Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What to Say When People Pressure You with Food

Everyone who's been personally victimized by Regina George, er, Food-Pushers, say "aye." 

You may have been on both sides of the game in this one, and if that's the case, then please leave your comments below. Nonetheless, striving to better yourself in health and wellness has its challenges when it comes to corporate eating. We've all felt the pressure to join in the break room cookies or the baby shower cake, even if we really wanted to pass. All to conclude with a giant side of guilt after splurging. Please know I'm not shaming the act of intuitively eating something less than 100 percent healthy every now and then, but there's something to be said if you feel totally out of control when eating around others. If that resonates with you, remember these four responses.

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"Who brought this vegetable tray? I love tomatoes!"
1. Express Your Gratitude.

Most of the time, people are looking to serve or show hospitality. "Can I get you a piece of cake?" or "How 'bout this brownie I just made?" (That one's a frequent phrase from my Grandma ...). Proactively express how delicious the salad was, and ask who made it. Describe how grateful you are for all the food available to you and how happy you are with your options. By the way, the more gratitude you have in your heart in general, the easier it will be to shake off the pressure to indulge in unhealthy food and drinks.

"Thanks for thinking of me, but I'll pass. I'm trying to get stronger and healthier today."
2. Remember Your Reasons.

Respond with values, not your outcomes. Respond in unexpected ways that turn the conversation into something centered around bettering yourself and holding yourself accountable. If someone's really pushy, like, "Come on, one more won't kill you," respond with "But I might not stop at just one, and I'm trying to establish self-discipline," or "I'm trying to practice a little intuitive eating and will power."

"Not today, sir. My body's craving something light and fresh."
3. Blame it on your body.

As you become more of an intuitive eater, your body runs better on whole foods, free of toxins, sugar and processed crap. Although you may not be exactly an intuitive eater just yet, practicing the discipline of listening to your body and training it to run on lean protein, unprocessed fats and fibrous fruits and vegetables is essential. When people hear you're listening to your body and eating what you want, rather than restricting yourself, they're less likely to ask you again and again. Some people prey on weakness, and when they see drool coming from your mouth when food's served, they might jump on it. If they know you're doing what you want, then they might not be as inclined to exploit your self-discipline.

"I've had my share of sweets this week, so no thanks. If you want one, it won't bother me!"
4. Empathize with the Food-Pusher.

Remember that change comes to everyone, and it's often something we don't come to easily. Your bettering yourself may cause someone else to look inward and ask why they're not bettering themselves. I've found my actions to instill self-discipline have sometimes brought out the worst of other people's insecurities. Try hard to not cast any judging eyes. Hold back any defensive comments (I'm still working on this). Instead, choose a response that speaks a sense of humility. Often, the food and drink-pushers are the ones who are feeling the most pressure, so if you can remember that, to see them like bugs (they're more scared of you than you're scared of them), then it will be easier to simply say, "No thank you."

For a complete guide to wellness, register for one of my 3 new Team A.M.Fit programs, each being a guide to creating lifelong habits of nutrition, exercise and positive self-image. 

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