of the day, food should just be a part of a healthy life. It shouldn’t
over occupy our time, thought life, resources, or energy. Hopefully we
have bigger, better, and more noble things to do than to obsess over food.
We do, however, all of us, need to eat, and should enjoy eating so this
Holiday don’t be ashamed to make the best choices you can without being
negatively swayed by others!